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The Old White from Lazio

November 15, 2017 Leave a comment

Three years ago Mannie Berk, The Rare Wine Co., visited winemaker Antonio Pulcini at the 2,000 year old villa overlooking Rome where he makes wine.  Pulcini only sells his wine out of the cellar door so the journey was the only way Mannie could secure a parcel of the top wine from his Colle Gaio vineyard.  At this vineyard vines of the indigenous Malvasia del Lazio grow on volcanic tufa.

This summer Mannie shared a bottle of the 1996 Casal Pilozzo Colli di Catone, Colle Gaio, The Old White, Lazio.  This is an interesting white wine with round flavors of fruit, Christmas spices, and lees.  This vintage is fully mature, though by no means tired, offering a combination of flavors I had never experienced before.  Curious wine drinkers should search out The Old White.

1996 Casal Pilozzo Colli di Catone, Colle Gaio, The Old White, Lazio
Imported by The Rare Wine Co.  This wine is 100% Malvasia del Lazio.  Alcohol 12.5%.  This mouth filling wine yields an interesting combination of yellow and white fruit, Christmas spices, and notes of lees.  There are mineral notes and a round finish.  This mature wine is for drinking now.  *** Now.

A Case of Italian Invasion

September 16, 2013 Leave a comment

There is only so much time in a day, so in order to research early 19th century vineyards in Washington, D.C., I must occasionally resort to a post of tasting notes. Over the weekend  I have found some really interesting information which I hope to relay within a week.  Of the ten wines listed below the 2012 Lamoresca, Nerocapitano was my favorite.  This was an awesome wine that I would love to see for sale in Washington, D.C.    I continued to enjoy the wines of Matteo Correggia in the form of 2009 Matteo Correggia, Roero.  This could stand a little more bottle age.  Also do not miss out on the well-priced 2007 Podere il Palazzino, Argenina, Chianti Classico.  A wine imported by Williams Corner Wine is typically interesting and so was the 2009 Bocchino, Blincin, Barbera d’Asti Superiore.  I often pick up bottles solely based on their name.  On a side note the 2011 Occhipinti, Alea Viva was a complete wreck when we first opened it.  Jenn refused to drink it at first and I quickly agreed.  I forgot about it for a few days until I found it in the Eurocave.  It was completely different and so much better.  Strange.  The Occhipinti and Lamoresca were purchased at Chambers Street Wines.  All of the others were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

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2011 Occhipinti, Alea Viva, Lazio Rosso – $21
Imported by Jan D’Amore Wines Ltd.  Alcohol 14%.  The color was a light cherry with a hint of garnet.  The nose was floral with berries and ripe, rich white floral aromas.  The first night there were light flavors of orange-peel and fruit, which were a bit firm with acidity that put the black fruit on edge.  Actually, quite rough and not attractive.  On the third night the wine was much better with rounding, cherry flavors and enlivening acidity which hit the back of the throat in the aftertaste.  There were good flavors, intensity, and cinnamon like spices in the finish.  Should age beyond one year.  ** 2014-2018?.

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2012 Lamoresca, Nerocapitano, Frappato, Sicilia – $28
Imported by SelecitoNaturel.  This wine is 100% Frappato which was fermented with indigenous yeasts in open barrels then aged in old wooden barrels and cement.  Alcohol 12.5%.  There were lovely, ripe plum and white peach aromas on the nose.  Rather Sicilian.  The mouth follows the nose with a very different set of flavors, a hint of glycerin, and fruit which was seamlessly integrated with the acidity.  There was a little liveliness on the tongue tip and were sweet, ripe tannins on the fums in the finish.  Really nice.  *** Now-2015.

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2010 Planeta, Dorilli, Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico – $23
Imported by Palm Bay International.  This wine is a blend of 70% Nero d’Avola and 30% Frappato.  Alcohol 13%.  The nose bore small red berries with a certain blackness.  In the mouth this wine was serious with focus.  It was light and round at first with almost orange acidity and gentle, orange peel flavors.  There was some texture in the finish.  It had a little black tang on the sides of the tongue then acidity which picked up a little in the finish.  It was expansive then drying and minerally.  On the second night there was bacon smoke in the finish and a little red candy.  Very approachable but needs a year or so.   **(*) 2014-2019.

