Category Archives: Verrnaccia

Slow Wine US Tour 2022

Slow Wine presented its Slow Wine Guide 2022 at Eataly Downtown in NYC with a tasting of wines from over 100 producers that are included in the guide.

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The following is the Slow Wine statement of what they represent:

The Slow Wine Guide evaluates over 400 different wineries and treats each with the utmost respect and attention. The Slow Wine team prides itself on the human contact it has with all producers, which is essential to the guide’s evaluations. While other guides limit their relationship to a blind tasting and brief write up, Slow Wine takes the time to get personal with each winery in order to create a well-informed, detailed review of the wines themselves and the people behind the production. Slow Wine selects wineries that respect and reflect their local terroir and practice sustainable methods that benefit the environment. And for the first time ever, those wineries that receive the snail or the official Slow Wine seal are 100% free of chemical herbicides, a quality that the Slow Wine Guide continues to passionately support.

As I was walking around the tasting area, I was called over by Davide Acerra from the Consorzio Tutela Vini D’Abruzzo. I had met Davide on a press trip to Abruzzo 3 years ago. He invited me to taste some of the wine. We started with Trebbiano di Abruzzo.

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Trebbiano D’Abruzzo “Costalupo” 2019 Illuminati made from 100% Trebbiano from vineyards at 270 meters. The training system is pergola trellis and rows. Harvest takes place by hand at the end of September. The grapes are destemmed and gently crushed. Fermentation takes place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks.  This is a fruit forward wine with hints of citrus, stone fruit and a touch of white flowers and crisp acidity. The wine remains in bottle for a time before release. It is an easy drinking wine. $16

IMG_6682Trebbiano D’ Abruzzo  DOC 2019 “Anfora” Francesco Cirelli made from 100% Trebbiano from their own vineyards and some from rented vineyards. The soil is limestone and clay. Harvest is by hand. The grapes are destemmed and gently crushed and then transferred into clay amphoras for 24 hours maceration. The skins are separated from the juice and softly pressed before the indigenous yeasts take over and the fermentation process takes place for 20 days.The resulting wine then rest and refines in the amphoras for 12 months. There is no fining. There is filtration before bottling with 1 micron carbides. The wine has hints of stone fruit, citrus, hay, peach with a touch of honey and good acidity. $28  This is a bargain for the price.

IMG_6684Trebbiano D’Abruzzo  2019 Tiberio made from a massal selection of Trebbiano with average age of 60 years. The vineyard is 2.5 hectares and is at 380 meters. The soil is mainly limestone with a gravel sandy subsoil and the training system is tendone (canopy). There are 2,500 wines per hectare. The grapes are hand harvested at the end of September. The grapes are not pressed and only the free run juice is used. Alcoholic fermentation is in stainless steel takes and malolactic fermentation does not take place. The wine has hints of apricot, jasmine, anise and green apple with a note of almonds in the aftertaste. $20. I have had wines by this producer and have always been impressed.

IMG_6685Trebbiano D”Abruzzo 2019  Amorotti, Gaetano Caboni made from 100% Trebbiano. The soil is limestone clay and the vineyard is at 300 meters with a south east exposure. Spontaneous fermentation takes place with native yeasts. The wine is filtered but not fined.  Aging is in untoasted tonneaux for one year. The wine has hints of chamomile, yellow plums, lemon peel, white flowers and flinty minerality. This a a very impressive wine and well worth the money. $38

IMG_6491Montepulciano D’Abruzzo Riserva 2015 “Casauria”  Podere Castorani made from 100% Montepulciano. The training system is the traditional overhead “pergola” trellis system of the Abruzzo region. The soil is deep clay with many underground rocks. Harvest is by hand the beginning of November with grape selection. Fermentation is in concrete tanks with manual pump over and delestages and extended maceration. Malolactic fermentation is completed during skin maceration. The wines ages on the lees in oak barrels and then for 6 months in concrete tanks. Finally the wine remains in bottle for 15 months before release. The wine has hints of cherry, cranberries, licorice, a touch of spice and a note of tobacco. $31

Just before I left, I tasted a favorite Vernaccia di San Gimignano

IMG_6676Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2019 Campo della Pieve IL Colombaio di Santa Chiara made from 100% Vernaccia. The 1.5 hectare vineyard is at 360 to 400 meters and there are 5,500 vines per hectare. The soil is old Pilocene, which is sand and clay, and the training system is spurred cordon. Harvest by hand is the end of September and beginning of October. There is a soft pressing of the grapes and fermentation takes place with indigenous yeasts at a controlled temperature. Maturation is on the lees in cement vats with periodic batonnage for 18/20 months. This is a complex and aromatic wine with hints of ripe yellow stone fruit, citrus, white flowers and toasted almonds and a very nice finish. $21

Another time, more about the Slow Wine event.

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Filed under Abruzzo, Slow Wine, Slow Wine Guide 2012, Trebbiano d' Abruzzo, Verrnaccia

Vernaccia and Carmignano with Doctor Wine

At a recent Zoom tasting at Il Gattopardo Restaurant, Dr. Wine, Daniele Cernilli, spoke about the wines of Vernaccia di San Gimignano and Carmignano.

IMG_5227Daniele Cernilli is the author of many books, including The Essential Guide to Italian Wine.

