After a fun evening of hockey and drinks with the team, I decided it was too late to cook dinner so my husband and I decided to order takeout from Antipasto’s, a [sadly] hidden gem of a vegetarian Italian restaurant close to our house. . Antipasto’s owner is passionate about rare and indigenous Italian grapes, so I am always enthusiastic to see what new bottle he has on his whiteboard, I was excited to see a Cesanese listed, so we happily ordered glasses of Corte dei Papi Colle Ticchio Cesanese Del Piglio 2011 as we sat at the bar awaiting our many cheeses and wild mushroom pizza to be ready.
The Corte dei Papi estate is located between the towns of Paliano and Anagni in the Lazio region, home to the city of Rome. The estate is owned by the Di Cosimo family and consists of 190 hectares, of which 25 are currently vineyards. The Corti dei Papi name [translates to Court of the Popes] is in honour of Anagni’s past as a birthplace and holiday destination for 4 popes during the 14th century. The label depicts a fresco from a 13th century crypt in the Anagni Cathedral.
Cesanese is an ancient grape thought to be indigenous to the region and may have been cultivated by the Romans for winemaking. As DOC’s can be confusing, here is a clear explanation direct from the Corte dei Papi website: “Cesanese del Piglio” is the license that regulates the production of wines in our territory. Drafted and approved at the beginning of the seventies (1973) our DOC (Designation of Origin) regulation specifies that this wine district includes an area of five municipalities: Acuto, Anagni, Paliano, Piglio, Serrone and that the grapes that traditionally form the basis of our wines are “Cesanese Comune (Local Cesanese)” and “Cesanese d’Affile”, genetically different vines despite the fact that their names might suggest otherwise.”
Dark ruby red in colour with aromas of rain-washed, sun baked bricks and barnyard funk. An undercurrent of smooth, dry tannins highlighted cherry and blackberry fruits in the medium body, whilst dried herbs and earthy notes lingered pleasantly between each sip. Wonderfully unique with a reserved and refined character, this is a fantastic accompaniment for a wide variety of dishes, from smoky cheeses to hearty pasta dishes.
Cesanese Del Piglio
$15 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2014