It was almost a disaster when I couldn't find my wine notes (just found them so I can amend this post), from the Dressner tasting held at the NEW Astor Center, the wine tasting/event space up above Astor Wine store. The new space felt like a new pair of squeaky shoes. Never mind. D had gathered many of his Italian guys in an Italian Naturalmente attack. I wish all tastings were this user friendly in size. An hour to taste, an hour to shmooze, and go home happy. One of the treats was tasting Stefano Bellotti of Cascina degli Ulivi stateside. (in Gavi in the vines, 2005, after my friend Elena instisted I travel an hour from her place in Alba to pay homage to this kind of Cortese.) Anyway, I can tell you that his wines showed fabulously. Love the 2005 Gavi Filagnotti which is aged in older acacia barrels, tasted like a lemon/lime soda without sugar. 2006 was a little like lemon and peach. 2005 Bianco was floral and firm. 2005 Nibbio was filled with blackberries and juice. Extremely flavorful and nuanced. What about the goddess of Frappato? Arianna Occhipintii? She was there too, all the way from Sicily. 2005 Frap was a tart cherry pie with a long tangy finish. 2006 is no slouch. Ruche lovers delight! Cascina 'Tavijn's new 2006 baby is a beaut with walnuts soaked in cherry brandy. 2006 Grignolino was bright and fun, fun, fun in the sand. The lovely Alessandra Bera was showing some excellent Barbera (2004 LaVerrane showing quite well in that frizzante style) and the best moscato on the market. The 2005 Ronco Malo was solid, meaty and mineral. In case you wondered, I am a fan of Silvio Messana's Chianti's and non-Chiantis. the 2005 Toscana Rosso is yummy with needles of tannin to spice up the fruit. Radikon (no show) Oslvaje 2002 was spicy like an old Rioja. And, from the Roagna table it was the 2000 Barolo Rocca la Pira that I found haunting after I left. It reminded me of plaid. I never experienced that with a wine before. Not a blackwatch, more like a glen. A fun moment was meeting a mythical figure in the wine world, Le Garagiste (the Seattle-based biz) himself and getting very good promotional advice from the wine writer who wrote the Parker bio, Elin McCoy. Mr. Dressner was occupied with his fawning public so he didn't even say hello to me.