Diego Curtaz ‘Dï Meun’ 2014

Estate: Diego Curtaz took the reins of the family estate from his grandfather in 1981. Located in the central, northern area of Valle d’Aosta in northwestern Italy, the tiny estate consists of only 1.6 hectares of vines. He uses natural and organic methods in both the vineyard and cellar.

Winemaking: Grapes are from northern facing, hillside vineyards with stone and loam soil at 650 to 750 meters above sea level. Fermented with indigenous yeasts, unfiltered and vegan friendly. Crafted from Diego’s highest altitude vines, Dï Meun sees no oak in order to allow the fruit to be the star.

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet with pink edges in colour, aromas of black cherry, blackberry, black pepper and mocha. Tart blackberry, black cherry and dried herbs glide over a backbone of fresh acidity and hearty tannins. Baked plum, soft spice and a trace of licorice span the lengthy finish. Charming and plush, fantastic on its own and super versatile at the table.

Roughly 50% Petite Rouge with the balance being a blend of local high altitude varieties such as Cornalin, Fumin, Mayolet, Vien de Nus and Gamay
Italy
Estate Bottled by Diego Curtaz
12.5% Alcohol
$25 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2019

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

 

Giacomo Fenocchio Barolo DOCG 2011

Estate: The Fenocchio family has been producing wine from their land in the heart of the Bussia in Monforte d’Alba since 1894. In 1964, Giacomo Fenocchio took over for the estate with the goal of crafting the finest wines in Barolo, so he purchased prime parcels in some of the best crus in the Langhe. Today, Giacomo’s son Claudio heads the estate and continues his father’s tradition of crafting character driven wines. Considered as one of the next stars in Barolo, Claudio’s is known for his minimalist, non-internationalist approach. He makes 11 different wines from 14 hectares of vineyards. His wines are renowned for their “level of terroir clarity that is only found in the top echelon of producers”.

Winemaking: Following agricultural practices passed on for 5 generations, the estate is both organic and sustainable. Grapes are from a 1 hectare, hilly vineyard at 350 meters in elevation with sand, clay and calcareous marl soil. Vines are 20 years old. Traditional method of long maceration with natural fermentation, 40 days in stainless steel tanks. Aged 6 months in stainless steel tanks, 30 months in large capacity Slavonian oak casks (25-35 hl) and successive refinement in the bottle.

Tasting Notes: Garnet with brick edges in colour with ever-revolving aromas of black cherry, candied violet, tar, roses, chocolate cherry tartufo and cherry pie. Layers of all the cherries [black red and a streak of sour] tarry earth, violet and orange peel framed by grippy tannins and fresh acidity. Licorice, crushed black peppercorn and earth line the lengthy finish. A bit of rustic charm to this Barolo, the complexity will only continue to increase with time. A lovely sip.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winemaker: meat, game and mature cheeses age which are so typical of the local kitchen, also goes very well with all the rich dishes of international cuisine.

Enjoy at 17-18°C [62-64°F]

100% Nebbiolo
Barolo DOCG
Italy
Estate Bottled by Azienda Agricola Giacomo Fenocchio s.s.
14.5% Alcohol
$30[average price]
Enjoy now thru 2026

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

Giacomo Fenocchio Dolcetto d’Alba DOC 2016

Estate: The Fenocchio family has been producing wine from their land in the heart of the Bussia in Monforte d’Alba since 1894. In 1964, Giacomo Fenocchio took over for the estate with the goal of crafting the finest wines in Barolo, so he purchased prime parcels in some of the best crus in the Langhe. Today, Giacomo’s son Claudio heads the estate and continues his father’s tradition of crafting character driven wines. Considered as one of the next stars in Barolo, Claudio is known for his minimalist, non-internationalist approach. He makes 11 different wines from 14 hectares of vineyards. His wines are renowned for their “level of terroir clarity that is only found in the top echelon of producers”.

Winemaking: Following agricultural practices passed on for 5 generations, the estate is both organic and sustainable. Grapes are from 30 year old vines in a 1 hectare vineyard in front of the cantina in Bussia. Fermentation and maceration on the skins for 10 days, aged for six months in stainless steel.

Tasting Notes: Red-violet in colour with aromas of cherry, licorice, black pepper and smoky earth. Cherry, cranberry, blackberry, a streak of sour cherry, along with fresh acidity are highlighted by baking spices and subtle earth notes. The finish is dry and fruity, displaying the distinctive refreshing bitterness of the Dolcetto grape. Friendly and well balanced, fantastic with a wide variety of dishes.

100% Dolcetto
Dolcetto d’Alba DOC
Italy
Estate Bottled by Giacomo Fenocchio S.S.A.
13% Alcohol
$14
Enjoy now thru 2019

Rated 91 points by Wine Spectator