Monthly Archives: March 2021

A Taste of Italy with Doctor Wine, Part II

This is Part II of the Zoom tasting A Taste of Italy with Doctor Wine that  took place last week hosted by  Daniele Cernilli (aka)Doctor Wine  There were 9 wines and in the first blog I wrote about 4 wines.  Here are the other 5 wines.IMG_4619

The samples were in very small 5 cl bottles with twist off caps. Each bottle had a label and a number so there would be no confusion. The whole program was well organized and very informative.

The Wines

Doc APE 2018 Cantine Romagnoli (EMILIA ROMAGNA) made from 55% Barbera, 45% Croatina (Bonarda). The soil is calcareous, medium texture tending to sandy. There are 3,600 plants/hectare and the pruning system is simple guyot. The exposure is south. The grapes macerate for 9 days with a daily pumping over. Fermentation with selected yeasts. The wine ages in first and second passage barriques for 12 months. Then there is the assemblage, a light clarification and a final filtration. The wine has hints of ripe fruit, licorice, leather and a note of wood and tobacco.

A.A. Pinot Nero Riserva “ Zeno” 2018 Cantina Merano made from 100% Pinot Nero (Trentino-Alto Adige, South Tyrol). The vineyards are at 500-700 meters and the vines are 15 to 20 years old. The soil is morainic, light, permeable, decomposed slate, granite and gneiss, barren and sandy. There is a cold fermentation for 5 days, then controlled fermentation with stirring for about 12 days. Aging is in new and used tonneaux. This is an elegant wine with hints of wild berries like strawberries and cherries and a long finish. Daniele liked the wine and included it in the current edition of his The Essential Guide to Italian Wine.


Barberasso 2018 Castello Cigognola (LombardyOltrepo Pavese-Pavia, across the Po) made from 100% Barbera. This is a new wine made from experimenting in the vineyard with cuttings of the branch of the vine. This is an ancient technique, which allows for a light drying of the grapes while keeping the bunch on the plant and in the sunlight. The grapes increase their concentration and continue to develop substances in the peel, which intensify the aromas. They combine the raisin grape and the natural acidity of Barbera with partial whole bunch fermentation to create a new wine. This results in a wine where fruit and acidity are counterbalanced by a soft light note of ripe fruit. Half of the wine is aged for 10 months in 600-liter tonneaux. Because of the raisin fruit, the wine has about 7.5% grams of natural sugar making it softer. The wine has hints of ripe red fruit, strawberries, raspberries and a touch of raisins. This is the first time I have tasted a wine made in this way.

Lazio IGP 2017 Montiano Cotarella (Lazio) made from 100% estate grown Merlot from Montefiascone and Castiglione in Teverina. The vineyard is 86.4 acres at 300 meters. The soil is volcanic and rich in fine gravel (Scheletro). There are 1,700 vines per hectare and the training system is guyot. The average age of the vines is 16 years. Only the best clusters are harvested by hand during the first week of September. A second selection takes place at the winery. Maceration on the skins takes place for 10 days with numerous punch-downs. Temperature controlled fermentation is in truncoconic stainless steel tanks and malolactic takes place in barrel. The wine ages for 12 months in new French oak. It has hints of red and black berries, spice and vanilla with a touch of cedar. Daniele was impressed with this wine.


Daniele Cernilli -Doctor Wine

Primitivo IGP Puglia 2018 “Ipnotico” Terre Dei Vaaz (Puglia) made from 100% monovarietal Primitivo. Production area is the Murgia plateaux. The soil is medium textured and the elevation is 340 to 380 meters. There are 2800 plants per hectare, the planting system is sapling vineyards and the average age of the wines is 60 years. Fermentation takes place in steel tanks. The wine is aged for 12 months in stainless steel, 4 months in French barriques and a minimum of 8 months in bottle. The wine has hints of sour cherries, prunes, a touch of pomegranate and a note of chocolate with a long finish.

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Filed under A Taste of Italy, Daniele Cernilli, Dr. Wine

A Taste of Italy with Doctor Wine

Daniele Cernilli, aka Doctor Wine, hosted “A Taste of Italy” session on Zoom.

IMG_4616 2Nine wines from different regions of Italy arrived so that participants could taste and discuss. The samples were sent in very small bottles with twist off caps.

IMG_4619I guess this method was chosen since it was easier and less expensive to ship. The name of the wine and a number was on each bottle so there would not be any confusion.

