A Cena Con i Produttori di Vino Italiano
|Fotografie di L. Scagliarini, J. Dawdy, C. Lepori|
Thursday, November 15, 2007, the evening after the Italian Flavor Forum VIII - Fall Edition, a small group of Bay Area wine lovers gathered at Mill Valley's Piazza D'Angelo Restaurant for a special dinner with Italian wine producers. Piazza D'Angelo's Chef, Nicola Nieddu, prepared a six-course dinner created specifically to pair with the wines presented by Azienda Agricola Mauro Zini from Emilia Romagna, and Terre di Nano from Tuscany.
But that's not all. As we would always rather under-promise and over-deliver, and given the fact that we had another producer in town for the Italian Flavor Forum VIII, we decided to add two extra wines produced by the Tuscan estate Azienda Agricola Montalpruno, one white, which was served as an aperitif and two reds, which were poured with the cheese platter at the end of the meal.
We enjoyed the first wine, the Toscana Bianco IGT Sereno, a fresh, lively blend of two Italian native grapes Malvasia del Chianti (60%) and Trebbiano Toscano (30%), plus 10% Chardonnay, as an aperitif before sitting down to dinner while the guests chatted and peeked at the bottles lined up for the evening. This wine, whih was introduced by young Simone Tosi of Azienda Agricola Montalpruno, is also excellent paired with seafood-based plates.
Next, with the Antipasto Misto (Mixed Hors D'Oeuvres) Mauro Zini presented the first of his three wines, the Rosato Italiano IGT, a light, young, frothy rosť wine made with a blend of native Lambrusco Salamino di Santacroce and Lambrusco di Sorbara grapes cultivated in the province of Reggio Emilia. Along with the next course, Insalata Mista (Mixed Salad), Zini introduced the Lambrusco Rosso IGT, a traditional Reggio Emilia frothy red wine made with Lambrusco Salamino di Santacroce and Lambrusco Maestri.
The pasta dish, the excellent Maccheroncini Ubriachi (Drunken Macaroni, that is, pasta cooked in red wine), was paired with two wines, the third, top-of-the-line Lambrusco Emilia IGT, a light frothy red wine made with native Lambrusco Salamino di Santacroce and Malbo Gentile grapes, and the first Terre di Nano wines from Tuscany, the Orcia Rosso DOC Quercialsale 2003, a 100% Sangiovese wine with soft and enveloping flavor, with well integrated tannins, excellent balance and persistence.
While the Lambrusco wines are young, fresh, fruity red wines with a surprising natural light froth and low alcohol content (11%-11.5%), the Orcia Rosso is a typical Sangiovese-based Tuscan wines.
With the two main courses, Filetto di Manzo ai Funghi Porcini (Veal Filet with Porcini Mushrooms) and Costolette d’Agnello (Lamb Chops), Marco Sabbatucci of Terre di Nano introduced the 2003 Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG Barlettaia, a balanced Sangiovese-based (95%) blend with the addition of small amounts of native Canaiolo and Colorino grapes (5%) with abundant notes of red fruits, as well as the SuperTuscan Maclura IGT 2003, an elegant and refined wine made with Sangiovese Grosso (the same variety of Sangiovese which goes into the Brunello di Montalcino) and 10% Merlot grapes which present a full, harmonious body, with persistent notes of red berries and vanilla.
To wrap up the dinner, Chef Nieddu served a Piatto di Formaggi Misti (Cheese Platter) as well as chunks of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese brought from the original production area (Reggio Emilia) by Francesca and Mauro Zini. The Parmigiano Reggiano was sprinkled with abundant Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale Extravecchio di Modena (Traditional Balsamic Vinegar Extra Old from Modena aged minimum 25 years) produced by Malagoli Daniele and distributed in Italy by Acetaia La Tradizione (Vinegar Factory The Tradition). The cheese platter was paired with the elegant, well structured 2004 Chianti DOCG Riserva Il Canto del Leccio, made with 80% Sangiovese and 20% Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo and Colorino Tuscan native grapes, as well as the 2003 Toscana Rosso IGT SuperTuscan Montalpruno, a long lasting, harmonious wine with great structure made with 50% Sangiovese, 30% Merlot, and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.
When, at the end of the lengthy dinner, Chef Nicola Nieddu joined us in the private room reserved for the occasion, he was greeted with well deserved cheers and applause.
In addition to the wines, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar Extra Old from Modena, WineCountry.IT also provided the excellent Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Tuscany produced by Terre di Nano.