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