Category Archives: Ciró

Cantina Vincenzo Ippolito and the Wines of Calabria

Enrico Battista of Soilair Selections invited me to a tasting and lunch at Restaurant Il Gattopardo in NYC to taste the wines of Cantina Vincenzo Ippolito, one of the most important and oldest wineries in Calabria in Southern Italy.

Vincenzo Ippolito was the speaker.

Calabria is located in the toe of the Italian boot and has both an eastern coastlne on the Tyrhennian Sea and a western coastline on the Bay of Taranto. Cantina Vincenzo Ippolito is located on the east coast of Calabria in the historic center of Marina of Ciro and it is the oldest winery in Calabria. There are 100 hectares of vineyards that go from the mountains to the plains near the Ionian Sea. Vincenzo said that his great, great grandfather Vincenzo Ippolito founded the winery in 1845. The land is worked by organic farming methods with the objective is to limit erosion and to preserve biodiversity. The only grow autochthonous grapes and all the wines at the tasting are certified organic.

The Wines

Ippolito 1845, Maria Chiaro Cirò Bianco DOC 2018 made from 100% Greco Bianco. The soil is sand and limestone, the vines are 15 years old, with a southeast exposure and the training system is cordone speronato and alberello (bush or little trees). Vincenzo said because it is very hot in Calabria they have to harvest once in August when the grapes have more acidity and once in September where the grapes have more sugar. The final blend depends on the vintage. Fermentation is in steel tanks and the wine ages only in stainless steel on the lees for about 4 months. The wine has hints of pear, peach, white flowers and a touch of herbs.

Ippolito 1845, “Pecorello” Calabria Bianco IGT 2018 made from 100% Pecorello Bianco. Vincenzo said Pecorello means little sheep. It is an ancient grape variety of Calabria and was almost extinct until Ippolito began producing it again. Manual harvest takes place in early September, then cold settling and fermentation in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature. The wine is aged in stainless steel tanks until the end of January. The wine has hints of citrus fruit, with notes of peach and pear and nice minerality.

Cantine Vincenzo Ippolito, “Pescanera” Calabria Rosé IGT 2018 made from 100% Greco Nero which Vincenzo said was a local grape from Calabria. The grapes come from the best vineyards on the coast and after a manual harvest are soft pressed without any maceration. Fermentation is in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature. The wine has hints of strawberries and raspberries with citrus notes and a touch of wild flowers. Vincenzo said that Rosé wines have a long history in Calabria and Ippolito was one of the first to produce them.

With these wines we had the Stuzzchini: bruschetta di Stracciatella, carpaccio di tartufo nero, panelle croccanti and arancini di riso, cacio e pepe.

Ippolito 1845, “Liber Pater” Cirò Rosso Classico Superiore 2017 made from 100% Gaglioppo from 35-40 year vines at 250 meters with a southern exposure. Fermentation is in stainless steel tanks with a long maceration. The wine is aged for 10 months in French oak barrels. Vincenzo said the barriques are 4 to 5 years old. This is a full-bodied wine with hints of red berries, violets, spice and a slight touch of oak.

With the reds we had:

Schiaffoni con salsa d’ Anduja. Schiaffoni is a local pasta specialty, with sauce made with anduja, a soft, spicy sausage. Vincenzo said this dish is typical from Calabria but it is not typical of the eastern part of Calabria where the winery is located. Carne dei Pastori — Sheperd’s style pork was the main course.

Ippolito 1845, Calabrese Rosso IGT 2018 made from 100% Calabrise at 0 to 250 meters and the exposure is south/southeast. The training system is pruned-spur cordon (Cordone Speronato) and head trained (Alberello). There is a long maceration on the skins after which the wine ages in stainless steel tanks for 7 months and then it is bottled to preserve the fruitiness of the wine. This is a fresh fruity wine with hints of black cherries, plums and a touch of black pepper.

Vincenzo said that the Calabrise grape originated in Calabria and then found its way to Sicily where it is known as Nero d’ Avola. This is a matter of controversy.

Ippolito 1847, Ciro Rosso Classico Superiore Riserva “Colli Del Mancusco” 2015 made from 100% Gagalioppo. The soil is clay; the vines are 50 years old and are at 350 meters. Exposure is southwest. The grapes are left on the vines until the second half of October and there is a careful selection of the grapes. Fermentation is in stainless steel with a long maceration of 20 days on the skins. The wine is aged for one and half years in tonneaux (500 liter oak barrels). The wine has hints of plums, cherries, licorice and spice with a long finish and pleasing aftertaste. Vincenzo said this was the first single vineyard (cru) wine in Calabria (1989).

