Posts Tagged ‘Calabria’

A trio of Italian wines made from Croatina, Gaglioppo, Nocera, Vespolina, and more!

November 16, 2015 Leave a comment

The three Italian wines featured in today’s post all posses good personality at less than $20 per bottle.  The current offering of the 2012 Hauner Carlo, Hiera, Sicily evokes the 2008 and 2009 vintages which I enjoyed very much.  In fact, I enjoyed several bottles of this wine before I managed to write down a tasting note.  It is a rich offering from Sicily with hard to describe flavors and very good tension.  A must try! The 2012 Ippolito, I Mori, Calabria will certainly benefit from short-term aging to soften the strength of the Gaglioppo and to let the wine open up.  Right now it offers a sense of its future so it is best left in the cellar.  The 2013 La Piane, Maggiorina  is the little brother of the excellent 2011 Le Paine, Piane, Colline Novaresi I previously tasted with Tim.  The former contains a good proportion of Croatina as well as ten other varieties.  It is a very light and not too tart wine, yet will remaining interesting to drink throughout the winter.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.


2012 Hauner Carlo, Hiera, Sicily – $18
Imported by Empson USA.  This wine is a blend of 60% Alicante, 30% Nocera, and 10% Nero d’Avola.  Alcohol 13%.  The nose reveals exotic berries.  In the mouth the tart and puckering red fruit, tingles the sides of the tongue.  The clean flavors persist but fine and ripe tannins creep up during the aftertaste.  I find the flavors hard to describe but there is good complexity, a darker middle, and rather attractive tension.  *** Now – 2018.


2012 Ippolito, I Mori, Calabria  – $18
Imported by Cantiniere Imports.  This wine is a blend of 70% Gaglioppo and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon.  Alcohol 13.5%. The nose sported low-lying, rich aromas.  In the mouth were tight flavors of red and blue fruit moved along by watering acidity.  The flavors became dry by the finish matching the very fine, dry structure , and dry baking spices.  With air this took on a bit of a grapey start and round hint but overall this needs a year to open up.  **(*) 2016-2020.


2013 La Piane, Maggiorina – $17
Imported by Free Run Wine Merchants.  This wine is a blend of Croatina, Uvarara, Vespolina, Nebbiolo, and 9 other varieties sourced from vines 20-80 years of age.  Alcohol 12.5%.  The brighter aromas mix with greenhouse plants with a hint of earth.  In the mouth the wine has very focused and gentle ripeness.  It is not too tart with bright and firm, red fruit, watering acidity, and nice, fuzzy textured tannins.  This lighter wine finishes with citric dryness.  ** Now – 2016.


The Compelling 2004 Odoardi, Vigna Garrone

Last month we tried two excellent wines from Odoardi.  We started with the affordable 2006 Odoardi, Savuto then tried the more expensive 2004, Odoardi, Vigna Garrone.  The Garrone vineyard lies within the Scavigna DOC which is located south of Savuto on the western coast of Calabria.  The vineyard sits on a ridge at 250 meters overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

The Polpicello Vineyard in Scavigna, Image from Siema Wines

Stefano Chioccioli is the winemaker with a degree in agriculture who went on to become certified as an agronomist and oenologist from the University of Bordeaux.  This wine received the highest rating of Tre Biccheri in the 2008 Gambero Rosso.  It is an excellent example of blending indigenous with international varietals.  This is a good drink right now but make sure to give it a few hours of air.  Better yet is to cellar a few bottles so that it may reach maturity.  It is currently available at MacArthur Beverages.

2004 Odoardi, Vigna Garrone, Scavigna Rosso – $30
Imported by Siema Wines. This wine is a blend of 80% Gaglioppo, 10% Nerello Cappuccio, 5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2% Merlot. It underwent malolactic fermentation then was aged for 18 months in French oak.  The nose was aromatic with finely textured red and blue fruit along with wood box.  With air a hint of tobacco came out.  In the mouth the steely red fruit mixed with inky blue fruit which was carried through on a minerally vein.  The wine exhibits good grip with a chewy nature in the aftertaste where there are medium textured, ripe tannins.  There are some mature bits to this wine but the cool power and good integration show that this will develop for some time.  ***(*) Now-2022.

