Cantine Monfort Blanc de Sers Brut Nature ($21.99)
From the producer:
"Blanc de Sers Brut Nature is a sparkling wine produced in according to Metodo Classico method: nine months on the lees obtained from the grapes Valderbara, Vernaza and Nosiola cultivated on the terraced hills of Serso and Viarago. The optimal altitude between 550 and 700 meters a.s.l., the particular acidity of these grapes and their delicate aroma combined with the right period of ageing on the lees provide a quality creamy sparkling with a fresh and enchanting bouquet. Brut nature, zero dosage or pas dosé, the choice of our sparkling wine master to make in the flûte what grapes and terroir have to say.
Colour: pale yellow.
Bouquet: white flowers and a hint of green apple enhanced by a touch of hay.
Perlage: enhances the flavor and length.
Excellent as an aperitif, it goes very well with light appetizers, with dishes based on fresh water fish and seafood, soup and mushrooms."
I carry several wines from Cantine Monfort because they are doing a great job of making high quality wines from lesser known, indigenous grapes. This sparkling wine is elegant and delicious, and is a nice step up from Prosecco. Perfect for your special someone!
Querciavalle Chianti Classico Riserva ($24.99)
From the producer:
"Since the year of the wine estate establishment in 1954, the Riserva Querciavalle has always been considered as one of the most representative wine of the Losi family’s production. Appreciated also by the most demanding customers for its excellent quality, this wine represents the real authentic expression of Chianti Classico appellation.
Wine making: Fermentation in stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature lower than 27° for about 15-20 days, which is the average suitable time for extraction from the skin of colour, polyphenols, tannins and other typical features of Chianti Classico. After alcoholic fermentation, the wine is placed in cement-vitrified tanks for the second fermentation, until the malic acid gets totally exhausted. Only at this moment, the wine will be ready for ageing in wood Aging: 24-30 months in 53 hl Slavonian oak casks Refining: an additional rest in bottles for 3-6 months before merchandising further enhances Chianti Classico aromas and flavours.
Bottles produced: 15,000
Colour: brilliant deep ruby red, tending to garnet with aging
Bouquet: intense, fine and charming, recalling ripen fruit, berries and vanilla;
Flavour: warm and harmonious; elegant noble tannins, dry, complex and with long-lasting finish
Serving Suggestions: T-bone steak, lamb, wild boar and wild game"
The first time I tasted this wine, I didn't have strong feelings about it. Chianti is not my favorite, so I struggle a little with choosing which to sell in the shop. The second time I tried it, I was lucky enough to be dining with Francesco and Valeria Losi (daughter of the winemaking family and head of international sales). Over several courses we tried all of the brand's wines, and when I had the Chianti Riserva paired with food (specifically pork osso bucco), it was a revelation. It's no secret that a great pairing will bring out the best of the food and the wine, but this Chianti really demands to be enjoyed with a meal. You can appreciate it on its own, but a hearty, fatty, rich dish will really let it shine.
Goretti L'Arringatore ($39.99)
From the producer:
"60% Sangiovese, 30% Merlot and 10% Ciliegiolo
MATURATION: about 14/16 months in barrique
REFINING: about 12/14 months in bottle
AGEING POTENTIAL: 10 or more years depending on the vintage
COLOUR: intense ruby red with violet hues
BOUQUET: complex and very intense, with notes of mature, exotic fruit and honey
TASTE: aromatic, elegant with fine notes, long and lingering
SERVE WITH: roast and grilled meats, excellent with mature cheeses and pasta dishes with tomato sauce."
This is newer to the shop, and I'm very excited to have another Umbrian wine to offer. L'Arringatore is bold and rich, though not really full-bodied. There's quite a bit of dark fruit balanced by firm tannins. I think a California Cab drinker will be especially drawn to this. It's best if opened two hours before drinking.
Cantine Monfort Teroldego Rotaliano ($19.99)
From the producer:
"This wine is unanimously considered the prince of Trentino wines. The vine is native to Trentino and the wine shares certain biochemical characteristics with Marzemino. It takes its name from a village near the town of Mezzolombardo called Teroldeghe. The fundamental characteristic of this variety is that it grows and gives its best only in the Piana Rotaliana area whose soil is the result of alluvial detritus deposited by the River Noce.
WINE MAKING METHOD
Traditional red-wine fermentation on the skins, malolactic fermentation and refining first in stainless steel, then in bottle for some months.
Colour: intense ruby red with purple highlights.
Bouquet: intense, fruity with blackberry and bilberry notes.
Palate: full, warm with a rounded softness.
Roasted red meats, grilled meats and strongly flavoured cheeses."
Teroldego is a fairly obscure indigenous grape, and when you find it, it's rarely as a 100% varietal. This wine is medium bodied, with a racy acidity that comes from the cooler climate in which the vines grow. The flavor profile is somewhere between Pinot Noir and Gamay, but with more depth.
Tenute Soletta Sardo Cannonau ($18.99)
From the producer:
"The 'Tenute Soletta di Umberto Soletta' agricultural holding has a recent history if compared to cellars that are hundreds of years old. However, it has an interesting story of love and passion for the Earth since being launched. The proof? Umberto is still, even today, cultivating a vineyard and an olive grove that he planted with his dad when he was 5. While he was studying, Umberto would spend most of his spare time in the countryside: his big passion together with motorsports (when he was young, he took part in various Rally competitions). After completing his studies, he started working the fields full-time, keeping an important family tradition alive.
This passion later became his job. A 'farmer', as he likes to describe himself. In the mid ‘90s, he created the cellar and planted various vineyards, knowing that the value of a wine also depends on the quality of grapes and of the place where they grow.
Through intense land reclamation, combined with utmost attention to landscape details, he has brought back the traditional typology of the vineyard by creating a harmonious relationship between the human intervention and the surrounding, sometimes wild, natural environment.
The cultivation of vineyards respects the principles of integrated pest control to preserve the environment for future generations we borrowed it from. Today, the company is run by Umberto, his wife Caterina, his sister Pina and the elder father who still work in the vines and cellar every day despite being 95 years old.
Vinification: In red and maceration with skins for 20 days.
Ageing: 24 months in stainless steel on yeasts
Refining in the bottle: 12 Mounths
Colour: Ruby, clear and shine
Flavour: Intense and typical perfume, with mineral and earthy recalls, pomegranate and sweet violet.
Taste: Balanced, warm with glyceric strength well contrasted by round and elegant tannins.
Gastronomic combination: It perfectly matches grilled red meats, pasta with game sauces and aged cheeses."
Cannonau is also known as Grenache (France) and Garnacha (Spain). When the grape comes from Sardinia, though, it has a character all its own. The soil and climate produce wines that are higher in alcohol, but low in acidity, with mineral and tobacco undertones. Sardinian Cannonau is like no other wine, and is a must try. This is a particularly nice example of the style.