From the Cellar

Drinking with Dave + Dinner, Night 1 (France / Ontario / Italy)

10 Aug 2016


(December 21, 2015) ... Many who follow my exploits know that I have a buddy in Michigan named Dave and that he is a big wine nut too (and a former wrestling manager) ... we usually meet at the wine store, where he spends some of his time, to discuss wine, and of course taste a few bottles, but today he invited me over for dinner - this was a real opportunity to see what Dave drinks at home.

It may have been the latter part of December but Dave sure knows how to make one feel welcome. Usually it's a bubbly I start a dinner off with but Dave pulls out one of his favourite roses: Domaine Saint Andre de Figuiere 2014 Premiere - a lively citrus, number with strawberry pith and fresh lime notes to follow on the finish - it truly is a delightful beginning to the evening ... we sipped and chatted waiting for Dave's wife to come home to join us for dinner.

Upon her arrival, she is poured a small glass of the rose which she finishes quickly - she obviously wants to catch up on what is to be poured next - Dave and I open one of the bottles brought: Malivoire 2009 Gamay M2 (the other was a Stratus 2012 Tollgate, which Dave saved for his own enjoyment) ... Dave exclaims, "Wow" as the Gamay truly impresses at five years of age: earthy / leathery nose but that dissipates to reveal a myriad of lovely red fruit: raspberry, strawberry and floral, still lively and lovely with bright clean acidity on the finish.

The rest of the evening is Dave's selections from his cellar and he kicks off dinner wines with a 2011 Ripasso (Corte Forte) from Podere Bertarole; this wine shows leather and burnt cherry as its first offering, before moving into spiced plum, raspberry compote and toasted pomegranate seeds.  A real interesting wine to say the least.

Dave continues the Italian theme with a Martina 2006 Brunello di Montalcino; still quite young but with a touch of VA - but that blow off with a little time in glass -revealing cassis and black / sour cherry notes; plus some dried black fruit and spice ... the longer it sat in glass the balance between fruit and leather began to emerge and when finally we decided to move on from the Brunello we were finding both aromas and flavours like leather, fig, plum, smoke and toasty oak all well layered and pleasantly sippable - but there's more wine to try and we leave this one behind.

For dessert Dave pulls out an Trabucchi 1998 Amarone which is loaded with VA plus black cherry and spiced and peppered plums; it opens rather quickly and was a good wine but not anything great; the Brunello was the better of the two Italian icon styles.

It's at this point in the evening (or so I am told) that Dave pulls out a really big glass and creates his "Dave-o-tage", which consists of a mixture of the Italian wines we have tried this evening ... it's okay, but then I spy there is still some wine left in the bottle of Gamay and I add a hint of "Mike-o-Rama" to the glass; turning this experiment into dried fruits with lovely Gamay brightness ... Not a bad blend - we tried it before and after the addition of the Gamay - it added lift to the fruit and an element of freshness.

There's also a night two: check it out here.

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