Ippolito 1845,Calabria Rosso IGT “160 Anni” 2015 made from 100% Gaglioppo from 20 year old vines. After harvesting the grapes are dried on mats for 30 days followed by a traditional vinification. The wine is aged for 2 years in tonneaux. The wine has hints of berries, raisins, violets and sweet spice.

Ippolito 1845,Cirò Rosso Classico Superiore Riserva DOC “Ripe del Falco” 2010 made from 100% Gaglioppo from a vineyard more than 40 years old. The best grapes are selected. The vineyard is at 315 meters and the exposure is southeast. The training system is Alberello. There is 18-20 days of maceration on the skins. Followed by fermentation in cement tanks. The wine is aged for 2 years in Tonneaux followed by 5 to 6 years in stainless steel and a least 1-year in bottle before release. The is an elegant complex wine with hints of dried rose petals, berries, licorice, leather and spice, a long finish and very pleasing aftertaste.

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Filed under Cantina Vincenzo Ippolito, Ciró, Ippolito winery, Percorella, Pescanera, Uncategorized

Radici del Sud: Minutolo, Ciro and the List of Award Winning Wines

After I arrived in Puglia for Radici del Sud, I spent two nights traveling around the region and even stayed in a trullo, one of the cconical stone structures so typical of the region.IMG_0632

Then we returned to our original hotel outside of Bari where we were reunited with the wine buyer members of our group for another tasting called “Discover Ciro Wines from Calabria” where 4 producers show one wine each. All are imported into the USA. Ole Udsen, “Mr Puglia,” did the translation and added his comments on Ciro wines in general.IMG_0691

Cirò Rosso 2013 Classico Superiore ‘‘A Vita” made from 100% Gaglioppo from vines up to 45 years old. Grapes are destemmed and fermented in stainless steel using only ambient yeast and the wine is aged in stainless steel tanks. The winery is certified organic.

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Francesco de Franco from A Vita

The wine has hints of cherry, faded roses and tobacco with a very nice finish and aftertaste. IMG_0711

Cirò Rosso 2013 Classico Superiore Cataldo Calabretta 100 % Gaglioppo. The vines are bush trained and are 15 years old. The soil is clay and limestone and there are 5,000 plants per hectare. The harvest is by hand the third week of October. Fermentation is spontaneous with native yeasts and there is a two-week maceration without temperature control. The wine is aged for 10 months in glazed cement tanks. It remains in the bottle for 7 months before release. The estate is certified organic.IMG_0689

Ciro Rosso  2012 Classico Superiore  Scala, 100 % Gaglioppo. Soil is clay and sand and the exposure is south/southeast and the 10 year old vines are espalier trained. The grapes are destemmed and maceration takes place at 77°F until the fermentation is completed. After soft pressing, the wine is then racked and left in cement tanks for a minimum of 10 to 12 months. This is a robust wine with good red fruit and hints of sour cherry. IMG_0690

Ciro Rosso Classico Superiore 2012 Cote di Franze made from 100% Gaglioppo. The vineyard is at 250 meters, soil is clay and sandy, alberello (bush) trained. The vines were planted in 1977/1958/1980. There are 9,000 plants per hectare. The hand harvest takes place in October. Fermentation is spontaneous, maceration is in stainless steel and the wine is aged in stainless steel for 12/24 months depending on the vintage.IMG_0702

At the hotel there was a blind tasting over four sessions for the wine competition and the top wines were announced.  We were divided into four groups: two groups of buyers and two groups of press.IMG_0699

My group tasted over 200 hundred wines over two days in the four sessions. The wines were rated on a 100-point system.

Nicola Campanile and Ole Udsen "Mr Puglia"

Nicola Campanile and Ole Udsen “Mr Puglia”our Translator and Guide

Following is a quote by Nicola Campanile, organizer of the event, about the competition:

“The foreign buyers were part of two juries and expressed their judgment presumably giving particular attention to how appealing the wines can be to the market. Instead the journalists made up the other two groups and gave a more unconditional judgment. Buyers and journalists came from 13 foreign countries (Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Great Britain, Holland, USA, Canada, Japan, Lithuania, India, Poland and Brazil).”

The top rated wines were announced on the last night of the event.

Two wines from Di Meo, one of my favorite producers, were picked as # 1 in their categories by the journalists: Greco di Tufo 2015 and the Fiano Di Avellino 2015.

It is interesting to note that the journalists and buyers only agreed on  3 wines but if it was #1 for the journalists, it was #2 for the buyers and visa versa. See the complete list of winning wines at the end of the blog.

