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.

The Podcast Plus: Ponte1948

30 Jun 2023

(February 2023) ... Meeting with Gabriele Fasan from Ponte 1948 at Mike's Back Door in Mississauga, for a podcast about the winery – with a big thank you to J. Cipelli and Dana Pancer, listen here or read below (My recommendation ... Do Both)

Ponte1948 is a co-op winery with plenty of excellent wines in their portfolio. We started with sparkling wine, which was the highlight of the tasting, followed by a couple of reds and whites.

Ponte has over 3000 hectares and 1000 family vineyards that are spread out along the River Piave in such areas as Treviso, Venice and the Dolomites. They have over 70 years of history - enhenced by the 1948 that follows in their name.

60,000 tons of grapes are collected annually, 1.6 million cases of wine produced and five wine shops (Enoteche di Ponte) - wouldn't that be nice ... I speak here to the smaller wineries in Ontario who do not have this option.

Under their purview, 53% of the grapes grown are Prosecco (aka Glera), 25% Pinot Grigio, 5% Chardonnay, 5% Merlot, 2% Cabernet (Franc) as well as other varieties that are in the mix.

As for the wine's tasted:

Ponte 48In all honesty, those Proseccos we drank were a delight from the base-model ($17.95) with the Blue Label to the Organic ($19.95) green label - which to be honest are the same wine just using a different growing method. The Orange Label is their vintage version. At this tasting it was the 2021, and it has 15% Chardonnay - pure joy on the palate and probably the one we most sat around and drank for fun afterwards ($22.95) . While the Valdobbiadene, 100% Glera, was a brut style with plenty of mineral goodness ($24.95). Pour either of the last two wines and you'd probably fool 75% of your friends into thinking they are drinking a higher priced traditional method bubble.

Because Andre was involved, a Chardonnay had to be on the table and for the same reason, a Sauvignon Blanc showed up as well. For those not familiar with the podcast, Andre has a love-hate relationship with these grapes: he loves Chardonnay, hates Sauvignon Blanc. Both wines were good from a quality price ratio stand point..

Also part of the Gio series of wines (the whites above were also part of this series) We tasted a 2021 Cabernet Franc / Cabernet Sauvignon blend; Cabernet Franc is big in this area, but finds its way into blends more times than not; and a Merlot, Refosco, Cabernet Franc blend, where 10% of the wine is dried / namely the Refosco. Again, both wines offer up good quality to value ratio.

To learn more about Ponte1948 - listen to the podcast here.


Good Dei: 2 wines / 4 vintages

23 Jun 2023

(February 2023) ... Montepulcino - I have been to Dei before... I have tasted wines here before ... I have had a meal here before.

But this was a different visit, it was about comparing two Cru (single vineyards) the winery has. One, is the older vineyard used to make the Riserva – Bossona ... The other is an ode to the father, a small vineyard called “Madonna della Querce”, planted in 2005, the first vintage of which was released from the 2015 vintage. A handful of media from around the world was there to taste these two reserve wines side by side from four different vintages: 2015 - 2016 - 2017 - 2018.

2018 ...
Madonna Della Querce vs Bossona
Madonna - Nice structure with lovely acidity and spice notes; well balance dark fruit with cedar... It has lovely complexity and a good life ahead of it.
Bossona – Drink-ability is certainly in the now camp. Lots of red berries, good balancing acidity and moderate spice. Enjoy now.

Winner : A draw. While Bossona is drink now, Madonna will be waiting in the wings when you are finished all the  Bossona; and good thing too, as Madonna needs more time.Dei Cellar Tasting

2017 ...
Madonna Della Querce vs Bossona
Madonna - Rough and rugged tannins from the outset ... There is fruit, it's there, but it's not ready to drink quite yet; it's also developing notes of leather, tar and cedar.
Bossona - An approachable wine that's very delicate, and doesn't disguise the fruit it has under a veil of wood.

Winner : Easily the Bossona; with its approachability and ease of drinking, it's a quaffer right now; I'm not sure whether the Madonna gets out from behind that tarry-woody-leathery veil.

2016 ...
Madonna Della Querce vs Bossona
Madonna - Happily, there is some fruit to be found here; but the extract is hard and there's some crazy age-ability here as long as that wood manages to settle itself down and the fruit can find a way to fight its way to the front.
Bossona - Approachable and fruity: lots of red berry: cherry, strawberry, and red currant really showing its way through. This wine is fresh, fruity and fun.

Winner : This should be obvious from the write-up above, but if the Madonna can write the ship over the next few years ... time will tell.

2015 ...
Madonna Della Querce vs Bossona
Madonna - Already 7 years old and the wine maintains rugged / tough tannins and dark brooding fruit... I'm not sure it ever will turn a corner.
Bossona - Tannins and acidity are battling it out, while the fruit waits in the wings to see who's the ultimate winner in their fight for supremacy. There is a certain approachability here, but the tannins need to drop like a set of balls.

Winner : tough call, but this round might go to the Bossona, just for having some drink-now-ability - otherwise, it's a draw of. Let's see what happens.

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