Schiopetto Malvasia ($26.99)
From the producer:
"Malvasia Istriana is one of the historic varietals of the hills of Friuli. It grows well in poor soil of marl composition with hot and sunny exposition where the grapes are left for a lengthy maturation. They are then picked by hand, pressed at low temperatures. This is followed by a static decantation in absence of sulphur dioxide and the vinification and ageing take place in stainless steel for 8 months. The wine thus obtained is rich and complex but at the same time fragrant and aromatic.
Colour: Bright straw yellow with golden touches
Aroma: Fresh and round balance marine aromas that are perfectly balanced with scents of flowers and sweet fruits.
Palate: Creamy, rich and warm. Sweet flavors are marched by a refreshing palate with a clean high acidity finish.
Serving temperature: 13° C
Food pairings: Perfect with apetizers and first dishes, both with fish and meat."
This wine is of medium body and balanced acidity with a light floral aroma to balance the fruitiness. Eight months of aging on fine lees in stainless steel creates a crisp, but smooth feel on the palate. This would be an excellent choice for the upcoming holidays.
Saveurs du Temps Costières de Nimes Rosé ($11.99)
Rhône Valley, France
From the distributor:
"Vignerons Propriétés Associés is set on the right bank of the Rhône, a few steps from the historic site of the Pont du Gard. The vineyards are located in a triangle between the famous commune of St Hilaire d’Ozilhan at the heart of the southern slice of land bordering the Gard region and the Côtes du Rhône, then head westward towards Sommières, to the edge of the Camargue Region. VPA includes 620 Hectares spread out over the 4 communes of Saint Hilaire d’Ozilhan, Castillon du Gard, Valliguieres and Laudun. 930 Hectares of Costières land in six communes, Générac, Nimes, Saint Gilles, Milhaud, Bernis, Aubord and Beauvoisin. 1112 hectares of Oc and Coteaux du Languedoc land in Calvisson. All of these terroirs make up the vineyards and the diversity of their production.
Intense nose of red fruit, raspberries, andblackberries. Ample and generous on the palate. Pairs well with white and grilled meats."
Grapes: 75% Grenache, 25% Syrah
This is a four-season rosé in that it has more body and elegance than the lighter, fresher wines from Provence and Languedoc. It is lovely on its own, but it is versatile enough to pair with a wide variety of dishes. I would definitely put this on a holiday table with any sort of roast fowl.
Ottosoldi Barbera del Monferrato ($21.99)
From the producer:
"Intense ruby red color. Very fine perfume, deep and wide with red fruit, mint and vanilla scents. Full flavor, soft and rich, with a fresh and fruity final note. This wine pairs perfectly with red meat.
Best served at 18°-20°."
85% Barbera; 15% Merlot
I often struggle with wines from Piedmont, but this one is easy to drink. The tannins and acidity are tamed and the softness of the Merlot balances everything out. Good oak aging and a silky tannin on the finish.
Folded Hills Grant Grenache ($36.99)
Santa Ynez Valley, California
From the producer:
"In making Folded Hills wines, our goal is to respect the land and through the wines express its unique voice. With as little interference as possible we let the grapes speak for themselves. At the same time, we strive to craft beautiful wines with a focus on purity. Keeping this in mind, our farming and cellar work are all organic. We couldn’t do it any other way.
The Grant Grenache is made from a selection of the finest Grenache vineyards in Santa Ynez Valley, with a small portion of Syrah to add another layer of depth and flavor. Grower Ruben Solorzano meticulously farms each site.
Winemaker Angela Osborne works with Ruben to choose the optimum picking time. She then carefully de-stems the fruit, retaining a small portion of whole cluster to bring delicate spice and structure to the wine. Fermentation is done naturally with only ambient yeast. The fruit is gently foot-tread to maintain the health of the fermentation and integrate the vibrant characteristics of the destemmed fruit with the whole clusters. It is then aged for 11 months in French oak barrels, with only 14% new included, to enhance texture and depth in the wine without overwhelming the subtlety of Grenache. After aging, the wine is bottled to preserve freshness and purity of flavor.
Perfumed aromatics, flavors of fresh pomegranate, savory herbs and fine tannin set alongside mouthwatering acidity. Grenache loves a bit of smoke, so we suggest enjoying the Grant Grenache with fresh grilled vegetables served alongside risotto and sprinkled with grated Fontina cheese."
95% Grenache, 5% Syrah
This is a superbly balanced, well-crafted wine that really showcases the Grenache. The Syrah adds a little depth, but the Grenache does most of the work, beautifully expressing the fruit. Well worth the money.
Tenute Rubino Salent Rosso Oltreme Susumaniello ($16.99)
From the producer:
"Susumaniello, the most typical variety of the Brindisi area, in purity. It matures only in stainless steel vats allowing the primary flavours to fully express themselves. It enchants with simplicity through its fruity and spicy flavours.
Colour: Intense ruby red with purple tinges.
Bouquet: Fragrant fresh notes of red fruit: cherries, pomegranate, raspberries and mature plums.
Taste: Sapid, mineral and round, with pleasantly soft tannins.
Characteristics: A balanced and velvety wine, with an elegant texture; its harmony and persistence are truly enchanting. Its varietal notes stand out clearly.
Food matches: It goes well with savoury dishes such as stuffed aubergines and peppers, orecchiette with tomato sauce, risotto with porcini mushrooms. It pairs well with cold cuts, semi-cured cheeses and grilled meats."
As many of you already know, this is one of my favorite new wines in the shop. Southern Italian wines are really up my alley; I love the full body, the rusticity, the ripeness, the earthiness, and the boldness. Susumaniello has become one of my favorite grapes, and I love that it is indigenous to the area where this wine is made. This is a must-try.