Experience Italy Wine Tasting

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Castello di Bossi Estate

Our Experience Italy Wine Tasting is on for tomorrow, and we’ve finalized the list of wines we’ll be sampling. This tasting will feature a dozen wines to represent many of Italy’s most renowned wine making regions. Here’s a little information about each wine:

The whites:

Cleto Chiarli Blanc de Blancs Brut (Modena). 50% Chardonnay, 50% Grechetto Gentile. Dry and beautifully sparkling with lychee fruit and floral notes.

Cantini del Taburno Falanghina (Campania). 100% Falanghina. Ripe and full-bodied with notes of pineapple and pear.

Tenuta Lisciandrini Cataratto (Sicily). 100% Catarratto. Full-bodied and bold with distinct lemony acidity.

The reds:

Giacomo Fenocchio Barbera d’Alba (Piemonte). 100% Barbera. Dry with notes of dark chocolate and plums. Aged for 6 months in stainless steel, then 6 months in Slavonian oak.

Paolo Scavino Dolcetto d’Alba (Piemonte). 100% Dolcetto. Dry and medium-bodied with bright acidity and cherry, blueberry, and spice notes.

Morgante Nero d’Avola (Sicily). 100% Nero d’Avola. Strikingly ruby-red in color with notes of vanilla, cherries, blackberries, and a hint of smokiness.

Argiolas Costera (Sardinia). 100% Cannonau. Full-bodied with lots of fruit and ripe strawberry, black cherry, and herbal notes, along with some spice. Cannonau is also known as Grenache or Garnacha.

Castello di Bossi Chianti Classico (Tuscany). 100% Sangiovese. Medium-to-full-bodied with notes of cherries, plums, and a bit of vanilla from its 6 months in oak. One of Italy’s most iconic wines, Chianti is famously food-friendly.

Zenato Alanera Rosso Veronese (Verona). 55% Corvina, 25% Rondinella, 10% Corvinone, 5% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Rich and full-bodied with notes of cherries, prunes, tobacco, and coffee.

Galardi Terre di Lavoro (Campania). 80% Aglianico, 20% Piedirosso. Big, bold, and structured with notes of cherries, cassis, tobacco, and leather. Would pair perfectly with a too-big ribeye.

Falesco Montiano “Trentanni” (Lazio). 100% Merlot. Full-bodied and elegant with notes of berries, vanilla, tobacco, and spice. Aged 18 months in French oak.

Felline Primitivo di Manduria (Puglia). 100% Primitivo. An ancestor of Zinfandel, Primitivo makes big, ripe, fruit-forward wines, with a little more earthiness than their new world counterparts.

This tasting will take place tomorrow (Saturday, 3/11) from 2-7 p.m. – we hope to see you there!

(Image source: Winebow.)

 

Introducing Saturday’s Tasting Wines, Round 2

 

(Mostly) accurate depiction of this Saturday's tasting wines.

(Mostly) accurate depiction of this Saturday’s tasting wines.

Are you a fan of big wines? And by big wines, I mean wines that you’d pair with a grilled ribeye, or a spicy bowl of chili con carne, or some ultra-pungent blue cheese? Then this Saturday’s Ridiculously Big Wines Tasting is for you. Here’s a little bit of background on each wine we’ll be pouring:

Olivier LaFont Ventoux Blanc 2013

A blend of Grenache Blanc, Clairette, and Bourboulenc, this full-bodied white is fruit-forward with citrus, peach, and subtle floral notes.

Scott Family Arroyo Seco 2012 Chardonnay

This California beauty is produced from vine clones from Dijon, the birthplace of some of the Burgundy’s most prestigious wines. Full-bodied with notes of apricot and tropical fruit, this wine is oaked, but not overly so; 8 months of sur lies aging in French oak impart a subtle creamy vanilla note. 

Honoro Vera 2013 Monastrell

Produced by Gil Family Estates, the folks behind Ateca, Juan Gil, and the highly-rated Clio, Honoro Vera 2013 Monastrell is made from 100% organic grapes from the northwest of Jumilla. The wine is dark, rich, and aromatic with notes of ripe berries, fresh herbs, and a hint of peppery spice.

Marchesi de’ Cordano Trinita 2007 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo

Closer to black than to red in color, this well-aged, perfectly balanced Montepulciano d’Abruzzo defines “big.” Pronounced notes of ripe berries, dried flowers, and pleasant spice are rounded out nicely by 12 months of oak aging and an additional 12 months of bottle conditioning.

Tertulia Cellars Redd Brand NV Syrah Blend

Part of a highly limited release of 322 cases, Redd Brand Syrah is a blend of 95% Syrah and 5% Mourvedre. This hearty Washington state red is described by the winemaker as vibrant and muscular with notes of blueberry, smoked game, cassis, and lemon peel.

Château Fougas Maldoror 2005

2005 in Bordeaux is widely regarded as a spectacular vintage, and the Château Fougas Maldoror 2005 is certainly no exception. Complex and layered with notes of blackerry, cassis, and cedar, this wine is drinking beautifully, but will continue to develop with age, if you can resist opening it now!

Domaine Thunevin-Calvet Cuvée Constance 2010 Roussillon

Hailing from the Côtes du Roussillon AOC, Domaine Thunevin-Calvet Cuvée Constance is a blend of 50% Grenache and 50% Carignan. The wine has been aged for just over a year in concrete tanks, rather than oak, allowing for bright, fresh, pronounced fruit character and hints of stone and minerality.

Sean Minor Wines 2009 Napa Red Blend

This classically huge California red blend is made up of 30% Merlot, 23% Petit Verdot, 17% Zinfandel, 16% Petite Sirah, 10% Syrah, and 4% Malbec. The result is a hefty yet smooth wine with hints of cherries, blueberries, black currant, and vanilla, along with some woody undertones, thanks to careful aging in French and American oak.

