Les Vignerons D’Estézargues ‘Cuvée des Galets’ Côtes du Rhône 2015

Winery: Les Vignerons D’Estézargues is a co-operative winery of 10 different growers in the small town of Estézargues, just west of Avignon. Founded in 1965, they became a pioneer for quality and individuality in their wines when in 1995 they began to vinify their wines separately and to make single cuvées from their best plots.

Winemaking: With nearly 1000 acres of vineyards, they are now one of the most modern and progressive co-ops in the Southern Rhône, with a focus on sustainable agriculture, low yields and small batch vinification. Believing in as little intervention as possible, they do not add external yeast, sugar, or enzymes in their production process. Sulphur is only added in minimal amounts during bottling, and their wines are neither refined nor filtered.

Tasting Notes: Red-violet in colour with enticing aromas of wild berry pie and earthy spice. Fresh wild strawberry, raspberry, blackberry and a drop of red currant are smeared over an earthy core and supported by grippy tannins. Black pepper and berry fruit return on the plush finish. Hearty and rustic, a fantastic value and versatile companion at the table.

Predominately Grenache with Carignon [I could not verify varietal percentages.]
Côtes du Rhône
France
Bottled by Les Vignerons D’Estézargues
14% Alcohol
$10 [average price]
Enjoy now

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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Summer in a Can: Tiamo Organic Canned Wines

I consider myself a very savvy bevvie-on-the-go person. I’m renowned for being able to carry an always cool Rosé wherever I go. When I heard about the new Tiamo organic wine [made with off the beaten path grapes, Montepulciano and Grillo] in a can, I was onboard. I paired them with the beach, popcorn and long walks on the Asbury Park boardwalk. Not only wonderfully incognito and convenient, they taste really good!

Brand: Tiamo wines are one of the many labels of the pioneering, British husband and wife team of Mel and Janie Master, their son Charlie along with the Sager family. Renowned for bringing great value wines to the US, Mel was responsible for introducing and promoting the wines of Georges Duboeuf in the US. Through the years, the duo has consistently brought fantastic value wines to the US, along with setting up their own wineries [Jordan Winery, Les Jamelles, Tortoise Creek].

In addition to the cans, Tiamo Wines also produces bottled, organic Barbera, Chianti, Pinot Grigio and Prosecco from Italy. All the grapes are sourced from small growers and cooperatives.

Tiamo Organic Rosé Terre di Chieti IGT 2016

Winemaking: Grapes are sourced from organically farmed, hillside vineyards with chalky soils in the coastal region of Abruzzo, in and around the village of Chieti, central Italy.

Tasting Notes: Pink with coral highlights in colour, with aromas of candied cherry, strawberry and wildflowers. Fresh cherry and strawberry flavours are accented by a streak of light minerality. Citrus zest lingers on the crisp, dry finish. Refreshing, easy drinking perfect with all summer activities.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Picnics, BBQ, boating, the perfect all-purpose wine, great as an aperitif or with seafood, pasta and cheese.

100% Montepulciano
Terre di Chieti IGT
12% Alcohol
$19.99 for a 4 pack [SRP]

Tiamo Organic White Terre Siciliane IGT 2016

Winemaking: Grapes are sourced from organically farmed, hillside vineyards with limestone and sandy soils in Sicily.

Tasting Notes: Pale gold in colour with aromas of grapefruit, honeysuckle and fresh summer herbs. Light apricot and pear flavours are given tiny drop of honey and complimented by grapefruit and citrus zest on the zippy finish. A friendly, sunny sip.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Perfect with sunsets, sitting on docks, ball games and as an aperitif or with seafood, pasta or cheese.

100% Grillo
Terre Siciliane IGT
12% Alcohol
$19.99 for a 4 pack [SRP]

Sample submitted for review purpose.

Tenuta Sant’Antonio ‘Scaia’ Rosato Veneto IGT 2016

Estate: Tenuta Sant’Antonio is the passion of 4 brothers: Armando, Paolo, Tiziano and Massimo Castagnedi. They grew up cultivating their father’s vineyards in the Valpolicello region of Veneto, northern Italy. In 1989, after working as technical consultants in other vineyards throughout Italy, they purchased 30 hectares of land in Monti Garbi, around their original 20 hectare family estate. They planted indigenous grapes alongside the existing vineyards and built a new winery. Today they farm over 100 hectares of vines, and are renowned for their Amarone, Valpolicella Ripasso and Valpolicella. ‘Scaia’ is the estate’s “easily accessible” range of wines that showcase indigenous and international grape varietals.

Philosophy: “Concentrate on quality rather then quantity.”

Winemaking: The vineyards are cultivated using organic methods, as they are “tended with love and attention to maintain a balance with nature”.  Grapes were sourced from vineyards with sandy, loam soil with white calcareous subsoil in the Comune di Mezzane di Sotto.

Tasting Notes: Pale coral in colour with aromas of nectarine, grapefruit, clean minerals along with a floral hint. Light, sunny flavours of nectarine and apricot are accented by a subtle herbaceous streak. Racy acidity underscores the refreshing grapefruit and mineral finish. Light, airy and refreshing, a fantastic companion to summer dishes and activities.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: First courses and risottos, polenta, fresh cheeses, poultry and fish.

100% Rondinella
Veneto IGT
Italy
Produced and Bottled by Società Agricola Tenuta Sant’Antonio di Castagnedi Massimo
12.5% Alcohol
$10
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Piera Martellozzo ‘Blu Giovello’ Moscato Puglia IGT NV

Estate: The Martellozzo estate was founded in 1899 by Giovanni Martellozzo. At the age of 29, 3rd generation winemaker Piera Martellozzo took over the estate her grandfather established. Today the estate stretches over three regions: Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto and Trentino Alto Adige. The Giovello line is crafted to be fresh, lighthearted and enjoyed young.

Philosophy: “Donating the pleasure of wine in the name of tradition and contemporary taste.”

Winemaking: Hand harvested from organically farmed vineyards 300-400 meters above sea level with morainic and volcanic soils. Fermented in stainless steel, followed by “then a short Charmat method, about two months. In the end the wine is chilled, filtered and isobaric bottling is carried out”.

Tasting Notes: Pale gold in colour with aromas of peach, apricot and citrus. Concentrated peach, apricot, honey and white flowers are accented by light fizz. Citrus zest compliments sweet honey on the dry finish. Sweet, but not cloying, a good choice with light snacks or to begin the afternoon/evening.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Cheese courses, charcuterie or antipasto plates. Its versatility, and the lower alcohol also make it an ideal aperitif candidate.

100% Moscato Giallo
Puglia IGT
Italy
Bottled by Piera Martellozzo S.P.A
9% Alcohol
$9
Enjoy now