de Bernard Cuvee Prestige Millesimato Prosecco ($13.99)
From the producer:
"Tasting notes: very clear, pale straw-yellow tending to green, with a fine and persistent fizz.
The aroma is intense, persistent and fruity, exceptionally refined, with dominant notes of ripe golden apples and banana.
This medium sweet, fresh wine is pleasantly light and low in alcohol. It is also very soft and balanced with a long fruity finish.
Serving recommendations: best served at a temperature of 5-7°C, pouring immediately after removing the cork.
Recommended with: excellent as an aperitif. Goes well with fruits and delicate salty foods."
This is a bit unusual in that the producer is actually a Grappa specialist who also only makes Prosecco and no other wine. Though it has a little residual sugar, it still drinks fairly dry, and wow, does it go down easily! It's a nice example of a slightly more elegant Prosecco.
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.
Goretti Grechetto ($17.99)
From the producer:
"Goretti cellars have always been at the forefront of environmental protection.
Every business choice is inspired by obtaining the best quality of the grapes without undergoing excessive stress neither the vine plant nor the soil.
The cellars do not produce certified organic products but have always paid attention to the environmental impact that the winemaking production of companies can have, knowing that to make the difference of the products is the protection of their territories from which the vines are born and grow.
Environmental sustainability is therefore intended for Goretti wineries as the best way to transfer to a new generation a company and a territory that is not impoverished and excessively exploited but still rich in natural and human resources.
On 9th July 2013 the Goretti wineries received the Cifo prize “excellent footprints: sustainable agronomic techniques for a valuable viticulture”, dedicated to good environmental practices in the vineyard and in the cellar.
As evidence of the continuous search for innovation in respect of the environment, the cellars continue to invest in renewable energy through a photovoltaic system and operating in the local market with 100% electric means.
light straw-yellow with faint greenish reflections
deep and elegant with fruit notes, in particular,
on the nose, are notes of pineapple, banana, yellow peach, Scotch broom flowers and almonds
fresh and full flavoured. Well-balanced with lingering
HOW TO SERVE, SERVE WITH
as an aperitif, excellent with many dishes, fish and white meat."
This is another new wine made from an indigenous Italian varietal. It is fresh with a little body and a distinctly fruity character. The acidity and minerality keep it lifted on the palate and the finish lingers. Sauv Blanc drinkers will especially appreciate this style of wine.
Cantina Frentana Cococciola ($14.99)
From the producer:
"Many arms and many minds have allowed Cantina Frentana to be what it is. What we now know as Banca dei vigneti (Vineyards bank) was created from many years of shared knowledge: it’s an extraordinary resource thanks to which the cellar directly manages part of the vineyards, using organic techniques, in view of converting the whole production to organic cultivation with the passing of time. It’s a concrete commitment in defence of the greatest heritage of a cooperative company: those precious vineyards at risk of being abandoned because of the lack of generational turnover within farming families. Preserving the territory and the landscape, offering an occupational perspective to young people who want to stay in the countryside, but have little land at their disposal: Banca dei vigneti supports all of these activities.
Production and wine making:
A careful combination of the autochthonous Cococciola vine varieties, coming from selected vineyards on Frentana hills, allow us to obtain a slightly fizzy and scented wine. The winemaking is made by performing a controlled fermentation on early harvested grapes to better enhance the freshness and liveliness of this wine.
Features of the wine:
It is a rare autochthonous grape variety of the Frentana area in Abruzzo. Cococciola is cultivated using the Abruzzo pergola technique. The winemaking requires a soft pressing, fermentation and ageing on stainless steel tanks at a controlled temperature. The color is pale straw yellow, with scents of white flowers, citrus and light spicy notes; on the palate it has a vibrant acidity and freshness, fruity notes with a delicate almond final aroma. It is a quaffable wine. To be served at 9-11°, highly recommended as aperitif wine and to start a lunch; it goes well with delicate fish dishes and fried vegetables."
As you might know, I love giving attention to indigenous (autochthonous) grapes, and this one is a standout. Try it if you like Pinot Grigio or if you like the Soave that I sell. It's a bit savory, but so drinkable!
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.