Best Destinations

Bibenda Day 2012

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I haven’t had much time for wine tasting lately.  I am studying for the Rome Guide Exam and it is more or less taking over my life.  I’ve attended a few tastings with our ladies tasting group and, recently, Bibenda Day at the Hotel Cavalieri.  I’ve posted about other tastings and events hosted by AIS on this blog, so I’ll spare you the details on what they are about.  These tastings are a great way to taste a great amount of wine in one space and get to know the regions and producers you really like without having to travel 100s of kilometers.

This years 46th Bibenda Day was a 2 day celebration of the organization in Rome with 430 produces of wine and food from all over Italy.  They also had special conference with winemakers in Italy and abroad.  I signed up for two, but due to a transportation strike and a mistake on my part I could not attend the Valentini tasting.  I did have the pleasure of not only taste some of the wines of Josko Gravner, I was able to spend two hours listening to him speak about his life, his approach to wine and his dear father.  You can read in more detail here at Katie Parla’s blog

My favorites for the evening were Benanti from Etna in Sicily, Skerk from Friuli Venezia Giulia and Josko Gravne from Friuli Venezia Giulia.  There were other great wines but these are the produces that stood out because of their unique approach to winemaking.   Of the 8 wines wer tasted at the Gravner conference 6 were fermented in Amphora.  We tried Breg 1998 and 2005 and Ribolla from 2000-2005.
These wines were intense and full of character and differed great from each year.  Gravner spoke a lot about weather and conditions of each year, and since there is very little intervention on his part there is a lot of variation from each year.  So much mineality in all of them.  They were alive.
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The Tasting Room

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Some of the delicious food

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Benanti pour-beautiful wines with tons of mineality and very lively

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Benanti pour-beautiful wines with tons of mineality and very lively

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Josko Gravner

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Copper wines of great complexity and intensity

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Breg 2005 (blend of Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Riesling)

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Why this color?  Even though they are made with “white” grapes he ferments with the skins which not only extracts color but tannins, which give these wines longevity.  Conventional wines differ because red wines are fermented with the skins of dark grapes white wines are white because they are fermented without skins.  The also extracts intense aromas and flavors.

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When you go to an AIS tasting,don’t forget your suit.