January 4, 2009

October 2008 Wines of the Month

October 2008 Wines of the Month

We are off to Italy for this entire month......lots of lesser known grapes and producers from lesser known areas!

Three of these 6 wines are made by one young man, Marco Cecchini. Marco was studying economics at University and quit - to take over his grandfather's wine "estate." That estate was one hectare (that's 2.5 acres - that's 2 and a half acres - you saw the decimal in the correct place!). His mother was not happy! Today, he is farming many more acres and his mother is much happier! So are we - we love his wines!

Tier One

Conti di Buscareto* Verdicchio Dei Castelli di Jesi Classico 2007 (Italy) $14.99 - Delicious white from the Marche in eastern Italy! Wonderful floral, mineral and anise aromas. Medium-bodied. Light citrus, saline, anise and mineral flavors. Pretty wine! Crisp, bright and fresh. Clean finish! 100% Verdicchio. Stainless steel fermentation. Low-yield vineyards producing great grapes. Organic Farming. Food pairing – grilled or roasted fish, seafood cream sauces, artichokes, asparagus, prosciutto….most anything Italian!

D’Orsaria Cabernet Franc 2007 (Italy) $14.99 - Excellent wine from Northeastern Italy! Aromas of plums, violets, peppery spice, cherries and bell peppers. Flavors of cherries, raspberries and subtle black pepper. Soft tannins. Nice length on the finish. Marco Cecchini is the winemaker - he dropped out of college in 1998 when he inherited his grandfather's 1 hectare (2.58 acres) vineyard to the dismay of his mother. He became a winemaker and he has never looked back! He always strives to make sure as little oxygen as possible contacts his wines - so, they are bright and fresh. Food pairing - Lighter foods, seafood, shellfish - drinks well on its own!

Tier Two
These next 2 wines are probably Marco's flagship wines! If your Italian and/or web skills are better than mine, you can read more about Marco and his wines on his website!
Marco Cecchini Tové 2006 (Italy) $21.99 - This wine bursts with fresh fruit flavors and aromas! Apricots and melons, white flowers and smells of Spring! Tangy, refreshing and loaded with fruit in the mouth. Long, subtle finish....just a fascinating and tasty wine! Aside from just tasting wonderful, what we love about this wine is that it holds up for a couple of days after opening!

90% Tocai Friulano & 10% Verduzzo. Both of these are grapes local to the Friuli area. Tocai Friuli is not to be confused with the Hungarian Tokay.....not the same grape. Oenologists and DNA types are still trying to learn its origins. Verduzzo is also an obscure grape.

From Marco's vineyards near the Slovenian border in NE Italy....half of the vineyard has 40+ year-old vines. All the vineyard work is done by hand. Organic Farming

Marco Cecchini Refosco 2006 (Italy) $22.99 - This is a fabulous wine! A knock-dead wonderful wine from a grape we doubt you know, Refosco! It's similar to Pinot Noir from Burgundy (nice fruit, but it is not fruit-driven - with earth, spice & minerals). The grape is native to the Friuli area - almost Yugoslavia or Hungary/Austria - a cool weather wine area, more like Burgundy than Italy! From Marco's vineyards near the Slovenian border in NE Italy....half of the vineyard has 40+ year-old vines. All the vineyard work is done by hand. Organic farming. Food pairing - Excellent with rich meals, grilled meats, etc.

Tier Three

The winery for Tier Three is located in Campania - southwestern Italy near Vesuvius, Naples, Pompeii and Herculaneum. This area is home to the earliest Greek colonies and settlements in Italy. Campania, more than any other region in Italy, is home to ANCIENT grape varietals - Agliancio, Falanghina, Fiano, Falernum and Asprinio. We are tasting 2 of them this month.

This winery, Fattoria La Rivolta, is family-owned. They farm organically. They produce wines from the local grapes - Fiano, Falanghina, Aglianico, Piedirosso, Greco di Tufo and Coda di Volpe.

Fattoria La Rivolta* Sannio DOC Fiano 2007 (Italy) $28.99 - Excellent wine from Southern Italy! Full-bodied with lemon citrus, honey, apples and pears in the aromas and flavors. Bright, crisp acidity on the long finish. Serve cool, not cold – the flavors gain strength as the wine warms in the glass. Family-run farm. Stainless-steel fermentation. Hand-harvested. 100% Fiano. Organic farming. When to drink – ready to drink now. This will take on subtle hazelnut or almond aromas with 2-3 years aging. Food pairing – veal, pork, poultry, richer fish or seafood. Meat wrapped in prosciutto.

Fattoria La Rivolta* Taburno DOC Aglianico del Taburno 2005 (Italy) $34.99 - Excellent red from Campania – grown in a vineyard near Vesuvius – so this has a lot of minerality from the volcanic soil! Aromas of cherries, plums, curing tobacco, spices, violets and mushrooms. Flavors of plums, cherries, smoked meat, pepper and subtle licorice (I don’t like licorice, but I like the subtle notes in this wine). Hand-harvested. 100% Falanghina. A Family-run farm. Aged in 2nd and 3rd passage oak barrels. 4,000 cases. Organic farming. Food pairing – game, beef, lamb, rich dishes, etc.

The Other

This isn't another wine....it's another SIZE of the same red wine as is in Tier Two....magnums are great to pull out for a big dinner (Thanksgiving, Christmas, an anniversary or a graduation, etc...). The larger bottle is just more festive, impressive, ELABORATE!

Marco Cecchini Refosco 2006 (Italy) $49.99 - This is a fabulous wine! A knock-dead wonderful wine from a grape we doubt you know - it's similar to Pinot Noir from Burgundy (nice fruit, but it is not fruit-driven - with earth, spice & minerals). The grape is native to the Friuli area - almost Yugoslavia or Hungary/Austria - a cool weather wine area, more like Burgundy than Italy! From Marco's vineyards near the Slovenian border in NE Italy....half of the vineyard has 40+ year-old vines. All the vineyard work is done by hand. Organic farming. Food pairing - Excellent with rich meals, grilled meats, etc.

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