The last tasting was from the Tujiano Winery: from 2015 to 2010IMG_0716

Puglia IGP Fiano Minutolo Colli della Murgia. 100% Fiano Minutolo. The origin of this grape variety is not known. It does not have any relation to Fiano di Avellino or the Fiano grown in Puglia but the IGP has to have Fiano Minutolo on the label, it cannot just say Minutolo. The wine was dry with good citrus aromas and flavors.

Nicola

Nicola Campanile and Liciano Pignataro

The speakers were Nicole Campanile and Luciano Pignataro, a well known Italian wine and food blogger that I follow: www.lucianopignataro.it/

The Winning Wine from 2016 Radici del Sud Wine Competition

SPARKLING WINE (WHITE)

JOURNALISTS

1, CAPRETTONE, CASA SETARO

2, RISERVA NOBILE 2012, D’ARAPRÌ

BUYER

1, NOI DUE, TENUTA VIGLIONE

2, MACCONE SPUMANTE BIANCO BRUT, PUGLIA IGP, ANGIULI DONATO

ex aequo2 BUYER, TIATI METODO CLASSICO, PUGLIA IGP, CANTINE TEANUM

SPARKLING WINE (ROSE’)
JOURNALISTS

1, BRUT ROSÈ, D’ARAPRÌ

2, LEGGIARDO ROSATO, CONSORZIO PRODUTTORI VINI MANDURIA

ex aequo 2, DOVÌ ROSÈ, FERROCINTO

BUYER

1, LEGGIARDO ROSATO, CONSORZIO PRODUTTORI VINI MANDURIA

2 BUYER, LA VIE EN ROSE’, PUGLIA IGP, TENUTA COPPADORO

ex aequo 2, DOVÌ ROSÈ, FERROCINTO

FALANGHINA
JOURNALISTS

1, BENEVENTANO FALANGHINA IGP 2015, SANPAOLO

2, COSÌCOMÈ 2014, IGP PUGLIA, VALENTINA PASSALACQUA

BUYER

1, CRUNA DELAGO 2014, CAMPI FLEGREI DOC, LA SIBILLA

2, MAIOR 2012, FALANGHINA DEL SANNIO DOP, CANTINA FOSSO DEGLI ANGELI

CATARRATTO

JOURNALISTS

1, ANTISA CATARRATTO 2015, SICILIA DOC, TASCA D’ALMERITA

2, VIGNA CASALJ 2015, ALCAMO DOC, TENUTA RAPITALÀ

BUYER

1, TERRE ROSSE DI GIABBASCIO 2014, TERRE SICILIANE IGT, CENTOPASSI

2, ANTISA CATARRATTO 2015, SICILIA DOC, TASCA D’ALMERITA

GRILLO

GIORNALISTI

1, BLUES 2015, TERRE SICILIANE IGP, PAOLO CALÌ

2, GRILLO 2015, SICILIA DOC, FEUDO DISISA

BUYER

1, APOLLO 2014, TERRE SICILIANE IGP, FAUSTA MANSIO

2, ROCCE DI PIETRA LONGA 2014, TERRE SICILIANE IGT, CENTOPASSI 

GROUP OF MIXED WHITE WINES FROM LESS POPULAR SOUTH ITALIAN GRAPES JOURNALISTS

1, BIANCO DI SEI 2014, ETNA DOC, PALMENTO COSTANZO

2, BUCECI BIANCO 2015, TERRE SICILIANE IGT, BUCECI VINI

3, KORE 2015, TERRE SICILIANE IGT, CANTINE COLOMBA BIANCA

BUYER

1, STRIALE 2015, PUGLIA IGP, TENUTA PATRUNO PERNIOLA

2, MALVASIA BIANCA 2015, SALENTO IGP, CONTI ZECCA

3, BIANCO DI SEI 2014, ETNA DOC, PALMENTO COSTANZO

GRECO
JOURNALISTS

1, GRECO DI TUFO DOCG 2015, DI MEO

2, LE PAGLIE 2015, MATERA DOC, CANTINE CERROLONGO

BUYER

1, JENTILINO 2015, TERRE DI COSENZA DOP, LA PESCHIERA

2, GRECO DI TUFO DOCG 2015, SOCIETÀ AGRICOLA NATIV

FIANO
JOURNALISTS

1, FIANO DI AVELLINO DOCG 2015, DI MEO

2, BIANCOFIORE 2014, DAUNIA IGP, KANDEA

BUYER

1, TRENTENARE 2015, PAESTUM IGP, SAN SALVATORE 1988

2, TORRE DEL FALCO 2015, PUGLIA IGP, TORREVENTO

