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Vinitaly Day Five, Monday - the home stretch.

I can admit I overdid it with the Flaccianello at dinner last night. But it’s just as likely that the wear and tear that has transpired over these past fours days has finally gotten to me, as we approach the last day. So groggy I’m physically slow, when my brother insists he ‘passed’ me his glasses yesterday, I have no choice but to scramble through backpack, backseat, clueless. He weaves us through traffic one-handed, shielding his eyes from the merciless sun, and scrambles me up even further.

Dad comes to the rescue with the executive decision that what we all really could use is a second cappuccino. We stop at a local bar, the glasses re-materialize, and we are back on track, wedged in the carpet of cars at the Verona off-ramp. And so, when we next realize we’ve misplaced our final set of entry tickets, I’m better prepared to again scramble, this time through the glove compartment.

But when Dad suggests taking a look in the back seat, which by now I’ve gotten to know far too well during the great sunglass hunt - finally I throw my hands in the air. Thankfully, Bernardo Barberani comes to our rescue, and in no time we are back on track. Lucky today is only a half-day, considering all these lost-and-found hi-jinx.

Podere Sapaio’s stand is of terrific design, modern yet with whimsy, as clever as the quotes sketched in chalk on the blackboard-painted walls. With Massimo, we sample the intensity, finesse, and clarity of the Sapaio ’07, and I fall for the velvet richness of the Volpolo 08. These are wines are nothing short of terrific, and prove the area’s (Bolgheri) capabilities when it comes to producing great wines of a global caliber.

At Fontodi, we sample the Vigna del Sorbo ’07, which at this point is two weeks from bottling. Giovanni Manetti describes the ’07 vintage as having softer tannins than the Sorbo ’06, while being equally evocative. The Casa Via Syrah ’07 reflects elegance, a finesse that is backed by power and strength. According to Giovanni, while the ’06 vintage may be longer lived, the ’07 can be considered far more approachable, with a definitive silkiness to the palate.

On our way to Brigaldara’s stand, we cross through pavilions filled with acres of stands. Many are by now half empty, which amplifies the true vastness of the space. These are buildings haven’t seen the likes of until today, even after four days of serious hoofing.

I come to the realization not only of just how vast this event is, but also how vast is the entire Italian wine market. Humbled, I ask my Dad what the percentage of good wine to not-so-great wine might be, both at Vinitaly and at large. With barely a pause, he replies, “85% is crap. There truly is a glut on the market.” I say a silent prayer to the wine gods, thanking them yet again for just how lucky I’ve been to have grown up only drinking truly great wine, Italian-style.

And at Brigaldara, this is confirmed by just how truly great their portfolio is, as I get to sample it in full this time, highlights being the Dindarella Rosato ’09; the Amarone Classico ‘06, the Amarone Casa Vecie ‘05, and their Recioto della Valpolicella ‘07.

It is impossible to ignore the end, as a not-entirely subtle exodus makes it’s way for the doors. Many the well-attired man whizzes by, each cutting off the next, all with carts crammed full with promo materials, wine cases, stand-parts and the odd object. We stop off at the Sant’Elena kiosk, where my bro has been working hard every day with Maurizio. Dom likens the mayhem to what we know back in the states as college-move out day. He’d warned me earlier, “At the end of the day is when they steal bottles.” Clearly, he’s on the inside track.

And so, we too made our way out, and ultimately, back to America. By now you must be wondering, did we get away with the free parking on those last two days? I can’t tell you: we’re keeping this a secret, with hopes it just might work again next year…

A la salute!


Reader Comments (1)

Thank you for sharing such good experience.tag heuer

October 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermeyan

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