The Earth and Tobacco of the 2006 Odoardi, Savuto

March 9, 2012 1 comment

We have drunk a few wines from Calabria over the last several months with today’s selection the most recent.  The Odoardi family has owned land in Calabria for centuries but it was not until the 1990s that the brothers Gregorio and Giovan Battista started producing their own wine.  Today they work 70 hectares of vines in Savuto and Scavigna.  Calabria is located in the toe of the Italian boot with Savuto and Scavigna in the western portion.  The vineyards of Savuto are located in a mountainous region where the temperatures are cooler.  There are terraced vineyards along the banks of the Savuto river which flows in to the Tyrrhenian Sea. Scavigna is located south of Savuto along the Calabrian coast on hills facing the Tyrrhenian Sea.

This is a really interesting wine which I strongly recommend you buy.  I like Gaglioppo when it is in a blend and this is certainly a great example.  I was having a bit of trouble describing an aspect of this wine but I believe Jenn did an excellent job. I get excited when I have trouble describing a wine because it means I am experiencing aromas and flavors which I have not come across before.  If you are looking to have an adventurous glass of wine then you should buy a few bottles of this one!  It is currently available at MacArthur Beverages along with a few other Odoardi selections.

2006 Odoardi, Savuto DOC – $13
Imported by Siema Wines.  This wine is a blend of 45% Gaglioppo, 15% Greco Nero, 15% Nerello Cappuccio, 15% Magliocco Canino, and 10% Sangiovese fermented in stainless steel.  It underwent malolactic fermentation in barriques where it was aged for 3-4 months.  There is a medium strength, interesting nose with earthy-floral aromas.  In the mouth the red fruit mixed with earthy, wild, old-school perfume.  There is slightly juicy acidity and chunky tannins.  The fruit puts on some weight with air.  Jenn commented, “[There is] moist tobacco which is smokey but not sweet.”  *** Now-2017.

Drinks at Serious Pie

November 4, 2011 Leave a comment

At Michael’s suggestion I tried two wines before settling down on what to have with my sausage pizza at Serious Pie.  The Franco Molino is imported by Italian Wine Merchants.  The Statti is imported by Vias Imports.

First Things First, Try Some Wine

2010 Cantina Franco Molino, Dolcetto d’Alba, Piedmont
This wine is made from 100% Dolcetto that was briefly aged in stainless steel barrels.  This wine was bright with an initial blast of tart, cherry fruit.  It was quite good and flavorful.  ** Now.

2009 Statti, Gaglioppo, Calabria
This wine is 100% Gaglioppo that was aged for 3 months in stainless steel.  This was all about restrained, dark fruit flavors, almost muted to begin with then an interesting, ethereal vein of flavor developed midpalate.  A bit of a lingering aftertaste. ** Now.

2007 Librandi, Duca San Felice Riserva, Ciro

The Librandi Winery, Image from Noble Estates

This family has produced grapes for four generations but in 1950 they started bottling their own wine.  In the 1970s Nicodemo and his brother Antonio embraced modern technology and were able to rapidly expand the winery.  In an effort to compete internationally they introduced Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.  Today they are joined by their nephews Raffaele and Walter.  They now believe it is best to showcase the indigenous varietals of Calabria.  They still use some Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay for blending.  Their current production is some 2,000,000 bottles per year!

