On the Road with the Grape Guy

On the Road with the Grape Guy is a on-going feature that follows me from event to event ... I post my thoughts, feelings and reviews of what happened and what I tasted ... basically it is here that I review the events I attend and the things that thrilled me.

Grandi Marchi (Toronto 2022)

18 Oct 2022

(September 8th, 2022) ... The Grandi Marchi tasting returned to Toronto, the venue was a little cramped for the formal tasting, but the wines were worth the cheek-to-cheek, elbow-to-elbow with your neighbor feel. Below are the wines I Grandi Marchi Mapfound to be interesting and the notes for them.

Carpene Malvolti NV 1924 Prosecco (DOCG) ... A pretty bit of bubbly magic here with notes of apple and almond mixing it up with lemon zest and good acid punch.  (*** ½+)

Umani Ronchi 2020 Centovie, Pecorino Colli Aprutini (IGT) ... Pecorino is a very special variety; back in 2000 there were only 80 hectares planted - but it has come back from its near extinction to create beautiful wines such as this: crisp, mineral and lime notes, plus a freshness across the palate and a lovely clean acidity. Dry, stony and lovely.  (*** ½+)

Jermann 2020 Vintage Tunina, Venezia Giulia (IGT) ... A five grape blend that includes Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and three indigenous varieties. It's very pretty with floral, lime and marcona almonds on the nose; the palate doles out much of the same to fresh and lively effect.  (*** ½+)

Alois Legeder 2019 Cason Bianco Viognier – Petit Manseng delle Dolomiti (IGT) ... You don't see a lot of viognier around Italy, or at least on a wine label. This one has tropical fruit and wild flowers with a hint of something smoky. But it's that acid punch that really pulls this one along and brings it together.  (*** ½+)

Michele Chiarlo 2018 Tortoniano, Barolo (DOCG) ... Unoaked Nebbiolo sometimes can come off as Pinot Noir, with its notes of cherry and cranberry; this one does just that - there's a "crispiness" to the wine that's reminiscent of crunchy, red fruits- sour and a little out of season. The finish has a big acid punch. This could benefit from a chill to bring out the fruitiness a bit more.  (*** ½+)

Marchesi Antinori 2019 Guado al Tasso, Bolgheri Superiore (DOC) ... This Bolgheri grown Bordeaux blend is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon back by 25% Cabernet Franc and 10% Merlot. Delicate, dark fruit nose with balsamic and licorice notes. On the palate it ends with smoky/ toasty and robust tannins ... But the mid-palate is all about dark cherry, blackberry and bittersweet chocolate.  (****)

Ambrogio e Giovanni Folonari Tenute 2018 Cabreo il Borgo, Toscana (IGT) ... Equal parts Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot make up this Cabreo, which has bright ripe and red and Byng cherry notes which follow on the palate and adds in pleasant spices and acidity on the finish. But the wine is all bright red fruit to its very core.  (****+)

Lungarotti 2018 Montefalco Sagrantino (DOCG) ... The entry onto the palate shows signs of sweet vanilla and black cherry - but in typical Sagrantino fashion, those tannins on the finish prove themselves to be quite aggressive and will need the taming of a few years in cellar.  (*** ½+)

Masi 2016 Riserva di Costasera, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico (DOCG) ... Great concentration of flavors here, especially after losing 40% of their water weight during the drying process. Rich, dense and dark fruited with macerated cherry and plenty of chocolate on the long finish.  (****+)

Donnafugata 2020 Ben Rye, Passito di Pantelleria (DOC) ... This sweetie is lovely across the palate with its dried pineapple and honey-lemon peel - absolutely delicious.  (****+)


Learn more about who and what the Grandi Marchi is


Gold Medal Wines Tasting (Loire Valley)

30 Sep 2022

(April 27, 2022) ... This was titled "Free-Pour Tasting of Medal-Winning Wines From The Loire Valley Wine Competition"; it was the first mass tasting of the event and it was hard to follow in any of the paperwork given (thankfully the only tasting during the event that suffered from this problem). I tasted lots of wine, but very few I could find in the handout. Therefore, these are the wines I was able to locate and could score with some knowledge of what I was tasting; here I used a new simplified rating system: Good / Good+ (which I continued to use for much of the event going forward).

Whites Wines ...

Orchidées Maison De Vins 2020 Domaine Des Hardières "Les Petits Gars" - Anjou ... Good+
Joel Delaunay Sarl 2021 Thierry Delaunay - Touraine ... Good+
Domaine De La Renaudie 2021 Domaine De La Renaudie - Touraine ... Good+
Scea De La Ragotiere 2021 Domaine Petit Chateau (Chardonnay) - Val De Loire Chardonnay … Good
Earl Boumard Jacky 2021 Sauvignon Blanc - Val De Loire ... Good
Earl Le Moulin De La Touche 2021 Le Moulin De La Touche (Sauvignon Gris) - Val De Loire ... Good
Patrick Baudouin 2019 Savennieres Bellevue - Savennieres ... Good
La Seigneurie 2020 Les Pentes - Saumur ... Good

Sparklng Wines ...

Domaine Delaunay 2019 Domaine Delaunay (Blanc) - Cremant De Loire Brut ... Good
Scea Catherine Nolot NV Domaine De L'ete (Blanc) - Cremant De Loire Brut ... Good
Sas Bouvet-Ladubay NV Bouvet Excellence (Rose) - Cremant De Loire Brut ... Good
Sas Lacheteau NV Chateau De Montgueret (Blanc) - Saumur Mousseux Brut ... Good

Red Wines ...

Jean-Martin Dutour 2020 Domaine De La Perriere Vieilles Vignes - Chinon Rouge ... Good+
Earl Demois 2020 Domaine De La Grange Billard Vieille Vigne - Chinon Rouge ... Good
Wilfrid Rousse 2019 Les Puys - Chinon Rouge ... Good +
Orchidées Maison De Vins 2019 Domaine Des Hardières "Les Etendards" - Anjou-Villages ... Good
Scea Branchereau - Domaine Des Forges 2020 Les 3c - Anjou-Villages ... Good +
Domaine Dittière 2019 Clos De La Grouas - Anjou-Villages Brissac ... Good
Scea Michaud-Beaufort 2021 Gamay - Touraine ... Good


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