International Cellars Portfolio Tasting
There have been a few portfolio tastings from important importers recently. International Cellars has one of the best Italian selections in the city. Here are my picks from this year’s tasting:
Brovia are one of my favourite value Barolo producers. These are traditionally made wines that are yet quite forward but of course also structured for the long term. At $92 for the Garblet Sue and $105 for the Rocche, for the quality these are well worth collecting. Excellent for both.
Bruno Rocca’s 2009 Rabaja Barbaresco is a well-made example from that top site. The wines are made in a more modern style that allows easier drinking. Very Good+ to Excellent. $110.
From the northern cru of Verduno, Burlotto is a highly traditional producer that has been around a long time. Their 2009 Barolo is quite light and ethereal, bringing out the more pinot-like qualities of the grape. It lacks in depth and finish compared to the other Nebbiolos but at $60 it’s an excellent wine. Very Good to Very Good+.
I also tasted a superb Vietti Barolo Castiglione 2010 ($85) and Elio Grasso Barolo Runcot Riserva 2007 ($160), both of which evaded my camera. They were also the two objectively best Barolos at the tasting, and both deserved and Excellent to Excellent+.
This Quintodecimo Terra d’Eclano Irpinia 2010 is serious Aglianico that is very open and elegant compared to the bruisers that these wines can often be. I will definitely try to find this wine. $72. Excellent.
I’ve always enjoyed the wines of Terre del Principe and greatly appreciate their focus on obscure, nearly lost, indigenous grapes like this 2009 Casavecchia. At $55 it may seem pricey, but the quality and character is there. Very Good+.
The La Valentina Bellovedere 2008 is an impressive Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. It too is pricey at $55, but there is much character here and the wine will age well for a decade. Very Good+.
Monsanto is not always my cup of tea, but their top Chianti Classico “Il Poggio” is a beautiful wine. This 2001 demonstrated how age worthy it is. This is a truly beautiful expression of Sangiovese. Excellent to Excellent+. $145.