It was our usual cooperative effort, we did appetizers and desserts, Greg does his Italian main course wizardry.
We started off with a Cava cocktail I made with Cava, Pear William Brandy with a slice of Red Anjou Pear, looked beautiful and tasted great.
For dinner we faced off these two big beautiful wines, both expensive and both amazing.
In the oven were some tremendous ribeye steaks
We started with a crudites with a dressing I invented, and some great warm mixed nuts from a Martha Stewart recipe.
We opened both wines and decanted them while we finished making dinner.
The Amarone was 2004 Brigaldara Amarone della Valpolicella "Case Vecie"
This wine is made from the partially dried grapes of the Corvina (40% – 70%), Rondinella (20% – 40%) and Molinara (5% – 25%) varieties.
It is produced in the Valpolicella wine region located in the hills north of the city of Verona.
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Brigaldara's 2004 Amarone della Valpolicella Case Vecie is a very serious wine. It reveals a richer and riper personality than the Amarone, with superb volume in its dark blueberries, blackberries, spices and herbs. The full-bodied expression of fruit hides considerable structure that lurks beneath. Lingering notes of sweetness round out the long finish. Although the 2004 shows more clarity and precision than the 2003, I would have a hard time choosing between them. This is high-class Amarone all the way. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2016. I was very impressed with the wines I tasted from Brigaldara. The Amarone is aged in cask and is made in a fairly approachable style, while the single-vineyard Amarone Case Vecie is a richer wine that also sees some French oak. Both wines are well worth seeking out." (10/08) 90 points Wine Spectator: "Pure aromas and flavors of currant and raisin follow through to a full-boded palate, with fine, well-integrated tannins and a firm, fruity finish. A little bottle age will make this even better. Best after 2010." (04/09) Sells for around $70
The Mendoza was Durigutti Familia, their high end 100% Malbec which sells for around the same price.
It is made in Maipú and San Carlos regions in Mendoza, Argentina.
Rated a 95 by Stephen Tanzer's - International Wine Cellar
"This is made by what many consider the Masters of Malbec from Mendoza. Brothers Hector and Pablo Durigutti. They became famous with their work with Alberto Atonini (Of Antinori and Frescobaldi) at Altos Las Hormigas, the wines that put Malbec from Argentina on the map in the late nineties. With extensive training in Europe including Antinori. They are the countries most sought after consulting enologists for the likes of Rutini; Catena and Cinco Tierras. Durigutti is their own boutique project and this is wine the Familia is their flagship wines. This wine is recognized as one of the greatest coming out of Mendoza. The wine comes from two of the greatest vineyard sites in Mendoza that have some of the oldest vines in the region. Vineyards were planted in the 1940’s. One from Maipo (The Lulunta Vineyard) and one from San Carlos (The La Consulta Vineyard) Only 250 cases of the wine were made and are extremely rare."
Tasting Notes: Super ripe aromas of cassis, chocolate mint, graphite and sexy oak; reminded me of a Napa cabernet. Lush and broad, with a restrained sweetness and enticing minty lift to the flavors of cassis, licorice and minerals. Sexy oak and inner-mouth floral character add complexity." Tanzer is tougher than Parker.
Both wines were fabulous, the Amarone with its fruitier essence went best with the ravioli, the Malbec was awesome with the steak and won the vote for best of the two. Not in terms of quality because both wines are exceptional on that point, but just in terms of drinkability. The Malbec was smoother and deeper.