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2005 Cantina Sociale Cooperative, Copertino, Riserva, Puglia – $14
Imported by Banville and Jones Wine Merchants.  This wine is a blend of 95% Negoamaro and 5% Malvasia.  Alcohol 13%.  Gentle, mature with some wood box notes, very approachable, and overall balance.  A pleasant wine to drink now.  ** Now.

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2010 Frecciarossa, Uva Rara, Provincia Di Pavia – $14
Imported by J.W. Sieg & Co.  Alcohol 13.5%.  There was a light but decnet nose with some fine scent.  In the mouth red fruit and red grapefruit mixed with lively acidity.  The firm but good fruit carried on with drying, grapey tannins.  ** Now-2015.

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2011 Tenute Chiaccio Forte, Vigne del Passero, Morellino di Scansano – $
Imported by Cantiniere Imports & Distributing.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose was of black red fruit and green herbs.  There was a touch of acidity driven black fruit in the mouth followed by a touch of riper, black and red fruit.  It became drier with herbs in the finish, some dry tannins in the structure, and more dried herbs in the aftertaste.  ** Now-2015.

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2011 Antica Masseria del Sigillo, Antico Sigillo, Primitivo di Manduria – $15
Imported by Enotec Imports.  Alcohol 15%.  There were ripe flavors of rasins, red and black fruit that made for a almost dried, roundish start.  There were very fine, grainy flavors and a ripe grainy texture which builds with red fruit acidity.  There were powdery tannins in the finish.  Drink while young but should last a few years.  ** Now-2016.

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2007 Podere il Palazzino, Argenina, Chianti Classico – $17
Imported by de Grazia Imports LLC.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose had underlying ripe, red fruit.  The wine was more complex in the mouth with red fruit, a little wood note, some bitters, and hints of ripeness at the beginning.  The wine was mouthfilling before taking on drier flavors and texture.  There was some spiced mulberry and dry, woodsy tannins.  *** Now-2020.

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2009 Bocchino, Blincin, Barbera d’Asti Superiore – $16
Imported by Williams Corner Wine.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The nose was of red fruit, strawberry, which was made interesting by some herbs and earth.  The wine was more forward in the mouth with ripe, black and red fruit, a little wood box, and good tartness.  The flavors became redder with air, remained fruit driven, and had a minerally structure.  It was a little spicy and balanced out well with air.  *** Now-2016.

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2009 Matteo Correggia, Roero – $18
Imported by The Country Vintner.  Alcohol 14%.  The color was a light to medium ruby center with a garnet, exterior ring.  The light nose had red fruit with some orange peel.  In the mouth were light flavors that immediately gained weight, expanding in the mouth with wood box and some herbs.  The acidity was present on the back of the throat.  Black minerals came out and the drying tannins left texture on the gums and inside of the lips.  **(*) 2014-2017.

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A Pair from Italy

Though I have recently posted on a number of Virginian wines I have still been tasting wines from around the world.  Over the past year Italian wines have become a part of our weekly selections.  Here are two that we drank last week.  The Fonterenza is a young estate run by twin sisters Margarita and Francesca Padovani.  They planted vines on family property in 1999, 2002, and 2005 so that today there are 4 hectares of vines.  They work in an organic and biodynamic nature.  The fruit is fermented with indigenous yeasts in either stainless steel or Slavonian oak vats.  The only temperature control is that of the air conditioning for the cellar.  Cantine Volpetti has produced wine on the volcanic hills south of Rome since 1958. These two wines were quite enjoyable.  The Fonterenza reflects the attention it receives which is finely made.  It should be drunk young and currently benefits from an hour or so of air.  My only gripe is that I wish it were more affordable.  I thought the Volpetti was a solid performer at the original $13 price but Tim recently marked it down to $8. I have not come across many $8 wines that I enjoy drinking!  These wines were purchased from MacArthur Beverages.