There will be two blogs focussed on these 9 wines. The first blog will concern the 4 wines from wineries I have visited or have hosted tastings for. The next 5 will follow in another blog.

The Wines

Caprettone “Ayete” 2019 Vesuvio Caprettone DOC Casa Setaro (Campania) made from 100% Caprettone. The production zone is at 250/300 meters in the Trione della Guardio in Vesuvius National Park.

Massimo Setaro, owner of the winery, was one of the speakers. I met Massimo in Rome where I tasted his wines and also visited the winery. He spoke about the soil and said it is volcanic and sandy with a layer of lava on the surface and volcanic stone. Because of this there is a mineral character present in the wines. This composition of the soil makes the vines immune to phylloxera so the vines are not grafted onto American rootstock. If phylloxera  attacked a plant it would destroy it but would die in the soil before it reached another plant. The training system is guyot. Vinification: Maceration in steel tanks at a controlled temperature and fermentation lasts for about 20 days in amphora and tonneaux. The wine remains in steel tanks for about 6 months and then in bottle for two months before release. The wine has hints of citrus fruit, herbs, and cedar with balsamic notes, nice minerality, soft acidity and a long finish.

Le Sabble dell’Etna Rosè DOC 2019 Firriato (Sicilia) made from Nerello Mascalese from territory of Castiglione (Catania, Sicily). Cavanera Etnea Estates. Grapes are from different vineyards on the North side of Mt. Etna. The soil is loamy-sandy of volcanic origin with good drainage. Exposure is northeast and the vineyard is at 720 meters. The training system is Cordon Royat. There are 4,000 to 4,500 plants per hectare. The grapes are hand harvested the first week of October. Fermentation is for 15 days. Soft pressing for about 2 hours, slight skin maceration and static sedimentation. The wine spends 3 months on the fine lees in stainless steel tanks with daily shaking. After 3 months in bottle the wine is released. This is a fruity wine with hints of strawberry, raspberry, and a hint of citrus fruit. I visited the winery a number of years ago and more recently hosted a lunch and tasting of the wine at Norma Restaurant in NYC.


Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione “Don Tommaso” 2016 80% Sangiovese and 20% Merlot Principe Corsini, Villa Le Corte (Toscana). The winery is located in San Casciano Val di Pesa. The vineyards are at 270-350 meters and have a southern exposure. The Pilocenic hills are rich in river stones. There are 5,800 plants per hectare. The training system is low-spurred cordon and the average age of vines is 25 years. This is a selection of the best grapes. They are hand harvested, destemmed and put in pen frustum, cone–shaped stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature. After 24 hours at 20°C the grapes are inoculated with selected indigenous yeasts. Fermentation for the Sangiovese is 18 days and for the Merlot is 16 days at a max temp of 28°C. The wine is aged in 70% in new barriques and 30% in used barriques for 18 months and 12 months in bottle before release. The wine has hints of blueberries, cherries and lavender with a touch pepper and a note of wild fennel. Daniele said 2016 was the best vintage in Chianti in over 10 years. I did not visit this winery but hosted a dinner for them a few years ago in New York City and really liked their Chianti Classico.


Montepulciano d’’Abruzzo “Toni” 2017 Cataldi Madonna (Abruzzo) Made from 100% Montepulciano D’Abruzzo from the Cona vineyard near Ofena. The soil is clay loam rich in calcareous skeleton. Elevation is 1,250 feet with a Northwest exposure. Vines were planted in 1990 and the training system is spalliera. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel and the juice remains in contact with the skins for 20 to 25 days with regular delestage and pumping over. The wine is aged in French oak barrels for 12 months and in bottle for 18 months before release. This is wine with body and hints of dark fruit, black cherries, prune and a touch of smoke. It has a long finish and pleasing aftertaste. Daniele really liked this wine and said it was real Italian wine.

I visited the winery twice the last time in 2019 and always enjoyed their wines. Giulia Cataldi Madonna now runs the winery. She is the fourth generation of here family. She was present on Zoom.


Filed under CasaSetaro winery, Cataldi Mandanna winery, Daniele Cernilli, Dom Tommaso Chianti Classico, Firriato

Dreaming Of Napoli

Over the last few years every time we were in Naples Michele wanted to have lunch at Mimi alla Ferrovia, a well known restaurant. On our last day in Naples in February of 2020, we finally got there.

The waiter recited the specials and I heard pasta with ricci di mare (sea urchins), I knew what I wanted.  It was excellent.

