TN: Mostly Piedmont, with a Tuscan and a Loire

Fred's turn to host our non-serious local group, he chose Piedmont as the theme. Roger gave me a ride over (he only stayed a bit for food, not drinking due to recent surgery), Fred had made white bean soup, plus had an assortment of cheeses, sausages,and tapenades out. While we waited for the rest of the European contingent to arrive, we sampled a couple of whites, one on theme, one off:
2005 Giovanni Almondo "Bricco delle Ciliegie" Roero Arneis Medium acids, round citrus and apple fruit, sweet edge good finish, but showing a bit of age. B
2007 Marca "Le Blanc" (VDP Cotes Catalanes) Lemon pledge, somewhat short, not very appealing C+
OK, on to the blind Piedmont reds:
Wine #1 - not blind for me, my offering. Rich red fruits, smoke, leather. Decanted a few hours, but still showing some tannins. Still young but with a sense of elegance. 1999 Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco B+/ A-
Wine #2- low acids, quite tannic, plummy fruit. I guessed Dolcetto, but was quite wrong. Showed better/more Nebbiolo-ish later (of course, then I knew what it was) 2005 Adriano Marco e Vittorio " Basarin" Barbaresco. B
Wine #3 - bretty funk, moderate acids, some tannins, dark fruit. I initially thought Barbera but converted to Dolcetto. 2007 Flovio Roddolo Dolcetto d'Alba. B
Wine #4 - some obvious vanillin oak notes, firm tannins, medium bodied, spice, ripe red fruits. I'm pretty confident when I say modern Nebbiolo, I'm told no, but it turns out it's the 2001 Stefano Farina Barolo (hey, the guy's Belgian, he didn't know Barolo is Nebbiolo). B+
Wine #5 -dark color, high acids, violents, red fruit, good length, I go back and forth between Barbera and Nebbiolo before going for later. Way off, it's the 2006 Cavalotto Langhe Freisa. B+
Wine #6 - no chance to guess on this one, once he says it's a co-op wine I'm pretty sure. Red fruit, moderate tannins (in decanter for a while), smoky/tarry notes. Needs time but pretty good. 2005 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco B++
Wine #7 - Alex revealed early, he hadn't had time to go to store and brought the only Italian wine he owned, the 1998 Pacenti Rosso di Montalcino, showing some age, but better than I'd expect for a 11 year old RdM. Cherries, dried cherries, earth, and a bit of decay. B
Out of blind wines, we sampled a couple of Fred's samples (opened that day). My favorite was the 2007 Guillot Broux Macon-Cruzilles - good acids, herby, nice length. B/B+
Plus there was the 1990 Prince Poniatowski =93Aigle Blanc- Vin de Tris=94 Vouvray . Young, waxy, honied apples, sweet. Good length, but like most PP wines I've had more correct than exciting or complex. B/B+
About 12:45 I took the looooonnnggg walk home, fun night
Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine, B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.
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