Last Monday (July 23rd) I attended a wine tasting evening at restaurant L’Amar in Munich. The evening was all about wines from the Piedmontese winery Azienda Agricola Bianchi. Now it’s no secret that I enjoy a few of their wines so I was more than excited to go.
I’ve reviewed a few wines from Azienda Agricola Bianchi before. You can find these reviews here.
Paolo Bianchi, the vintner of the winery, led through the evening. He brought six of his wines with him. Each wine was served together with a local Piedmontese dish.
The evening started with a fresh white wine – the 2011 Luminae. Luminae is made with 100% Erbaluce grape and has an ABV of 12.5%. Aging was done in small stainless steel tanks. My notes read: On the nose green apple, pineapple, honey and lemon. Luminae’s color is pale yellow. On the palate the wine was fresh and smooth with a high acidity. I noticed a long finish. The body was short. Together with the Luminae the chefs at restaurant L’Amar served vitello tonnato – veal covered with a creamy tuna fish sauce. A good white wine that I certainly will keep in mind.
After the Luminae Signor Bianchi introduced to us his 2009 Eloise Erbaluce Barique. The cuvée consists of local Erbaluce and International Chardonnay grapes. Eloise aged 12 months in oak and additional six months in the bottle. The color was similar to the Luminae a pale yellow. There were aromas of oak, vanilla and fresh fruit. The oak was too dominate for my taste. On the palate Eloise surprised me with an oaky taste. Moreover the wine was rather heavy with a medium acidity. It was not as fresh as the Luminae and the finish was rather short. In general I had the impression that the wine missed a few fruit notes. I wouldn’t drink this one again. What the wine lacked the food made up. With Robiola cheese gratinated polenta.
Two white wines were enough so we moved on to a rosato. The 2011 Passione Rosa is produced with 100% Nebbiolo grapes. Culinary wise we ate nettle(!) risotto which went very well with the Passione Rosa. This rosato has listed alcohol by volume of 12.5%. The color goes in the direction of a salmon-red. The bouquet was outstanding: intense raspberry aromas, a bit of strawberry & blackberry and a hint of white flowers. In the mouth I tasted once again raspberry. The tannins were smooth and pleasing. Passione Rosa is very well structured with a long & fresh finish. It has little bit of acidity as well. Passione Rosa convinced me and it’s therefore recommend.
Halfway through and the first red was served. A young 2011 Nebbiolo.
Bianchi’s “Nebbiolo” (that’s the name of the wine) is made with 100% Nebbiolo grapes. I can tell you right away that I wasn’t convinced by this wine. The wine has an ABV of 13% and aged in stainless steel tanks. The color was an intense ruby red. I think it needs a bit more aging.. My notes only read: On the nose aromas of casis and on the palate dry but still fresh with aggressive tannins and a short finish. Once again the chefs of L’Amar made up for what the wine lacked: Braised Mediterranean Chicken with a hot pesto sauce. Very yummy. The 2011 Nebbiolo is not recommended.
After the Nebbiolo Signor Bianchi introduced to us his 2007 Gattinara. Once again a wine made from the Nebbiolo grape. On a side note: The Nebbiolo grape is the most important grape in all of Piedmont making some of the most well-known red wines including Barolo, Ghemme, Barbaresco & Gattinara. Back to Bianchi’s Gattinara. It has a listed alcohol by volume of 13% and has the Italian DOCG quality assurance for being a wine from the town of Gattinara. The color was a ruby red with a touch of garnet. Gattinara aged 24 months in oak barrels and 12 months in the bottle making the Gattinara a wine that can be classified as Riserva. There were aromas of cherry, casis, oak and caramel. On the palate I noticed pleasing tannins. The wine was dry with a harmonious taste. Bianchi’s Gattinara is well-structured and has a very long & & soft finish. Out of all wines that we tasted during this evening the Gattinara convinced me the most. It’s a great wine and I hope you get the chance to try it someday. Beef filet on grilled Mediterranean vegetables was served together with the Gattinara. An excellent choice.
Last but not least we had the 2009 Passito. A white dessert wine produced with Erbaluce grapes that came with a Piedmontese chocolate-cherry cake. The wine has a labeled ABV of 14% and it aged in small oak barrels. For the Passito my notes read: A golden yellow color. Aromas of almond and marzipan on the nose. Smooth and a bit fruity on the palate together with a long finish. The Passito is recommended.
Six wines, six plates an many hours later the wine tasting at restaurant L’Amar came to an end. It was a great evening and I’m looking forward to the next wine tasting at L’Amar. I enjoyed the evening a lot and especially the presence and the knowledge of Signor Bianchi contributed to this great experience.
Have you attended any wine tastings? Did you enjoy them? Share your experience with us!