Italian Wine Club
italian Club - February
This month we present two wines from Central Italy (Lazio and Umbria) from Paolo Bea and his sons, Giuseppe and Giampiero.
Your allocation is for one bottle each of 2009 Monastero Suore Cistercensi "Coenobium" Bianco and 2007 Paolo Bea "San Valentino" Umbria Rosso
The Bea family lives on a working farm (or fattoria in Italian) in the Umbrian town of Montefalco. In addition to planting grapes and producing wine, the Bea family uses their land to raise livestock and grow crops for consumption and trade. Records indicate that the family has been in Montefalco since at least 1500! At this point, Paolo Bea has reached his mid-70's and serves as a sounding board for his two sons whom have worked alongside him for many years. Giuseppe Bea serves as the land manager overseeing the 5 hectares of grapes as well as the 2 hectares of olive trees and various acreage of other produce. His brother, Giampiero, is the leading force in the wine-making process. Although, it should be noted that the Bea family embraces a minimal interventionist philosophy when it comes to vinifying their wines. As Robert Parker puts it: "Giampiero Bea is one of Umbria’s leading producers. The wines are made in a totally natural, non-interventionalist style, with no temperature control in fermentation, only natural yeasts and no added sulfites. At their best, these are wonderfully pure, expressive wines loaded with character." We agree.
italian Club - November
This month we travel to the Collio, in far Northeastern Italy to the Friuli-Venezia Giulia, specifically to the Collio Goriziano, located close to the border with Slovenia (the northern part of former Yugoslavia.
Your allocation is for one bottle each of Primosic Ribolla Gialla and Marco Fellugia Russiz Superiore Cabernet Franc, both prime examples of great winemaking in the region, both organically farmed as well.
Pimosic Ribolla Gialla Hand harvested, organically farmed, two day lees contact and fermentation in steel. The wine's rich and attractive nose with hints of spice and creamed honey is almost misleading as the wine finishes dry with vibrant acidity. There is good length with herb characters, particularly oregano. Clean and bright with a mouth-filling, creamy texture.
Marco Felluga Cab Franc The nose is complex and fruity—lots of ripe black cherries, blackberries, and black currants with a hint of green pepper. The wine is elegant with a rich body—full and pleasant, with fresh, silky undertones and a lingering finish that confirms its persistent aromas. Fermented in stainless, then aged in small oak casks for twelve months. After bottling, the wine remained in the cellar for approximately six months of bottle-aging.
About Primosic When we talk about a land, vineyards and wine, a family story like the one of the Primosic family is often the story made of proper names of lands naturally propitious for grape ripening (The Collio) but above all of names of people who have created a centuries-old tradition with their work.
Italian Club - September
This month, we travel back to Piedmont to compare and contrast two of Luca Corrado's sumptuous Barberas: 2006 Vietti La Crena Barbera d'Asti and 2008 Vietti Scarrone Barbera d'Alba.
Your allocation is for a bottle of each.
Vietti Barbera d’Asti “La Crena” 2006 The 2006 Barbera d’Asti La Crena is a dense, brooding effort loaded with mineral, infused dark fruit, violets, graphite, flowers and French oak. This is an especially seamless yet mid-weight La Crena built on elegance rather than power, with an impeccably clean, polished finish that rounds things out. It remains one of the most under the radar wines in Piedmont. La Crena is made from vines that are over 70 years old in Agliano, one of the most privileged sites for Barbera in Piedmont. 93 Points, Wine Advocate
Vietti Barbera d'Alba Scarrone 2008 The younger vineyard of the unique “Scarrone” Barbera project, planted in 1988 in one of Castiglione Falletto’s most famous Barolo vineyards. Scarrone is an insanely beautiful, layered Barbera. Silky tannins frame a core of perfumed dark fruit, spices, licorice and minerals. This opulent yet impeccably balanced Scarrone possesses awesome richness and tons of style. Sweet floral notes ring out on the finish
The Vietti winery, now owned by the family’s fourth generation, is based in the small medieval village of Castiglione Falletto, the heart of Piedmont’s famous “Langhe” wine region. Here the Currado family carefully and patiently handcrafts lauded wines that are the result of a unique combination of sun and soil.