Recently we visited the friend that was with us on that trip and he suggested that we make pasta with ricci di mare.  We decided to make a lunch that was a tribute to Procida, the tiny island off Naples that Michele’s family comes from, which recently named Italy’s Capitol of Culture for the next year.

IMG_4578We started with crostini covered with homemade roasted red peppers and anchovies.

IMG_4576Champagne Empreintes 2012 Extra Brut Laherte Frere made from 50% Chardonnay from vines in Les Chemins d’Epernay which were planted in 1957 and 50% Pinot Noir from vines in Les Rouges  Maisons planted in 1983. Multiple parcels with varied exposure. Les Chemins d’Epernay has clay soil with a silt stratum in surface and a chalky subsoil. Rouges Maisons has a deep clay topsoil with flint, schist and a chalk subsoil. The vineyards are farmed organically, sometime by horse. Hand harvesting takes place when grapes are fully ripe. Traditional pressing. Natural alcoholic fermentation in barrels from Burgundy aged for a minimum of 10 years. There is no malolactic fermentation. Six months of barrel aging with regular stirring of the lees. Disgorged by hand 01/2018 with a 3 gr/l dosage. It has hints of yellow plums, citrus fruit, peaches, good minerality, a touch of pepper and a note of spice.

IMG_4581Here are the sea urchins, which we were able to purchase removed from their shells.

IMG_4585Spaghetti with sea urchin, garlic, tomatoes and parsley Procida-style. Ready to be served

IMG_4591The spaghetti on the plate, topped with more sea urchin.

IMG_4605Beneventano Falanghina 2018 Donnachiara made from 100% Falanghina. The vineyard is the Torre Cuso, the best location for Falanghina. The soil is volcanic, chalky clay, the vines are 16 years old, the training system is guyot and there are 2,500 vines per hectare. The grapes are not destemmed or crushed before pressing. Cold fermentation is in stainless steel and there is extended maceration. This is a crisp white wine with citrus fruit aromas and flavors, nice acidity and good minerality. It is one of my favorite white wines and my friend, who enjoys it too, always has some chilled and ready to drink. It was a perfect combination with the ricci di mare.

IMG_4562Broccoli rape on the stove

IMG_4598For our main course, we had Rabbit alla Cacciatore, Procida-style.  The tomato sauce was flavored with rosemary and garlic.

IMG_4600We ate the broccoli rabe with the rabbit.

IMG_4573Bramaterra Riserva 1996 Tenuta Monolo. Bramaterra is in the Alto Piemonte well north of Barolo. Made from 60% Nebbiolo, 20% Croatina, 20% Vesoplin10% and 10% Uva Rara. The vines were planted in 1970. There are 0.75 hectares of vineyards and the farming was organic. Exposure is northeast/southeast; there are 3,200 vines/hectare at 290 meters. The training system is guyot. The soil is deep and light, copper sands, with a high level of acidity with potassium, iron and manganese. Harvest is manual. Fermentation was in large wooden barrels (botti) with native yeast The wine is aged in botti for two years. The wine is classic Bramaterra. The wine has hints of cherry, spice, cinnamon, a touch of dried fruit and a note of nutmeg. The last vintage was in 2004. The wines can still be found on line going back to 1982

IMG_4601For dessert, we ventured to Sicily for some Cannoli from a nearby bakery.

IMG_4604Dessert wine Zibibbo Sicilia IGT Vino Liquoroso made from the Zibibbo grape Carlo Pellegrino. This bottle was given to my friend a number of years ago. I believe they still make the wine but the label is different and I am not sure it is now vinified in the same way.  The  wine was golden in color with subtle hints of citrus fruits, orange blossoms, peaches, a touch of honey and brioche. It was a pleasure to drink and a great way to end a wonderful lunch.

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Filed under Bramaterra, Champagne, Falanghina, Laherte Freres Champagne 2012

Dinner in the Garden at I Trulli

Now that we have had our second vaccinations, Michele and I are starting to go to restaurants again.  This week, we went to I Trulli, which is a short walk from where we live. It has one of the best gardens in the city and with the heaters on, we decided to sit outside where we were very comfortable.

IMG_4526Nonna Dora’s homemade focaccia and creamy ricotta arrived at the table.

