Ignaz Niedrist Schiava Classico Südtirol Kalterersee Auslese DOC 2015

Estate: The Ignaz Niedrist winery is located in the heart of the wine growing area of Oltradige in the Rungg district of Cornaiano in Alto Adige [or South Tyrol] in northern Italy. Establshed by Josef Niedrist, the family has been making wine for over 170 years. After the area came under Italian rule following WWI, there were some difficult times for the family, as there were with so many small family wineries in Italy leading up to WWII. In 1989, Josef’s great grandchildren revitialised the winery and vineyards, increasing both the size and number of variatels planted. Today the next generation [Maria, Franz and Johannes Niedrist] are learning the family’s craft.

Philosophy: “We work in a spirit of gratitude to further develop what generations before us created, while preserving the scope for future generations to take their decisions, too. Careful, harmonized work on the vines and care of the soil, controlled yields and first-class sites are the main pillars in our drive for quality. Great importance must be attached to the best possible match between grape variety and terroir. We are at pains to combine our instinct for the world of nature, the wealth of knowledge built up by our forebears and the findings of modern viticulture.”

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from hilltop vineyards located at 450-500 meteres above sea level. The soil is shallow and gravelly, with a high stone content [porphyry, granite, gneiss], allowing the soil to be easily warmed. Fermented in “open-top oak vats for about two weeks; the young wine ages in oak vats on fine lees for 6 months”.

Tasting Notes: Bright red with pink edges in colour. Very aromatic, with candied cherry, raspberry, white pepper, floral and a savory wisp. Fresh, light strawberry, raspberry and cherry are given a quick shake of crushed pink peppercorn. Smooth tannins highlight berry fruit and spice on the dry finish. Vibrant and energetic, this is fantastic on its own or with a varity of fresh dishes. [It was fantastic with Ricotta stuffed zucchini blossoms with red pepper passato and marinated crab crostini with red pepper aioli.]

Enjoy young and with a slight chill.

95% Schiava, 5% “complementary varieties (Negrara, Rossara, etc.)”
Südtirol Kalterersee Auslese DOC
Italy
Bottled by Ignaz Niedrist
13% Alcohol
$23 [average price]
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Alfredo Prunotto ‘Mompertone’ Monferrato DOC 2011

Estate: The Prunotto estate was founded in 1923 by renowned winemaker Alfredo Prunotto. Alfredo worked for the most prestigious wineries of the time, following WWII he and his wife restored an old cooperative winery. They raised the standards of cultivation and production and were successful in exporting their wines outside of Italy. In 1956 Alfredo retired and sold the estate to his friend and fellow winemaker Beppe Colla who, together with Carlo Filiberti and later with brother Tino Colla, carried on managing the winery with Alfredo’s same love. In 1989, the Antinori family purchased the 55 hectare estate, intent on continuing the “excellent level of quality so sought after by Alfredo Prunotto”.

Tasting Notes: Inky garnet with brick edges in colour, with a plethora of aromas; dark fruits, licorice, pepper spice, woodsy earth and cinnamon. Leather, earth and smoky spice notes provide the foundation to layers of all the cherries [red, black and a streak of sour]. Silky tannins and tart cherry accent the clean, dry finish. Easy drinking, a versatile companion at the table.

60% Barbera, 40% Syrah
Monferrato DOC
Italy
Bottled by Prunotto SRL
14% Alcohol
$17
Enjoy now thru 2018

Antichi Vigneti di Cantalupo ‘Il Mimo’ Nebbiolo Rosé Colline Novaresi DOC 2016

Estate: Antichi Vigneti di Cantalupo is located in Ghemme, at the top of the Piedmont region of northern Italy. The property has been handed down from father to son for centuries, all the while cultivating grapes for their own use or selling to other wineries. [The family’s “viticulture presence in Ghemme is documented from the beginning of the 1500s onwards”.] In 1977 Alberto Arlunno took the reins of the estate, revitalizing and increasing the vineyards and began estate bottling the grapes. Today the estate consists of 100 hectares, 34 of which are under vine.

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from vineyards located on alluvial hills where “in ancient times the great Monte Rosa glacier receded. The soil is rich in easily fragmented pebbles providing the vines with a quantity of minerals.” The Nebbiolo Rosé takes its name from an ancient Roman mime mask that was found at the base of the Ghemme hill. Both theatre and wine are areas presided over by the ancient Greek god Dionysus, [or Bacchus during Roman times].

