Blind wine tasting with Vinum & Cibus Italici Consortium with Town Hall Brands

Blind wine tasting with Vinum & Cibus Italici Consortium with Town Hall Brands

I was fortunate to be among a number of wine reviewers, bloggers and influencers who attended a “blind” tasting of Vinum & Cibus Italici Consortium wines represented by Town Hall Brands a Vancouver marketing and PR agency held at Gastown restaurant Wildebeest. The seminar was conducted by Daenna Van Mulligen, publisher WineDiva.ca andWineScores.ca

The presentation was informative, interesting and provided an insight into the wines of the Veneto region. The wines were paired with a delicious offering of cheeses, charcuterie and roasted vegetable options. I always enjoy a wine tasting event that pairs the wine with food. I find it is easier to make a determination on a wine when you can first taste alone and then pair with food. Often wine changes considerably in taste and complexity when paired with food. 

The blind tasting and seminar did not disappoint and I came away with a better understanding into the wines of Veneto and the Vinum & Cibus Italici Consortium. Some, but not all, of the wines are available at local BCLS and I have included sku numbers and prices.

Anna Spinato 

Prosecco Organic DOC Brut (Wine #1 stand up reception)

 

Production area: typical Prosecco DOC area,Veneto region

Varietal: 100% organic Glera grapes

Ground composition: very light and rich soil Vineyard farming method and principal cultivation: lined-up vineyards, treatments only when necessary and following the specific requirements for the production of organic grapes.

Harvest: Manual in mid-September

Winemaking: after the natural fermentation, the froth, take place inside the steel tank (autoclave) for 5 weeks. All the additions must be certified as “OGM free” or “Organic” as well. At bottling, the residual sugar content is measured out to get the value of the Brut.

Color: straw yellow with greenish hints. Rich foam, fine and persistent perlage.

Fragrance: it bring soft scents of peach and almond fragrances to the nose.

Taste: fresh and properly sapid. Unobtrusive, fine and fruity.

Match: perfect as aperitif and with seafood dishes such as squids and small shrimps.

Production area: Treviso area,Veneto region

Varietal: 100% red organic grapes

Ground composition: very light and rich soil Vineyard farming method and principal cultivation:

vineyards Guyot, treatments only when necessary and follow the specific requirements for organic agricoltures of grapes

Harvest: Manual in mid-September

Winemaking: natural fermentation in contact with grapes skins for 2-3 days. After this primary fermentation the wine is ready for a second fermentation with Charmat method, prolonged for at least 4 weeks. All the necessary additions must be certified as “GMO free” or “Organic”. At bottling, the residual sugar content is determined to get the value of the Brut.

Colour: light pink almost cherry. Creamy foam, elegant and persistent perlage.

Fragrance: blackberries, wild strawberries but also geranium and a hint of violet.

Taste: fresh, remains a presence of wildberries, black cherry, candy. Pleasant tannin ending.

Match: escalope of chicken with red Radicchio and pomegranate.

Acidic, light, off dry, fruity, flavourful. $17.99 (on sale until December 29 at $16.99) sku 374769 Available at local BCLS.

 

Anna Spinato 

Rosé Organic Brut (Wine #2)

Production area: Treviso area,Veneto region

Varietal: 100% red organic grapes

Ground composition: very light and rich soil Vineyard farming method and principal cultivation: vineyards Guyot, treatments only when necessary and follow the specific requirements for organic agricoltures of grapes

Harvest: Manual in mid-September

Winemaking: natural fermentation in contact with grapes skins for 2-3 days. After this primary fermentation the wine is ready for a second fermentation with Charmat method, prolonged for at least 4 weeks. All the necessary additions must be certified as “GMO free” or “Organic”. At bottling, the residual sugar content is determined to get the value of the Brut.

Color: light pink almost cherry. Creamy foam, elegant and persistent perlage.

Fragrance: blackberries, wild strawberries but also geranium and a hint of violet.

