April 30, 2010

May Wines of the Month

May Wines of the Month

We’re headed to Italy!
If you are wondering about the Wines of the Month Club, please click here!

Tier One
The White

Villa Antinori Toscano Bianco 2008 (Italy) $14.99 – Antinori has been making wine since 1385.

This is a PERFECT summer wine! It’s crisp, clean and a great price! Aromas of roses, grass and tropical fruit. Flavors of melons, tropical fruit, apples and pears. Crisp acidity at the finish. Blend of 70% Trebbiano and Malvasia and 30% Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco and Pinot Grigio. Stainless steel fermentation.

Food pairing – grilled fish or chicken, lighter dishes, salads.

The Red

Tormaresca Nèprica 2008 (Puglia, Italy) $12.99 – Puglia is the “heel” of the boot, so we are in the extreme southern part of Italy. Tormaresca means “tower by the sea.” 40% Negroamaro, 30% Primitivo and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. http://www.tormaresca.it/

Great drinking wine for everyday! This is smooth, rich and loaded with flavor! This packs aromas and flavors of plums, raspberries, black cherries and cola. It has hints of licorice and pepper. Long finish!

Food pairing – spicy pasta dishes. Wine Enthusiast, 90 points, “Best Buy”
Tier Two
The White

Castello della Sala Bramìto Chardonnay 2008 (Umbria, Italy) $21.99
– This is a pale golden color. Aromas of apples, pears, vanilla and toast. This is spicy at the front of your mouth. The flavors are apricots, peaches with a little toasty vanilla. The wine is a soft texture.

Castello della Sala is a 14th century castle. It sits on a hilltop in the Umbrian Apennines near the Tuscan border. It’s a beautiful example of medieval military architecture. The micro-climate in this part of Umbria makes it an ideal location for growing cooler-weather grapes, such as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The grapes are destemmed. The wine is aged in French oak (Alliers and Troncais) barriques for 5 months, but these are 2nd and 3rd use barrels so the wine is not “oaky.” Some of the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation, so this has some buttery/creamy characteristics.

The Red

La Braccesca Achelo Syrah 2006 (Tuscany, Italy) $19.99 – on the label is the bull-like face of Achelous, who fought with Hercules. Hercules pulled off one of Achelous’s horns and it was named Cornucopia and it became a symbol of wealth, prosperity and honor.

The wine is a purple color that is typical of Syrah. This has aromas of red berries, white plums, flowers, tar and black pepper. The flavors are dominated with concentrated black fruit. The texture is soft and smooth.

Antinori planted “international” grape varietals such as Syrah and Merlot in the Cortona D.O.C. in the area. Previously, growers produced a lot of mediocre white wine from the local vineyards. Antinori and others saw the opportunity to grow excellent red grapes here and in 1999 their hard work was rewarded when Cortona achieved D.O.C. status. Italian Wine Report, 91 points

Food pairing – steak, beef, lamb.

Tier Three

The White

Bruno Giacosa Roero Arneis 2007 (Piedmont, Italy) $38.99
– We are in Piedmont, in Northwestern Italy. Bruno Giacosa is a 3rd generation winemaker in the Langhe part of Piedmont. He is widely respected as both a grape grower and a winemaker.

This is a refreshing wine that is rich, lush and full-bodied. Aromas and flavors of almonds, apricots, peaches, apples and flowers. Roero is a subregion within the Langhe. Arneis is the grape and it is the noble white grape from this area. Stainless steel fermentation and aging. Food pairing – shellfish, seafood, lobster. Lighter pasta dishes. Decanter, 3 Stars; Robert Parker, Wine Advocate, 90 points

The Red

La Braccesca Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2005 (Tuscany, Italy) $26.99
– this is from Southern Tuscany. The Antinori family began investing in this area in the early ‘90’s and helped Vino Nobile di Montepulciano start its "Second Renaissance". However Montepulciano wines were famous long before then: the first historical document to mention Montepulciano wines dates back to 789 and they were much appreciated in Medici times, when Montepulciano was an ally of Florence against Siena.

This is a medium-bodied, soft, ripe wine with lots of dark cherries, earthiness, tobacco and chocolate/mocha notes. Hints of flowers and minerals in the aromas. It has a long finish. Dusty tannins.

Aged in oak barrels of many sizes for 12 months. Bottle aged for 12 months before the winery released the wine. Blend of 90% Prugnolo Gentile and 10% Merlot. Prugnolo Gentile is the local name for Sangiovese Grosso. Sangiovese translates “blood of Jove” (Jupiter).