Tasting Notes: Bright orange-coral in colour with soft aromas of peach, citrus zest and lemongrass. Light peach, currant, citrus and grass flavours are accented by a bright acidity, peach and apricot comprise the dry, fruity finish. A little more body then most Rosé, don’t drink this straight out of the fridge, let it sit in the glass a bit for the aromas and flavours to open.

100% Nebbiolo
Colline Novaresi DOC
Italy
Estate Bottled by Antichi Vigneti di Cantalupo di Alberto Arlunno
13.5% Alcohol
$12
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Fontanafredda ‘Già’ Rosso Langhe DOC 2015

Estate: The winemaking history of Fontanafredda was established in 1878 by Emanuele Guerrieri, Count of Mirafiore, son of King Vittorio Emanuele II of Sardinia and Rosa Vercellana [or La Bela Rusin], a “commoner” that the king had fallen in love with. The 54 hectare estate was given to Rosa Vercellana by the king in 1858. Emanuele Guerrieri devoted his life to crafting wine. Located in the heart of the Langhe, today the estate is renowned for its captivating Barolo and Barbaresco wines.

In addition to its Michelin Star restaurant and truffle forest, the 122 hectare estate proudly includes a “bio-nature reserve” that provides a green balance. Integrated farming is practiced in the vineyards, all rain water is recycled, no chemical fertilizers are used and the presence of sulphites is limited. The bottle is made from 85% recycled glass, the label is recycled paper printed with vegetable based ink, the cork is 100% recyclable and made from sugar biopolymers.

The estate is open to the public every day of the year. “About 20 families of cellarmen, vine dressers and office staff live in our village, all employees of the Estate who are part of the village’s daily life, just like in the 19th century.”

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from hillside vineyards 250-300 meters above sea level, with marly soil packed with lime and sand. Bottled only a few months after picking, following a brief [2-3 month] stay in stainless steel vats. Meant to be enjoyed young, best served at cellar temperature [15°C/59°F].

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with inviting aromas of cherry pie and soft baking spices. Simple and pleasant, with a shake of pepper over concentrated red and black cherry flavours and bright acidity. Tart fruit and bitter almond join smooth tannins on the dry finish. A fantastic value and versatile companion at the table.

Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo [I could not verify varietal percentages.]
Langhe DOC
Italy
Bottled by C.E.M.F S.r.l.
13.5% Alcohol
$13 [1 liter]
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Adami ‘Bosco di Gica’ Prosecco Superiore Brut Valdobbiadene DOCG NV

The Adami Winery was founded by “Grandfather Abele” when he purchased the “Giardino” vineyard (whose name “Zardini” dates to 1717) from Count Balbi-Valier in 1920. Located in the Alta Marca area near Treviso, the land was renowned for its white wines as far back as the Middle Ages. Documents dated in 1606 show the wines “were exported and appreciated “in Venice, Germany and as far afield as Poland”.

Today, the 3rd generation of the family, Armando and Franco, are producing “some of the best spumante wines of the Valdobbiadene”. The family has 12 hectares of vineyards along with 38 hectares farmed by “other small growers with time-honored links to the winery, and sharing its commitment to quality.”

Philosophy: “This is how the family expresses the values of their land: sound work, respect for human relationships, a sense of hospitality and continuity between past and present. An estate, and above all, a family.”

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from vineyards with mixed soils; glacial soil in the hills, shallow clay and calcareous soils at higher elevations. Bosco di Gica is the name of the forest first documented 600 years ago, near where the grapes are harvested.

Tasting Notes: Gold in colour with aromas of apple, lemon, honeysuckle and a trace of fresh bread. Golden apple, citrus, honey and white flowers glide atop solid little bubbles. A hint of buttery bread with a drizzle of honey lingers between each dry, fizzy sip. Bright acidity maintains balance and freshness.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Ideal as an aperitif, but also a wine to be enjoyed throughout a meal, especially with cacio e pepe pasta.

95-97% Glera, 3-5% Chardonnay
Valdobbiadene DOCG
Italy
Bottled by Adami SRL
11% Alcohol
$14
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