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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Grandi Marchi tasting at the AGO, March 4 report

The Date and Time: Monday March 4, 2013  5:30 PM to 6:30 PM plus

The Event: Grandi Marchi walk-around tasting for the trade and for writers. It was last here in Toronto in 2010 and 2012…see notes below.

The Venue: Art Gallery of Ontario, Baillie Court.

The Target Audience: wine trade, later private purchasers at night.

The Availability/Catalogue: orders were to be placed with Vintages reps.

The Quote/Background: The Grandi Marchi represent 19 families who make upscale Italian wines. Not all GM families were represented here, about three were missing (most likely because they had no product in Ontario at the moment). From 2012, I enjoyed at 91+ points:


**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Antinori Pian delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino 2006, $66.41

-Masi Costasera Riserva Amarone Classico 2006, $69.95

-Jermann W… Dreams Bianco 2009, $63.95

-Umani Ronchi San Lorenzo Rosso Conero Montepulciano 2008, $14.95


From 2010, I enjoyed at 91+ points:


**** Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Brunello di Montalcino 2004, $125

-Biondi Santi Villa Poggio Salvi Rosso di Montalcino 2008, $25

-Ca' del Bosco Franciacorta Cuvee Annamaria Clementi 2002, $109

-Ca' del Bosco Carmenero 2001, $59

-Folonari Tenute di Nozzole Chianti Classico Riserva 2006, $30

-Jermann W…Dreams…2007, $59

-Masi Serego Alighieri Vaio Amaron Amarone della Valpolicella Classico

2004 $69.95

-Pio Cesare Barolo 2005, $75

-Pio Cesare il Bricco Barbaresco 2005, $99

-Pio Cesare Ornato Barolo 2005, $99


BUT in 2013, I enjoyed the following wines (I did not taste every wine on offer):


**** BEST -- Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Alois Lageder Lowengang Chardonnay 2009 Alto Adige, $49

-Folonari Tenute Cabreo Il Borgo 2008 IGT Toscana, $35

-Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo Brunello di Montalcino 2008, $169

-Donnafugata Mille e una Notte 2007 Sicily, $67.

-Masi Campolongo di Torbe Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2006 Veneto, $99.95.

-Masi Costaserva Riserva Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2007 Veneto, $66

-Pio Cesare Ornato Barolo 2008, $95


***1/2 BETTER -- Three and a Half Stars (8890 in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Folonari Nozzle Chianti Classico Riserva 2009, $30

-Folonari Tenuta La Fuga Brunello di Montalcino 2007, $59

-Argiolas Turriga 2007 IGT Sardinia, $79

-Biondi Santi Sassoalloro 2009 IGT Toscana, $35.95

-Donnafugata Chiaranda Chardonnay 2009 Sicily, $38

-Donnafugata Tancredi 2008 Sicily, $35

-Jermann Chardonnay 2011 Friuli, $29

-Jermann W … Dreams 2010 Fruili, $63

-Lungarotti Monticchio Riserva Rubesco 2006 Umbria, $49

-Antinori Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva 2008, $29.95

-Antinori Pian delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino 2007, $59.95

-Antinori Guado Al Tasso Il Bruciato 2011, $31

-Mastroberardino Radici Taurasi 2007 Campania, $44

-Michele Chiarlo Cerequio Barolo 2007 Piedmont, $71

-Michele Chiarlo Nizza La Court Barbera d'Asti Superiore 2010 Piedmont, $45

-Pio Cesare Barolo 2008, $71

-Pio Cesare Fides Barbera d'Alba 2010, $44

-Pio Cesare Piodilei Chardonnay 2009, $44

-Rivera Puer Apuliae 2007 Puglia, $35

-Tasca d'Almerita Tascante 2009 IGT Sicilia, $45

-Tasca d'Almerita Regaleali Rosso del Conte 2007 Sicilia, $46

-Umani Ronchi Cumaro Conero Riserva 2008 Marche, $39


*** GOOD -- Three Stars (8587 in Quality/Price Rating terms):

-Alois Lageder Am Sand Gewurztraminer 2011, $33

-Alois Lageder Cor Romigberg Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, $65.

-Argiolas Korem 2009 IGt Sardinia, $44

-Biondi Santi Rosso di Montalcino 2009 IGT Toscana, $59

-Masi Bossi Fedrigotti Fojanegh 2009 IGT Trentino, $29.95

-Tasca d'Almerita Cygnus Nero D'avola/Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 IGT Sicilia, $22


The Food: cheeses (toscano pecorino, gorgonzola, fontina, taleggio) with breads, sliders (eggplant parmigiano and chicken parmignano), a pickle bar with green olives, salads, farro salad, grilled cheese sandwich, sliced meats, risottos (seafood and pea and pancetta), and a soft creamy polenta with braised beef and/or truffled mushroom ragout – all from Frank Restaurant in the AGO. I question the grilled cheese, but everything else was outstanding.

The Downside: the big crowd arrived an hour after I got there, but I had already planned to taste the expensive wines first, to get a heads up.

The Upside: good conversations with principals.

The Contact Person: or

The Event's Marketing Effectiveness and Execution (numerical grade): 92.

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