IMG_4542We drank Chianti Classico Vigna Vecchia Gran Selezione 2016 DOCG Montefili made from 100% Sangiovese from a single vineyard called Vigna Vecchia planted in 1981. The training system is spurred cordon and fermentation is in stainless steel tanks with indigenous yeasts. The wine is rotated between 30HL and 10HL oak barrels for 26 months and 8 months in bottle before release.  This is an elegant wine with red and black fruit aromas and hints of blueberries and cherries and a hint of violets. I visited the winery in 2019 and was very impressed by the wines. They also have half bottles.

IMG_4528We also had homemade panzerotti, like miniature calzones, one was stuffed with mozzarella and tomatoes and the other with scallions and anchovies.

IMG_4527I had a soup of lentils and sausages, which was excellent.

IMG_4531Michele had the fritto misto with artichokes, calamari and shrimp that she really likes.

IMG_4535I had the malloreddus, a Sardinian pasta served with sausage ragu.

Dora Marzovilla, known as Nonna Dora, makes all of the pasta and is the mother of the owner, Nicola.

IMG_4538Michele had the cavatelli with broccoli rabe and chopped toasted almonds.

IMG_4540A drizzle of the new season extra virgin olive oil completed the dish.

IMG_4546A delicious lemon tart with raspberry sorbet was the finishing touch.

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The Night of the Comic Opera

Many years ago I saw the film, “A Room with a View.”  It was set in Florence and it is like a love song to that magical city.  Not only was the movie filmed beautifully, but it also featured beautiful music.  I believe it was the first time that I heard the incomparable aria, “O Mio Babbino Caro” from the opera Gianni Schicchi, written by Giacomo Puccini. I was completely captivated by it.

With that in mind, we invited friends to our apartment to view a video of Gianni Schicchi followed by a late lunch.

We started with some nibbles as the opera began.  The opera tells the story of Gianni Schicchi, the craftiest man in Florence.

Olives, sausages and tarulli

We had pepper wedges filled with anchovies, breadcrumbs and olives, a recipe from Michele’s book The Antipasto Table.

Peppers on the plate

Also crostini mushrooms and melted Fontina cheese.

The bread was from Mark’s Off Madison.

Barbera D’Asti 2000 Vigna del Noce Az. Agricola Trincero The winery belongs to the Triple “A” Agriculture Artisans Artists, an association of wine producers from around the world that believes in Organic and Bio-Dynamic production, terroir and as little interference as possible by the winemaker. Only natural yeast is used, there is no acidification of the wine, and clarification and filtration does not take place. Chemical treatments are not used in the vineyards; copper and sulfur are used but only when it is really necessary. The winery is strictly organic. The wine is aged for 7 years in large chestnut barrels. This is a traditional, classic Barbera. it is a full-bodied robust wine with hints of cherries, plum, and leather, balsamic touches and a note of smoke. This is a very impressive Barbera that will last for at least another 10 years or more.

Michele made Pasta ‘Ncasciata, a Sicilian recipe made with a meat sauce, caciocavallo cheese, ham, and peas baked together.  Here it is ready for the oven.  It baked while Gianni Schicchi schemed and connived to make his fortune.

After the opera, the pasta was ready to be served

Barolo Riserva 1997 Monprivato –Cà d’Morissio Giuseppe Mascarello E Figlio made from 100% Nebbiolo. The Monprivato vineyard is about 15 acres on a southwest-facing slope in Castiglione Falletto. Cà d’Morissio is made from grapes from a special two-acre plot of the Michet subvariety of Nebbiolo. The chalky and gray marl soil is perfect for growing Nebbiolo. Harvest takes place towards the middle of October. Traditional style fermentation takes place with floating cap for 25 days. The wine ages in medium sized Slavonian oak barrels for around 40 months. The wine is bottled after 6 years following the vintage. This is classic Barolo just beginning to drink with hints of cherry, tar, tobacco, licorice and a note of smoke.

A friend had sent us a special pannetone in a magnificent metal box.

The Panettone was flavored with grappa and chocolate chips.  We served it with ice cream for dessert.


Filed under Barbera, Barolo, G. Mascarello, Trinchero

A Neapolitan Classic

Michele and I went to IL Gattopardo for lunch recently.  One of my favorites there, the meatloaf, was not on the menu. I asked the waiter and he said he believed it would be back on soon. This is something that is not served in most restaurants in Naples but in people’s homes. So I asked Michele to make it for me.

IMG_4305First, we had a little antipasto of marinated roasted red peppers.  Here are the peppers ready to be cut

IMG_4316After roasting and peeling, Michele marinated them with thick slices of garlic, olive oil and oregano.  She leaves the garlic in large pieces so that it is easy to remove them.  We ate the peppers with anchovies.

