Emozionante! Produttori del Barbaresco Pora 2004

Above: No mixed emotions for me when it comes to 2004 Produttori del Barbresco. This is the stuff dreams are made of…

Last week took me to Dallas where I attended the Vias Imports tasting at the Italian Club of Dallas. It was an emotional occasion for me: I still hadn’t tasted any of the 2004 Produttori del Barbaresco crus and I was entirely geeked to taste the Pora (the only cru presented). I’ve been drinking 2004 Produttori del Barbaresco classic Barbaresco (i.e., blended from different vineyards) and the wine — from a cool and climatically balanced vintage — is showing gorgeously now. It’s going through a beautiful, open period in its youth. (Tracie B and I opened a bottle the other evening for dinner but finished it the next night with her killer nachos as we watched the Golden Globes: the wine actually became more tannic the next night!)

In my experience, Pora is among the softer Produttori crus and can be more approachable in its youth. No mixed emotion for me about this wine: I was thrilled to taste it and it’s sure to be one of the greatest expressions of this wine in my wine-drinking life.

Above: Always the gentleman, Alfonso Cevola jumped behind the tasting table to pour for food and wine writer Renie Steves.

I was also excited for my first taste of the 2005 Produttori del Barbaresco classic Barbaresco. The wine from this warmer vintage is more concentrated and not quite as elegant as the 2004. It is already very approachable and leans toward fruit flavor more than its older sibling.

Above: Salvioni’s 2003 Brunello di Montalcino is probably the best 2003 Brunello I’ve tasted.

Other highlights for me were the 2002 Gravners (Breg and Ribolla, less extreme than in previous vintages I’ve tasted — thank goodness!), Damijan 2004 (always), Dettori 2004 (probably my favorite wine from Sardinia, totally natural in style), Salvioni 2003 Brunello (incredibly balanced alcohol for this super hot vintage, so elegant and terroir-driven), and the 2006 bottlings of Dolcetto by Pecchinino (classic vintage for this wine, I really dug them).

Above: The Italian Club of Dallas has a busy social and cultural calendar.

One surprise was a wine that Robin really likes, Tenuta San Leonardo (Gonzaga) 2004 San Leonardo. I’m never such a fan of Bordeaux-style wines from Italy but this was showing nicely. It was interesting to taste it side-by-side with the 2003: I think that the cool summer of 2004 made for some great wines in Italy.

In other news…

Don’t forget to come see me, Tracie B, and NNP at the Mercury Lounge in NYC on Monday February 9. I’ll be posting updated info for our France 2009 mini-tour next week: we got bumped up to a better show than we thought in Paris… details to follow…

Above: Pickled jalapeños at a wine tasting? Only in Texas!


The 1980s Richard Simmons look didn’t really work so well for Mick, did it?