Had the pleasure of going back to Casa Toscana in Miami’s Upper East Side last night for an Italian Wine and Cheese tasting. Yum!
The tasting featured four nice Italian wines: a 2006 Ciacci Piccolomini IGT Toscana Rosso, a 2006 Ciacci Piccolomini Rosso de Montalcino, a 2006 La Spinetta Il Nero De Casanova, and a 2003 La Spinetta Sassontio. The cheese was from Il Forteto, a producer in Italy, and included three wonderful cheeses: a Pecorino Stagionato con peperoncino, a Brillo Pecorino Di Vino, and a Boschetto al Tartufo.
Let’s start with the wines:
2006 Ciacci Piccolomini IGT Toscana Rosso
This wine is produced in the Castelnuovo dell’Abate zone, Southwest of Montalcino. The wine is 95% Sangiovese Grosso, with a touch of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blended in. It’s fermented in stainless steel vats, then aged four to six months in Slovenian Oak Barrels. According to the producer’s tasting notes, it has an intense, fruity bouquet, with notes of herbs and spices. It’s ready to drink, full-bodied, soft, and well-balanced.
I found it to have a nice nose, with a slight sense of alcohol (it’s 14%), along with nice strawberries and undercurrents of leather. There was some stone fruit in there, and maybe a touch of smoke. It is a soft wine, with strawberries and stone fruit on the palate. I wish the alcohol level was a little lower; I think it gave the wine a tiny negative, but I would rank this 85 on a 100 point scale, and +1 on the FromageBob scale.
2006 Ciacci Piccolomini Rosso de Montalcino
This wine is also produced in the Castelnuovo dell’Abate area. It is 100% Sangiovese Grosso, and spends about 12 months in Slovenian Oak. According to the tasting notes, it’s fruit forward, with an intense bouquet of fresh cherry, rose, violet, cinnamon and cloves. I found cherry, dark berries, and strawberries on the nose with a touch of roses. I think dark cherries. The taste was cherries, cloves, tobacco, and a little chocolate. It was a nice wine – I liked it better than the Rosso, I think because it had more body and better mouthfeel. I would give this an 86/+1
2006 La Spinetta Il Nero De Casanova
This wine is a blend of 95% Sangiovese and 5% Colorino. It’s made from young vines, and aged in toasted French oak for 9 months, followed by 2 months in stainless steel barrels, then 2 more months in bottles. The wine is neither filtered nor clarified. According to the tasting notes, it offers scents of ripe berries, cherries, plum and coffee, and could age for up to 10 years. I found it to have a nose consisting of black cherries and leather, with just a tiny hint of coffee and chocolate. The taste was tannic, with chocolate, smoke, and dark cherries. This is definitely a food wine, and was a fabulous paring with one of the cheeses (but you’ll have to wait for that!). I would give this an 88/+1. Definitely a food wine.
2003 La Spinetta Sassontio
This wine is also a blend of 95% Sangiovese and 5% Colorino, but ferments in new toasted French Oak for 12 – 14 months, then 3 months in stainless, followed by 20 more months in the bottle. It is not filtered or clarified. According to the tasting notes, it has a crisp nose is black cherries, mixed berries, fresh tomato leaves, and minerals. In the nose, I found dark berries, cherries, and old leather (nice, smoky, worn, delicious leather!). In the taste, black cherry, tobacco, leather, and roast vegetables. It was quite pleasant, a bit tannic, but – according to the notes, could age for up to 25 years. I liked the wine – I thought tha the Nero de Casanova was better in this tasting, but I can see where this wine would evolve to be greater than the former. This is also a food wine.