The Italian Master Class in Russia. Second PartBy Filippo BartolottaIt is 23:40. I just had dinner on the train to Saint Petersburg with Nikolay.
My first Master Class on Italian Wines is finished.16 hours of class: 70 DOCG, 340 DOC, 120 IGT and a lot of history and 2 wines. It is funny as I am in a very Russian populated train. The menu in the restaurant is Russian only.video-2011-10-19-23-37-24
Two business man who -by the vodka aromatics which they were emanating- must have celebrated some nice deals sat next to us.They seemed like two very nice guys. They had another four drinks, we had a toast and carried on.Now I am sitting listening Russian radio and guess what...it is actually Italian music. I was told that Toto Cutugno, a pop italian singer of the 80's, is today very popular in Russia.I am trying to recall the best wines I had today.Sottimano Barbaresco Pajor 2005. Very balsamic nose, tar, dry roses, medicinal herbs. It had all the necessary nose to be a great Nebbiolo. The palate wasn't showing a soft Pajor like hand but a rather more Serralunga tightness. I am sure it will be a very nice wine with a little bit more bottle aging. drink- 5-15 years ahead.La Tunella. L'Arcione. Colli Orientali del Friuli Rosso DOC 2006. This was the surprise of the first lot. I was expecting this wine to be much simpler. Instead is a lovely Pignolo and Schioppettino blend aged for 3,5 years in different size oak. Very spicy hibiscus nose, very fruit driven, clean with Pignolo giving a very violets and vinous touch to it.Attilio Ghisolfi. Bricco Visette. Barolo DOCG 1998. This Monforte wine was showing a lot of cola and beer root action with a great mushrooms and red cheery finish. Tannins were nicely tamed, indeed just a little too tamed. The wine is for me good now but witho too lingering a life ahead.Castello di Bossi Chianti Classico 2007. Another surprise for me. I haven't been enjoying Castello di Bossi wines for quite some time now because of a little too oaky, extractive approach. Well this '07 goes in a totally different direction with a very elegant soft hand, lovely red fruit and good fruit. Mind you it isn't a too complex wine, but it isn't meant to be too difficult a wine.
Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso S. Spirito 2009. This is the wine that for me was the "winner" of the day, today, here in Moscow. I have to say that when Marco de Grazia started off, the first couple of vintages were a little halted by the oak. Now the wines just fly. Black pepper, strawberry jam, floral, mineral with a very juicy mouth-fill of great pomegranate and cranberries. I loved the elegant tannic touch and the lenghty uplifting finish. Perfect alcoholic balance. Bring me a wagon full and I'll drink it.Campo alla Sughera. Arnione. Bolgheri Superiore DOC 2005. This is a very classic Cabernet based Super Tuscan with some Cab Franc twisty green pepper and ashes. Very smooth, very slick, very seductive palate. Produced in a very pristine winery with a lot of love and care. Begali La Cengia. Valpolicella Class. Superiore DOC. Ripasso 2009 This for me was actually a better balanced wine then the Amarone from the same house. Prunes, tobacco and dark chocolate with a very balanced palated not too sweet not too dry.Montenisa Brut, Franciacorta DOCG. Nice toasty notes, red apple, hazelnuts and fresh pear fruit. Good clean palate with a medium body and a pleasant round finish.Rallo Moscato di Pantelleria 2006. This is a lovely Zibibbo passito with loads of dry apricots, packed with dry figs on the palate and a caramel finish. Good acidity to balance out the sugar weight Well, that's about that for today.This is yesterday account, with a clip of the music they played in the station for my arrival.Today I had my first seminar in Saint Petersburg where I met some very nice sommeliers. It is impressive how many great palates are here and how many female sommeliers.This is a very romantic city with an imperial architecture, a cold cut skyline, water fronts everywhere and people with a very sweet smile. I had a very long day with a little temperature and sore throat. I couldn't stop from taking this walk though and I am so happy I brought my warm hat with me.
The sunset arrived at once from very faraway. I couldn't stop staring at it. I love the northern light. It is a little melancholic, but also romantic, calming and I find it inspiring.
I had dinner with a mixed group in a cosy Italian restaurant and I was sitting next to a very nice Russian Psychotherapist. She wouldn't speak much english, but Nikolay helped in a very nice conversation about the "Man Who Mistook his wife for a Hat" by Oliver Sacks and some Wine Therapy Theory that we started to develop together.