Thursday, November 15, 2007

Caliber – Cantina Tollo Tasting … November 13, 2007

Sometimes you go to a tasting and you’re overwhelmed by the amount of wines available (see Italian Tasting) and you think, “this bed is too hard”. Others you go to and you realize there isn’t enough good wine in the room to write about (this bed is too soft). Then there are those that are just right – like this Caliber tasting that featured about a dozen wines and enough interesting ones to make a review worthwhile, and best of all, many are available right now on the general list.

Starting off there’s the Cantina Tollo Rocca Ventosa Trebbiano d’Abruzzo ($7.15 - #430249) – this soft peachy white has apple and citrus notes that make this seem like sweet peach nectar. The price is right for taking this easy-going sipper to any party – winter, spring, summer or fall.

Then there are the two wines you can’t pick up by the bottle, but if Caliber Fine Wines and Spirits get their way you’ll be able to sometime next summer. The Rocca Ventosa Chardonnay ($7.85) is a pineapple-vanilla flavoured number that brings back memories of summers past and future. A Vintage candidate might be the Aldiano Trebbiano d’Abruzzo ($13.70) with its vibrant citrus aromas, fresh fruity peachiness and it’s apple and soft citrus finish.

A few reds also made the grade at this Cantina Tollo tasting; one is an absolute steal-of-a-bargain that I must bring to your attention. But first, there’s the rosé: Rocca Ventosa Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Cerasuolo 2006 ($7.85 – coming soon) raspberry and cherry aromas, touch of sweetness on the palate with a dry finish of red fruit. The matching (in price anyway) Sangiovese Colline Teatine ($7.85) had red and black fruit on the nose with black fruit, cedar and a touch of anise in the mouth. And there’s also the Aldiano Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2004 ($16.30 - #51706 – Vintages Nov. 24, 2007) that has strawberry, blackberries and cassis, with a smooth mouthfeel and touch of dryness; quite enjoyable.

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for – the one wine you should rush out right now and buy. I’ll start with the description: cedar, anise, cassis and blackberry greet the nose, whilst oak/cedar, black fruit, vanilla, cinnamon and cocoa slosh playfully on the tongue. 24 months in “Slavonian” oak, good structure, well balanced, drying mouthfeel, but not too overwhelming on the palate with tannins. So what is this incredible bargain? Colle Secco Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2004, available now at the LCBO (#195826) and at a whopping $8.40 – a wine this good with those flavours at that price, and the ability to hold for another 5 years … you can finish reading this report when you get back from the liquor store … in fact forget the rest, I’m on my way now – see you there.

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