Taste: fresh, remains a presence of wildberries, black cherry, candy. Pleasant tannin ending.

Match: escalope of chicken with red Radicchio and pomegranate.

Delicate perfumy aromas, floral, with, for me, a sweeter finish. Acidic, fruity. Complimented the milder cheeses. Orange peel, berries, fresh. $15.99 (on sale until December 29 at $14.99) sku 623306 Available at local BCLS.

 

Canella 2016

Prosecco Superior DOCG Millesimato (Wine #3)

Fine and persistent, floral and fruity. Well orchestrated, delicate, the aftertaste is medium dry. As itself, with light fish.

“The Canella “Prosecco di Conegliano D.O.C.G. Millesimato” is made from grapes grown the hills between the Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. The “Prosecco di Conegliano D.O.C.G. Millesimato” vintage blend is the result of selecting the best batches of the year shown on the label, and therefore this Prosecco the best expression of the typical characteristics that make Prosecco a unique sparkling wine: the splendid straw yellow colour and subtle perlage, the fruity bouquet and crisp yet smooth floral flavours that leave a joyful sensation of balance in the mouth.” Marquis Wines

Acidic, light, off dry finish although as extra dry. Fruity, flavourful, less fizz, Slight oak finish. Very enjoyable. A palate cleanser between reds.

Aailable at Everything Wine & Marquis Wine Cellars

 

Cantina di Negrar

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG Classico (Wine #4)

Obtained from Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella grapes grown in the Valpolicella Classica area using the traditional method of drying in large fruttaio, or drying rooms.

Colour: dense and compact garnet red.

Bouquet: great intensity and persistence, with ethereal aromas. Fruity notes of cherries in spirits and dried plums, floral notes of dried flowers and an entire olfactory range of sweet spices.

Taste: structure and firm softness, with a counterpoint of velvety tannins.

The Vineyard

Located in the heart of the Valpolicella Classica area at an altitude between 150 and 450 metres above

sea level with southeast exposure and land of various composition. Grassing of the vineyard. Training system: double pergoletta.

Production

Harvest: between the second ten days of September and the first ten days of October, exclusively handpicked. The grapes are dried in large drying rooms for120 days. Crushing with de-stemming of the grapes. Fermentation, ageing in wood, then in bottles. Stabilisation: natural.

Food pairings:

All types of grilled and braised red meat and aged cheeses.

Vintage 2015

A very balanced year, even if the summer was fairly dry, during which time the excess water supply from the rainy 2014 nourished the vines. Thanks to the warm and prolonged summer temperatures, the vines notably developed their photosynthesis, increasing the concentration of sugars and colours. The 2015 vintage is marked for its great balance and longevity, with very soft and sweet tannins.

This wine was served slightly cooler. It was somewhat musty in aroma with a light texture and a burgundy colour. The wine was lighter than the colour suggests, soft, no tannins. Excellent with cheese. Comes in a 1 litre bottle. 

Available at Everything Wine & Marquis Wine Cellars

 

Cantina Di Negrar

Verona Corvina (Wine #5)

Corvina is the queen of Veronese red grapes, typical of Valpolicella.

Colour: ruby red with garnet reflections.

Bouquet: spicy with notes of vanilla and hints of cherry and black cherry. Taste: soft and round with sweet tannins that blend well with the wine’s texture. The finish is long, ending with spicy tones.

The Vineyard:

Located in the foothills of Valpolicella at an altitude between 100 and 200 metres above sea level.

Soil type: very varied, from limestone to clayey. Soil tillageon the rows.

Training system: double pergola. Age of producing vines: 20 to 25 years.

Harvest: second ten days of September, exclusively hand-picked. Crushing with de-stemming of the

grapes. Fermentation, then aged in steel. Stabilisation: natural.

Food pairings: Grilled and braised red meat.

