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

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

Pala ‘Silenzi’ Rosso Isola dei Nuraghi IGT 2014

Estate: Azienda Agricola Pala [Pala estate] was founded in Sardinia, Italy, in 1950. Mario Pala is now the third generation of the family taking care of the vines, along with his wife Rita and the fourth generation of the family; their children Massimiliano, Elisabetta and Mariantonietta. The estate’s vineyards are organised into 8 single vineyard sites, based on their terroir, exposure and soil type. Varietals are planted in the vineyard best suited to their needs.

Philosophy: “From father to son since 1950 there’s the most important ingredients that the Pala family has always added to terroir, tradition, respect for the environment: the passion to make wines that are able to express the family character and the terroir of this extraordinary island.”

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from vines 20 years in age and older, with a clay and calcareous soil mix hill 1500180 meters above sea level. Refined and aged in stainless steel and the bottle. The Silenzio [silence] line is inspired by the land, where “the silence (Silenzio) is broken only by the sound of the wind or the singing of birds.”

Tasting Notes: Garnet in colour with aromas of cranberry, currant, white pepper and toasted oak. Pepper-spice driven with cranberry, cherry, leather and baking spices. A trace of earthy barnyard keeps it interesting, as do grippy tannins and food friendly acidity. Licorice and a hint of menthol round out the spicy finish. A great value and versatile companion at the table.

50% Carignano, 30% Monica, 20% Sangiovese
Isola dei Nuraghi IGT
Sardinia
Italy
Estate Bottled by Azienda Agricola PALA di Mario Pala & C.
13% Alcohol
$11
Enjoy now

Rated 90 points by Wine Enthusiast

Romagnoli ‘Il Rosso di Casa Romagnoli’ Marche IGT 2015

Estate: The Romagnoli Winery is a small family estate established in 1857 and located in the Marches region between Tuscany and Umbria along the Adriatic Coast. Passionate about producing traditional wines that express the fruit profile of each individual grape varietal, they utilize traditional farming methods on their 11 hectares of vineyards, along with modern methods such as thermoregulation tank control. Three generations of the family work together, taking of the entire production from vine to bottle.

Philosophy: Their philosophy is one of “respecting the great characteristics of the grapes” and can be seen in the family’s motto “Piccoli Produttori – GRAND VINI” [Small Producers-BIG WINES].

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from vineyards with clay and sand soil. Aged in steel barrels. Crafted from a classic Marches blend, this “house wine” is meant to be an everyday red.

Tasting Notes: Red-violet in colour with cheerful aromas of wild berries and soft baking spices. Blackberry, cherry, tobacco leaf and a hint of warm summer earth are accented by light tannins, black cherry and smoky spice comprise the plush finish. Rustic, easy drinking and a fantastic pairing with pizza and all sorts of pastas. A spectacular value.

Blend of Lacrima, Montepulciano and Sangiovese [I was unable to verify variatel percentages.]
Marche IGT
Italy
Estate Bottled by Azienda Agricola Renato Romagnoli & C.
14% Alcohol
$7
Enjoy now