domenica 28 luglio 2013

Mt Etna Biondi Outis

MOUNT ETNA eurupted
Last night I toured back to Italy. I bought in the morning a bottle of Etna Bianco by Biondi winery the Outis from 2009.
The vines are cultivated in all Etna D.O.C. on sandy soil with volcanic origin, are planted to 600 meter to 1000 meter above sea level often an heroic viticulture.
The ampelographic heritage is extremely interesting composed of centuries old vines such as Carricante  and Catarrato the two main grapes varieties used to produced the Etna bianco D.O.C. and Etna Bianco Superiore. The white Minella is rarer.
The wine of Biondi have got the 3 varieties in different percentage with predominately Carricante.
Gold in color a bit unclear with brilliant vivacity, a great viscosity for a white wine. Nose was citrus, lemon zest, orange blossom, acacia, flint, tufa and sandy some kernel and a touch of honey. Palate great mouthful, lovely intense minerality, tonic, wet stone, fossil marine, sapid and superb drinkability.
Thanks to Etna, is the top!!!!!!!!!

Pinot noir Patagonia Bodega Chacra

Argentina has a winemaking history back some 450 years. Currently is thee fifth largest wine-producing country in the world.
Argentina vineyards lies close to the Andes mountain 1500 Km from the province of Salta in the north to Rio Negro and Nequen in Patagonia. Historically because the heat, most vineyards were planted in pergola system, Know locally as Parral.
This system lifted the grapes away from the searing heat close to the ground.
The real problem disease of the vineyard is called Nematodes, tiny roundworms that live in the soil and feed on plant roots by puncturing the root tissue with hollow. Once the Nematodes sink this structure deep into the grape's root tissue, they suck out the plant's juices. Symptoms of Nematodes damage can sometimes be hard to positively identify because they can look like several other problems, such as too little or too much water, unsuitable temperatures, disease or the lack of proper nutrients. Once those important roots are destroyed, the plant is unable to take up enough water and nutrients to sustain itself and also produce fruit.
To solve this problem Argentinian producer tend to grafted their vines to reduce the damage. Philloxera, although present is not regarded as a serious problem.
In Patagonia in the subregion of Rio Negro I had the chance to try a Pinot Noir for Bodega Chacra 200 Km north of Tierra del Fuego and equidistant to the Andes mountains and the Atlantic ocean. The Rio Negro itself is a glacial bed 30 Km stretching to 450 Km along the rivers bank at an elevation of 300 meters above sea level. The cooling influence is clearly not the altitude, but the latitude. The climate is dry surrounding by desert as a natural barrier result in a complete absence of Philloxera and vine disease. During the growing season the temperature varied by daytime around 28° and at night time 9°. The season are precisely defined, with hot summer, cold winters and mild spring and autumns.
The vineyard are planted in 1932 and the pinot noir are planted in their own rootstock and producer tiny small concentrated berries. Porous soil are dominated by gravel and significant limestone context. Very minimal intervention in vineyard with biodinamique concept, a very small amount of sulphur and semi carbonic maceration technique with a punching over. Old french barrique are used to aging, make this wine quite interesting.
A dense colour with translucent appearance, rose petal, spice and red fruit, raspberry, plum, cranberry
tar and earthiness, eucalyptus, mint, fennel savory. In the palate has an outstanding depth with impeccable balance and velvety texture and silky finish red fruits are succulent and sweet with a lovely fine tannin . Just incredible.

domenica 21 luglio 2013

MantonicoOz L'Acino

Calabria south of Italy an incontaminated  region where the landscape is still married with mother nature.
Recently I had the pleasure to drink a Mantonico grape juice from a very small boutique named L'acino.
The wine was clear with medium intensity gold color day bright with a light amber rim with a fine viscosity. The nose show some developing character as dried chamomile, acacia and white blossom flowers, bruised apple and pear…. Minerality are quite high with dried stone, steely, wet leaves and floor, brown mushroom and a undertone of honey character.
The acidity is high in balance with alcohol, body and flavor intensity mid palate was stony, mineral and complex with a very low tannin "polifenol" perception.
Seemed like I was watching a Samuel Fuller movie, iconoclastic, idiosyncratic and almost a new wave punk attitude.
Thanks to the owner Dino Briglio! Some shots of the slope of the winery of the Mantonico Pinto:

Thanks to Naz to let me try the wine @
                                                         Forty Guns Samuel Fuller...

lunedì 15 luglio 2013

Brunello based on a map….