Vintage 2016 was a great, handbook year! Summer temperatures did not go above 35 °C, avoiding the excess heat that characterised 2015. The composition of the grapes led to a high sugar content, good acidity and a particular abundance of anthocyanins, all thanks to the significant day/night temperature changes that occurred, especially during veraison. It is in this period, in fact, that the vine is reactive to the accumulation of colouring substances. The vintage did not have any unusual pathological problems, with the exception of the peronospora attacks that took place in June; the vine ripened regularly (bunch closure at the beginning of July and the start of veraison in the first days of August). Maturation began in mid-August and ended in the first ten days of September, with the main winemaking parameters reaching an excellent level, along with the complete absence of botrytic attacks.

I found this wine to be dry and light in colour with a taste of fresh strawberries. Lighter than wine #5. Spicy with some tannins. Musty aromas but not on the palate. I initially thought it was very good but I did not find it stood up as well as initially when paired with food. Started as my #2 but edged down to #3. 

Available at Everything Wine

 

Cantina di Negrar

Valpolicella Ripasso DOC Classico Superiore le Roselle (Wine #6)

 

This Valpolicella Ripasso is made with grapes grown in the Valpolicella Classica area. Its style highlights the most typical and traditional profile of Valpolicella: its well-distributed structure and the harmony between the aromatic, olfactory and gustatory sensations create an unmistakable style of sobriety and elegance.

Colour: deep ruby-red. Bouquet: complex, vinous and spicy with notes of red fruit.

Taste: harmonious, full and velvety, with the right balance between tannins and acidity.

The Vineyard:

Located in the heart of the Valpolicella Classica area, in the town Roselle in the hills of Negrar. Altitude between 250 and 450 metres above sea level. Exposure mostly southeast. Soil type: mainly clayey and sometimes limestone. Grassing of the vineyard.

Harvest: early October, exclusively hand-picked. Crushing with de-stemming of the grapes. Fermentation, aged in wood, then steel, then in bottles.

Food pairings:

It pairs wonderfully with all types of red meat, both grilled and braised. Excellent with traditional Veronese dishes, such as Pastissada de caval, lesso con Pearà and lasagnette with black truffles from Mount Baldo.

Vintage 2016 was a great, handbook year! Summer temperatures did not go above 35 °C, avoiding the excess heat that characterised 2015. The composition of the grapes led to a high sugar content, good acidity and a particular abundance of anthocyanins, all thanks to the significant day/night temperature changes that occurred, especially during veraison. It is in this period, in fact, that the vine is reactive to the accumulation of colouring substances. The vintage did not have any unusual pathological problems, with the exception of the peronospora attacks that took place in June; the vine ripened regularly (bunch closure at the beginning of July and the start of veraison in the first days of August). Maturation began in mid-August and ended in the first ten days of September, with the main winemaking parameters reaching an excellent level, along with the complete absence of botrytic attacks.

This wine had a rich, red, dark fruit which reminded me of ripe plums. It was delicious and medium bodied. Some raisin and fruity. It stood up well to the blue cheese and garlicy meats. Loved this wine! This wine started as my #1 but I would probably rate it as #2 

Available at Everything Wine & Marquis Wine Cellars

 

Cantina di Negrar 

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG Classico (Wine #7)

 

Obtained from Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella grapes grown in the Valpolicella Classica area using the traditional method of drying in large fruttaio, or drying rooms.

Colour: dense and compact garnet red.

Bouquet: great intensity and persistence, with ethereal aromas. Fruity notes of cherries in spirits and dried plums, floral notes of dried flowers and an entire olfactory range of sweet spices.

Taste: structure and firm softness, with a counterpoint of velvety tannins.

The Vineyard: Located in the heart of the Valpolicella Classica area at an altitude between 150 and 450 metres above sea level with southeast exposure and land of various composition. Grassing of the vineyard.

Food Pairings: All types of grilled and braised red meat and aged cheeses.

