The Wine Advocate in Zurich with 600 wines
Zurich is a city of bankers, of luxury that is not on show, the European city where wines costs the most and where I have just been as one of the 255 wineries chosen by Wine Advocate.
By Donatella Cinelli Colombini
In the Wine Advocate -Robert Parker wine tasting the Italian team was the largest, with 53 wineries all along the external perimeter of the hall. For many wineries the owners were present personally. From Montalcino there were 12 of us, 20% of Italian wineries, a very high number that indicates the consideration of Brunello by the most important wine magazine in the world.
Matter of Taste – fine wine experience
The Matter of Taste – fine wine experience reunites 600 excellent wines from all over the world chosen among those that have obtained 90/100 or more from Robert Parker-Wine Advocate. In the tastings you are really spoilt for choice. On the Saturday I concentrate on the Spanish bottles where I find too much oak, although in their opinion this muscular imprint helps them to sell.
I am fascinated by the immense quality potential of the Portuguese and Chilean wines and I am completely taken by the Eolo wine, obtained from a vineyard planted in 1912 in the Trivento winery. Sunday was dedicated to tasting South African wines (where I enjoy a taste of an excellent De Toren 2010) that I know very well thanks to my 6 trips, unsuccessful, to find a partner with whom to create a winery.
I taste around ten Bordeaux remaining impressed by the oak, although well amalgamated, make them apt as “vin de garde” that will remain for years and years in the investors cellars. I pick up again with Champagne and discover a real gem where freshness balance an oxidative stile: it is called Femme (name that makes it very dear to me) and is by Duval LeRoy.
Then am intrigued to find bottles about which I have written in my blog, like the Argentinean Catena Zapata Malbec with its label full of skeletons and nude women. It’s like meeting up with old friends. And then we find friends in flesh and blood, like Elena Fucci with her husband Andrea, Paolo Bianchini who tells me how he managed to get Alex Zanardi to come to Benvenuto Brunello, Tamara Maccherini who now works for Regaleali
Wine Advocate- Robert Parker tasters
Many of the Wine Advocate-Robert Parker tasters were present including the chief Lisa Perrotti-Brown Master of Wine who is responsible for the Bordeaux and Napa wines. Then Monica Larner, who tastes Italian wines, Stephan Reinhardt, reviewer for Switzerland, Champagne, Loire, Germany, Alsace, and Austria, and William Kelley, taster for Burgundy.
They consequently guide stellar master classes. What is stunning is their young age: Reinhart with his total white hair has a handsome face that makes him similar to an actor or a model, Kelley looks like a teenager and is described by Monica Larner as a genius with a prodigious memory because he can quote without hesitation the vertical tastings of all the wineries.
Our Monica is above all the most solar and communicative with her smiley enthusiasm. In the worldwide panorama of wine critics she is the authentic talent scout with the courage to go against the tide, launching new trends before everyone else and to go past the “ the usual crowd” . In a way she resembles Robert Parker because like him she can see the other side of the horizon
Switzerland: a land of Brunello lovers
First of all Zurich is a European city where wine costs most, in a nation that creates excellent professionals from the world of hotellerie . In Switzerland there are many starred restaurants and even thought the Burgundy and Bordeaux wines are loved and opened frequently, Italian bottles and mostly Brunello are vastly present. A few years ago, during a wine tasting organized by the Consorzio del Brunello, we calculated that in Switzerland they have the highest consumption of Brunello pro capite in the world.
Gourmand dinners in Zurich
Finally, thanks to the spring sunshine and regardless of the flu that Carlo Gardini my husband brought with him – he had a fever the whole journey – we concede to two excellent dinners: in the Ristorante Michelangelo belonging to the Famiglia Morelli our new importers in Zurich and then in the restaurant Neue Forch belonging to Renato Zambelli, who has a car park reserved for Aston Martin, 007Bond’s car, and for those of other exceptional clients.
So, we have discovered that although Switzerland has no beaches it serves the best fish in Europe, it has high quality meats and cheeses. A land of gastronomic pleasures, and we who are travelling for wine, have a great time.