GROUP OF MIXED ROSE’ WINE SOUTH ITALIAN GRAPES

JOURNALISTS

1, CIRÒ DOC ROSATO 2015, SCALA CANTINA E VIGNETI

2, OSA! 2015, TERRE SICILIANE IGP, PAOLO CALÌ

3, LE ROTAIE 2015, VALLE D’ITRIA IGP, I PASTINI

BUYER

1, NAUSICA 2015, SALENTO IGP, CARDONE

2, NERO DI TROIA ROSÈ, ROSSO DI CERIGNOLA DOC, BIOCANTINA GIANNATTASIO

3, SPEZIALE 2015, SALENTO IGP, TRULLO DI PEZZA

 

NERO DI TROIA
JOURNALISTS

1, OTTAGONO 2013, CASTEL DEL MONTE DOCG, TORREVENTO

2, NERO DI TROIA 2014, PUGLIA IGP, VALENTINA PASSALACQUA

BUYER

1, GRAN TIATI GOLD VINTAGE 2010, PUGLIA IGP, CANTINE TEANUM

2, LUI 2012, PUGLIA IGP, CANTINA MUSEO ALBEA

NEGROAMARO
JOURNALISTS

1, COPERTINO ROSSO DOC RISERVA 2008, CUPERTINUM – ANTICA CANTINA DEL SALENTO 1935

2, DANZE DELLA CONTESSA 2014, NARDÒ DOC, CANTINA BONSEGNA

BUYER

1, VECCHIO SOGNO 2014, SALENTO IGP, TENUTA GIUSTINI

2, POSTA PIANA 2014            PUGLIA IGP, CANTINE PARADISO

ex aequo 2, NERÌO 2013, NARDÒ DOC, SCHOLA SARMENTI

PRIMITIVO

JOURNALISTS

1, PRIMITIVO 2013,PUGLIA IGP, PIETREGIOVANI

2, IL RACCOMANDATO 2014, PUGLIA IGP, FIORE AZIENDA AGRICOLA

BUYER

1, PAPALE LINEA ORO 2013, PRIMITIVO DI MANDURIA DOP, VARVAGLIONE VIGNE E VINI

2, PRIMITIVO DI MANDURIA DOP 2012, ANTICA MASSERIA JORCHE

NERO D’AVOLA
JOURNALISTS

1, CURMA 2010, SICILIA IGT, A R M O S A

2, VUARIA 2010, SICILIA IGT, FEUDO DISISA

BUYER

1, SANTA CECILIA 2011, NOTO DOC, PLANETA

2, VUARIA 2010, SICILIA IGT, FEUDO DISISA

GROUP OF MIXED RED WINES FROM LESS POPULAR SOUTH ITALIAN GRAPES

JOURNALISTS

1, TAURASI S.EUSTACHIO 2008, TAURASI DOCG, BOCCELLA

2, GHIAIA NERA 2013, SICILIA DOC, TASCA D’ALMERITA

3, DON VINCENZO 2013, LACRYMA CHRISTI DEL VESUVIO DOC ROSSO, CASA SETARO

BUYER

1, ERUZIONE 1614 2013, SICILIA DOC, PLANETA

2, LIBICI 2012, CALABRIA IGP, CASA COMERCI

ex aequo 2, TAURASI 2011, TAURASI DOCG, TENUTA SCUOTTO

3, BOCCA DI LUPO 2011, CASTEL DEL MONTE DOC, TORMARESCA

GAGLIOPPO
JOURNALISTS

1, CIRÒ RISERVA 2012, COTE DI FRANZE

2, DUCA SANFELICE 2013, CIRÒ RISERVA, LIBRANDI

BUYER

1, ARCANO RISERVA 2009, CIRÒ ROSSO CLAS. SUP. RISERVA, SENATORE VINI

2, DOM GIUVÀ 2013, CIRÒ ROSSO CLASSICO SUPERIORE DOC, DU CROPIO VINERY

ex aequo2, JACCA VENTU SUPERIORE 2012, MELISSA DOP, LA PIZZUTA DEL PRINCIPE

AGLIANICO
JOURNALISTS

1, RASOTT 2012, IRPINIA CAMPI TAURASINI DOP, BOCCELLA

2, MILES 2012 CILENTO AGLIANICO DOC, CANTINE BARONE

BUYER

1, BORGOMASTRO 2007, COLLI DI SALERNO IGP, LUNAROSSA VINI E PASSIONE

2, AGLIANICO 2MILA10 2010, COLLI DI SALERNO IGP, MILA VUOLO

AGLIANICO DEL VULTURE
JOURNALISTS

1, LIKOS 2012, AGLIANICO DEL VULTURE DOC, VIGNE MASTRODOMENICO

2, AQUILA DEL VULTURE 2012, AGLIANICO DEL VULTURE DOC, LAGALA

BUYER

1, IL SIGILLO 2010, AGLIANICO DEL VULTURE DOC, CANTINE DEL NOTAIO

2, CAMERLENGO 2009, AGLIANICO DEL VULTURE DOC, CAMERLENGO

 