IMG_4311To go with the meatloaf, Michele made sauteed zucchini and onions with cherry tomatoes.  She used canned cherry tomatoes.  The secret of this recipe is to cook it just to the point where the zucchini are still firm and not mushy.

IMG_4319The saucy vegetables were a nice complement to the meatloaf.

IMG_4308The meatloaf, called polpettone, is made mostly with beef, and some veal and pork ready mixed with chopped prosciutto, salami and cheese.  Here it is ready for the oven

IMG_4324The meatloaf out of the oven

IMG_4326On the plate, the meatloaf was moist and full of flavor, complemented by the sauteed zucchini.

The Wine

IMG_4315Montepulciano D’ Abruzzo 2003 Emidio Pepe100% Montepulciano D’Abruzzo. The winery is organic and Bio-Dynamic. They belong to the Triple “A” Agriculture Artisans Artists. Both the tendone method and the cordon spur method are used for training the vines. In vintages when the weather is very hot the tendone method is better because the leaves form a canopy to protect the grapes from the sun.  When the weather is not too hot, the cordon spur is better because it allows more sun and air to reach the grapes. One hectare of tendone has 900 vines and produces 90 quintals of grapes.  That means that each vine produces from 6 to 9 kilos of grapes. In one hectare of cordon spur trained grapes, there are 3,300 vines and each vine produces 5 to 6 kilos of grapes. The grapes are crushed by hand and the juice placed in glass-lined cement tanks of 20/25 liters. Only natural yeasts are used, there is no filtration or fining. The wine is transferred to the bottle by hand and the corks are placed in the bottles by hand. This is a very impressive wine  with deep red fruit aromas and flavors with hints of cherry, spice and leather.  It is still young and will last for many years.

unnamed PIE and fruitFor Dessert, we had a Roman style cheesecake.  The recipe is from Michele’s dessert book, La Dolce Vita.  


Filed under Emidio Pepe, Montepulciano d' Abruzzo

A Different Night at the Opera

Friends invited us again for a night at the opera at their home. This time it was a German opera, Der Rosenkavalier, so we had Alsatian food with one German wine and one wine from Alsace (almost Germany).

IMG_4396We started with an Alsatian-style tart flambe.  It’s a crisp pizza like flatbread topped with caramelized onions, cheese and ham.  With it we had…

IMG_4399Trimbach Gewurztraminer 2011 Alsace Contrölé made from 100% Gewurztraminer. The vines are planted on the Ribeauville fault line that fractured 50 million years ago between the Vosges Mountain range and the Black Forest offering a mosaic of terroirs including the complex calcareous limestone and bio-degraded seashell fossils called Muschelkalk. The wine is fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel and concrete vats. There is no secondary malolactic fermentation in order to keep as much natural acid as possible. The wine is released after two years of cellar aging. This is a rich wine with a deep golden color with hints of honey, cinnamon, a touch of spice, a long finish and pleasing aftertaste. The wine was drinking very well and could last for a few more years.

IMG_4400For the main course we had Choucroute Garni.  A mix of different types of sausages, pork, potatoes and sauerkraut slowly cooked with wine and spices.IMG_4404To accompany it, there was a special rye bread studded with caraway seeds.

IMG_4410Cornichon pickles, mustard and horseradish accompanied the Choucroute.

IMG_4406On the plate

With the main course we had

IMG_4408Bockstein Kabinett 2018 Village Ockfen Classification Nil Weis VDP Grosse Lage. Region Mosel Saar Ruwer. The soil is Gray Devonian slate and there are 9,500 plants per hectare. The wine has hints of green apple, pear, and citrus and has a well balanced acidity. It has a steely finish with dry herbal notes.

IMG_4412Dessert was a cool and creamy Coeur ala Creme with raspberry sauce.

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Filed under Nik Weis, Trimbac G

Lunch at IL Gattopardo

Michele and I recently got our second vaccine shots.  We waited the recommended couple of weeks until the vaccine reached full effectiveness, then decided to celebrate.  We had not eaten indoors in a restaurant since March 6, of 2020, our last day in Rome.  A friend wanted to join us so I made a reservation at IL Gattopardo for lunch because we knew they would follow all of the safety protocols recommended.  When we arrived, we were pleased to see that all of the tables in the restaurant were well spaced and everyone was wearing a mask.