Receiving Grapes at Librandi, Image from Noble Estates

The family invests heavily in research.  In 1993 they created their first experimental vineyard for indigenous varietals where they grafted Magliocco, Arvino, Matonico Bianco, and Pecorello.  In 1997 they acquired the 250 acres Rosaneti estate and in 1998 they brought on Dr. Donato Lanati to help develop the estate.  The majority is planted with vines but there are 25 hectares of olive groves and the rest are woodlands.  With the help of satellite monitoring they will determine what is best for these Calabrian varietals.

Nicodemo in Front of Librandi Vineyards, Image from Noble Estates

This wine is 100% Gaglioppo from vineyards on soils of argillaceous and calcareous matter.  The grapes are harvested during the first two weeks of October, then fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel then aged for three years in stainless steel.  Approximately 300,000 bottles are produced!

The 2005 Aziende Agricola du Cropio, Serra Sanguigna was the first 100% Gaglioppo wine I tried.  That was quick funky so I asked Tim at MacArthur’s for another Gaglioppo recommendation.  He suggested the Librandi, Duca San Felice.  This contemporary and clean wine does a great job of expressing the Gaglioppo varietal.  I strongly recommend grabbing several bottles of this well-priced wine.  It is available at Calvert-Woodley and MacArthur’s for $16.

2007 Librandi, Duca San Felice Riserva, Ciro
This wine has a light, cherry color.  There is a medium strength, woodsy nose.  In the mouth, this medium-bodied wine has sweet fruit mixed with acidity that tickles the tongue then it softens out as sweet spices are revealed.  There are some drying tannins in the finish and tart fruit in the aftertaste.  With air, there is a fair amount of lithe weight to this wine that is supple before the finish.  On the second night, the wine was still going strong with more leather notes.  Decant for several hours before drinking.  *** Now-2017.

2005 Aziende Agricola du Cropio, Serra Sanguigna, Calabria

Calabria, Baedeker's Southern Italy, 1895

Calabria is a wine region at the toe of the Italian boot that was first planted by the Greeks. The Greeks settled throughout the coasts creating the major cities of Rhegion, Sybaris, Croton, and Locri.   The best vineyards were planted on the east coast around Krimissa (Ciro).  The city of Croton produced inhabitants famous for their physical strength, many of whom competed in the Olympics.  At the end of the athletic competitions the winners would be offered the wines of Ciro as a drink.  Milos of Croton was a very famous wrestler who lived in the 6th century BC.   It is reported that he drank 10 liters of red Ciro wine each day.  Red Ciro was the official wine offered to athletes during the 1968 Olympics in Mexico.

Milos of Croton, Pierre Puget, 1671-1682, Louvre

Today, only several percent of the region is planted with vines and of this, the Ciro DOC is the only significant wine producing location.  The du Cropio estate is located in Ciro near Petella in the eastern part of the toe.  Patella is north of Croton. The estate  was created by Giovanni Ippolito and Vincenzo Ippolito.  They produce wine from a 30 hectare vineyard located at 300 meters.  Serra Sanguigna is the location of a small hill next to Ciro Superiore. This wine is a blend of 70% Gallioppo, 15% Malvasia Nera, and 15% Grecco Nero.  The vineyards are located on hilly, limestone clay.  It is available at MacArthur’s for $20.

Calabria, Tarentum, Nomos, 281-272 BC

This was an interesting wine and one I’d only recommend for the adventurous.  This bottle was really funky at first.  It has been years since I have drunk any of Librandi’s Ciros so I cannot claim this is the nature of Gallioppo or the style of Serra Sanguigna.

2005 Aziende Agricola du Cropio, Serra Sanguigna, Calabria
This wine is a light+ ruby color.  On the first night there was some definite funk, aromas of cedar, red fruit, and candied red fruit.  This restrained and structured wine came across as older in style.  It was a bit difficult to drink.  On the second night most of the funk blew off.  It took on a nose of soft red fruits, dusty herbs, and some sour Italian fruit.  In the mouth there was minimal funk, soft red flavors and dust with an underlying layer of dark red and blue flavors.  ** Now-2015.