Capezzana Barco Reale di Carmignano DOC 2014

Estate: Wine production in the Carmignano region of northern Tuscany dates to around 1000 B.C. when the Etruscans inhabited the area. The Capezzana estate, located 20 km from Florence, on the slopes of Monte Albano and close to the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, has been making wine for over 1200 years. A preserved rent contract now in the Florence Archives details the production of wine and olive oil specifically at Capezzana, dated 804 AD. Since the 1920’s, the Contini Bonacossi family have owned and run this celebrated, historical estate. Today, the estate consists of 670 hectares, of which approximately 100 are vineyards and 140 are olive groves. Barco Reale di Carmignano is the estate’s “everyday wine”, although grapes are from vineyards in historic Medici Royal lands, from the property “Barco Reale” or “Royal property” mentioned in Cosimo de Medici’s “Decreto Motu Proprio” in 1716 [where it takes its name from].

Winemaking: Sustainable viticulture. Fermented in stainless steel tanks, aged in Allier barrels for 6 months, followed by at least 3 months in bottle prior to release.

Tasting Notes: Transparent garnet in colour with inviting aromas of cherry, strawberry, autumn woods and spice. Rich cherry and strawberry fuse with an undercurrent of sour cherry and woodsy spice. Smooth tannins and peppery spice highlight the dry, fruity finish. Well balanced and super versatile at the table.

Wine Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Wonderful with first courses, pastas and red and white meat entrees.

70% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Canaiolo, 5% Cabernet Franc
Carmignano DOC
Italy
Estate Bottled by Tenuta Capezzana S.R.L.
13.5% Alcohol
$14
Enjoy now

Marco de Bartoli ‘Sole e Vento’ Terre Siciliane IGP 2015

Estate: Marco De Bartoli was born into two of the largest Marsala-producing families [Pellegrino and Florio) of the time.  In 1978, following a successful career as a race car driver, Marco decided to revitilise the family vineyards and grow and vinify his own wines. The 20 hectare estate is close to the town of Marsala, at the westernmost tip of Sicily. In 1984 Marco acquired additional vines and a winery on the island of Pantelleria, closer to Tunisia than Italy. For snapshot into Marco’s life, click here.

Marco passed away in 2011 at the age of 66, his three children “carry the De Bartoli flag and his commitment to quality-driven, estate-grown wines that walk the line between old-fashioned and modern in the most graceful of ways”. They are committed to preserving and promoting indigenous grapes of Sicily, such as Grillo, Zibibbo, Catarratto and the red Pignatello [Perricone].

Winemaking: ‘Sole e Vento’ is a “tip of the hat to the two different sunny and windy islands from which it originates”, Sicily and Pantelleria. Grillo grapes are from 21 year old vines in sandy loam, level vineyards in Marsala, whilst Zibibbo hails from 29 year old vines in the volcanic, terraced slopes of Pantelleria. Organically farmed, hand harvested with only indigenous yeasts used in fermentation. Aged 7 months in stainless steel tanks, on its own lees.

Tasting Notes: Bright gold in colour with aromas of lemon, lake water and sea salt minerals. A sunny fusion of bright lemon and basil flavours, with grapefruit and saline minerals on the refreshing finish. Easy drinking, bright and unique, I was absolutely enamored with the herbaceous basil.

Blend of Zibibbo and Grillo [I could not verify varietal percentages.]
Terre Siciliane IGP
Italy
Bottled by Società Agricola de Bartoli srl
11.5% Alcohol
$14
Enjoy now

Comm. G.B. Burlotto Freisa Langhe DOC 2015

burlottofreisa

Estate: The Burlotto estate was founded in the mid-1800’s by Giovan Battista Burlotto [called “il Commendatore” by friends and family]. A pioneering winemaker in the region, he was one of the very first in Barolo to sell his wines in bottle [rather than a cask or demijohn]. He was the official provider of wine to the Royal House of Savoy, and put his tiny village of Verduno, in Piedmont, on the map as a region of high quality wines. Following his death in 1927, the estate “faded into obscurity”.

Today, G.B Burlotto’s great-great-grandson Fabio Alessandria has not only revitalized the 15 hectare estate, but has become renowned as an artisanal, traditionalist winemaker. In addition to his stunning Barolo, he is reviving and safeguarding indigenous grapes such as Freisa and Pelaverga. His character driven wines are famous for their purity and elegance.

Winemaking: The estate is organic but not certified. Striving to be as natural as possible, minimal intervention is observed in both the vineyards and cellar. Freisa grapes were hand harvested from vineyards with a mix of calcareous limestone with a muddy tendency. Aged for 10 months Allier big oak casks.

Tasting Notes: Ruby red in colour with aromas of strawberry, vanilla, bramble and woods. Mouth puckering acidity and grippy tannins support fresh strawberry, raspberry and warm summer earth notes. Traces of sandalwood linger delightfully on the dry, mineral finish. Engaging and well balanced, fantastic on its own or with a wide variety of dishes. [It was wonderful with rich, earthy, black truffle pasta.]