Brunello di Montalcino is one of the most famous and prestigious italian wine.
All Brunello di Montalcino wine is made exclusive from Sangiovese grapes grown on the slopes around Montalcino a classic Tuscan hilltop village 30 km south of Siena. The world Brunello translates roughly as "Little dark one", and is the local vernacular name for Sangiovese grosso, the large-berries form of Sangiovese which grows in the area.
The climate in the production zone is Mediterranean. On the lower slopes the soil is clayey marl, higher up a combination of limestone and marl with some tufaceous volcanic stone. The best soil are "galestro albarese" clay with carbonate of lime and friable rock. The harvest go between the latter part of September and the middle of October.
Subdistrict of the Brunello zone
Brunello production zone can be divided into three district. The first district takes in the area north and to the east of the town of Montalcino, including the town of Torrenieri. The wine here are complex with rich bouquets, often need years to to reach their balance thanks to naturally high acidity and close tannin which mellow with time. Calcareous soil encourages roots to penetrate deep to underlying minerals that result on flavors and complexity diurnal temperature variations generate intense aromas, vineyards are located to 400m and 500m above sea level.
Producers to watch:
 Salvioni winery called Cerbaiola in the map number 53 
Colombaio Montosoli by Baricci Nello in the map number 3 
Il Paradiso di Manfredi producers in Via Canalicchio in Montalicno the vineyards are an altitude around  350 meter above sea level the total surface are 2.5 hectares using a spurred double cordon. 
I had lately is 2005 Slightly concentrated ruby that is evolving towards garnet red with luminous highlights. Violet, iris, ginger, cherry, eucalyptus, fennel, resin and stony. extraordinary persistence.
The second district, the smallest is a wedge extending southeast from Montalcino and around the town of Catelnuovo. Biondi Santi, Colombini, Poggio di Sotto, Poggio deli Ulivi  and Mastrojanni are located here.
Definely the beauties and elegance of Biondi Santi worth to try, every time I had his wines was a gift for mother nature. This area, the most protected, is considered to be the most favored.
The third zone, the southwestern part of the Brunello encompassed the town the town of Camigliano, Sant'Angelo in Colle and S. Angelo Scalo. this area are the most robust producers among them Case Basse Soldera, Lisini, Il Casello, Il Poggione, Col D'Orcia, Sesti in Castello Di Argiano. The vineyard are exposed a 300 meter to 350 meter and they make gripping Brunellos with muscle and finesse. The difference between Brunellos from this area and from around Montalicno are extreme. Soil are a combination of pliocene clay and alluvial deposits produce darker wine higher in alcohol with lower acidity which doesn't encourage aging.
From the area of Sant'Angelo I try the riserva of Sesti called Phenomena which is the name given to the brunello riserva to commemorate a significant astronomical event which occurred during the year of harvest. The graphic of the label of various years change in both image and color keeping the name Sesti and Phenomena.
 The wine was warm and transparent. Bouquet dominated by notes of crush and sour red fruit, herbs, iodine, pepper, tobacco and black cherries in liqueur framed by balsamic scent. Full bodied with a balance structure. Needs lot of times to grow. Ages 51 months in old barrels.

domenica 14 luglio 2013

Alain Voge Cornas Les Chailles 06

Cornas is at the bottom of North Rhone valley producing only 100% Syrah. Steep slopes vines are planted on a decomposed granitic soil, locally called "gore". Alain Voge his one of the finest producer in this small appellation, all his harvest is done by hand usually being in the middle of september. Grapes are destemmed, fermentation is carried out in a small stainless steel vats (30 to 50 hl) with temperature control. Ageing is done in cask. 
I recently drank Les Chailles 06 which means the grapes are coming of a parcel of Syrah with an average of 30 years old on granitic terrace bordering a calcareous hill. This soil gave particular siliceous concentration called "Les Chailles" with a great grafite and dusty character on the nose and palate.
My 2006 was clear with medium purple intensity with very light orange on the rim, concentration and viscosity was intense and elegant, the nose was dusty earthy and mineral, grafite, charcoal, granitic with forest floor and black mushroom; the wine was in balance with a lovely body, pleased acidity and extremely mineral; the evidence of oak was so integrated with the fruit with distinctive armory.

sabato 13 luglio 2013

Muont Etna

Pietro Caciogna wines

In 2005 Pietro Caciorgna was invited by his friend Marco De Grazia owner of the winery Tenuta Delle Terre Nere whom produces an excellent Etna Rosso with Nerello Macalese. Pietro visited his vineyards, located in districts between Passopiciaro and Randazzo, he fell in love with the outstanding landscapes and the beauties of the vineyards. Marco De Grazia encourages Pietro to buy some plot of land until Mr Caciorgna finds this little gem, half of hectare of Nerello hundred years old also uncrafted "prefillosera". Located in Contrada Marchese near Passopiciaro. In 2005 and 2006 he purchased the grapes for this vineyards to understand the potential of the expression of the Clos; the vilification was take in Tenuta delle Terre Nere gently allowed by Mr. De Grazia. That's the reason of the name N'Anticchia which means in dialect just a little.
The production of 2005 did not even reach the 1,800 bottles. From 2006 to 4000, then it will lead to 5000 in 2007.
My bottle I had was 2009 and I fell in love with the complexity and simplicity of the wine.

The land in this area is magical! Full of sand and many minerals gives grapes aromatic finesse, silky tannins and velvety.
The result is a wine that is aged in new oak barrels more or less, is expressed with great aromatic finesse, good body, complexity and drinkability. Minerality high. Awesome drink as Morey St. Denis in Burgundy.

Pietro Caciorgna also owns a winery in tuscany in the commune of Casole D'elsa in Siena.

venerdì 5 luglio 2013

2002 Latricieres Chambertin & Nonna

2002 Latricieres Chambertin Simon Bize
One of the domaine's particularities is to work with whole cluster; in order to use good phenolic ripeness is necessary to obtain quality tannins and extraction. Not only the finesse of the fruit but the whole sense of harvest.
My grandmother pass way on the 4th of July; that wine was like her, austere, opulent and simple, ornate and gentle, autarchy and powerless, pragmatic and idealistic, old and young…. The opposite of everything a rule in poem and grammar called oxymora.
You were a real whole bunch lady full of oxymora.
Cheers bella donna.