IMG_0506Picture of me andSpeaking with Nunzio Castaldo of Panebianco wines and Silvio Solari before the tasting at IL Gattopardo

VERNACCIA

San Gimignano is a Tuscan hill town southwest of Florence and gives its name to this white wine. Records show the wine has been produced since 1286. With the DOC classification in 1966 it was one of the first to receive the DOC and later received the DOCG. 

IMG_5146Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2020 Borgo “Alla Terra” Geografico made from 100% Vernaccia. Traditional white wine vinification and some aging in bottle before release. The wine has hints of citrus fruit, lemon, apple and pear with a note of almonds.

IMG_5147Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2020 Isola Bianca Teruzzi & Puthod made from 100% Vernaccia from different vineyards of the estate. Soils of Pilocene origin show the presence of clay. Grape skin maceration takes place in the press for one night, the day after the harvest. There is a cold settling of the must and alcoholic fermentation takes place at a controlled temperature in stainless steel. This is a fruit driven wine with hints of citrus fruits, honey, and floral notes, with a touch of fresh almonds and good minerality and acidity. The wine is aged exclusively in stainless steel barrels for 4 to 5 months at a controlled temperature.

IMG_5148Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2018 Campo della Pieve IL Colombaio di Santa Chiara made from 100% Vernaccia. The 1.5-hectare vineyard is at 360 to 400 meters and there are 5,500 vines per hectare. The soil is old Pilocene, which is sand and clay, and the training system is spurred cordon. Harvest by hand is the end of September and beginning of October. There is a soft pressing of the grapes and fermentation takes place with indigenous yeasts at a controlled temperature. Maturation is on the lees in cement vats with periodic batonnage for 18/20 months. This is a complex and aromatic wine with hints of ripe yellow stone fruit, citrus, white flowers and toasted almonds and a very nice finish. The winery is organic.

IMG_5149Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2017 Riserva Cesani made from 100% Vernaccia. The exposure is Southeast and the vineyard is at 250 to 300 meters. The soil is sandy limestone with marine deposits from the Pilocene period and the training system is spurred cordon. Harvest is the last week of September and there are 4,500 plants per hectare. Fermentation is in stainless steel at a controlled temperature. The wine remains for one year in stainless steel vats. The wine is bottled the August after the harvest. The wine remains in the bottle for one and one half years before release.

IMG_5150Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2015 Riserva Panizzi made from 100% Vernaccia from the Santa Margherita Vineyard. Harvest is the second half of September. There is a soft pressing of the grapes and alcoholic fermentation is in barriques 50% and stainless steel 50% at a controlled temperature. They are aged in barriques and stainless steel for 4 to 5 months at a controlled temperature. They are blended together and then bottled. The wine has hints of vanilla, floral notes, grapefruit and pineapple undertones and a touch of almonds in the aftertaste.

CARMIGNANO

Carmignano wines have a long history but in the 1960’s when the Italians started to regulate their wines it was absorbed into “Chianti” and sold as Chianti Montalbano. It was not until 1975 that it was given its own DOC, (retroactive to 1969) and Carmignano Wine became DOCG in 1990. The wine gets its name from the village of Carmignano, which is 12 miles from Florence.

IMG_5151Carmignano 2017 Poggilarca made from Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The soil is silt and sand with a good percentage of clay. Training system is guyot in the older vineyard and cordon spur in all others. The altitude is 130 meters. Fermentation is in stainless steel at a controlled temperature. Maturation is for 18/20 days with frequent pumping over the skins. Half of the wine is aged in 30HL and 50HL Slavonian oak barrels and the rest in barriques for a minimum of 10 months and 4 months in bottle before release. The wine has hints of red berries, tobacco and spice with a vanilla sensation.

IMG_5152Carmignano Riserva 2017 Piaggia made from 70% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc and 10% Merlot. The soil is medium textured with clay and galestro. The vineyards are at 250 meters, the training system is guyot and the exposure is southwest. There are 6,250 vines per hectare. There is a careful selection of grapes. Fermentation is carried out without selected yeasts. Skin contact is from 18 /25 to 28 days depending on the variety during which punching down and pumping over take place. Malolactic fermentation is in Franck oak barriques and the wine remains here for 18 months. The wine is racked a few times to make it ready to be bottled. Filtration or clarification does not take place. The wine remains in bottle for 6 months before release. There are hints of ripe fruit, chocolate and sweet spice in the wine.

IMG_5153Carmignano 2016 Capezzana by Contini Bonaccossi Villa di Capezzana. Made from 80% Sangiovese and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. The elevation is 180/220 meters and the soil is clay, limestone, schist and marl. The age of the wines is 20/40 years and the training system is guyot cordon spur. There are 4,500 vines per hectare and they use organic farming practices. Fermentation is with native indigenous yeast. There is a 13 day extended maceration period. Malolactic fermentation takes place in French tonneaux. Aging: 60% in 2nd and 3rd or 4th passage French oak tonneaux, 10% in new French oak tonneaux and 30% in 5/30 year old untoasted Allier or Slavonian 24 HL barrels for 12 months. The wine is aged for another 12 months in bottle before release. This is an elegant wine with hints of red berries, violets with a note of blueberries and a touch of I have a long history with this estate going back 40 years. This is a wine that can age. In 1985 I had the 1925 which at the time was labeled Chianti Montalbano.

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