Jason and Deborah invited us to participate in the Selosse Champagne Zoom at their home in rural New Jersey. Michele offered to make dinner to follow the tasting. She discussed it with Ernie, Jason’s dad, and they decided on an Italian menu straight from Michele’s grandma’s kitchen. Pasta with Neapolitan style ragu first and after that the meats cooked in the sauce.
This was also Sunday lunch in my house when I was young but no one drank wine–we were Sicilian. Michele’s father kept a jug beside his place at the table and always enjoyed a glass or two of wine with his meal. He poured a little in a glass for Michele, too, topped off with a little Pepsi or other soda.
Pecorino, of course.Meatballs, pork sausages both sweet and hot, braciole and pork ribs flavored the broth.
Pietro Beconcini “IXE” IGT Toscana Tempranillo 2016 The name is the Tuscan pronunciation for the letter X. The letter X stands for unknown vines. In the early 1950’s, 213 vines of unknown species were found in the vineyard which were called X vines. With help from the Ministry of Agriculture these vines were declared to be Tempranillo a few years ago. In June of 2009, Tempranillo was enrolled in the Tuscan register. As far as I know Tempranillo was never cultivated before in Italy.
This wine is made from 99.9% Tempranillo and a touch of Sangiovese. The winery is located in the town of San Miniato. The vineyard is 3.5 hectares and the grapes are all from the new vineyards planted in 1997 using a massal selection from buds taken from the century old vines of Tempranillo from the Vigna alle Nicchie. The training is spurred cordon. Soil is sandstone with marine fossil formation, well integrated with abundant clay. 100/150 meters above sea level and there are 7,000 vines per hectare. Harvest the first 10 days of September. The grapes are dried for 4 weeks and they obtain a total yield of 70%. Fermentation takes place in temperature controlled glass lined cement vats and maceration is for 3 weeks. Aging lasts for 14 months in 70% French barriques and 30% American oak barriques of second passage. 6 months in bottle before release. First passage in barriques is for the wine from the grapes of the historical vineyard Vigna alle Nicchie that goes into the wine of the same name. This origin of this grape variety is not known for certain.
Jason tasted the IXE wine blind and guessed the grape, region and the producer. It was very impressive.
Barolo Riserva 1947 Giacomo Borgogno and Figli 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.
Deb is an excellent baker and she made us this gorgeous pumpkin pie, the first of the season. It was a real treat.
Jason also makes excellent espresso from his Marzocco.