Last Saturday I attended the “Forgotten Grapes” Wine tasting at Otto Enoteca in NYC. It was a fantastic tasting and class led by Sommelier Dan Pucci that focused on a handful of wonderful yet rare, obscure Italian grapes. One of the featured grapes was Schiava [or Vernatsch] which is one of my favourite grapes, another was Pigato, a grape I had never tried and now have fallen in love with and will scour the shops for more. Following are the truly amazing bottles we had, for the Schiava, Gumphof Südtiroller Vernatsch click here.
Alberto Tedeschi Col Fondo 2010
Col Fondo is a made in the traditional manner, bottle-fermented, lees-aged Prosecco. The wine is natural, unfiltered, with only natural yeasts used and no sulphur added.
Cloudy, opaque pale yellow [it spends a lot of time with the yeasts] with a fizzy apple cider-like flavour and a funky, earthy, bitter finish. [What I would imagine if Prosecco and Hefeweizen had a kid.]
Poderi Foglia Falanghina 2010 $20
Produced from old vines with sunny aromas of lemon and hay, flavours of lemon zest and apple blossom run atop a bright acidity, all supported by a smoky, basalt mineral base.
Poggio dei Gorleri ‘Cycnus’ 2011 $22
Pigato is distinct to Liguria and is thought to be the cousin of Vermentino. The steep hillside vineyards are located just to the east of Provence on French-Italian border.
Almost creamy honey and sea salt minerals cushioned angular flavours of green papaya and mango, whilst clean vegetal notes and honeysuckle comprised the crisp finish. Fantastically easy drinking, a wonderful companion for shellfish and light summer dishes.
San Francesco Ronco dei Quattroventi Ciro’ Rosso 2005 $23
Brick garnet in colour with dates and baked black cherry flavours merging into a spicy finish of black pepper, licorice, and tobacco. With a light body, this is an excellent red for summer.
Podere il Palazzino Grosso Sanese Chianti Classico 1998 $37
Was intended for immediate enjoyment, yet it still displays a sound acidic backbone and has aged wonderfully. A well balanced undercurrent of barnyard and forest supported dense raisin and baked plum flavours, whilst warm leather and traces of smoky oak comprised the plush finish.
Caffo Del Capo Amaro $23
Crafted from an ancient Caffo family recipe using traditional methods, Vecchio Amaro del Capo is produced with 29 different Calabrian aromatic herbs and roots, such as juniper, chamomile and bitter orange, many known for their tonic and digestive properties.
Hearty, earthy notes of autumn woods, fresh herbs and baking spices, with sweet honey, cinnamon bark and bitter orange lingering invigoratingly between each velvety sip.