It is always a pleasure to see Riccardo Gabriele of Pr-vino in NYC or Italy. A little over a week ago, when I was in Florence, Riccardo managed to take the time to meet me there so I could taste some of the wines he represents. The tasting was held at da Burde a very traditional Florentine restaurant about a 20 minute drive from the center. Also at the tasting was Ciro Beligni owner of Le Volpi e l’Uva, the best wine bar in Florence.
The White Wines
Falanghina del Sannio DOP 2018 made from 100% Falanghina Fontana Vecchia. The vineyard is at 350 meters and the soil is argillaceous with lime rich marlstone outcrops. The training system is guyot and harvest is the third week of September. Vinification with direct pressing of the grapes at a controlled temperature. Fermentation lasts for 7 days. The wine is aged in steel before it is bottled. It has hints of citrus fruit, lemon, lime with a touch of green apple. I visited this winery a few years ago on a press trip with Campania Stories and I am a big fan of Falanghina.
Bianco Toscana IGT 2019 made from 100% Colombiana Bianca Fattoria Fibbiano. The grapes undergo cold maceration at 10 degrees celsius in steel tanks for ten days. Then the grapes are pressed to ferment the must at 12 degrees celsius. This is done with the aid of selected yeasts which preserves the character of the grapes. The wine then remains in concrete tanks for 4 months before being bottled. The wine has hints of rich fruit, pineapple, papaya and notes of pressed flowers with good acidity. Note The Cantone family of Fattoria Fibbiano found this rare white Colombiana grape among the rows in their vineyards. It is identical to the grape grown in Lombardy with the name Verdea. It is named after a wandering Irish Monk Colombiano.
Friuli Colli Orientali Sauvignon Blanc 2018 “Genesis” Butussi made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes from a single 40 year old vineyard with a southwest exposure. The soil is of alluvial and colluvial origin, composed of marls deep down and calcareous stones on the surface. During manual harvest the grapes are picked at optimum ripeness at the break of dawn. The grapes are destemmed and undergo cold maceration for 24 hours. Only the free run juice is used. Stabilization lasts for 3 days. The first two days the must is kept moving and on the third day it undergoes static clarification. The juice in then racked and fermented at a controlled temperature. !5% of the wine is fermented in traditional oak, the rest in stainless steel. The wine is usually bottled during the week after Easter according to the lunar calendar. It has hints if citrus fruit, herbs, sage, grass and a hint of white peaches.
GiovinRe Toscana IGT 2018 Michele Satta made from 100% Viognier. Harvest is the first week of September. The grapes are harvested at full maturation and whole bunches are placed in the press. The must is decanted for 3 days at 5 degrees and racked. Following the yeast inoculation during the early fermentation, the wine is poured half in old barriques, previously cleaned and polished, half in cement. Here the alcoholic fermentation takes place and the wine is kept until January without malolactic fermentation taking place. The frequency and number of batonnage are determined by tastings. Once assembled the wine remains in stainless steel tanks for 2 months until the bottling. Then it ages one year in bottle before being released. This is a white wine that will age.
Friuli Colli Orientali Bianco “At Oasi” 2017 Aquila Del Torre. Made from 100% Picolit grown on hillside terraces. The soil is flysch, interbedded clayey-textured marl and sandstone. The vineyard is at 175/ 300, the training system is guyot simple and there are 5,000 vines per hectare. The wines are 14 years old on average and the exposure is south/southwest. Spontaneous fermentation with native yeasts in French oak barrels. The wine remains on the lees for 12 months. This is a dry white wine with hints of citrus, floral notes and a touch of balsam.
Cuveé Brut Metodo Classico (Champenoise) Tenuta Montauto made from 100% Sangiovese from a 15 year old vineyard at 200 meters on the coast south of Grosseto in the Maremma. The soil is clay and skeleton rich. There are 4,000 vines per hectare and the training system is spurred cordon. The grapes are picked at full maturity by hand and harvest takes place after first week of September. The grapes are gently pressed to obtain a yield of 50%. Fermentation takes place using the cold techniques to enhance the aromas. Sugar 4.5 g/l This is a crisp fresh fruity wine with hints of citrus, flint, a touch of passion fruit and a note of brioche. This was the first time I tasted a sparkling wine from Sangiovese made by the Champenoise method and I was impressed.
Another time the Red wines