It is only our second month since we initiated a takeover feature – Insider of the Month and who better than a Four Seasons insider to be our Lux Insider. Mauro Governato is an impassioned insider about luxury hotels and rightfully so has been at the helm of leading the prestigious hotel of Four Seasons Milan. His career span is a ride through every outstanding hotel in Europe including Four Seasons George V Paris. However it was Four Seasons Hotel Milan that saw him living his dream. As a young enthusiastic boy from Milan he always had his sight on the address that he runs like his own as its General Manager. Over to Mauro Governato as he shares his insider view on red wines from France and Italy.
Roots to Wine
A warm welcome to the readers as I hope to share a slice of my passion for the Red Wine. Some of you may have an established taste while some have just embarked on a journey to discover the enchanting world of wine. As for my journey, I grew up in a home that had bottle of red wine on the table all the time. I fondly recall my grandfather who would travel to our region, Monferrato in Piemonte, searching for small producers and try their wines. This gave an early start to my exploration as well as I would sip a glass or red wine since my teenage. As far into my memory as I can remember, I have always loved the aroma of wine.
I have an appreciation for all reds but the Italian and French come closest to my heart. Often debated about their distinction the real difference varies individually. In my opinion, the French bouquet has the finesse that reflects the refined techniques used to produce the wine, while in Italy the process is less elaborated. Perhaps us Italians prefer being direct in our approach even with wine making. If you are a novice who has just begun collecting vintages for your personal collection, I highly recommend to hold the philosophy and history of the winemaker with highest regard while choosing. I started collecting wine during 1985 in Pomerol, buying a bottle of Vieux Chateaux Certan as I love a wine of elegance and refinement.I offer to recommend the 1996 or 2006 as it is the perfect year for Cabernet Sauvignon grape, however you could also collect Chateau La Tour de By. In Piemonte, Italy you cannot go wrong with the 2001 vintage for Barolo. My favourite being Sori Ginestra Conterno Fantino, Barolo and in Tuscany Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Col D’ Orcia 1995.
From The Cellar to Table
When it comes to collecting wine you cannot be far behind in storing your prized possession. A thorough knowledge of wine is only as good as the knowledge to store it well. In my opinion, the old cellars are the best when it comes to maintaining temperatures. Temperature being the most important point, your cellar or storage should have all the attributes in place to keep it at a constant. Red wine has a preference for rest in peace and silence.
Once you have held your wine at the perfect temperature there will come a time and occasion in life when you’d have to open a bottle and pour into a refined glass suitable to the wine. I personally believe that Riedel makes the best glassware. They have been doing the best work in glassware since 18th century and they are so capable to create “containers” that enhance the bouquet of Red wines.
Mature Like Wine : Once you’ve reached collecting wine to set the foundation for your cellar it is important to move a notch high. There are many ways to improve the collection by reading the yearly classification of major wine publications, meeting expert sommeliers during your dinners in Michelin starred restaurants. Trust your gut feeling during a visit to a Chateau in France or to a Great Azienda Vinicola in Italy. Your participation at a wine auction during a Wine Trade in France or Italy or events like such will prove to accentuate your collection.
My favourite this time in France have been Bordeaux and Burgundy to celebrate as well the Great grape of Pinot Noir. The three vintages I love are 2006 for Bordeaux and 1990 and 1999 in Burgundy. In my opinion, you could still drink the 1999 for 20 years or more. In Italy, I prefer 2010 in Piemonte and Tuscany as much as the recent 2012. But if you have a Barolo of Luciano Sandrone Cannubi Boschis 1998.. drink it!
Vino Veritas: As an Italian and from Milan I am quite fond of the wine regions here but my personal choice being Franciacorta Region. Then again the vineyard Ca’ del Bosco Spumante Cuvee Prestige has some cherished memories of my meetings with Mr M. Zanella the wine producer and he has always produced a great Spumante with great flair. I like the elegance and the unmistakable taste. Another personal favourite vintage that is etched on my mind is Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1985, it reminds me of my privileged rendezvous with Le Baron de Rothschild during his holiday at my hotel. A fond memory of a fine gentleman.
When I am asked about my choice of wine that holds semblance to the lovely town I call home – Milan only Chateau Palmer 2000 races to my mind. A wine that will stay on your mind and your taste for decades. Milano is the city of innovation and surprise everyone with visual ideas, it will continue to generate excitement and overcome obstacles. Chateau Palmer 2000 in its evolution will embody a variety of characteristics continuing to surprise and attract your imagination. I hope my personal choices of vintages add to your collection and take you on a new exploration.