TGIC Importers wine dinner at Luigi's Restaurant in Fayetteville, NC - Printable Version

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- wondersofwine - 05-12-2011 10:14 PM

Luigi's hosted a wine dinner last night with South American wines from TGIC Importers. We started off with two wines, PASCUAL TOSO BRUT, ARGENTINA and MONTES CHERUB ROSE OF SYRAH, CHILE. (The vintage wasn't listed on the menu and I forgot to inquire except for the Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.)
These were paired with three crostini--Kalamata olive tapenade with cheese, chick pea and garlic, and fresh pesto and Buffalo Mozzarella. I liked the Pascual Toso Malbec at our Malbec tasting in March but was neutral about the Brut sparkling wine which was 100% from Chardonnay grapes. I am particular about sparkling wines and usually prefer some Pinot Noir in the blend. The Montes Cherub Rose' I have had before and I don't feel any excitement about it but it did okay with the crostini.

The next course was Luigi's well-known she-crab soup with drizzled Sherry served with two white wines:
BODEGA NORTON TORRONTES, ARGENTINA and VINA SANTA EMA AMPLUS SAUVIGNON BLANC, CHILE. The Torrontes was aromatic and flowery. I liked it but my favorite Torrontes to date was a Santa Julia Late Harvest Torrontes. It was a better match to the soup I thought than the Sauvignon Blanc (an unoaked Chardonnay would also pair well.) Tasting the wines on their own, I prefered the Sauvignon Blanc as did most at my table. The first whiff (strong nose)was quite grassy and on the palate there was a little lemon but mostly grass or green vegetables--coming close to asparagus but not crossing the line as one New Zealand S.B. once did with the pyrazines. Refreshing acidity with some pungency. There seemed to be a little white peppercorn in the flavor profile also. I was thinking I would buy this if it cost under $18--The price was $15.40 so I ordered two bottles for later pick up.

The 2009 ACHAVAL FERRER MALBEC, ARGENTINA was poured for a dish of orange, yellow, and red bell peppers stuffed with Italian sausage served ala Pomodoro. I liked the Achaval Ferrer Malbec at our March Malbec tasting and had already ordered two bottles. 14.5% alcohol. Grown in the Mendoza region at high altitude. Some of the Mendoza Malbec has 100-year old vines on original rootstock. Irrigated by canals with water diverted from a river. Deep purple and opaque. Leggy on the glass. Smooth tasting. Pepper sensation which may have been integral to the wine or derived from the Italian sausage. Drying tannins come crowding in on the finish.

With our main course of sliced tournedos of beef tenderloin with a Malbec redution, Portobello mushroom risotto and sauteed green beans we had two red wines--MONTES PURPLE ANGEL, CHILE and 2008 GUARACHI FAMILY CABERNET SAUVIGNON, NAPA VALLEY, CALIFORNIA. The Purple Angel is a blend of Carmenere with a little Petit Verdot--usually about 92% Carmenere and 8% Petit Verdot. The Petit Verdot is added for extra acidity. It is given French oak aging for 18 months in new barrels and the winery recommends cellaring for ten years. I was in the minority at my table in not caring for this wine. Part of my pour went to another at my table. She remarked that it was a great pairing with the pepper spice on the beef tournedos. More to my palate tastes was the 2008 GUARACHI FAMILY CABERNET SAUVIGNON from NAPA VALLEY. It was quite nice and approachable now to my surprise. It was priced at over $50 and I don't buy much Cabernet anyway so passed on purchasing it even though I liked it.

Our dessert, a new item on the Luigi's menu, was Lemoncello Mascarpone Mousse Cake with fresh and pureed berries (I think blackberries but I'm not sure.) Really tasty and I'll probably order it again this summer (perhaps with Moscato). It was paired with MONTES LATE HARVEST GEWURZTRAMINER, CHILE. I liked the Gewurz which is only produced when natural botrytis occurs. I considered ordering two bottles but then decided I would rather spend the money on German Riesling Auslese and I don't drink dessert wines frequently anyway. My only order was two bottles of the Sauvignon Blanc which I will drink this summer. Fun evening and a sellout with a limit of 48 people (we had one empty seat at our table from someone who coudln't make it.) I hope this will encourage Nick to do more wine dinners at Luigi's.

- TheEngineer - 05-13-2011 05:21 PM

Sounds like another great event! Thanks for th eheads up on the Achaval Ferrer Malbec