What is a vertical wine tasting? well instead of tasting wines in a random fashion, the tasting can be arranged so that you taste wines from the same grape variety or the same vintage, or the same wines from different vintages. The last description was the theme of this wine tasting.
Throughout the evening we were served seven different wines with a variety of food carefully selected by Patrick Buttigieg the proprietor of It-Tmun.
- On arrival we were greeted by Patrick, offered a variety of Canapes served with Cassar De Malte from Marsovin this is sparkling wine 100% Chardonnay and made using the champagne method and to the best of my knowledge is the only local made wine made using this method, the quality was obvious, floral on the nose with a hint of yeast, fresh on the palate with melon and a good medium length finish.
- Soused mackerel terrine was the next course with apple cider and saffron vinaigrette. When I saw this combination on the menu I thought, this will be challenging food to match with any wine, I was surprised, the Antonin Ramla Valley Estate Chardonnay 2007 was a superb match, a big chardonnay nose, in the mouth the citrus with oak but not over oaked and not fat as some Aussie chardonnays can be.
- Next course Home made Tortelloni filled with Maltese sausage, with asparagus. with these delights we had Marnisi Estate Marsaxlokk 2001 & 2006 side by side to try, the 2001 came from Marsovins private reserve and I do not think is available any longer, I think Marsovin were trying to demonstrate that Maltese wines can age and the 2001 certainly demonstrated this. For me it was the wine of the evening a classic left bank Bordeaux blend and probably the finest Maltese wine I have tasted to date with all the dark red fruits that come from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. The 2001 being far more complex than the 2006, but the 2006 will get there with time. I know I will be buying a case of the 2006 to put to one side for a few years.
- Calvados & Honey Glazed Local Pork Belly was served with Grande Maitre 2004 & 2005 side by side, again a good combination this wine was 50% Cabernet Sauvignon & 50% Cabernet Franc, a solid wine this one, both wines were decanted before being served however I felt that the 2005 needed maybe a couple of hours in the decanter to allow it to open up a bit more.
- Trio of desserts, Tangy lemon tart, ricotta cheese cake, Brandy snap filled with nougat & amaretto truffle, these were served with Caravaggio Moscato DOK 2007 this think went with the second two desserts better than the citrus of the tangy lemon tart, while the Moscato is a dessert wine it is not over sweet and maybe that extra sweetness is what was needed for the lemon tart.
'Good food ends with good talk'. Geoffrey Neighor