Santa Julia ‘Tintillo’ Mendoza 2016

I love chilled red wines. A fantastic alternative [or addition] to rosé and white wines; light, fruity reds are incredibly refreshing for summer sipping, and a perfect pairing with anything coming off the grill.

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. [Click here to read the Decanter article detailing his innovations.] 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 Santa Julia Winery was established in the 1990’s in honor of Julia, as she is José’s only daughter. The family is committed to achieving the highest quality wines through sustainable practices, working to protect the environment and develop 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: All the vineyards are farmed organic [with the majority certified] and sustainable.

Tasting Notes: Red-violet in colour with radiating aromas of fresh cherry, strawberry and wildflowers accented by a herbaceous streak. Juicy cherry, strawberry, blackberry and raspberry flavours are backed by earth and herbaceous elements, along with fresh acidity. A trace of dark chocolate lingers on the fruity, dry finish. Fantastically easy drinking and refreshing, a delightfully tasty summer sip.

Enjoy chilled between 46 – 56°F [7-13°C].

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Pairs perfectly with barbecue, grilled fish, mild cheeses and a sunny day.

50% Malbec, 50% Bonarda
Mendoza
Argentina
Estate Grown & Bottled by Bodega Santa Julia
13% Alcohol
$12.99 [SRP]
Enjoy now

 

 

Sample submitted for review purpose.

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]
Enjoy now

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
Enjoy now

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.

A Glass of Chianti Colli Senesi with Daniele Rosti of Campochiarenti

I was introduced to Daniele Rosti and his expressive wines by John Fodera via the wonderful world of Twitter. When John saw my tweets from the Chianti Lovers event in Florence, he advised that I go to the Campochiarenti table and meet his good friend, winemaker Daniele Rosti. Elegent and refined, just like his wines, it was a delight to speak with Daniele about his family estate. For all of those interested in the day-to-day trials and rewards of cultivating grapes, his Twitter account, @campochiarenti is a must follow.

The knowledgable and friendly Daniele Rosti of Campochiarenti.

Estate: Located in the Chianti Colli Senesi region in the Tuscan hills, the Campochiarenti estate traces its history back to the end of the 10th century when the church of Saint Nicholas along with its monastery was built. About a thousand years the later, the Rosti family purchased the 50 hectare [123 acre] estate and revitalized the vineyards and buildings. Today 14 hectares [34 acres] of the estate are organically farmed vineyards, with vines between 10 and 40 years in age. Chianti Colli Senesi and Vernaccia di San Gimignano are the main wines produced by the estate, so it follows that Sangiovese and Vernaccia di San Gimignano are the main grapes grown. However, there are quite a range of other varietals cultivated, such as Ancellotta, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malvasia Nera, Merlot, Malvasia, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Nero and Pinot Grigio, which allows Daniele to create terroir driven wines outside of the typical framework of the region.

Philosophy: “Quality grows in the vineyard.”

Winemaking: The Chianti Colli Senesi wines are a blend of 85% Sangiovese along with a blend of 15% of grapes that are a “typical variety of Tuscany” [Caniolo Collina, Colorino, Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo, Mammolo, Foglia Tonda]. Traditional fermentation in concrete tanks with long maceration on the skins, aged 9 months in large oak barrels in addition to a minimum of 4 months in the bottle.

Campochiarenti Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG 2015
Although young, this already has a complex, espressive character. Silky layers of red fruit, earth and anise, culminating in the distinctive salt and pepper spice, dry finish. Complex yet so versatile, this can pair with just about every dish.
14% Alcohol
€12.50 [From the Campochiarenti website, not currently available in the US.]

Campochiarenti Chianti Colli Senesi DOCG 2011
Genteel and refined, with cherry, blackberry, plum, tobacco and a hint of floral. The distinctive salty spice of the estate’s terroir lingers between each sip. Soft tannins provide the backbone, whilst it is a powerful wine, it is elegant. At 6 years old, the colour is still ruby red and the fruit level is very high, Daniele says that this has yet to reach its peak, and will continue drinking well 5-10 years more.
14% Alcohol
€16.30 [From the Campochiarenti website, not currently available in the US.]

Media event sponsored by Consorzio del Chianti.