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Italian Delights

Two years ago I never would have guessed I would drink so much Italian wine on a regular basis.  Such was (and still is) my deep-seated love of the Rhone.  Now I continue to dive into Italian wines as a result of such selections as these two.  The Vigneto Saetti is a welcoming and an original change to our first glass of bubbles in the evening.  Its earthy flavors capture ones attention, that is, along with its textile label which might be home in a line of wine-inspired clothing. This natural wine is produced without added sulphur.  The Giralmo Russo is from an organic vineyard featuring centenarian vines.  It shows good concentration to the fruit with a contemporary personality which I now suspect should open up after a few more years of age. I recommend both of these wines, one for each coast.  The Vigneto Saetti is available at MacArthur Beverages and the Girolamo Russo is available at Soul Wine in Seattle.

2011 Azienda Agricola Vigneto Saetti, Rosato dell’Emilia – $17
Imported by Louis/Dressner.  This wine is 100% Salamino di Santa Croce sourced from 40-year-old vines.  Fermentation is begun in steel barrels followed by six months on the lees in the bottle before disgorgement.  No added sulphur.  Alcohol 12%.  The color is an interesting medium, dried rose and cherry.  The nose is very subtle with dried leather notes.  In the mouth there is earthy red fruit delivered by bubbles that prick at first along with a wave of acidity then they burst becoming frothy and smooth.  Dark, earthy flavors, and red fruit come out in the middle with another wave of acidity in the finish and aftertaste.  The fruit is dry with a bit of tang.  There is a subtle yeast and Pilsner note in the aftertaste.  *** Now.

2010 Girolamo Russo, ‘a Rina, Etna – $25
Imported by Elliott Bay Distributing.  This wine is a blend of 98% Nerello Mascalese and 2% Nerello Capuccio sourced from vines planted in 1908, 1948, and after 2004.  The vineyards are located on the northern slopes of Mt Etna at 650-780 meters.  It was fermented in stainless steel then aged for 14 months in 2nd and 3rd use French oak barriques.  Alcohol 13.5%.  This color is a light garnet. The light nose reveals wood smoke and some ripe, strawberry candy. In the mouth it is lighter bodied with ripe Nerello flavors which combine with red candy and dark red flavors, perhaps fleeting minerals.  There is a little dried fruit/jam concentration that works well with delicate red flavors.  There are gentle ripe+ tannins which are spiced.  *** Now-2019.

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