Harvest: between the second ten days of September and the first ten days of October, exclusively handpicked. The grapes are dried in large drying rooms for 120 days. Crushing with de-stemming of the grapes. Fermentation, ageing in wood, then in bottles.

Vintage 2015

A very balanced year, even if the summer was fairly dry, during which time the excess water supply from the rainy 2014 nourished the vines. Thanks to the warm and prolonged summer temperatures, the vines notably developed their photosynthesis, increasing the concentration of sugars and colours. The 2015 vintage is marked for its great balance and longevity, with very soft and sweet tannins.

This was the final of red wines presented in a “blind” tasting. This Valpolicella DOCG Classico initially gave odouts of turpentine or paint thinner (I know hmm, you smell what you smell) I expected it to be high in alcohol and thought it was lighter than I had been expecting it to be. Aromas of dark cherry. I found it a bit bitter and lightly acidic. Others noted liquorice aromas. Although I wasn’t too keen on this wine to begin with I continued to sip as I enjoyed the charcuterie and was pleased to find it got better with each sip, especially paired with stronger cheeses and salamis. By the time I was finished I would probably rate this wine as my #1. sku 44784 $42.99 (on sale until December 29 at $38.99) BCLS

 

Anna Spinato 

Moscato Organic (Wine #8)

Sweet wine, 100% organic White Moscato grapes

Winemaking: the must is decanted briefly at a temperature of 10°C before chilling to 0°C in order to prevent fermentation and stored at 0°C until it undergoes conversion to a sparkling wine. The secondary fermentation takes place in autoclave under controlled temperatures until the desired grade of alcohol is reached. The fermentation is then blocked by a rapid reduction in temperature.

All the necessary additions must be certified as “GMO free” or “Organic”.

Color: yellow pale. Soft and compact foam with a fine and persistent perlage.

Fragrance: intense, aromatic with hints of orange and peach above all.

Taste: intense and fresh flavours with an end of citrus fruit.

Match: this wine is an excellent accompaniment to fruit tarts with cream.

This was a pleasant starter prosecco without being either too dry or too sweet. I enjoyed this wine alone and when paired with the charcuterie. $15.99 (on sale until December 29 at $14.99) sku 266437 Available at local BCLS.

 

About Vinum & Cibus Italici

Vinum & Cibus Italici is a consortium created by small and medium sized wine and agri-food entities of various Ialian territories and regions. The consortium was established to help these companies access national, regional and community funds useful for the promotion and enhancement of their products and to increase competitiveness both in local and global markets.

The consortium currently benefits from both national, EU and international contributions.

The Mission

Not only to create a team but to truly feel part of the team, is the winning weapon to best represent all the Italian excellencies in the wine and agri-food market. The goal is to aim at specific targets in order to penetrate in different international markets and to improve competitiveness at all levels. Uniting their forces they have succeeded in transforming competition into an alliance that can be used to face global challenges, especially in new markets. Made in Italy, passion and entrepreneurship are the keywords of Vinum & Cibus Italici’s mission.

Furthermore it provides assistance to its members in obtaining financing on specific programmes and helps managing the projects, coordinating all the phases, from the search for financing, to the transmission of information, to the start-up of practices, to the presentation of the projects, always respecting the various administrative legislations.

Areas of activity

Vinum & Cibus Italici has executed projects, using funds, in the agro-food sector, in particular:

OCM Vino for promotion in third countries

RDP (Rural development Programme) for enhancing the viability and competitiveness of all types of agriculture, and promoting innovative farm technologies and sustainable land management

EAFRD (European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development) for business projects

European call for projects in the field of agriculture

INTERREG, funding for interregional cooperation across Europe

Internationalization – to help increase involvement of the consortium in international markets

All information and images provided by Town Hall Brands and The Wine Diva for Vinum & Cibus Italici. My opinions and impressions in italics. Wines available in local BCLS include sku numbers and prices as of the publication date of this feature. The wine tasting was complimentary.

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