Cantine Monfort Blanc de Sers Brut Nature ($21.99)
From the producer:
"New entry in Monfort winery, 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.
Cantine 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.
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 wine 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.
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 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.