100% Freisa
Langhe DOC
Italy
Bottled by Marina Burlotto
14.5% Alcohol
$22 [average price]
Enjoy now

Gran Passione Falanghina Beneventano IGT 2015

Brand: Gran Passione is a label of the Botter family, who since 1928 have been producing wines under environmentally friendly practices. Today the company is managed by the family’s third generation, with a “multi-territorial approach that spans the whole of Italy”, focusing on native vines and organic viticulture. Gran Passione sets out to express the passion, devotion and tradition of vine growers.

Winemaking: Grapes came from vineyards with clay and limestone soils, on southwest facing slopes in Campania, southern Italy.

Tasting Notes: Bright gold in colour, very aromatic with lemon, orange blossom, herbs and a nutty hint. Vibrant green apple, citrus and streak of saline minerality are framed by lively acidity. Tropical pineapple highlights the fruity finish. Lovely on its own, and a refreshing companion at the table. [Additionally, a textbook like expression of the ancient, distinctive Falanghina grape. A fantastic choice to understand the varietal.]

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Light, herb-based dishes, pasta and chicken, soft cheese, and traditional Napoli fish and seafood dishes.

100% Falanghina
Beneventano IGT
Italy
Produced by Casa Vinicola Botter & C.S.P.A.
12.5% Alcohol
$13 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2018

Rated 87 points by Wine Enthusiast

 

 

Sample submitted for review purpose.

Medici Ermete: Pioneers of the New Lambrusco

4th generation winemaker Alberto Medici.

Estate: Located between the Via Emilia and the first of the hills in the Enza valley of Emilia-Romagna, the heart of northern Italy, Medici Ermete is one of the oldest producers of Lambrusco.  With a goal of “making the most of the family vineyards”, Remigio Medici founded the estate in the late 19th century. Today, the 75 hectare estate is headed by the 4th generation of the Medici family, Alberto Medici, along with his cousin, Pierluigi, and his sister, Alessandra. Pioneering high quality Lambrusco for over 120 years, Medici Ermete is the first winery in the region to craft single vineyard wines. Additionally, vineyard yields are kept at 40% below DOC mandates, and only natural fermentation [Charmat Method] is used.

Philosophy: To be “in complete harmony with nature and the environment” thereby “creating a close link between the individual vineyards and the wines produced”.

I had the great pleasure of a guided tasting thru the Medici Ermete wines with Alberto Medici at the recent 6th Annual Kobrand Tour d’Italia. Friendly, gracious and knowledgeable, he is a tremendous advocate for an often misunderstood wine.

The following wines should be enjoyed within 2 years of the vintage, and have a recommended serving temperature of 57-59°F [13-15°C].

Medici Ermete ‘I Quercioli’ Secco Reggiano Lambrusco DOC NV
A blend of Salamino Lambrusco and Marani Lambrusco [Alberto explained the Marani brings the balancing acidity] from vines in clay soils. Wonderfully tart fruit with floral accents and a lively fizziness. Dry and refreshing, fantastically easy drinking.
11% Alcohol
$15 [average price]

Medici Ermete ‘Solo’ Reggiano Rosso DOC 2016
Grapes come from the acclaimed Tenuta I Qurecioli vineyards with clay soil. Wild berries are the star, complimented by fine bubbles and a dry mineral finish. Fantastic on its own and incredibly versatile at the table [from pumpkin dishes to cheesy pastas to cured meats].
51% Ancellota, 49% Lambrusco Salamino.
11.5% Alcohol
$16 [average price]

Medici Ermete ‘Concerto’ Reggiano Lambrusco DOC 2016
Concerto is the first single vineyard vintage Lambrusco produced. Grapes are from the prestigious Tenuta La Rampata vineyard. Close to the river, the clay soil has many little stones. The juice is kept in contact with the skins for a full 6 days. Fresh strawberry, raspberry and cherry are framed by dry tannins, bright acidity, fine bubbles and clean minerality. Finishing dry and fruity. That pioneering, progressive spirit is reflected in each well balanced, engaging, fizzy sip.
100% Salamino Lambrusco
11.5% Alcohol
$20 [average price]

Medici Ermete ‘I Quercioli’ Dolce Reggiano Lambrusco DOC NV
A blend of Salamino Lambrusco and Marani Lambrusco. Bright acidity maintains the fresh snap of sweet red fruits. Floral hints and fizz add to the cheerful character. Lovely on its own, or with a wide variety of food, from pizza to desserts. [After a day of tasting 50+ wines, this is the glass I chose to end the day on. I can’t reiterate its refreshing, fun character enough.]
8.5% Alcohol
$10 [average price]

 

Media event sponsored by Kobrand