La Salceta Osato Rosato ($10.99)
From the producer:
"Tuscany is a land of history and traditions, with unique landscapes, hills and clay gullies, vast expanses of vineyards and olive groves alternate with small villages or typical stones farmhouses.
In this triangle, between Florence, Siena and Arezzo, surrounded by the mountain ranges of Pratomagno and the Chianti hills, we find the Vald’Arno, an area dominated by clay, recognized as an area of excellence already in 1716 with the Bando of Cosimo III de’ Medici.
Between the Agna river near the village of San Giustino and the ancient Etruscan and Roman road CassiaVetus, along the Setteponti road, La Salceta is totally embedded and integrated into the land. Since our foundation, the estate has been conducted in compliance with the rules of organic farming, using the latest knowledge and technology for the enrichment of the soil and the self-defense of the our grapes and olive trees.
We work with the utmost respect of the soil, with is always protected by a completely natural grass cover, a layer of herbs, both selected and spontaneous, which act as a filter protecting the desiccant power of the sun and from the compacting and erosion of the rain and wind and simultaneously enhance the activities organism naturally present in the ground.
Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese, Merlot
Ageing: After fermentation, the wine is aged sur lies fines in steel vats for approximately 15 days, then 3 months in steel vats, finally bottled and marketed after 2 months of ageing in the bottle.
Tasting notes: It has an intense rosé colour with floral aromas. The taste has a prominent tanginess and freshness, with notes of raspberry, tomato leaf, and typical varietal elegant herbaceous hints, along with a very slight tannic note."
This is unlike any other rosé I've had; it is more savory than most, and can really stand up to food, though it makes a nice aperitif. I would enjoy this best with a charcuterie and cheese platter.
Casata Monfort Pinot Grigio Rosé ($16.99)
From the producer:
"Pinot Grigio comes from the French Pinot Gris grape imported into Trentino at the beginning of the 20th century from Germany. Originally the grape and wine were called “Ruländer”, using the German name. In Trentino this variety has found its ideal habitat to the extent that this is the biggest area of production of this grape in Italy. The vineyards which cultivate the grape for the Cantine Monfort winery lie at the foot of the hills near Trento and Lavis in an area that is well ventilated and has a sandy soil. Good ventilation is essential for this variety of grape as it helps preserve it in excellent condition right up until the harvest. The copper color is obtained by the contact of the skins (from classical color “onion skin”) with the must for a night. This is a personal interpretation and reinterpretation of the ancient tradition of making Pinot Grigio in copper version.
Colour: blush wine.
Bouquet: intense, fruity and spicy.
Palate: soft, agreeable and well balanced.
Fish, white meats, thick soups, egg-based dishes and pasta. Excellent as an aperitif."
I am a big proponent of Pinot Grigio in its traditional coppery pink form, as I find it to have more character and to be more complex than the weak whites we've gotten used to. This wine is a lovely, elegant, and smooth rosé that might just become your new go-to. It has a perfect balance of fruitiness and minerality, and the acidity does not overwhelm the palate.
Terre del Fohn Müller Thurgau ($12.99)
From the producer:
"Named after the grape variety form which it comes and which was bred by the Swiss researcher Doctor Hermann Müller in 1882. This is a white-grape variety which comes from the crossing of Riesling with Madeleine Royal. It is adaptable to the cold climate of mountain areas and ripens early. For these reasons cultivation is widespread in Trentino, where it has found an ideal habitat on the slopes at an altitude of 500-700 metres a.s.l. where the microclimate conveys special organoleptic qualities to a 'high-flying' wine.
Colour: pale yellow with greenish tints.
Bouquet: fruity and floral with notes of sage, slightly aromatic.
Palate: dry and pleasantly acidulous.
Elegant starters, fish, first-courses with vegetable and seafood. It is exceptional as aperitif.
As most of you know, I like to introduce you to lesser-known wines, and this varietal is certainly one of them. This is a mineral, light, bright wine that has undertones of green fruit. It's tart, but has low acidity, so it's not cheek-puckering. If you like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, I suspect you will like this wine.
Nifo Sarrapochiello Falanghina del Sannio ($14.99)
From the producer:
"Rooted in Campania for three generations, the winery Nifo Sarrapochiello is located in Ponte, a small town in the Sannio, a pleasant place, already existing in Roman times, which owes its name to the presence of an imposing "pontem lapideum" on which the Via Latina passed that connected Rome to Benevento and thanks to which the Romans supplied themselves with wine and grapes of the highest quality.
Winemaker for passion and cultural heritage is the young owner, Lorenzo Nifo Sarrapochiello, who has decided to combine respect for tradition and scientific innovation, in order to ensure the company the high quality standards that have always been pursued. In fact, since 1998, the Nifo Sarrapochiello grapes are grown and treated with the organic farming method ( bioagricert control organism ). After a strictly manual harvest, the grapes are transformed with production standards that protect the environment and the health of the consumer: this results in perfumed wines, intensely aromatic and with a great personality.
Pale straw-yellow wone with aromas of pear, banana, aromatic herbs, yellow flowers and sweet spices. Taste is very delicate and elegant, persistent. A perfect match with fish steaks, white meat and aged cheese."
Falanghina is one of Italy's better known whites, and is an ancient varietal. This wine is a must with seafood, though it would go well with poultry and pork. Elegant, long finish with ripe fruit undertones.
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.