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Review of Taste for a Cause 2015

IMG_1776This past Thursday Mark Gasbarro hosted his Taste for a Cause wine tasting, once again raising money for the Program in Women’s Oncology at Women & Infants Hospital. It was a beautiful early Fall evening at the Aldrich Mansion in Warwick, R.I. There was food, there was wine and it was once again a grand night.

Everything is first class here. Complimentary valet parking starts and

A sailboat in the distance

A sailboat in the distance

ends your experience. In between Mark put together a very impressive list of wines. Some were spectacular. We’ll list a few of our favorites from the evening. If you haven’t attended this put a note in your calendar for next year. It’s a great way to spend an evening supporting a worthy cause.

As usual the strength of the tasting was Italy and California, two of

Food aplenty

Food aplenty

Mark’s specialty regions. I have been struck over the past few years with the incredible quality of the wines coming out of Italy, and this event certainly reinforced that impression. Our favorite red from the evening is just a killer wine, absolutely world class, expensive and startlingly worth it. We rarely say that when something is north of $100, but this wine was amazing. Let’s look at a few choices from the evening.

Whites:

We started with the Ca di Frati Lugana, a 100% Trebbiano wine that surprised with a floral IMG_1789and very mineral nose that transitioned into a clean fruity wine with a great finish. Don’t disregard Trebbiano, this was very good. $22

IMG_1791The Two Arrowheads Viognier and Rousanne blend had great structure and some body making it a serious white. Some of this blend sees oak, and it lends just enough weight to the wine.  Maybe our favorite white of the night. $19

Moving to France, the Pascal Joliver Sancerre Blanc is a classic Sancerre, bringing a clean expression of Sauvignon Blanc. $29

We also liked the Solosole Vermentino Toscana ($21) and the Collet Champagne Rose ($66 and outstanding).

Reds:

This was where the selection really shined, with many outstanding wines and some pretty significant values. We’ll start with the best wine of the night, hands down. The 2010 GalatronIMG_1793a Petrolo is 100% Merlot from the Maremma. It is full bodied, lean and rich at the same time. The flavor profile just transforms constantly, bringing an amazing level of complexity to the palate. Blueberry, spices, dark fruits and more. Very world class wine here. Maybe a Masetto for those of us with more normal incomes, at 1/6 the price. $108. We will buy one bottle with the event discount. Wow!

The 2010 Camigliano Brunello is an elegant creature, with a smooth palate that is just pleasing all around. Lighter than almost every other 2010 Brunello we’ve tried, but delicious. Much better than when we tried it earlier this year.  $65

IMG_1790Back to California for a bit now with the 2012 Chappellet Mountain Cuvée, a rich and fruity red that delivers a rich experience. Always good. $30

The 2009 Ceretto Barolo Brunate is a single vineyard wine which isIMG_1794 typical great Barolo. It will last years but is delicious right now. We really liked this one. $115 unfortunately.

For an amazing profile of fruit and chocolate try the 2011 Argiolas Korem Isola dei Nuraghi. This wine is rich and full bodied, and the chocolate flavors were amazing. Different and excellent.$50

If you like wines made with the apassimento method, or where the grapes are dried prior to pressing, try the Zenato Alanero Rosso Veronese which had great fruit flavors and balance. $22

A great value is the 2012 Conn Creek Napa Valley Cabernet. Cherry and currant flavors lead to a very long finish. Around $30. Definite Value List wine.

If you like big, rich reds then the 2010 Mettler Petit Sirah is a wine for you. This estate grown juice is dark, deep and long. It’s a luxurious wine made for a winter day and a roaring fire. Maybe a steak thrown in there as well. $26. Value list material here as well.

The 2012 Justin Isoceles continues the great run that label has enjoyed. We always love this wine, and this vintage is no exception. Another big, rich red wine with depth and balance. $90

These were just a handful of wines that stood out among many good choices. Over 70 wines

And the band played on...

And the band played on…

were poured, pared with cured meats, cheeses, bread and various passed bites. Together they made for a well executed event in a spectacular setting. Very affordable and deductible!

You might want to think about attending next year’s version.

All wines are, or will soon be, available at Gasbarro’s Wines on Federal Hill in Providence. Mark extends a 12% discount on the wines at the event.  So there are other benefits to attending as well.

A votre sante!

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