I opened two simple wines to go with homemade pizzas:
2001 Nipozzana Riserva Chianti Rufina (Frescobaldi)
2001 Chateau d'Aydie Madiran
While the Nipozzana is an obvious choice (inexpensive, fruity, well structured - a perennial best buy for the price and a PERFECT match for pizza), the Chateau d'Adyie was a little, well, different. After all, who picks a Madiran to go with pizza?
For those of you who have read the posts below, you will see that I am a big fan of Madiran, and more specifically Chateau Montus (both the Cuvee Prestige and the regular). You will also see that Montus has done very well at our tastings (two second places). Even a South American Tannat (see Muy Macho tasting), the grape in Madiran, was a winner. So, while the d'Aydie was not an obvious choice for pizza, it was inevitable I would come up with an excuse to drink it and write about it.
I always think of Tannat as a fantastic steak wine - the big tannins, subtle fruit and gamey aromas complement and enhance a good steak. But pizza? I thought the tannins would complement the tomato sauce well? Anyway, while the Nipozzana was a perfect match the Madiran was a good match.
This was the first time I have tasted the d'Aydie. I bought this wine because I love the Montus so much that I wanted to find a good, but more reasonably priced, Madiran. The d'Aydie clearly displayed the lovely aromas (game, tobacco, undergrowth) of Montus, but was a little less balanced than the Montus, showing a little more acid and a little less fruit and that unbelievable tannin that only Madiran (ok, Barolos have this as well) has.
In summary, for pizza save the $$$ and buy the Nipozzana. For inexpensive Madiran, buy the regular Montus whenever you see it (it always sells out) and sock it away for a night when you have two to four hours for decanting and a lovely steak.
And for those days when you have too much money, buy the Montus Cuvee Prestige, cellar it for a hundred years, decant for four hours...