 

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Filed under A Vita Winery, Cataldo Calabretta Winery, Ciró, Cote di Franze Winery, Fiano Minutolo, Italian Red Wine, Italian Wine, Radici del Sud 2016, Scala Winery, Tujiano Winery

Extraordinary Wine Values from Southern Italy

Every year the Italian Trade Commission sponsors Italian Wine Week in New York City at the Midtown Hilton Hotel. For this year’s Vino 2016, the spotlight was on the regions of Calabria, Campania, Puglia and Sicily.

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Gianfranco Sorrentino

I was delighted to be asked to moderate a panel on “Extraordinary Wines Values from Southern Italy.”

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Gary Grunner

The panel members were: Gianfranco Sorrentino, owner of restaurants Il Gattopardo, The Leopard at des Artistes, and Mozzarella and Vino, all in NYC; Gary Grunner, Co-Author of Italian Wine Notes and Italian Wine and Cheese Made Simple and 2009 Silver Award recipient of The Italian Trade Commission’s distinguished service award for the work he has done promoting, educating, representing some of Italy’s top producers and for building Italian wines in the USA; and Marco Melzi, a journalist, educator, and communication consultant.

Marco Melzi

Marco Melzi

The panel discussed each wine in detail and Southern Italian Wine in general and concluded that extraordinary values are to be found in Southern Italian wines and that they enjoy drinking them the most. Some of the finest are from the regions of Calabria, Campania, Sicily and Puglia. Unique varieties, both red and white, are made into wines that reflect the terroir by a variety of expert producers using both traditional and innovative technology.IMG_9976

Listed below are the 12 wines picked by the panel as examples of the extraordinary wine values from Southern Italy. All of them go very well with food, especially the food of the region where they are produced.

They are listed with the grapes they are made from and the distributor/importer.

THE WINES

Ficiligno DOC 2014 50% Inzolia and 50% Viognier Baglio Pianetto Sicily Vinvino $18

Taburno Falanghina DOC 2014 100% Falanghina Fontanavecchia Wine Emporium $17IMG_9636

Pallagrello Bianco “Calati” IGT 2014 Campania, Alois Soilair Selections $ 22/24

Rose Castel Del Monte DOC 2014 100% Bambino Nero Puglia Rivera Bedford $11IMG_9631

Violente 2012 Castel del Monte DOC 100% Nero di Troia Rivera $15 Puglia Bedford

Salice Salentino 2013 DOC 90% Negroamaro and 10% Malvasia Nera Rivera Puglia $13 Bedford

Piedirosso Colli di Salerno 2014 IGT 85% Piedirosso and 15% local red varieties Apicella Campania $16 Wine EmporiumIMG_9628

Costa D’Amalfi Tramonti Rosso 2011 DOC Monte di Grazia 90% Tintore and 10% Piedirosso Campania $25 Wine Emporium

Nero D ‘Avola “Nerojbleo” 2010 IGT 100% Nero d’Avola Gulfi Sicily $ 21/23 Selected Estates

Ciro Classico 2011 DOC 100% Gaglioppo Cote Di Franze Calabria $ 20/22 Selected EstatesIMG_9625

Ciro Rosso Classico 2012 DOC 100% Gaglioppo Tenuta Baroni Capoano Calabria $16 Wine Emporium.

Primitivo di Manduria “Evita” 2012 DOP 100% Primitivo Le Sviare $19 Selected Estates

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Ciró, Italian Red Wine, Italian White Wine, Italian Wine, Vino 2016

Italian Red Wine Under $20 for All Seasons

Over the past few months I have tasted a number of Italian red wines for under $20. The first two, on the list which I tasted last week at an event called Piemonte Land of Perfection’s I have had many times before and have always enjoyed. The last two on the list were a new discovery.

