All wines were opened 2:00 pm, poured 3 fingers down from top for fault detection, left uncorked and kept oxygenating, poured to glass 6:00pm. The tasting started 7:30pm.
The line-up was as follows:
Produttori del Barbaresco Asili Riserva(WA94 WS92) 20072. Produttori del Barbaresco Moccagatta Riserva(WA90 WS93) 20073. Produttori del Barbaresco Montefico Riserva(WA93 WS93) 20074. Produttori del Barbaresco Montestefano Riserva((WA94 WS92) 20075. Produttori del Barbaresco Ovello Riserva(WA95 WS92) 20076. Produttori del Barbaresco Pajè Riserva(WA92 WS91) 20077. Produttori del Barbaresco Pora Riserva(WA94 WS90) 20078. Produttori del Barbaresco Rabajà Riserva(WA95 WS90) 20079. Produttori del Barbaresco Riosordo Riserva(WA93 WS92) 200710. Gaja Sperss(WA97) 200711. Casina della Rose Barbaresco Rio Sordo(WA92) 200712. Gaja Barabaresco(WA94) 2007
Tasted blind, the wines were served in the inverted order against the listing, using Speiglau Bordeaux glasses.
Gaja Sperss 2007(WA 97), Intended as a ringer, was voted First, obviously because of the approachability. The First Runner-up is Gaja Barbaresco 2007(WA 94). The Third goes to Produttori del Barbaresco Montestefano Riserva((WA94 WS92) 2007 mainly because of the elegance and fine structure. There followed Produttori del Barbaresco Montefico Riserva(WA93 WS93) 2007, again because of the fine structure and potential. Considered the ‘Middle-of-the road’ between these 2 wines Produttori del Barbaresco Moccagatta Riserva(WA90 WS93) 2007came 9! This was probably due to the bottle variation. Another reason was: the tasters favoured wines with strong character, rather than something in between. The Fifth place went to Produttori del Barbaresco Rabajà Riserva(WA95 WS90) 2007, which was definitely not my favourite. The Seventh went to Produttori del Barbaresco Riosordo Riserva(WA93 WS92) 2007, which I ranked it highest after the 2 Gajas.
Distinctively southern in character, Casina della Rose Barbaresco Rio Sordo(WA92) 2007 was ranked 8th, the remaining 9th to 12th positions occupied by the slightly corky and muddy Produttori del Barbaresco Moccagatta Riserva(WA90 WS93) 2007, the modern Produttori del Barbaresco Pora Riserva(WA94 WS90) 2007, Produttori del Barbaresco Ovello Riserva(WA95 WS92) 2007, and the last, unfortunately, was the lighter Produttori del Barbaresco Asili Riserva(WA94 WS92) 2007.
This was a tasting with lots of variations(taster variations may be) as typical of all tastings in most wine scoieties, and HKWS was no exception.
Gaja probably charmed with it modern making(stainless steel fermentation, bigger barrels storage and lighter oak treatment where most of the produttoris are partial oak fermented, stored in 600 to 700 L Slovenian and stored again back in small barrels before release.Whereas market segmentation theories point to diversification of quality levels as in the case of the 9 crus, Gaja seemed to churn at this level of the suitable grapes, displaying great knowledge of is understanding of the grapes and the terroir. It would seem to me that Gaja and his field managers know the face of every grapes.
I would say that the tasting result would have been entirely different, should this Produtorris we do this tasting again 5 years later on. The stylistic similarity of the 9 crus contributed also to the difficulty of understanding of the wines. Some tasters opined that I should guide the tasting. But in the case when tasters jumped at the chance of blind tasting, everyone were just more than eager to flex their muscles, and dived in the ocean of tasting. When this was done, they were hungry for the scores(typically Freudian in a way, oh creation!). Thereafter, everyone was just starved and just attacked the food, which was Italian a la Chinese style. The yummy Beef carpaccio, wild rocket, Parmigiano cheese, pesto sauce. Then, there came the Spaghetti, Pan Fried scallop. Last but not least. the pan-fried Australian beef medallions with tomato spinach salad, garlic parsley oil. Some other would just opt for Roasted sole fillet with tapenade, red wine endive. How busy!
It would have been hypocritical if we dwelled on the 'truth' of the tasting. Let's just have the simple joy of tasting and dining! Let's play the gremlins, the Cookie Monsters and the Big Birds tonight! So be it, even though I had spent a lot of time to prepare- enough for my total display of knowledge as if I were to play a full Concerto de Aranquez in the City Hall. Not bad, I did have the chance to play Bach's little Lute Suite! That's tasting in Hong Kong; that's life. That's what we all entitle-to one's opinion, and enjoyment.
Back to the dinner wine, the magnum Talenti Brunello di Montalcino Magnum(WE92), 2001 sang well. But the Gaja Sori San Lorenzo(RP95) 1990 appeared ‘useless’ (James Lim says)before the power of the earlier wines-again an area of potential injustice may be.
Thank you. Thank you all, for the support. It was rare to get a full-house these days. Selling and buying wine sucks. The best part of this business is probably to drink with friends with like minds. Shouldn't we ask for more?