So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye…

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So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye…

Well, the time has finally come for me to bid a fond farewell to Italy and turn my back on exclusively reviewing Italian wines. It’s time to spread my wings, broaden my horizons, put myself about a bit and enjoy the variety that London has to offer. Will I miss being woken at ungodly hours by construction work? Eating pasta and pizza for each and every meal? Being charged for things I didn’t buy? Not so much. I will miss the people, I will miss the sun and scenery and I will miss the fabulous prices you get on Italian wine which I will not enjoy in Blighty. We get stuffed on every import and unless I can attune my taste buds to Chapel Down and Camel Valley *stifles the bile* then I will just have to embrace the variety even if it comes at a cost.

So hello to French wine, Greek wine, German wine, English turpentine and all the other pleasures that await on that fair isle I’m growing increasingly proud to call home. My first love is, and will remain, Italian wine and I shall represent the Italian wines most frequently on the blog. So tomorrow I start my journey, leaving Venice, past Milan, up through Switzerland, past Geneva and stopping in Gex. On Saturday we make our way through a twisty and frightfully dangerous piece of Alpine terrain and through to a hotel outside Reims and then Sunday morning I take the cinder line Eurotunnel to Folkestone and wind up in London about 11am. So anyone wishing to take me out has the full gen. Monday I’ll be back blogging my celebratory Sunday wines so be sure to stay tuned.

As promised today I’m going to dig out the “best and worst” wines of my 3 years in Italy. They might not be the highest scoring but they are wines that, for whatever reasons, have stuck fondly in my memory bank. For Jill, the Petite Verdot I was telling you about last week.

Castello di Verduno Barbera d’Alba Bricco del Cuculo 2006PASS – €14
Nice colour, hues were lighter than expected for a 2006 Barbera. The nose, was giving me very little of anything, not the merest hint of fruit, just a very sugary winey artificial nose that did nothing for me. The mouth feel was ok, uninteresting tannins, extremely acidic, I can’t think of anything positive to say, I wouldn’t use it in a cooking sauce. 73 Points
Casale del Giglio Petit Verdot 2004BUY – €10
Dark purple in the glass, very deep intensity. A little timid on the nose but aromas of spice, berries and cherries with the most intense smell profile being blackberries. Shockingly refined and balanced on the palate denoting a classier wine that the price, some nice fruit on the mid palate. A really enjoyable and easy drinking wine. The lack of intensity on the nose is the reason this missed 90 points. Perfect for dinner parties. 89 Points
Bruno Giacosa Dolcetto d’Alba 2006 – €10 – BUY
A dull dark purple/violet with interesting ruby reflection, full bodied to the eye. Knockout nose, so strong that the glass had to be left for 30 mins. Characteristic nose of cherries and vanilla, very clean and with just a hint of spices and pepper. Full out attack on the palate, medium body, good acidity and balance with a mid length finish of berries and a touch of plum. Smooth with balanced tannins. Decant for a minimum of 1 hour. 89 Points
Ceretto Barolo Bricco Rocche 2000BUY – €49
Mid ruby red in the glass with slight change in tonality at the edges. An opulent and feminine wine whose nose and palate flow perfectly, great balance. Aromas of strawberries and walnuts, really impressive nose with a second wave nose profile of vanilla. The palate is a joy, mid bodied with super rich and silky tannins. The wine is not forceful, its a truly beautiful, seductive wine with a good 30 second finish. 95 Points

Villa von Steiner Lagrein 2004PASS – €9
Fantastic penetrating dark purple, all the way thru, what hues? ink black vino. The nose just stinks, wet rocks mixed with onions, soil, even horse manure, I mean this nose is seriously unpleasant and here is where the wine can play mind games with you. The immediate mouth feel is gorgeous, black fruits and such a soft silky mouth feel, you begin to forgive the manure, and then it comes back in the mid palate and you lose all fruit, it turns acidic and very plain and uninteresting and then it gives you a really long finish of this foulness, and you think, “what the hell happened”. A confusing wine, but for that I have to give it some kudos for being so interesting. 82 Points
Arnaldo Caprai Rosso Outsider 2005BUY – €30
Sits ruby red in the glass and colour consistent on the tilt. Another stand out nose, really an occasion where words can´t describe the intensity of the aroma. Sensational nose, make a kebab out of a wet pencil, blackberries, cherries and strawberries and wear it as a mustache for a week, you´ll get close to a quick sniff of this wine. Majorly exciting for nosehounds. The palate is also knockout, still very tannic, needs time but super potent, super soft a really intense wine experience. 95 Points

So that’s a wrap. All that’s left to say is goodbye to all my ex-pat friends who read this blog, my poor old parents whom I dragged to Italy and then deserted and a fond farewell to the bureaucracy, bills and speeding tickets that financially crippled me. That’s ungrateful, I’m kidding, Rome is still my favourite city in the world, I still want to retire to Todi and no city offers as much “seat of your pants” fun as Naples. It’s been a blast!

