Thursday, April 28, 2011

D'Alessandro Azienda Agricola 2007 IGT

Sicilian winemakers are having noted success morphing old and new world varietals. A good example, from vineyards just outside the city of Agrigento, is a blend of 65% Nero D'Avola with 35% Syrah aged in French oak for 8 months and another 10 to 12 months in bottle.

Dark clear and opaque with heavy, earthy, thick annd resinous aromas and a strong palate of ripe cherries, balsamic, almost Amarone-like volume, dried prunes, red fruits and violets. Good long finish reminiscent of flowers. Paired well with Manicotti by Chef Pat McCoy.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Weinhaus Schloss Koblenz Trittenheimer Altarchen Riesling Kabinett 2009 Mosel, Germany

This amazing Riesling is a pradikatswein, the highest German quality rating for a Riesling, and a Kabinett designating it’s made with the least ripe grapes (sugar content). But don’t think because it’s lower in sugar that it’s dry… it’s really a great balance of sugar and acidity with pronounced aromatics, medium acidity, summer fruit and pretty floral undertones.

Clear and very pale straw color, clean aromas of apricot with flavors of stone fruit, melon and green apple with a beautiful long finish. Paired with chicken with rosemary, mushrooms and white wine made by chef Pat McCoy.

Recommended by Mickey at Columbus Wines & Liquors and the price tag was only about $14… that is a terrific deal. If you haven’t tried a Riesling yet this is a great place to start.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Monte Schiavo at Il Buco

Le Marche region of Italy was well represented by Monte Schiavo at a rustic tasting dinner at Il Buco Restaurant on Tuesday. The dinner was held in their amazing old wine cellar where a small group of wine lovers gathered at a long table to eat, drink and talk about wine ad infinitum. It was a very interesting group of winemakers, brand managers, wine journalists, importers, consultants, and PR people.

First a little info on Le Marche, located on the Adriatic coast of Italy, the "calf" of the boot, Marche, has been known for its Verdicchio white wine that comes in the familiar green amphora bottle. The region was primarily known for its white wines and the Verdicchio di Matelica has emerged as one with even more character.

The reds are emerging from the shadow of the whites, including the Rosso Piceno, a blend of mostly Sangiovese with small amounts of Montepulciano, and Rosso Conero, a blend of mostly Montepulciano with a bit of Sangiovese.

The Vernaccia di Serrapetrona recently received a DOCG status, and Lacrima di Morro d'Alba is making a big splash.

Now for the wines and foods that went with them....

Antipasta Part l
olives & salami

paired with

Monte Schiavo Spumante Brut Vigna Tassanere, made with Verdicchio, a white Italian wine grape variety grown primarily in the Marche region of central Italy. The Spumante Brut has light and clear golden colors, fine bubbles, fruity aromas with hints of yeast, while the palate shows minerality and mild citrus notes.

Antipasta Part ll
Finocchio fennel, lemon, mimosa, hard cooked egg, bottarga di muggine
Baccala house salted cod baked with potato, spinach and tomato jam
Pizzetta with ramps, taleggio, piment d’espelette

paired with

Monte Schiavo Pallio di San Floriano Verdicchio 2009, also made with 100% Verdicchio and aged for 5 months, is clear golden green in hues, bouquet of fresh bread, green apples and lemon rinds, medium acidity with flavors of melon offering a fresh and fruity finish. I especially enjoyed this paired with the Baccala.

Tagliatelle con Funghi
Freshly cut pasta, yellow foot chanterelle mushrooms, parmigiano

paired beautifully with

Monte Schiavo Panse’ Lacrima di Morro D’Alba 2009, 100% Lacrima grapes, aged in stainless steel, clear dark red ruby colors, pleasant perfume of roses, violets, some earthy barnyard hints, forest floor, cassis, intriguingly long finish.

Bev Egglestons pork blade stake, mixed beans in oil, sauteed greens

paired near perfectly with

Villa Bizzarri Colle Creta Montepulciano D’Abruzzo 2005, 6 months in new French oak barrels and 1 year in bottle, cherries, vanilla, raspberries, fresh resinous, glycerine, red fruits.

Cheese Course
Assortment of artisan cheeses
Biscotti & cafe

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Feudo di Santa Tresa Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico DOCG

From Feudo di Santa Tresa in Sicilia this is one of my favorite blends of 60% Nero d'Avola with 40% Frappato, medium weight with a ruby opacity, violets, raspberry, medium to high acidity, low tannins, probably stainless steel fermentation and hand harvested, slight minerality, white pepper, cherries, long lush finish.

Recommended by Luca at Il Poeta, paired well with a quail risotto, and a delicious artichoke flan with prosciutto over mashed potato, created by that culinary genius, Mario.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Martini & Rossi Asti DOCG

From Piemonte Martini & Rossi's classic Asti is clear, pale, clean and youthful, loaded with fresh grapes, medium dry, creamy and light gold colors, medium acidity framed by intense jasmine aromas with honeysuckle, while on the palate apricot, dried concentrated peaches and a creamy texture but light as a feather in body, and finishing long and smooth. Very, very good for the $17 pricetag.