Tag Archives: Tuscan wines

Wine notes from the Central Italian wine dinner at the Sportsman, March 7th

The Sportsman, Seasalter

 Central Italian Dinner March 7th


‘Miolo’ Brut Villa Cresptori, Franciacorta NVOkay , so it is not from the region but it is a delicious, fresh sparkling wine made in the Method Traditionelle. There is a light bready, yeasty note to the wine which also appears on the palate along with a touch of ripe lemon and brioche. The wine is dry, with a fine mousse, and fresh without the austerity of Champagne but retains an uplifting freshness reminiscent of its upland origin.

Smoked cod deep fried breaded balls with an intense blanched parsley purée.

Oysters fresh and baked

Belissario, Verdicchio di Matelica 2011

Delightful crisp and gently aromatic white with a light to medium body and long fresh finish. The wine was wonderful match for both forms of the oyster.


Pigeon Rissotto

Gran Sasso, Montepulciano d’Abruzo 2010

A black cherry fruited wine with focus on fruit and a light yet sustained tannic underbelly. Slightly overwhelmed by the risotto but fine on its own.

Fattoria le Terrazze, Rosso Conero 2008

Another expression of the Montepulciano grape but this time with more body and tannic structure. The fruit was dark berry, chocolate and leather. Its depth and spice a fine partner for the risotto.


Sea bream with smoked seabream roe sauce

Vesevo Greco di Tufa, Campania 2011

A pleasing, medium bodied wine with good breadth and freshness but lacking the mineral core to partner the fish.

Bucci, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore 2010

A fine example of the style with a silky texture and some savoury, nutty notes to counterbalance the ripe pear fruit. A good partner for the bream with the extra weight and depth required.


Ox Cheek

Fontodi, Chianti Classico, Tuscany 2008

A stylish, Chianti offering good density and concentration with flavours and aromas of dried herbs, cherries and cedar. Long and powerful, still in need of a couple of years to mellow and integrate.

Isole e Olena, Cepparello, Tuscany 2006 

Terrific wine with fine, complex and sensual aromatics giving an array of dried red fruits, spices, herbs and sweet leather. The characters evolved in the glass yielding up further aromatic notes. The palate was clean, bright and intense. The fine tannins were in harmony with the elegant fruit, acidity. This is a very well balanced wine, drinking exceptionally well now and with a good 8 years ahead of it. And the closure is a stelvin!


Sportoletti, Vina Fidellia Rosso, Umbria 2005

Served as an amuse bouche this was a powerful , dense, tannin driven wine supported by dark black fruits and a hint of mint. A sort of St Estephe of Italy. Really well done and just getting into its stride. I first tried this wine 2 years ago and found it too tannic, time seems to have worked its spell.


Tea Junket with Pina Colada Ice Cream

Selvapiano, Vin Santo 2005

Not the perfect match by any stretch of the imagination but the wine performed very well. The aromatics are of honey, caramel and dried figs and dates, there is a touch, just a touch, of oxidation to bring complexity. The palate is intensely flavoured and very sweet and lush but is cut by a fine fresh acid and delivers a long harmonious finish.

Wines and Prices


‘Miolo’ Brut Villa Cresptori, Franciacorta NV 18.00
Belissario, Verdicchio di Matelica 2011 9.25
Gran Sasso, Montepulciano d’Abruzo 2010 9.00
Fattoria le Terrazze, Rosso Conero 2008 17.25
Vesevo Greco di Tufa, Campania 2011 13.90
Bucci, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore 2010 15.99
Fontodi, Chianti Classico, Tuscany 2009 19.50
Isole e Olena, Ceperello, Tuscany 2006  59.00
Sportoletti, Vina Fidellia Rosso, Umbria 2005 28.00
Selvapiano, Vin Santo del Chianti Rufina 2004 34.70