Special Web Offers and Vertical Il Poggione Dinner

Vertical Il Poggione Dinner, Nov. 7

Space at the Nov. 7 Vertical Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino dinner (with winemaker Alessandro Bindocci) is filling up fast: there are a few spaces left. To reserve, please call or email events coordinator Jeremy Parzen at 212-679-0822 or events@vinosite.com. Many of the older vintages (going back to 1978) are also available exclusively to Vino customers and are sourced directly from Il Poggione’s cellar in Sant’Angelo in Colle. If you’d like to receive a list of available wines and prices, please contact Jeremy. Sales are subject to availability.

Vertical Dinner featuring
Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino

with winemaker Alessandro Bindocci
Tuesday, November 7, 8:00 p.m.
Ristorante I Trulli

For more information, click here.

In other news…

Many of your favorite wines are now available at a 20% discount online at www.VinoSiteShop.com.

Subject to availability.

As advertised in the New York Times Dining In section, each week we will be featuring some of our most popular and collectible wines at a 20% discount exclusively on the web. This week’s sale wines include Naima 2003 from De Conciliis, a modern-style Aglianico inspired by the John Coltrane composition, and Monchiero Barolo Rocche 2000, a top-rated vintage and a single-vineyard Barolo from a one of our favorite “traditionalist” producers in the Langhe. To read more about these and other sale wines, click here.

* * *

This Week’s Tasting: Current Wines from Tre Bicchieri Winner (Piemonte)

This Thursday and Friday, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
121 East 27th St.
between Park and Lex.

Vareij 2004 Hilberg
(click here to order)

Hilberg’s Vareij is a highly unusual wine made from a blend of Barbera and Brachetto (the latter is almost exclusively vinified as a sparkling, sweet dessert wine). The name Vareij literally means “varied” in Piedmontese dialect and is inspired by the fact that no one on record has blended these two grapes together. The wine has a wonderful lightness (from the Brachetto) but good acid and mouthfeel from the Barbera. Hilberg has won the Tre Bicchieri award repeatedly for its Nebbiolo d’Alba, available by special order only.

Dolcetto di Dogliani Papa Celso 2003 Abbona
(click here to order)

Marziano Abbona’s Dolcetto di Dogliani is named Papa Celso after his father who planted their Dolcetto vines between the two world wars when Marziano was just a child. This Dolcetto is still made from grapes grown on these 60-year-old vines. Marziano often reminds us that while in Asti and Alba, the best growing sites are reserved for Nebbiolo and Barbera, in Dogliani (where this wine is made) the best sites are used exclusively for Dolcetto. Abbona won the Tre Bicchieri award for its Dolcetto di Dogliani Superiore Papa Celso 2005.

Barbaresco 2002 Produttori del Barbaresco
(click here to order)

In 2002, legendary winemaker Aldo Vacca of the Produttori del Barbaresco cooperative decided not to make his cru wines. Instead, he used his very best fruit to make his traditionally blended Barbaresco. This wine represents one of those rare occasions when the winemaker opts to use his top grapes for his blended Barbaresco. This is drinking beautifully and will only get better with age. A great way to approach Barbaresco for the newcomer. Produttori del Barbaresco won the Tre Bicchieri for its Barbaresco Riserva Paje 2001 and its Barbaresco Riserva Rio Sordo 2001.

Barolo Massara 1998 Castello di Verduno
(click here to order)

Castello di Verduno’s Barolo Massara is sourced from one of the great “crus” or vineyards of Barolo, Massara. Locals call the site a sori d’la matin, meaning an ideal site that benefits from sunlight in the morning. As a result of the eastern exposure, the grapes sourced from this historic vineyard cool off during the afternoon and can ripen properly even in overly hot summers. 1998 was one of a historic string of excellent vintages (1996-2001) vintages in the Langhe. Castello di Verduno won the Tre Bicchieri for the 2001 Barolo Massara.

* * *

Wine Opinion: What Makes a Tre Bicchieri Wine

For those of you who have followed Vino and my wine opinions closely, you know that I — and we — are not particularly fond of wine ratings and scores. I’ll leave to the imagination the publications and persons to whom I am referring when I write this.

However, for many years now, one of the leading, if not the top, wine publications in Italy has been the Gambero Rosso Guida ai Vini d’Italia or “Guide to Italian Wines.” The guide is released every year in Italy around this time. The English edition isn’t published until March-April of the following year. But, because here at Vino, we not only drink Italian, we also speak and read Italian, we rush out to read the evaluations and to see the ratings.

For those of you who know the guide, you know that they do not “score” the wines as many of our illustrious colleagues do. Instead, they have devised a highly poetic rating system that we at Vino — myself and staff included — find to be of great interest and appropriate to the nature of tasting and sharing wine.

Last year, at the presentation of the guide in New York, when our friend Enrico Coser received the award for Best White of the Year (for his Collio Fosarin), the guide’s editor-in-chief Daniele Cernili explained his now famous “Three Glass” system as follows.

He explained that a bottle of wine contains six glasses. Since you should never drink a bottle of wine alone, this means that you and your companion can each have 3 glasses. According to his theory, if you and your friend kind of like the wine, you’ll have one glass each. If you like it, you might have two glasses. But if you really like it, you’ll finish the whole bottle and thus you’ll each drink three glasses of wine. These wines, he says, are “Tre Bicchieri” wines or “Three Glass” wines, the highest ranking that the guide bestows each year.

Every year, only a handful of wines from each region of Italy receive this prestigious honor. For the next few weeks, we will be featuring labels from some of our favorite wineries that have again received the award (although we won’t be receiving the wines themselves until the spring because they have been released in Italy only recently).

At this week’s tasting, I will be pouring wines from Piedmontese producers who have once again received the Tre Bicchieri award.
–Charles Scicolone, Wine Director, I Trulli and Vino

Charles would love to hear from you. Please email him at charles@vinosite.com.


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