Liberty School 2011 Merlot

California’s 2011 vintage was a tough one; rainfall was lacking, so yields were considerably lower than in previous years. But that didn’t stop Hope Family Wines from creating the standout Liberty School 2011 Merlot. Fermented in stainless steel and aged for 12 months in 50% French and 50% American oak, this dark, silky red is fruit-forward and well-structured with notes of dark plum, cherry, and bright, ripe berries.

Curtis Winery 2012 Cuvée Red

Having featured their 2010 Mourvedre in a previous tasting, we’re already big fans of Curtis Winery. Their 2012 Cuvée Red is a blend of 39% Grenache, 26% Mourvedre, 19% Cinsault, and 16% Syrah, resulting in a rich and smooth Rhône-style wine with notes of black currant, warm spice, and a long finish.

Hope Family Wines Candor Lot 5 Zinfandel

Since we enjoyed the Liberty School 2011 Merlot so much, we decided to feature another wine from Hope Family Wines. The Candor Lot 5 Zinfandel is a blend of several of their best vintages, which results in the perfect expression of the California Zin – robust, jammy, and smooth with lots of berries and a hint of spice.

90+ Cellars 2013 McLaren Vale Shiraz

If you’re not familiar with 90+ Cellars, you’re in for a treat. This Boston-based company buys the unsold wines from top-rated wineries, rebrands them with their own label, and sells them for a fraction of their original price. Boasting notes of dark plums, substantial spice, and a hint of vanilla on the finish, the 2013 McLaren Vale Shiraz is a veritable behemoth of a wine, and a perfect example of the style. You’ll be glad this one arrived just in time for barbecue season.

And that’s the lineup, as it stands – to taste any or all of these wines for FREE, stop by this Saturday anytime between 2 and 7 p.m., and tell as many of your friends as you can! As always, this lineup is subject to change, but that just means there might be a few pleasant surprises on the way.

Introducing Saturday’s Tasting Wines

As you may have learned from our Facebook page, Twitter updates, or email blasts, our big Spring Wine Tasting is tomorrow. We’ve made a few changes to the wine lineup, so we thought this might be a good opportunity to tell you all a bit about what we’ll be pouring.

Not 100% accurate, but hey, it's a nice looking pyramid.

Not 100% accurate, but hey, it’s a nice looking pyramid.

R&B Cellars 2012 Sauvignon Blanc

Made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes grown in Lake County (80%) and Mendocino (20%), this crisp yet substantial California white is bright and complex with notes of citrus and oak. Its production was limited to 500 cases, so this one won’t be around forever.

Pino 2010 Montepulciano D’Abruzzo

This dry, medium-bodied Italian red is smooth and earthy with hints of cherry and a bit of pepper on the finish. Little information about the producer is available, but at $9.99, this is an unbelievable value.

Wild Meadows 2011 Merlot

Washington State Merlot wines are among the best, and Wild Meadows’ 2011 offering is no exception. This medium-to-full-bodied beauty has notes of cherries, oak, and a hint of cocoa.

Mendoza Vinyards “1907” Malbec 2011

This is a big, bold, classic Argentinian Malbec with notes of berries, oak, leather, and pepper. When you take a sip of this wine, you’ll wish you had a 12-ounce ribeye in front of you. This single-vineyard Malbec earned 90 points from the Wine Advocate.

Sobon Family Wines 2011 Old Vines Zinfandel

The Sobon family have been involved in winemaking since 1977, employing sustainable growing practices and natural winemaking techniques. Their 2011 Old Vines Zinfandel is jammy, peppery, and complex, and earned 88 points from Wine Enthusiast.

Angeline Winery Pinot Noir 2012

An offshoot of Martin Ray Winery, whose wines we’ve featured in past tastings, Angeline Winery produces high-quality wines at an affordable price point. Their 2012 Pinot Noir is fresh and fruity with notes of berries, vanilla, and oak.

Donna Tinto

We couldn’t find much information on this Portuguese red blend, but not unlike its Portuguese peers, Donna Tinto is amazingly tasty, especially considering its $7.99 price tag.

Rock Face 2012 Lodi Syrah

This sustainably-farmed, lightly-filtered California Syrah is medium-to-full-bodied with beautiful fruit and notes of herbs and pepper. At $12.99, this is a bang-for-your-buck steak wine.

Esprit du Preuillac 2009 Médoc

This classic Bordeaux is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, which is aged in French oak barrels for 12 months. Full-bodied and peppery, this wine boasts notes of ripe red fruit, vanilla, and leather. This is the second wine of the 2009 Chateau Preuillac, which earned 91 points from Wine Enthusiast.

Aveleda Follies 2011 Alvarinho/Loureiro

This blend of Alvarinho/Loureiro is floral, citrusy, and refreshing, and would pair perfectly with grilled fish or veggies. As far as price versus quality, it’s hard to go wrong with Portuguese wines.

Muriel Rioja

Muriel Rioja is a multi-vintage wine made from Tempranillo grapes. Zesty and full-bodied with a hint of oak, this rustic wine would go perfectly with spicy Spanish food.

90+ Cellars 2012 Côtes du Rhône Blanc

The concept behind 90+ Cellars is a deal-seeker’s dream. This company buys unsold wines from top-rated winemakers, labels them as their own, and sells the for a fraction of what they would normally cost. The 2012 Côtes du Rhône Blanc is a balanced blend of Grenache Blanc, Viognier, and Roussanne that boasts notes of pears and honey with some minerality on the finish.

And that about covers it – we hope to see you at the tasting tomorrow!

Check out the Facebook event for more tasting details.

https://www.facebook.com/events/366875970121538/?ref=br_tf