Two appetizers arrived at the table while we contemplated the menu.

IMG_4417 copyArancini, fried rice balls seasoned with tomato and cheese.

IMG_4419Crostini with anchovies.  Simple but the perfect combination of crispy toast and tasty fish.

We also shared an appetizer of very fresh bufala mozzarella with marinated cherry tomatoes and grilled eggplant

Barolo Riserva 1952 Borgogno 100% Nebbiolo. The grapes come from three different cru vineyards: Cannubi, Liste and Fossati. The winery is located in the center of the town of Barolo. The wine is aged at least five years in large oak barrels. This is a wine produced with traditional and natural wine making methods. Long fermentation and pumping over by hand takes place. Today the Farinetti family that also owns Eataly owns the winery. I have always had very good luck with older vintages of Borgogno. This is a classic traditional Barolo with hints of coffee, licorice, tar, savory meats and a touch of smoke. It was showing some age but still could last a few more years. Recently I have had the 1947 and the 1989. The 1947 did not show as well as the 1952 and the 1989 while showing better seemed a little old for a great vintage

Three different pastas were next.  Mine was homemade ravioli with a ricotta and veal filling.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of it.

Pasta Genovese with Paccheri — A classic pasta dish from Napoli, made with a meaty onion sauce.

Barbaresco 1978 Produttori del Barbaresco made from 100% Nebbiolo from various vineyards in the DOCG zone. The soil is limestone and clay, rich in calcium with sandy veins. Vinification is in stainless steel at a controlled temperature. There is 30 days of skin contact and pumping over 2 to 3 times a day. The wine is aged for two years in large oak barrels. The wine has hints of black raspberries, cherries, leather, tea and a hint of spice. It was showing very well. Produttori del Barbaresco is a wine cooperative, arguably the best in Italy.

For the main course two of us had  lamb shank braised with red wine, pearl onions and potatoes.

Michele had Codfish “in casseruola” with Gaeta olives, pantelleria capers, cherry tomatoes and roasted organic potatoes.  She declared it delicious.

Three different desserts were the finishing touch.  One was Zabaione al Ramandolo with mixed berries served in a glass.

Next came La Pastiera, the traditional Neapolitan cheesecake made with wheat berries.  It was served with a light Creme Anglaise.

Delizia Limone  — An airy lemon cake with lemon cream filling and frosting.  It is a specialty of the Amalfi Coast.

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Filed under Barolo, Borgogno, Gattopardo

Sagrantino di Montefalco with Lunch

Lunch for two at home on Saturday began with a wine that should be better known:  Sagrantino di Montefalco 2004 DOC “Chiusa di Pannone” Antonelli San Marco   Made from 100% Sagantino from our best selection massale. The first vintage was in 2003.

Chiusa di Pannone is a 2.70-hectare vineyard planted in 1995. It is at 400 meters, with a southern exposure with rows following the slope. The harvest generally takes place at the end of October. There are gravity feed tanks on the two levels of the cellar. Fermentation with skin contact takes place for 3 to 4 weeks. Malolactic fermentation is in wood. The wine is aged in 500 liter barrels for six months and 25 hl barrels for 12 months.The wine is not filtered. It is released five years after the harvest.

The Sagrantino grape is very high in polyphenols (substances extracted from the skins of grapes that provide the coloring and texture for the wine) and also tannin which helps red wine to age. Recent studies show that the Sagrantino variety does not have any similarity to any other grape variety cultivated in Central Italy, nor is it related to Sangiovese as some believed. The grape is only found around five hill towns, Montefalco being the best known. It is therefore a very local grape variety.

This is a well-structured, rich complex wine with hints of fruits, plum, blackberries, and mushrooms, herbs a touch of mint and note of citrus. It can age for 30 years. This is a very impressive wine and Antonelli is my favorite producer of Sagantino

I visited the winery and met Filippo Antonelli who is at the helm of this family winery. I also had the pleasure of visiting him in his apartment in Rome for a wine tasting.

We started with crostini with mushrooms.  Michele sauteed chopped mushrooms with seasonings, blended in some cheese, and spread the mixture on toast.  She topped some with additional cheese.  These were a good appetizer for the wine.

Beef Stew with Vegetables with Polenta and Broccoli

Cravanzana, a soft cow’s milk cheese from Northern Italy.

Lemon Ricotta Cake for dessert

The cake with marinated strawberries and creme fraiche on the plate


Filed under Antonelli, sagrantino