Dolcetto “D’OH”  2011 Piedmont Dolcetto  DOC 100% Dolcetto Clavesana  Fermented is temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. This is a fresh fruity wine with hints of cherry that is to be drunk young. It is traditional Dolcetto.  $11

Barbera d’Asti DOCG “Vespa” 2011 100% Barbara Cascina Castlet  The vineyards are at 300 meters and there are 5,000 vines per hectare. The soil composition is clay and limestone. Pruning and harvesting (the middle of October) are done manually. The must is left in contact with the skin at controlled temperatures for 6 to 8 days. There is frequent remortgages and racking is followed by malolactic fermentation. The wine is bottled and released after a few months. It is a fresh fruity Barbera with aromas and flavors of cherry and blueberry and good acidity. $14

Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG 2010 100% Sangiovese Poggio Stella. There are 3,500/5,000 vines per hectare. The training system is guyot and spurred cord, and the grapes are hand harvested. Fermentation takes place in temperature-controlled tanks followed by maceration in stainless steel tanks. The wine is then refined in Slovenian oak barrels for at least three months. The wine has red berry aromas and flavor with good acidity. $13.99

Vino Nobile Di Montepulicano DOCG 2008 Poggio Stella made from 90% Sangiovese (Prugnolo Gentile) and 10% Canaiolo.  The vines are grown on hillsides and the soil is mostly crumbled rock with good skeletal content. The plant density is 3,500/5,000 vines per hectare and the training system is Guyot and spurred cord. The grapes are hand harvested; fermentation takes place in temperature-controlled tanks followed by maceration in stainless steel. The wine is aged in Slovenian oak barrels for 24 months. $19.

Marche Rosso “Picens” IGT  2006 Domodimonti The wine is made from 25% Montepulciano, 25% Sangiovese 25% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyards are at 250 meters and the soil in mainly clay. The vineyards are south facing, there are 4,000 vines per hectare and the training system is condon with spur pruning. The harvest is from the end of September to the middle of October. The wine is aged in second passage French barriques for 5 to 6 months. There were flavors and aromas of dark fruit with hints of blackberries and a touch of leather. $16

Ciró Rosso Classic Superiore “Liber Pater” DOC 2009 Ippolito 1845 (Calabria) The wine is made from 100% Gaglioppo grapes.  The wine is fermented in stainless steel. This is a rustic wine with deep red and black fruit aromas and flavors with a hint of leather. It has a long finish and a distinctive aftertaste. $16

Rosso Piceno Superiore 2007 DOC ”Vigna Montetinello” Montepulciano 70 % Sangiovese 30% Saladini Pilastri
The vineyard is at 200 meters and the exposure is west- east. The cultivation system is vertical shoot positioned trellis and there are 2,000 plants/ha; the average age of the vines is 30 years. Harvest takes place at the end of October. The wine is fermented in stainless steel and aged for 18 months in French tonneaux. This is a wine with nice red and black fruit, with a long finish and pleasing aftertaste. $17.99

Aglianico IGT 100% Aglianico. Donna Chiara. The soil is clay, training system is guyot and there are 4,000 vines per hectare and the harvest takes place in the second week of November. This wine does not see any wood. The wine is aged in bottle for 6 months. This is a very aromatic wine with wild berry aromas and flavors and hints of blueberries and cherries. $18

I could not believe the price of the next two wines after I tasted them. They are true bargains. I believe that both of them were awarded three glasses by Gambero Rosso, their highest award.

Montepulciano D’Abruzzo “Vignafranca DOC 2007 Fratelli Barba100% Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. The vineyard is at 70 meters and the soil is alluvial, sandy silt and lightly calcareous. There are 6,000 vines/ha, the training is double guyot and the exposure is southwest. The harvest takes place in the middle of October. Fermentation is in wooden conical base vats for 18-20 days.  The wine is aged in French barriques, 50% new and 50% used for 14 months. The wine has aromas and flavors of cherry and spice with a hint of pepper. 14.99

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo “I Vasari” Old Vines DOC 2008 Fratelli Barba 100% Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. The Colle della Corte vineyard is at 70 meters and has a southwest exposure. The soil is alluvial, sandy silt and lightly calcareous and the vines are 30 years old. There are 6,000 plants per hectare, the training system is double guyot and the harvest takes place in the middle of October, fermentation takes place in wooden conical base vats for 18 to 20 days. The wine is aged in French barriques, 50% new and 50% used for 14 months.
This is an intense wine with flavors and aromas of black cherry blueberry and plum with a hint of spice. $18

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Filed under Aglianico, Barbera, Chianti, Ciró, Clavesana, Dolcetto, Domodimonti winery, Italian Red Wine, Italian Wine, Montepulciano d' Abruzzo, Vino Nobile di Montepulicano, wines under $20

ITALIAN SUMMER WHITE WINES FOR UNDER $ 20

My motto has always been that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on wine to drink well. Over the last year I have tasted  many excellant Italian white wines that are under $20.  Here is a list of some of my favorites.


