Thursday, April 9, 2009

Gary Diamond @ Nam Viet W/ 2006 Monte Antico & 2005 TERRABIANCA " Campaccio " IGT Tuscan Italian Red To Taste

     Gary Diamond is someone that I have known for years and we have over the years sold each other wines : we go back a long way here in the Washington D.C. metropolitan business of fine wines and spirits. 

     Gary broke his ankle and has just been able to walk for the last five days and was in clear pain as he ambled around. He called today ( Thursday, April 9th, 2009 ) and asked if he could take me to Nam Viet today and go over some wines? I said " " Sure " as I love Nam Viet and Neil Empson sells some of the best wines on the market here in the U.S.

     I was not mistaken , I made the right choice. I took my camera and started snapping away as Gary described the two reds that he bright with him : both on super deals : the 2006 Monte Antico IGT Tuscan red, $11.99, and the 2005 TERRABIANCA " Campaccio " IGT Tuscan red, $33.99.

    We caught up on things and ordered and Gary twisted off the metal capsule on the 2006 Monte Antico : it's the first vintage ever I believe with this Stelvan-closure/twist off metal capsule. The idea is to preserve the freshness of the wine. James Suckling wrote that he preferred it to the cork-bottle version of old. He claimed that he could really taste the difference between the two. I've heard that said recently about a number of wines. Time will tell : the jury is still out on this one.

    The 2006 Monte Antico had just arrived from Italy and it was immediately showing a bit rough and rustic and robust. It was tasty but not very defined in the first few tastes but it quickly came together and fleshed-out and showed a more bright berry/cheery appeal. I liked sipping it.

     The 2005 TERRABIANCA with a traditional cork was much more closed-in and much slower to open in the bottle. We had just opened both and so it was good to not rush either of them. They were really nice with the food : I had the delicious orange shrimp which is a " chef's special " at Nam Viet.

     It was a bit more raw and sharp and angular with hearty, earthy spice and terroir and I liked it but realized that the Monte Antico was better with my shrimp at this stage of the game. I would like to have decanted the Campaccio to drink after it had opened sufficiently. Either that or I would have liked to leave it my cellar to age longer and gracefully for another 3- 6 years or so. There's no need to rush this 2005. 

     I told Gary that we will buy some of both, especially since Empson is running some deep specials on both wines : and because each is so excellent in their own right.

     Lunch , though quickly  was lovely with Gary at Nam Viet. What a treat! I hope that some of this comes through in these photos.

     Cheers,   TONY


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