Tasca d’Almerita ‘Regaleali Le Rose’ Terre Siciliane IGT 2017

Estate: The Tasca family has farmed their Regaleali estate since 1837. Today the 8th generation of the family, Count Lucio Tasca, oversees all of the nearly 600 hectares of vineyards [including the Capofaro and Whitaker estates] along with his sons, Giuseppe and Alberto. The family is committed to organic farming and sustainability; they are behind the ‘SOStain’ programme, an organization that guides companies towards increasing their sustainability. The name of the wine reflects the “thousands of roses, brought in from all over the world”, that flourish throughout the Regaleali estate.

Philosophy: Passionate about eco-sustainability, the Regaleali estate is nearly completely self-sufficient; all of their food is grown on the estate and they are working toward a carbon neutral rating. Their goal of achieving eco-sustainability “is a self-regulated, pro-active scheme to reach our goals through positive actions both in the short term and in the mid-to-long term” that they achieve using “science, technology and organization”.

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from the Santa Rosa and San Giuseppe vineyards at the Regaleali estate from vines planted in 1986 and 2007. Soil is a mix of clay and loam. “Fermented in stainless steel tanks and partially macerated with the skins of Nero D’Avola.” Aged for 3 months in stainless steel tanks, then 2 months in the bottle before release.

Tasting Notes: Coral pink in colour with aromas of strawberry, raspberry, a squeeze of citrus, and clean sea breeze. Flavours reflect the aromas, with strawberry, cherry, watermelon and fresh citrus acidity. Fruit and saline minerals highlight the crisp, dry finish. Fruity and refreshing [especially with its moderate alcohol level], great on its own or with summer foods, always a fantastic value.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Perfect for tuna, salmon, poultry, pork, and flavorful pasta dishes, this wine is universally food-friendly.

100% Nerello Mascalese
Terre Siciliane IGT
Italy
12% Alcohol
Bottled by Conte Tasca d’Almerita SOC. AGR. a R.L.
$11
Enjoy now

 

Zuccardi ‘Serie A’ Malbec Mendoza 2016

Estate: The Zuccardi family has been making wine in Mendoza since 1963, when Alberto Zuccardi planted his first vines. Now in his 90’s, Alberto is known as a pioneering force in both Mendoza and the Uco Valley. Today, the multiple estate vineyards and winery are headed by Alberto’s son, José, along with José’s eldest son, Sebastián, and daughter, Julia [the 3rd generation].

The family believes in caring for the land and “using people rather than machines whenever possible”. Many of the families that worked with the company under Alberto’s leadership are still with the estate today. With over 800 hectares of vineyards, the family focuses on “coexisting with nature without damaging it”. Preservation of biodiversity is greatly important; more than 70 hectares are woods, over 1800 species of native flora are preserved, and biological corridors have been created. Chemical products are not used at all, the vineyards are farmed sustainably and organically, with 35% currently certified organic. Sustainable methods, including a comprehensive recycling program, composting of must and skins, and solar energy are utilized in the cellar.

‘Serie A’ stands for “Argentina Series” and was created as a means of expressing the “most representative grape varieties by recognizing the best growing regions specific to each and selecting top vineyard sites along the foothills of the Andes Mountains.” The Serie A line “demonstrates the richness and diversity of Argentina’s many micro-climates and soils”.

Philosophy: “The word ‘family’ is central to the way in which we have always run our business.”

Winemaking: Grapes are from different vineyards across the Valle de Uco, making “the wine more complete and complex”. Fermented with indigenous yeasts in concrete vats, part of the wine was aged in used French oak barrels for 10 months.

Tasting Notes: Deep red-violet in colour with aromas of black cherry, plum, leather and crushed black peppercorn. Black cherry, blackberry, dark chocolate and a shake of white pepper are framed by bright acidity and black tea tannins. Baked berries and baking spice linger on the velvety finish. Fruity and lush, fantastic on its own or with a wide variety of dishes.

100% Malbec
Mendoza
Argentina
Produced and Bottled by Familia Zuccardi
13.5% Alcohol
$15 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2020

Rated 91 points by Wine Advocate

 

Sample submitted for editorial consideration.

Castello di Farnetella Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG 2015

Estate: Castello di Farnetella is located in the province of Siena in Tuscany, Italy. The name Farnetella derives from farnia, “the English oak”, which grows in great profusion at Farnetella. The Poggiali family [owners of the renowned Fèlsina estate] purchased the historic 432 hectare estate with its 56 hectares of vineyards in 1981.

Fèlsina is headed by Domenico and Giuseppe Poggiali along with Giovanni Poggiali, the oldest of Giuseppe’s three sons. Fattoria di Fèlsina is renowned as one of the greatest vineyards in the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany, producing “one of the finest ranges of age worthy and complex Chianti bottlings in all of Italy”.

