Stevie Kim, Managing Director of Vinitaly International, was hosting a number of events in different cities around the world promoting Vinitaly 2023 which takes place in Verona April 2-5. This will be the 55th version of Vinitaly. I have attended over 15 of them over the years.
The event in NYC was a walk around tasting of 61 wines from all over Italy and it was held at Di Palo Wine Bar in Little Italy. Di Palo is the best store in NYC for Italian food products, especially salumi and cheeses. Around one corner they have a wine store and around the other corner is the Wine Bar. Before I left for the event, Michele made me promise to bring home a pound of their excellent mortadella. It’s the best you will taste outside of Bologna, Italy and I placed my order before went into the wine bar for the tasting.
When I entered the Wine Bar I was greeted by Stevie Kim and Lou Di Palo
Lined up on the bar were 61 wines from all over Italy. Here are just a few of them:
Soave Classico DOC 2021 Pieropan made from 70% Garganega and 30%Trebbiano di Soave and the vines range in age from 6 to 60 years. Soil is limestone and volcanic and the training system is guyot and pergola Veronese. The vineyards are at 100/300 meters. The grapes are destemmed and crushed in a protective environment. The free run juice is fermented at a low temperature in glass-lined cement tanks. The wine remains on the lees for 3 to 8 months. The wine has hints of citrus fruit, lemon, lime, green apple and a note of almonds. Organically grown grapes.
IGP Campania Falanghina 2021 Azienda Agricola San Salvatore from 100% Falanghina planted in 2008 with a south-southwest exposure. Grapes for this wine are carefully selected by hand in the Cannito vineyard. Soft pressing and fermentation is in stainless steel tanks. The wine remains in stainless steel tanks on the lees for 6 months before release. The wine has hints of citrus fruit, mint, sage, lemon and green apples.
Fiano Di Avellino “Montelapio” Villa Matilde made from 100% Fiano Di Avellino from vineyards at the Tenute d’Altavilla estate in Campania. The vines were planted 1968-1995. Soil composition is tuffaceous and marly clay. There are 2,500-3,000 vines per hectare. Training system is guyot and the vineyard is at 500-600 meters. Harvest is in the middle of October. Grapes are soft pressed and fermentation is in stainless steel at a controlled temperature with selected yeast. The maceration technique is cryomaceration. The wine is aged in stainless steel for 4 months before it is bottled. This is a well-balanced wine with hints of citrus fruit, apricots, peaches and almonds.
Franciacorta “Alma” Brut NV Bellavista. Alma means soul in Latin and this wine reflects the soul of Franciacorta and Bellavista. The symbol of this wine is the butterfly because, according to the producer, “it represents harmony and balance, nature at its purest, and transformation and rebirth.” Made from 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Bianco. The balance comes from 30 different selections from over 100 vineyards. Most of the wine is fermented and matures in 228 liter oak barrels for 7 months. The wine consists of at least 6 to 9 older vintages. This is a wine with a depth of flavor and hints of apples, pears and white flowers.
Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta La Fuga (Folonari) made from100% Sangiovese grosso from vineyards southwest of Montalcino, on the historical side of Camigliano at 350 meters. The soil is rich in fossils. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel vats at a controlled temperature. Maceration takes place in steel vats for 15 days followed by malolactic fermentation in oak barrels. The wine is aged in large Slovenian oak casks of 25 HL for 3 years and then in bottle for one year before release. This is a full bodied wine with hints of mushrooms, berries, spice, orange peel, a touch of walnuts, and a note of violets.
Brunello di Montalcino 2017 “Castel Giocondo” Frescobaldi. Made from 100% Sangiovese. The soil is galestro, clay and Pleocene sands. Manual harvest takes place with a careful selection of the grapes in the cellar. Fermentation is in stainless steel at a controlled temperature with frequent pump-overs, during the early stages. The wine was aged in wood containers and is released after five years, which includes some time in the bottle. The wine has hints of ripe red berries and floral notes with spice and balsamic undertones.
Etna Rosso “Tornatore” Azienda Agricola F. Tornatore Made from 95% Nerello Mascalese and 5% Cappuccio. The soil is volcanic and the vineyards are located at 1,000 meters on the north side of Etna, an active volcano. Growing system is counter espalier and the vines are cordon pruned and tied up. Harvest is between the second and third week of October by hand. In the cellar there is a manual selection of the grapes on a conveyor belt. Grapes are destemmed and not completely crushed and are put in concrete tanks where they macerate for about 10/12 days. After fermentation the grapes are left to macerate for a few days more. The wine is then separated from the grape skins which are pressed with a traditional vertical press. The wine is aged for about 6 months in big wooden barrels and for 3 months in bottle before release. The wine has hints of red berries, cherry, a note of white pepper, and a touch of herbs with fresh acidity.
Taurasi “Pietrafusa” Villa Matilde made from 100% Aglianico. The vineyard is at 350 meters and the training system is simple guyot with about 6 buds per plant. There are 3,000 vines per hectare and the soil is tufaceous with a good percentage of clay. Harvest is the third week of October. The grape bunches are destemmed and pressed and the must is given a cold maceration on the skins. (Selected yeast is used). The must ferments slowly at 70F. The wine macerates on the skins for over 20 days, with daily pumpovers and délestages followed by malolactic fermentation. The wine is aged in tonneau and large oak barrels for 18 months and 12 months in bottle before release. This is a fully bodied wine with hints of cherries, blackberries, spice and a hint of tobacco. I have been lucky to have visited the estate a few times and always enjoy their wines.
Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Marina Cvetic made from100% Montepulciano di Abruzzo from vineyards at 400 meters. The training system is guyot. The eight different “crus” are vinified separately with delicate fermentation and maceration. Aged in barriques for 12/18 months. The “crus” are then blended and aged in bottle for 6 months before release. This is a full bodied wine with hints of black cherry, blackberry, spice, tobacco and a note of vanilla.
Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2018 Allegrini made from 45% Corvina Veronese, 45% Corvinone, 5% Rondinella and 5% Oseleta. Grapes are hand harvested in September. The grapes are naturally dried for 3 to 4 months in the drying facility. The grapes lose 40% to 50% of their original weight. Destemming and soft pressing takes place in January and fermentation is in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks at 46 to 72 degrees F. Fermentation lasts for 25 days with periodic pumping over. The wine is aged in oak for 18 months, and then blended together for 7 months. The wine has hints of cherry, plum, and black fig, with a touch of chocolate.
I really enjoyed these wines and tasted them with samples of the cheese and salumi that were available throughout the tasting. My favorite was the mortadella and I was very happy to remember to pick up my order to bring home for Michele to enjoy, too. I know I will be going back again soon.