THE CELLAR DOOR'S 'TUTTI ITALIA' HOTSHEET
Italian wines from Montalcino, Puglia, Montepulciano, Barolo & more
2013 COL D'ORCIA
$13.99 BTL./$167.88 CASE
Last week it was a bonanza of stellar Italian wines presented to me, so this week’s musings are devoted to wines from The Boot.
A superb value wine from a historic and top Brunello di Montalcino producer that is an unabashed Tuscan guzzler. 85% Sangiovese and 15% Ciliegiolo, this wine is like a fine chef blending various spices, both traditional and exotic.
2013 a delicious, very well-balanced vintage in Southern Tuscany and this flavorful number reveals mouth-filling, yet smooth and abundant scents and flavors of wild cherry, cassis, sage and pepper. Lots of character and class, this wine is a great pasta wine. Enjoy it now and enjoy it often.
2006 COL D'ORCIA
BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO
$59.99 BTL./$719.88 CASE
The Spezieri is the opening act for the main event, Col D’Orcia’s outstanding 2006 Brunello di Montalcino. Count Francesco Marone Cinzano, whose family established and formerly owned Cinzano, the oldest vermouth-producing house in the world is now best known for Col d'Orcia in Montalcino, Tuscany where he controls a total of 370 acres of land, including over 260 acres of prime Brunello vineyards. In addition to Col d'Orcia, Count Cinzano also owns the Reserva de Caliboro estate in Chile's Maule Valley, a vineyard property he established in the 1990s.
Located south of the town of Montalcino in the hamlet of Sant' Angelo in Colle, Col D'Orcia has been an important and well-run Montalcino property for over 30 years. One of the great things that occurs at this estate is they will occasionally release library wines. 2006 is a monumental Brunello vintage and this 100% Sangiovese is quite the thrill ride at age 10. Graceful, multifaceted, very perfumy and for being large-scaled, truly maintains class and finesse. Red berry tones attack the palate; impressive persistence and penetrating concentration take hold all while being airy and seamless. Deep and luxurious on the packed finish, the magnitude of this Brunello is endless. Now use your imagination, the future is unwritten. Will drink and develop even further for another 10-15 years.
2015 MATTEO CORREGGIA
$14.99 BTL./$179.88 CASE
After tasting the new arrival of Coreggia's Arneis last week and finding out it could still be sold for $15, I quickly became incredibly enthusiastic to offer it to all of our white wine-loving friends.
Blazing, gorgeously ripe and stunningly balanced with loads of blood orange, lemongrass, starfruit, and mineral on the nose. In the mouth it is dazzling, dry and brisk, but with no shortage of depth and flavor. Fantastic white for roasted, barbecued or deep fried chicken or with seafood especially Asian-style seared tuna or fried calamari.
2013 ANGELO NEGRO
$26.99 BTL./$323.88 CASE
With the ever-escalating prices for Barolo and Barbaresco, it only makes sense to look elsewhere in Piedmont to find excellent Nebbiolo wines that can develop, and are well priced. Located west of Barolo and Barbaresco, the Roero region is a sleeping giant for Nebbiolo. Known for its Arneis but with the sandstone-based soils, this area’s young producers are conveying a different and compelling Nebbiolo narrative.
Angelo Negro is an estate that can trace its roots back to 1670. Having excelled with Arneis since 1971, the current leader, Giovanni Negro is now boasting an exciting range of wines including several top-notch Nebbiolo wines. The 2013 Prachiosso reveals glorious aromatics of telltale rose petal and black licorice, but there are also overtones of birch, coffee and blackcurrant. In the mouth, this shows plenty of youthful tendencies, but also has glorious depth and sophistication. Very long and extensive and crawls nicely through the mouth. Plenty of structure here as well; this is the Michael Phelps of Nebbiolo! If you want to approach a bottle now, don't feel as though you are committing a crime, but for maximum pleasure drink it from the end of 2018 – 2025.
2015 CA' LOJERA LUGANA
$16.99 BTL./$203.88 CASE
Ca' Lojera is located in close proximity to the south shore of Lake Garda in Lombardia. Unlike many other quaffing Lugana wines, this wine is dead serious and cerebral as hell.
Made from 100% Turbiana, armed with redolent tones of melon, tangerine, lime, and pronounced saline which seemingly go non-stop until the bottle is drained. Filling the mouth with flavor and having plenty of depth, there is ample zesty, crisp acidity that holds it all in balance and extends to the finish that is both stately and sassy. Salmon-season is almost here, and furthermore, it will pair with a bounty of seafood choices. Youze all owe to yourselves to try it. What the hell are you waiting for?!?!
2013 MEMO MONTEPULCIANO D'ABRUZZO
$10.99 BTL./$131.88 CASE
Hearty, fruity, spice-laden and full of fun, this wine possesses way more spirit than many 11-dollar offerings from Italy can ever achieve! From Abruzzo, this hearty, generous red may well be the Wednesday Wine of the Summer!
Low-yield intensity from its opaque color to the penetrating notes of black plum, ripe cherry, espresso bean, licorice and lavender, this meaty and exotic creature maintains a satisfying roundness and beautiful balance with a heartiness that fills the mouth with deep and fleshy yet vibrant red earth tones dominating the smooth and succulent texture. The finish is very pure and savory making it the perfect red for slow cooked meats, aged cheeses and substantial pasta dishes.
2014 LI VELI SUSUMANIELLO
$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE
Owned by the Falvo family who formerly owned Avignonesi in the Tuscan village of Montepulciano, Li Veli is now firmly established as one of the innovators and leaders of this Southern Italian growing region. Susumaniello is an ancient, rediscovered varietal converting many who once thought this area was solely about Primitivo and Negraomaro.
The origins of this grape seem to be varied, many theorizing that it came from Greece or the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. Recent DNA has shown it to be a cross between a native Puglian table grape and Garganega, which is the grape of Soave. It’s Italy, go figure. Either way, the mini-surge of wines that are emerging are quite delicious. Alluring plum, rhubarb, almond allspice and cedar/tobacco characteristics unfold from the glass. In the mouth, the dry and nuanced flavors coat the mouth and reveal tones that make one think of the crunchy portion of a cherry, just around the stone. The finish draws out and somersaults into being textbook, yet upscale Southern Italian with its tangy, earthy, spicy qualities and wild red fruits. Pair this delicious wine with slow roasted meats, perhaps something with a spicy Asian influence or just a simple, well-ripened pecorino cheese.
2007 ELIO GRASSO BAROLO
$74.99 BTL./$899.88 CASE
Earlier this year we held a most delectable dinner at CiaoVito with Gianluca Grasso and featured a number of his wines including this outstanding single cru wine that comes from a full-bodied, yet very balanced vintage. It is very surprising that any of this is still available and since there is, why not score some for your cellar, we certainly will!
Tucked away in the hills between Monforte d'Alba and Castiglione Faletto is the Cantina and vineyards of Elio Grasso. We have been ardent supporters of these wines for a while now, and it is extremely clear that Gianluca Grasso is without a doubt one of the young superstars of Barolo. Vigna Chiniera, located within Monforte D'Alba is a south facing vineyard that sits at 320-360 meters. Loosely packed, sandy soil with a limestone base that makes this wine very special. A frighteningly brilliant and complete wine of perfumy, sublime, sophistication, with plenty of depth and backbone. Undertones of licorice, balsam, lots of underbrush and earth give even more complexity along with length. At age 9, there is an emerging glimpse of what is truly to come. Hold this debonair bad boy until 2017 and drink it on through to 2028 but if you want to try a bottle, decant about an hour in advance and serve in a proper glass.