Although the family has made wine for two centuries, the first Vietti labeled wines were produced by third-generation Mario, who transformed the family’s farm into a grape growing winery. In 1952 Alfredo Currado married Mario’s daughter Luciana and made a name for Vietti’s single-vineyard Barbera and Barolo. He also put the native Piedmont varietal Arneis on the wine map. In 1970 the Viettis began working with artists on an ongoing, original artwork label program, featuring Pier Paolo Pasolini and Janet Fish among others, which received an exhibition at New York’s MOMA in 1996.
italian Club - October
Dear Italian Wine Lover:
This month, we return to Piemonte with two stunning wines: Villa Sparina Gavi di Gavi DOCG 2010 and Marchesi diGresy Dolcetto d'Alba, 'Monte Aribaldo,' 2009 DOC. Your allocation is for a bottle of each.
Sparina Gavi: Consistantly one of the best Gavis coming out of Italy, this is in a more racy style, with a lovely zing of acidity to balance the lush, ripe fruit. Beautiful as a cocktail wine or with lighter fare. This classic Gavi has a pale straw golden color with a floral nose and hints of peach fragrances. It has wonderful peach, pear and lemony citrus flavors with hints of wet stone and a long finish.
Gavi di Gavi is a beautifully clean Italian white wine, made from Cortese grapes. Gavi is a village in the Piedmont in northwest Italy. The mountain climate is moderated by the Mediterranean. The soil is chalk and limestone.
Villa Sparina Gavi comes in a short wide flask.
diGresy Dolcetto Marchesi di Grésy, made up of four estates situated in the Langhe and the Monferrato zones, is recognized for producing many of the Piedmont region’s greatest wines. In the late 1960s, Alberto di Grésy began supervising the family’s agricultural operations, concluding early on that he didn't want to continue selling his grapes to the area’s finest wine producers but instead to capture their elegance in-house. In 1973 he began making his own wine, adhering to the highest quality standards and respect for terroir.
Parker 90 points: "The 2009 Dolcetto d’Alba Monte Aribaldo makes a great introduction to the wines of this venerable estate. Floral red berries inform this delicate, mid-weight Monte Aribaldo. There is a Burgundian sense of elegance and restraint to the 2009 I find particularly appealing."
Italian Club - 8th Alllocation
This month, we present the fabulous wines of Arianna Occhipinti: SP68 IGT Rosso and SP68 IGT Bianco. The red was part of the club last year; the white is new to the market. Her wines can best be described as 'natural.'
Occhipinti SP68 IGT Biancho is made from Albanello and Moscato di Alessandria (regionally known as Zibibbo) grapes grown in medium sand soil with a limestone component. Maceration on skins is carried out over 15 days. The wine spends six months in steel tanks and one month in bottle and is bottled unfilitered.
On the nose there are ever-changing scents of melon, golden tomato, capers, white flowers, and maybe some green tea. On the palate, the acidity is bright with that touch of powdery tannin awakening the tastebuds. The melony green apple fruit is streaked with mineral, green tea and subtle honey notes that lead to a bracingly refreshing, cleansing finish that absolutely invites each subsequent sip.
Occhipinti SP68 IGT Rosso is a biodynamically farmed Nero d'Avola and Frappato blend. Arianna Occhipinti is from the Vittoria region of Southern Sicily. She has been making wine for ten years under the tutelage of her uncle, Giusto Occhipinti, who owns the well-known winery COS. She produces first rate wines from biodynamically grown local varieties such as Nero d’Avola and Frappato. In her mid-20s, Arianna already seems to know exactly what she wants to do with her life. She is the sort of driven young winemaker who is bound to be become an important figure in Sicilian wine.
Frappato is a local Sicilian red grape variety that always seems to yield wines loaded with fresh raspberry aromatics. Arianna’s Frappato is already legendary — and that status is very well deserved. The SP68 is a blend of Frappato and Nero di Avola. The SP68 name comes from a highway near Arianna’s home town of Vittoria.