Tasting wines from a producer that I do not know is always very interesting. Two brothers own the winery and it bears their name: Società Agricola Marco & Nicolass Barollo.
Located in the Veneto near the town of Treviso, it was purchased by the brothers in 2001. There are 45 hectares of vines and they produce 300,000 bottles annually. These wines will not be imported in the U.S until January, so this is a first review of a new winery that has joined the Grapes on the Go fine wine portfolio for 2014.
I was invited to a tasting and lunch at SD 26 in NYC by Gary Grunner, president of Grapes on the Go. Representing the winery was Marco Barollo, an owner and the export manager.
Prosecco Brut DOC Treviso NV 100% Glera. The soil is medium-grained, limestone and clay, the training is by the sylvoz system (horizontal shoot from which fruit branches curve downward) and there are 2,700 vines per hectare. Harvesting of the grapes takes place the last week in September. The Charmat method is used, consisting of a natural fermentation in bulb-tanks for 90 days. Aging is 3 to 4 months. Marco said that the Charmat method produces smaller longer-lasting bubbles. The wine is kept at a low temperature and they only use as much as they need so the Prosecco is always fresh and is bottled all year round.
Marco said that it could have been labeled Extra Dry because the residual sugar falls exactly between the two classifications (12 grams). This is an elegant Prosecco, with small bubbles, citrus aromas and flavors, hints of apple and white peach and good acidity. The bottle is wrapped in yellow cellophane, which makes for a sophisticated presentation. $16
Pinot Bianco 2012 IGT Venezie 100% Pinot Bianco. The training system is spurred cordon and there are 3,000 vines per hectare. Harvesting of the grapes is by hand in early September. Soft pressing of the grapes is followed by a settling, traditional fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. There is daily batonnage. Marco said that the wine remains on the lees for 6 months and 6 more months in bottle before release. Wines made in Italy from the Pinot Bianco grape have not gotten the attention they deserve in this country. They are excellent white wines and are very reasonably priced. This one is crisp and dry with citrus fruit aromas and flavors, a hint of apple, a floral characteristic and very good acidity that makes it an excellent wine with food. $16
Frater 2012 Doc Piave 100% Merlot The training is low-spurred cordon with 3,570 vines per hectare. Temperature controlled fermentation and maceration lasts for 12 days. Daily pumpovers, devatting and malolactic fermentation take place. The wine is aged for 3 months in bottle before release. Marco said that this wine showed the true character of Merlot from the Veneto. This is a medium bodied soft and velvety wine that has the aromas of the grape that it is made from. There is good fruit with hints of cherry, currants and a touch of blueberry. I was very impressed with this wine and it just kept on getting better and better in the glass. $16
Frank IGT Veneto 2010 100% Cabernet Franc. The training system is spurred cordon and there are 5,100 vines per hectare. Harvest is by hand at the end of September. Temperature controlled fermentation and maceration, followed by devatting and malolactic fermentation. The wine is aged in Allier barriques 50% new and 50% one year old and 6 months in bottle before release. Marco pointed out that the wine did not have any of those ‘green’ flavors and aromas often found in Cabernet Franc from Italy. The wine has hints of vanilla, raspberry and cassis with a touch of pepper, it is international in style but not over the top. $18
I believe that all of these wines are an excellent value for the money!