Thursday, November 14, 2019

Donna Olga Brunello For IV Dinner

Donna Olga Brunello For IV Dinner

Tenute Donna Olga Brunello Di Montalcino and Sondraia Super Tuscan for Italian Village Business Dinner

For a business partner dinner, we dined at my usual haunt,  Italian Village Chicago, for all the reasons I cited in recent blogposts - close to office, central location, three restaurants, three chefs/menus, extraordinary wine cellar, Chicago historic dining institution, great food and dependable, professional service. 

As usual, Jared Gelband, Wine Director there, knew I was coming and pre-selected a special bottle for our dinner. Often, these selections are off the winelist, being evaluated for inclusion but not yet acquired in sufficient quantity to support listing. Or, they're end of bin selections being dropped from the list, as it was in this case being the last remaining bottle in the cellar. 

Managing a wine list of over 1200 selections is a mighty chore requiring diligent care and attention. With dozens of lists in print, its a significant effort to update the production volumes. You want to avoid the chance of presenting a wine offering and not being able to fulfill it thereby disappointing or aggravating a patron. Hence you don't want to produce a new version of the list with only one or few remaining bottles and risk not having it available for diners once that last bottle has been consumed before the list can be updated and republished. Regular customers such as me provide that buffer to consume remaining stock that may have fallen off and is being dropped from the list. 

So it was tonight, we consumed the last remaining bottle of a thirteen year old vintage label. Only restaurants with extensive or thoughtfully managed cellars and wine lists, or select ones that specifically acquire aged vintage releases, can offer aged vintage select labels to their diners.

Italian Village offers not only a broad and diverse selection but  also a vertical selection of numerous vintages of a label, as witnessed by their recent Wine Producer Dinner featuring Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta from Tenuta San Guido when they served eight different vintages of flagship Sassicaia from the winelist dating back to 1998 with the dinner. 

Tenute Donna Olga Di Olga Pulusa Brunello Di Montalcino 2006

From the Italian region Montalcino near Siena, the appellation or Italian DOCG Brunello di MontalcinoDonna Olga. Donna Olga is named for Olga Peluso Centolani, a passionate woman of wine and the producer. The estate consists of 11 hectares (24 acres), but only 4 of them are cultivated by Donna Olga with selected clones of Sangiovese Brunello for this label, with annual production of 20.000 bottles of this Brunello di Montalcino.
Dark garnet colored, medium full bodied, firm structured backbone, nicely balanced, whisper of spearmint and vanilla highlight complex black berry fruits, notes of earthy spice tobacco and leather with nice balance of acid firm gripping but silky smooth tannins on the lingering finish. Must be at its apex at a dozen plus one years. 

RM 92 points.

We also drank this Super Tuscan. 

Poggio al Tesoro Bolgheri Superiore Sondraia 2015

As I wrote in an earlier blogpost about this wine, "Jared knows I favor Bordeaux varietals and big full bodied fruit forward complex blends. Wow! He pegged it with this selection. Who would think you would find this style in an Italian wine?'

"From the Allegrini brand known for Amarone comes this classic Bordeaux blend from the Bolgheri region - Cabernet Sauvignon (65%), Merlot (25%) and Cabernet Franc (10%).'

"I would've failed identifying this as an Italian wine opting for a California Cabernet with its rich full bodied rich ripe sweet fruit. It presented a residual sweetness almost extreme for a Bordeaux blend but much to my liking. This profile would probably be too much for most, especially Bordeaux enthusiasts,  but I found it wonderfully delicious and perfectly matched to the brown sauce of my Veal Marsala."

Winemaker's notes: "Intense ruby red in colour, the nose opens with nuances of cherry and plum and deep notes of black berries, followed by aromatic herbs and a pleasant spiciness. It is elegant and seductive on the palate, revealing considerable body, great structure and balance, and silky tannins."

I give this 91 points.