Italian wine was probably the largest section of the WS Grand Tour. Some excellent wines were poured and there were so many that I missed. Here are my notes:
1998 Biondi Santi Brunello di Montalcino Villa Poggio Salvi- A young, young wine in need of much aging. A beautiful complex fruit filled nose. Not showing much on the palate now. Some cherry and dusty notes. 90-91.
1997 Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Cerratalto- WS recently gave this quasi reserve BdM 97 points. Parker only gave it 88. This was my favorite Italian. The essence of "Tipicita" as they call it in Italy. Classic Sangiovese nose of violets and cherry. Interesting rich black cherry, crushed grape skin and chocolate notes. A big full bodied wine with a long caressing finish. Needs time for the tannins to settle but drinking well now I thought. 95-96.
1999 Fesina Toscana Fontalloro- 100% Sangiovese Supertuscan. Smooth, integrated and elegant. 92-94.
1999 Fontodi Toscana Flaccianello- Another 100% Sangio Supertuscan. The nose was a little simple but the full bodied flavor made up for it. Luscious cherry and violet notes. This is only being poured in Chicago. 91.
2000 Castello di Fonterutoli Toscana Siepi- 50% Merlot and 50% Sangiovese. Bitter fruit with a mild tannic structure. Medium bodied. Disappointing based on my expectations and the WA score of 92. 89-90.
1999 Ornellaia Bolgheri Ornellaia- WS's wine of the year in 2001. This wine was not scheduled to be poured and will probably not be in Atlanta or LA. A huge improvement since the last time I had it a year ago. More open, richer and generous. Dry firm tannins, smoky cherry notes and a long finish. Left me wanting more. 93+.
2000 Terriccio Toscana Tassinaia- A spicy berry nose. Rich and mouthcoating with cherry notes. Not sure of the blend. Full bodied with firm tannins. 92-93.
1998 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto- Enoselsa raved about this wine. It had a sweet cherry nose. Multilayered wine. Medium bodied but it just kept flowing and flowing on the palate. Mushroom, currant and red fruit notes. 92-94.
1999 Marcarini Barolo Brunate- A wet earth nose. This full bodied wine had notes of cherry, spice and cedar. Dry tannins. Give it time. 92.
1998 Marchesi di Barolo Barolo Cannubi- The namesake winery for the region. This single vineyard bottle also needs time. A nose filled with dark chocolate and herbs. Full bodied with dried fruit notes and a dry but long finish. 91.
1999 Luciano Sandrone Barolo Le Vigne- Will not be in Atlanta. Sweet candied fruit nose. Medium to full bodied with notes of berry and dark fruit. Caressing tannins and a long but dry finish. 91-93.
1999 Paolo Scavino Barolo Carobric- Will not be in Atlanta. A blend of grapes from their 3 vineyard areas. A coffee and blackberry nose. Wet earth and leather notes in this full bodied wine. Very young. 92+.
2000 Maculan Veneto Fratta- 54% Cabernet and 46% Merlot in this unfined and unfiltered wine. My wife was simply ecstatic to see and talk to the owner Fausto Maculan again (he was less happy to see me since I spilled wine all over his booth). A rich concentrated wine with sweet black fruit, chocolate and cassis notes. Nobody does it better in Breganze. 92+.
1997 Masi Amarone Vaio Armaron- One of the most interesting wines of the tasting. This will not be in LA but those in Atlanta should seek it out. A huge portlike nose. Massive structure in this full bodied wine. Bitter prune and blackberry notes. This wines screams to be paired with Osso Bucco. 92-93.
Those in Atlanta should make sure to try the 1999 Isole e Olena Cepparello which will only be poured there while the 2000 Argiano Solengo will only be in LA.