So long Silvio and thanks for all the fish. *wipes away tear*

Leave a Comment
What do you love (or hate) about Italy? Will you still read this blog when the dirty foreign wines creep in?

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Fabrizio says:

    Ciao Sarah!I will keep reading your blog for sure and Italy isn’t that far away, so I trust you will happen to come here again in the future, maybe we will share a good glass of vino 🙂Ciao,Fabrizio

  2. The Prosecco Lady says:

    I fell in love with Italy when I first visited at the age of 14, I dipped my feel in Fontana Di Trevi which was desperately romantic, and vowed to visit the fountain again one day with the love of my life. Sarah, I am looking forward to you expanding your own experience and knowledge, and introducing some non-Italian wines to your blog. I’ll check back on Monday! Safe journey.

  3. Ciao Fabrizio,I will be back monthly to Rome and Venice as I still work for an Italian company. I’m actually feeling incredibly sad, much more sad than I bargained for. I am a huge fan of Rome and the Italian countryside and of course the Neapolitan food, the Tuscan wines…. I shall miss my picnics in Villa Borghese and cramming myself into the number 1 boat in Venice.I’ll be back. Prosecco Lady – The Trevi blows me away everytime, its awesome. Even when you see it in films, nothing prepares you for turning the corner and having it up in your face. I visited it a few times at Xmas or in the early mornings when no one was there and it just takes your breath away.OK, I need to stop now or I wont get into the car.

  4. Louise Wright says:

    I have been dreaming of moving to Italy all my life and I hope once my husband retires we will. I have heard about Todi, apparently some US magazine named it the number 1 place to live in the world. I’m sure it’s very expensive?

  5. May I say? Don’t you all go to Todi, or it’ll become something like Panzano in Chianti, nice but…is there Italy anymore?For all of you that want to move in the country of sun and bureacracy, michelangelo and berlusconi (not necessarily in this order), of pizza, mandolino, mozzarella and mustache wearing playboys with the open shirt and golden chain, you can come to Maremma too, we got room here.Don’t be in a hurry, as things here move (or not) at a different pace, and dream of something like “under the tuscan sun”. I strongly suggest that you read another interesting book (alledgedly) with a title that makes more sense to me “Too much Tuscan sun” (Amazon will have it).Bye bye Sarah, I suspect that we shall meet again, won’t we?

  6. Gianpaolo,Im quite sure we will meet again. You can’t blame us for wanting to move to Todi it’s gorgeous and Louise – not that expensive comparing it to Tuscany.

  7. Olive Oil says:

    Great post. I agree with you on the Castello di Verduno and always wondered if the Rosso Outsider was worth the money. I will give it a try the next time I am down that way.Mi spiace that I did not get to meet you. If you are ever back in the Langhe, give me a shout. Some of us are soldiering on through the bureaucracy and speeding tickets;)Looking forward to reading more. In bocca al lupo.

  8. Rossella says:

    Hi,first of all a “in bocca al lupo” out of Italy.For the rest, why for foreign Italy in often only Lazio, Toscana, Campania. Let’s have a tour even in the small Friuli. I come from there despite I live in Rome, for work and for pleasure.At least for touring and wine even Friuli is a great place.

  9. @rossella. Friuli is really nice. I lived in Udine for more than 2 yrs and enjoyed it a lot. The only problem is, it’s so far away from everything else in Italy, as well know if you live in Rome. Weather could be better, but nothing compare to sunny England 🙂

  10. Moonkin says:

    Bon voyage

  11. babsinumbria says:

    Ciao Sarah,Boo hoo, gonna miss you. All those lovely wine-tastings, visits to vineyards, trips to Todi and Orvieto. Thanks for dragging us to Italy. Living in Umbria is a dream, although a little chilly suddenly. Hope you have wonderful time in London, where next? No, don’t tell me, where did you get your gypsy blood?Italy won’t be the same without you.Ciao, Ciao, Bambina

  12. Tas says:

    Ciao Sarah you little globetrotter. Looking forward to your posts again. Safe trip and welcome to sunny London (no joke, it’s brilliant today).

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