Frascati Superiore Secco 2009 DOC Lazio Fontana Candida Made from 60% Malvasia Bianca di Candia, 30% Trebbiano and 10% Malvasia del Lazio. The grapes come from hillside vineyards in the DOC zone located in the province of Lazio, in the communes of Frascati, Monteporzio Cantone, Grottaferrata, Montecompatri and Rome. The grapes are harvested between September and October and immediately transported to the cellar where they are gently pressed. Vinification takes place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. The wine is fermented and aged in stainless steel and then bottled under nitrogen to protect its freshness and fruit. The wine has aromas and flavors of white peaches and apples. It has good acidity and minerality with a long finish and a nice aftertaste. $10.

Bianco Veronese “Ferdi” 2009 IGT Sartori di Verona (Veneto) made from 100% Gaganega.  There is a careful selection of handpicked grapes from different vineyards that are partially dried in small boxes for 30- 40 days (appassimento) in order to reduce water and concentrate sugar content and color.  3 grams of sugar per liter in the wine is balanced by the acidity. There is a light cold soaking. The pressing of the grapes is followed by short skin maceration at a low temperature.
Part of the must is fermented in 500-liter oak tonneaux but the oak is not new. The remainder is aged in stainless steel. The wine is then left to mature on its lees for 6/7 months. This adds mouth feel and intensity. The wine is aged in bottle for at least 3 months before release. The wine has subtle floral notes with hints of pears and apricots and good acidity.  $14

Gavi del Comune di Gavi DOCG 2010 Beni di Batasiolo 100% Cortese (Piedmont) the vineyards are at 100/200 meters and there are 3,500 vines per hectare. They use the Guyot system modified into small arches. There is soft pressing with static decanting, and the alcoholic fermentation is under strict temperature control. The wine is bottled after malolactic fermentation. The wine has aromas of white flowers with hints of white peaches, citrus and good acidity. $18.99

Cuppa Ramato 2009Venezia Giulia Pinot Grigio IGT 2009 Attems.
The harvest took place near the end of September and the grapes were harvested by hand. Vinification takes place in stainless steel vats at a controlled temperature. Fermentation lasted for seven days. For this wine the skins remained in contact with the juice for 12 hours and the wine did not undergo malolactic fermentation. The wine is aged for four months in barriques and two months in stainless steel and one month in bottle before release. It has the color of a blush wine. The aroma is very aromatic with hints of strawberry and cherry. It is quite firm on the pallet with a nice fruit in the finish and aftertaste. It is a most interesting wine! $19

 The history of the Orange Wine
This wine goes back to the way Pinot Grigio was made during the time of the Republic of Venice. Ramato, meaning copper, was the term used to describe the color of the wine. Some clones of Pinot Grigio can also be copper in color. The traditional vinification process led to the use of this name. The must remains in contact with the skins for 36 hours and this gives the wine a very distinctive coppery hue. The term “orange wine” is used to describe white wine where the juice has had skin contact.

Grechetto Dell’Umbria IGT 2010, made from 100% Grechetto. Scacciadiavoli The harvest takes place the first ten days of September. Vinification takes place in steel tanks on the lees and malolactic fermentation does not take place. The wine is aged in bottle for 3 months before release. Grechetto is a native Umbrian varietal and this a wine to be enjoyed when it is young. It is fresh and fruity with floral hints and good acidity. $18
Vermentino Maremma Toscana IGT 2011 Cecchi 85% Vermentino and 15% other approved grapes. The vines are at 150 meters and the training system is guyot. There are 5,500 grapes per hectare. Harvesting takes place the beginning of September. After the grapes are picked they are left for 12 hours at a temperature of 8°C in contact with the skins in order to keep the primary aromas.
Fermentation takes place in small stainless steel tanks for 18 days and the wine remains in bottle for two months before release. $16
Pecorino 2009 Offida DOC 100% Pecorino Saladini Pilastri.  The vineyard is 4 hectares at 150 meters with gravelly soil and east/northeast exposure. Training system is vertical shoot-positioned trellis, and there are 4,200 plants/ha. The harvest takes place in the middle of September and the grapes are organically farmed. Temperature controlled fermentation for 20 days. This is a wine with floral and herbal undertones and nice citrus aromas and flavors.  $14.99

Scavigna Bianco DOC 2010 Azienda Agricola Odoardi (Calabria) made from Greco Bianco, Chardonnay, Malvasia, Trebbiano, Pinot Bianco and Riesling. The winery is at 600 meters. The soil is calcareous clay and the training system is Guyot. The harvest takes place in late August and fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks. The wine has flavors and aromas of white peach and herbs. They are one of the few producers that make this wine.  Owners are Giorgio and Giovanbattista Odoardi. $17