2011 Fonterenza, Petti Rosso – $26
Imported by Louis/Dressner Selections.  This wine is 100% Sangiovese sourced from vineyards near Montalcino at 420 meters on soils with good levels of clay and chalk.  It was fermented with indigenous yeasts then aged for eight months in stainless steel.  The light nose reveals aromas of grapey berries.  In the mouth the lively wine had flavors of bright red fruit which eventually turns blue.  There is a lightness in the weight but it is well done with a bit of depth.  There is forward acidity, grape fruit tannins, and raspberries in the finish.  With air it becomes perfumed and fruity with additional flavors of raspberry candy.  The tannins take on a powdery quality.  *** Now-2014.

2008 Cantine Volpetti, Campo Alle Rose, Cesanese Del Lazio – $8
Imported by Siema Wines.  This wine is 100% Cesanese Del Lazio.  The fairly dark color is a medium+ ruby with a hint of garnet.  In the mouth there is ripe, almost sweet, fruit which becomes black fruit with racy, mineral support.  The finish is a touch spicy with sweet fruit as the flavors tighten up.  A solid wine.  ** Now-2014.

Wines From the Old Region of Sicily and the New Region of Lazio

December 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Both of these Italian wines were recommended to me.  We have enjoyed several Nerello Mascalese wines from Tenuta delle Terre Nerre and Cottanera produced from vines on Mount Etna.  So I was particularly excited to try a bottle produced on the Aeolian island of Salina.  This was our first time drinking a wine made from Petit Manseng so we pulled the cork of the Casale del Giglio without any preformed ideas. We enjoyed both of these wines and I recommend you try both of them.  The Casale del Giglio is drinking well right now but the Cantine Colosi needs a few hours of air or a year in the cellar.  The Azienda Agricla Casale del Giglio is imported by Siema LLC and available for $16.99 at MacArthurs.  The Cantine Colosi is imported by Vias Imports and available for $16.99 at Soul Wine.  I also recommend that you check out both the estate and importer websites.

2010 Azienda Agricola Casale del Giglio, Petit Manseng, Lazio
The Santarelli family have been involved in the wine business for the last century.  After opening a bottling center in 1955 they purchased the Casale del Giglio property in 1968.  The property is located in the Agro Pontino in the Lazio region. Lazio is an administrative region of Italy located in the central-west portion which includes Rome. The Agro Pontino or Pontine Marshes are former marshlands located 30 miles away from Rome.  There were constant attempts to drain and manage the marshlands but it was not until repeated outbreaks of Malaria in Rome that they were mostly drained in the 1930s.  As wine had never been produced here before so the estate begin a series of experiments in 1985.  They studied both Italian and international varietals along with production techniques.  This wine is one result.  Petit Manseng is a Basque varietal typically used in the wines of Juracon of the western French Pyrennes. ** Now-2013.

Azienda, Image from Casale del Giglio

This wine is 100% Petit Manseng that was de-stemmed with fermentation started by indigenous yeasts followed by added yeasts 24 hours later.  It was aged for several months on the lees.  This is a pale straw color.  The nose is a touch floral.    In the mouth there are rich white fruits with a creamy mouthfeel.  The fruit starts off a bit ripe mixed with dusty stone flavors before the wine firms up.  There is a persistent almond-like flavor in the aftertaste which is supported by acidity.

2009 Cantine Colosi, Nerello Mascalese, Sicilia
This estate has been producing wine for three generations.  Today Piero Colosi runs the estate where he produces wine from 10 hectares of vineyards located on the Aeolian island of Salina.  This wine is 100% Nerello Mascalese source from vineyards at 750 feet of elevations on soils of medium texture and clay.  The grapes are fermented and aged in stainless steel.  This wine is a red color with a hint of garnet.  The light to medium strength nose contains muted aromas of red cherry.  In the mouth there are cherry flavors with some dark red fruit that then tilt towards tart red fruit as the acidity comes out.  The wine is spritely on the tongue before it puts on a little weight.  With air there are some notes of black tea and tobacco before the flavors turn gravelly in texture.  I would give this another year of aging so that it will open up. ** 2013-2015.