Sunday, April 15, 2012

2008 Palazzo Della Torre Veronese

So tonight being the 100th anniversary of the last dinner aboard the RMS Titanic, I thought it might be interesting to honor the tragedy with a dinner and bottle of wine that hearkens back to those days when technology and industry seemed to hold all the answers for mankind (where have I heard that before?).  So I thought about recreating the menu, but I have to admit I had neither the desire nor inclination toward creating a 12-course dinner for myself tonight, so that seems out, though you know whatever I have will be good. 

Then I searched the web trying to find a list of wines served on Titanic, and perhaps I might have a current vintage, or even a similar wine, like a Bordeaux or Burgundy, but alas there is very little detail on the wines served on board.  It seems they had more than their fair share of Champagne, but little else was detailed in the documents I surveyed.  So strike two for my last dinner evening, though I did learn an interesting tidbit, that apparently on ocean liners like Titanic, they seldom carried a great selection of aged red wines for fear that the rumbling of the massive reciprocating steam engines might somehow shake loose the sediment in old wine rendering them undrinkable.  Here's some information I could use, if I can't find a wine list, I can enjoy a rather young wine with my dinner.

So with my dinner I've chosen a bottle of 2008 Palazzo Della Torre Veronese.  For those familiar, this wine is a distant cousin to Amarone, and a closer cousin to the Valpolicella Ripasso, or the "second pressing" of the Amarone.  The main differences are the grapes used in making this wine, Corvina and Rondinella  which are often blended to make Bardolino and Valpolicella.  Unlike Amarone, this wine takes a slightly different approach, with the majority of grapes pressed at harvest to make wine with the remainder are dried or "raisined" during the period from harvest to January when they are pressed and the resulting wine blended with the wine pressed at harvest.  The result is a very similar wine to Amarone or Valpolicella Ripasso.

This particular wine is a deep red color in the glass.  The nose is quite fruity, with hints of dried cherries, plums, anise and oak.  The taste is somewhat concentrated, with initial flavors of red fruit and spice, followed by a real raisin sort of flavor mid palate.  The tannins are softer than I was expecting, creating a very smooth, dry finish.  Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8 with the chance to improve with a little time in the cellar (I'll also note this was #60 on the Wine Spectator list of the top 100 wines of 2011).  And what about my pairings?  Did I come even close to 12 courses?  Not really, but I did enjoy this wine with a very rich meal that would have been quite acceptable during the early 20th Century.  I had a nice grilled ribeye served with Béarnaise sauce along with some linguine tossed with a bit of garlic and olive oil and some steamed broccoli rabe.  And for dessert, what else but a cannoli!  Salute!

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