I was looking at our Unfiltered feature yesterday and I found the item about Sting and his wine amusing. I forgot that I had dinner with Sting last August at his house near Fuligni Valdarno, which is about a half an hour’s drive from my house.
I had never met Sting, but I had been to a few of his gigs over the years, and I had heard a lot about him. He couldn’t be a nicer bloke. He was chilled and took an interest in everything said. I went with my movie director buddy, Mike Figgis, and his pianist girlfriend, Rosey Chan. (Rosey, one of the Far East’s top pianists, just produced an album in Sting’s studio in Tuscany.)
Anyway, we went on a warm August evening to Sting’s house and had a great time. I tasted vat samples of his 2007 Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Sting was sort of nervous when I was tasting them. But I told him that I thought his Sangiovese showed amazing potential and his Merlot and Cabernet were good but much less interesting. "The world doesn’t really need more good, but nothing special, Merlot and Cab," I told him, if I remember correctly.
I also remember that the wines had not been in wood yet, and I thought some good barrels would go a long way with the Sangiovese. It already showed wonderful violet and flower perfumes with red fruits. The palate was rich and fresh with fine tannins. Barrel aging would add to the class and finesse of the young wine.
I can't remember exactly how much wine he had made. Prior to making his own wines, the grapes were sold to Frescobaldi. I know that Michael Quintus of Vintus importers in the United States will be importing the wine. I honestly can't remember the name of the wine, but it was something from one of Sting's many songs.
After the tasting, we had a long dinner with his friends and family. I sat next to Sting, and we had a long conversation about life, Tuscany, food, wine, music, women, cigars, Havana, biking, metaphysics, English football and Italian football. Sting is a guy's guy as much as women obviously love him. He has incredible knowledge and charisma and a true zest for life.
And he loves wine, too. I brought a double magnum of 2003 Sette Ponti Oreno, and my friend Luca Sanjust, owner of Petrolo wine estate, brought a magnum of 2004 Galatrona. And Sting loved both of them.
"Tuscany is such a special place," Sting said. "I plan to spend more and more time here ... there's something magical about the place."
The night ended in his living room with Rosey playing the piano for everyone over a glass of red wine.
Thomas Hughes — Texas — March 20, 2009 2:43pm ET
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James Suckling — — March 20, 2009 7:22pm ET
Richard Lee — Napa — March 20, 2009 8:11pm ET
David Allen — Lufkin, Texas — March 20, 2009 10:47pm ET
Scott Mitchell — Toronto, Ontario — March 21, 2009 7:56am ET
James Suckling — — March 21, 2009 10:25am ET
Scott Mitchell — Toronto, Ontario — March 21, 2009 2:09pm ET
Marc Robillard — Montreal,Canada — March 22, 2009 1:53pm ET
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Bert Pinheiro — Baltimore Maryland — March 27, 2009 4:08pm ET
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