Team Dinner and Go-to CasalFerro Wines at Italian Village Chicago
With my tech leadership team in town for a week closing out the year, and final planning for the year ahead and the next chapter in our strategic plan, we dined at our usual go-to eatery and enjoyed some of our favored go-to wines with dinner.Tonight was a repeat of several earlier such team dinners we've had at Italian Village. I last wrote about this wine in a blogpost, Team dinner at Italian Village Chicago in November last year.
Team working dinner at Italian Village Chicago features Super Tuscan and Bolgheri Chianti Classico
|From producer dinner, wine buddy Dr Dan, |
Gerry, me and Jared.
This is a label I know well and have collected over the years, one of the small selection of Italians in my cellar collection, which tends to be French and American.
When I picked these two wines from the extensive, vast Italian Village winelist, I didn't realize we've enjoyed each of them before, but never together in a mini-vertical comparison tasting. I don't think I had realized the 'vertical' aspects of the two labels, being the varietal from the common estate sources.
Jared shared with us how he visited the Baron Ricasoli estate and staying in the magnificent Brolio Castle located within the town of Gaiole during his last wine country producer tour, He talked about meeting the proprietors who represented the 32nd generation of the family to manage the estate, and and explained how the similarity between the two labels and how they used to blend Merlot in this earlier release.
The 2000 vintage release was classic Chianti Classico native Sangiovese accented with a bit of Merlot, which has since been dropped in later releases to focus on and showcase the estate Merlot, as in the other label below.
Barone Ricasoli Casalferro (Sangiovese) Toscana IGT 2000
Today production of this label is 135,000 bottles in a prodigious vintage year.
Wine Spectator awarded this vintage release 90 points.
At twenty-one years, this was starting to show its age and is reaching the end of its drinking window. The fill level, foil and cork (shown left) were ideal for the age.
While past its prime, this
wine was an ideal pairing with our entree selections, my Butternut Squash with Fig puree and mushrooms, the Filet of Beef, and the Lamb Chops, a
new Italian Village Chef Jose Specialty.
While this was initially a bit funky with some barnyard earthiness which burned off after decanting and aerating back and forth three times, it was better than our previous tasting, due likely to bottle variation over two decades of aging.
This was dark garnet colored with a
bit of browning on the rim, medium full bodied, powerful full and
forward black fruits are starting to give way to notes of cedar,
black tea, olive tapenade, leather and hints of creosote on the deep,
full, lingering tannic
RM 89 points.
We lasted tasted this other wine during a similar team dinner back in the fall of last year when I wrote about Italian Village Wine & Dine Chicago.
Tonight, members of our group selected for our entrees the beefsteak, the lamb chops, and I chose the butternut squash with fig puree and mushrooms - all perfectly complemented by the combination of these two wines.
Baron Ricasoli Cassalferro Castello di Brolio 2015Ricasoli is the most representative wine producer in the Chianti Classico area Italian wine region. The estate covers the 1,200 hectares of property include almost 240 hectares of vineyards and 26 of olive groves covering rolling hills and picturesque valleys with thick woodlands of oaks and chestnuts.
This label, Casalferro, was first produced in 1993 when Francesco Ricasoli became president of the company. This is 100% Merlot produced only during the best years. Casalferro is sourced from the vineyard of the same name located at 400 meters above sea level and facing south.
This release was awarded 95 points
by James Suckling, 93 points by Wine Spectator, and 92 points by Robert
Parker Wine Advocate.
RM 90 points.https://www.cellartracker.com/wine.asp?iWine=2869770