Falanghina Beneventana IGT 100% Falanghina  Donna Chiara.(Campania)  The soil is chalky clay, there are 2,500 vines per hectare, the training system is Guyot and the harvest takes place the first week of October. Fermentation in stainless steel at controlled temperature for 40 days. The wine does not undergo malolactic fermentation and does not see any wood.
The wine was fresh with hints of citrus and floral aromas and flavors, good acidity and is a very pleasant wine to drink. $18

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Filed under Calabria, Ciró, Donna Chiara Winery, Falanghina, Frascati, Italian White Wine, Italian Wine, Odoardi winery, Sartori di Verona, Scacciadiavoli, Scavigna Bianco, Vermentino, wines under $20

Calabria at the American Institute of Wine and Food

“Calabria Revisited” was the theme of a dinner organized by the American Institute of Wine and Food at Alloro Restaurant in Manhattan to benefit their children’s outreach program known as the Days of Taste.  Chef Salvatore Corea, who was born in Calabria, was our host and presented a menu of regional dishes.  His wife Gina made everyone feel at home in this family run restaurant.  I was asked to speak about the wines of Calabria and the three wines we were having with dinner.

Calabria is the most rural and least industrialized regions of Italy.

90% of the wine production is red.

Except for Ciró, the wines of Calabria are not very well known in this country.  Calabria has a history of viniculture going back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, in fact the Greeks called Southern Italy Enotria, the land of wine, but today Calabria seems to have fallen behind the rest of Italy. 90% of the the wine production is red. It is the most rural and least industrialized regions of Italy.

The Slow Wine Guide, published by the Slow Food organization, lists only two wineries from Calabria in its English version of the guide.

The Gambero Rosso guide lists many more wineries, including the ones that we had with dinner. In the 2009 edition,  they awarded three glasses, their highest award to a few wines, one being a Ciró and a wine from Calabria was named sweet wine of the year. Things may be improving, but they still have a long way to go.

The Wines 

Scavigna Bianco DOC 2010 made from Greco Bianco, Chardonnay, Malvasia, Trebbiano, Pinot Bianco and Riesling. Azienda Agricola Odoardi the winery is at 600 meters. The soil is calcareous clay and the training system is Guyot. The harvest takes place in late August and the wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks. The wine had flavors and aromas of white peaches with notes of herbs and grass. They are one of the few producers that make this wine.  Owners are Giorgio and Giovanbattista Odoardi.

Ciró Rosso Classic Superiore “Liber Pater” DOC 2009 it is made from 100% Gaglioppo grapes.  The wine is fermented in stainless steel. Ippolito 1845.   This is a rustic wine with deep red and black fruit aromas and flavors with a hint of leather. It has a long finish and a distinctive aftertaste. I liked the wine and it was a great combination with the Candele di Gragnano con ragù n’juduia, pecorino crotonese, scorzette d’agrumi di candite, long pasta tubes in a sauce flavored with a spicy soft sausage and candied lemon zest. 

Gaglioppo is a grape that was probably brought to Southern Italy by the ancient Greeks, or so the producers say.

However this has become a matter of debate.

Ciró is the best known of the Calabrian wine regions and makes a very distinctive wine.  However this is going to change as the production code now allows international grape varieties to be added to the Gaglioppo.

The Slow Wine Guide is against this “…it finds this decision perplexing not only because it goes against tendencies in the rest of the South but because it is a hard blow to a distinctive DOC that has contributed significantly to Italy’s wine history.” I could not agree more!

Savuto Rosso Blend DOC “Vigna Colle Barabba” DOC made from the Arvino, Greco Nero, Magliocco, Canino and Nerello Capuccio grapes. Mauro Colacino. They use spurred cordon-sapling training for the vines. The wine is fermented in stainless steel  This is a softer, more elegant wine than the Ciró with subtle red fruit aromas and flavors and a hint of cherry.

This wine went very well with the Filetto di maiale con salsa di miele e peperoncino, verze stufate, crema fritta e pancetta crocante,roasted pork lion, with honey & spice red pepper sauce, braised cabbage, fried cream and crisp pancetta.

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N’ Tice Liquor, Calabria, a digestivo that is made from vodka, grappa and citrus and was the perfect end to the dinner.

 

 

 

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Filed under Alloro restaurant, Calabria, Ciró, Italian Red Wine, Italian Restaurants, Italian White Wine, Italian Wine, Odoardi winery, Salvuto Colacino, Scavigna Bianco