I spent the first part of my visit to Tuscany in Bolgheri. Driving into the region from the north, bypassing Livorno, it feels like the coast. At times you are only a mile or so from the Tyrrhenian Sea and from the village of Bolgheri, you can see the shimmering blue expanse. I tasted the recent vintages at Sassicaia, Ornellaia and more. Here are my notes.
Just before leaving for Italy, I had the opportunity to join Didier Depond and Jean-Baptiste Cristini of Champagne Salon and Champagne Delamotte, respectively. I tasted the soon-to-be-released Salon Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne Le Mesnil 1999 and Delamotte's Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne 2002. Here are my tasting notes.
Wine Spectator executive editor Thomas Matthews and I spent three days at Vinitaly this past week. The last time I visited Verona, where the annual wine fair is held, was in 1998.
My memory was faded, but this was an energizing time spent meeting dozens of Italian producers. It was made even more enjoyable by the sunny, 80° F weather, a welcome change from the chill and rain we left behind in New York.
Roughly half our time was spent wandering the fair's nine exhibition halls, tasting wines and meeting producers, many of whom we knew, and others whose wines we were tasting for the first time. Here are a few of the highlights.