Philosophy: “A profound respect for the Tuscan traditions of yesterday.”

Winemaking: As with all of Fèlsina’s properties, the vineyards are farmed organically and sustainably, additionally, Castello di Farnetella is also practicing biodynamic methods. Grapes are hand harvested from vineyards with loam, sand, clay and chalky soils. Aged in large oak botti for 8-12 months, followed by 3 months in the bottle.

Tasting Notes: Transparent ruby red in colour, with aromas of cherry, leather, black pepper, toasted oak along with a trace of floral. All the cherries [red, black and a streak of sour] layered over a pepper spice and earth core, framed by fresh acidity and dry tannins. Black cherry, tobacco and a wisp of spiced oak linger between each sip. Super versatile at the table, and a great value. [It was fantastic with roasted cauliflower, lentil stew with cheddar, thyme and ricotta.]

90% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot
Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG
Italy
Estate Bottled by Fèlsina S.P.A. Società Agricola Castelnuovo Berardenga
13% Alcohol
$11
Enjoy now thru 2025

Rated 89 points by Wine Advocate

Santa Julia ‘Organica’ Malbec Mendoza 2017

Estate: The Zuccardi family has been making wine in Mendoza since 1963, when Alberto Zuccardi planted his first vines. Now in his 90’s, Alberto is known as a pioneering force in both Mendoza and the Uco Valley. Today, the multiple estate vineyards and winery are headed by Alberto’s son, José, along with José’s eldest son, Sebastián, and daughter, Julia [the 3rd generation].

Established in the 1990’s in honor of Julia, “Santa Julia represents the Zuccardi Family’s commitment to achieve the highest quality levels through sustainable practices, contributing to protect the environment and to develop the community”. José’s only daughter, she is now the director of the Familia Zuccardi winery. The family is committed to achieving the highest quality wines through sustainable practices, working to protect the environment, wildlife preservation, water conservation and developing the community. Expanding to the Uco Valley, the family opened Valle de Uco Winery last year, where winemakers focus on research and development, while studying the variables that influence wines throughout the Uco Valley.

Philosophy: “To be natural, environmentally friendly and grow in harmony with the community of which we are part.”

Winemaking: Grapes are form the Santa Rosa and Maipu Vineyards in Mendoza. Vinified in stainless steel tanks, skin maceration for 10 days.

Tasting Notes: Red violet in colour with aromas of grape preserves, black cherry, earth and soft cigar box spice. Ripe blackberry, cherry and plum are laced with tobacco leaf and a trace of baking chocolate. Good acidity and light tannins add a refreshing, easy drinking character. Dark berry fruit and a hint of licorice and earth linger into the lengthy finish. A lovely sipper on its own, or with spiced, earthy dishes.

100% Malbec
Mendoza
Argentina
Produced & Bottled by Bodega Santa Julia
13% Alcohol
$11 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2021

Sample submitted for editorial consideration.

Château des Charmes Gamay Noir Niagara-On-The-Lake VQA 2015

Estate: Paul Bosc brought his young family to the Niagara on the Lake region of Canada in the 1960’s “with the idea that growing our own grapes was the best way to make fine wine”. Paul is a 5th generation French winegrower who holds degrees in Viticulture and Oenology from the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France. Founded in 1978, Château des Charmes consists of 280 acres of vineyards in four locations all within the Niagara-on-the-Lake region.

Paul established himself as a pioneer in the region, from planting traditional French varietals to employing cutting edge techniques such as installing wind machines to protect the vines from the cold. Their extensive cellars are geothermal and do not require any heating or cooling, especially impressive considering how cold Canadian winters can be. In addition to being recognized for their progressive, groundbreaking work with traditional French grapes and methods, their wines have garnered accolades for their balance, finesse and quality. Paul Sr still has an active role in the vineyards, his son Paul Jr is President of the estate, and Paul Jr’s wife Michèle is the Director of Marketing.

Philosophy: “We are custodians of the land.” Crafting wines that are “food friendly and age worthy. We hope you will call them delicious”.

Winemaking: Committed from the very beginning to sustainable practices, the family is a charter member of Sustainable Winegrowing Ontario. Chemical treatments are never used, and sustainable methods such as hedge vine canopies, and under drainage are utilized. Naturally occurring yeasts are used for the majority of the wines. All by-products from the winemaking process [stems, skins, seeds] are returned to the vineyards as natural fertilizer. Fermented and aged in stainless steel.

Tasting Notes: Bright garnet in colour with aromas of cherry, earth and a floral trace. Cherry, red currant, pomegranate, hint of sour cherry and crushed rock minerality are framed by silky tannins and fresh acidity, finishing dry and fruity. Peppy and refreshing, super versatile at the table.

100% Gamay
Niagara-On-The-Lake VQA
Canada
Estate Bottled by Château des Charmes
13% Alcohol
$16 [Canadian Dollars]
Enjoy now