On this past April 21st, I had the pleasure to attend the salon of the Grandi Marchi. The evnt took place in Marche Bonsecours in Montreal.

The “Institute of Fine Italian Wines – Premium Brands” is a marketing association  of the most important Italian wineries to promote the culture and commercialisation of Italian high quality wine on world markets. Its member includes: Alois Lageder, Ambrogio e Giovanni Folonari Tenute, Antinori, Argiolas, Biondi Santi Tenuta Greppo, Ca’ del Bosco, Carpenè Malvolti, Donnafugata, Gaja, Jermann, Lungarotti, Masi, Mastroberardino, Michele Chiarlo, Pio Cesare, Rivera, Tasca d’Almerita, Tenuta San Guido, Umani Ronchi.

The tasting was a terrific opportunity for me to brush on my knowledge on premium Italian wines. To be frank, I was more interested in tasting white wines than reds, since this is an area that i lack some experience. There were some stunning whites, specially the ones of Jermann, Alois Lageder and Antinori. I also enjoyed very fondly, the ones from Umani Ronchi. Below, there are my sketchy notes on the wines tasted. Most of the whites presented were mono varietals of Chardonnay with the exception of the Pinot Bianco and Verdicchios.

My tasting observations are that Northern Italy is quite capable to produce fine Chardonnays that can rival some of Burgundy best. However, in italian soil, this variety tend to be leaner and express a more mineral side. It also express that elusive italian character.

Friuli-Venezia Giulia

W..Dreams 2012, Bianco Venezia Giulia I.G.T. SAQ Code: 10853998. Price: $64.50

A concerto of white fruits. Beautiful schematics of flower and minerality with elegant oak notes. On the mouth, full body, with an intense minerality. Tight and austere. 94\100.

Alto Adige

Alois Lageder Pinot Bianco 2013. SAQ Code: 12057004. Price: $21.00

On the nose, fresh tasting with a perfume of white fruits, acacia flower and nice minerality. Medium body with a fresh finale. 92\100

Lowengang Chardonnay 2011. SAQ Code: 10264608. Price: $50.25

On the nose, modern with a riper fruit profile. On the mouth, dense with an oaky style. Linear with tropical fruit flavors. Will continue to develop for a decade or two. 95\100.

Umbria

Castello della Sala Cervaro 2011. SAQ Code: 00191049. Price: $50.25

On the nose, very buttery with ripe apricot and marzipan. In the mouth, full body with smoky nuances. Youngish with the oak still needed to be better integrated. Very long. 95\100

Marche

Umani Ronchi Casal di Serra Vecchie Vigne 2012. SAQ Code:  11490341. Price: $29.40

On the nose, ripe apricots, peaches with  elegant nuances of halzenut and butter. In the mouth, full body, elegant and very polished. 90\100.