Category Archives: Italian wines

Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia 2018

Mediterranean elegance and the colour of light

One of the estate’s established wines, Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia 2018 has just finished a year of bottle refinement and is ready to dazzle even the most discerning palates. Consisting mainly of Sauvignon Blanc with a touch of Vermentino and Viognier, this white wine by Ornellaia elegantly embraces the estate style in a more approachable manner.

 

“Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia 2018 boasts a sumptuous structure and luminous straw yellow colour,” comments the estate’s winemaker Olga Fusari. “This vintage, which started with rain but finished with sunshine, distinguished itself with an extended and slightly later harvest. We sense the result in the overtones of exotic fruit, accompanied by white peach and delicate vanilla nuances. The wine is generous and smooth on the palate, in addition to having standout opulence and richness, which makes for a refreshing and enduring finish”.

 

After a hot vintage like 2017, 2018 reinvigorates and soothes with its cold winter months and considerable spring rainfall. The Mediterranean microclimate worked its magic in July, providing dry, sunny days. In turn, the cooler September nights enabled the vines to regain and preserve their aromas and acidity. These perfect conditions permitted the Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier harvest to begin on 16 August and continue until mid-September. Vermentino bunches were delivered to the cellar between 17 and 25 September. 

 

To achieve such elegant and complex wines in the Ornellaia style, the quality of the grapes is essential. Equally important are the care taken and the techniques employed in the cellar during vinification and refinement. First selected in the vineyard and again in the cellar, the grapes are gently pressed, and the ensuing must is moved partly into new and used barriques, and partly into steel and concrete vats. The wine alternates between ageing on the fine lees with regular batonnage for six months, which is an important step in crafting the character of Ornellaia whites. Finally, every single parcel is tasted and calibrated for the final blend, which rests in the bottle for a year. “Our Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia is an expressive wine with an enjoyable complexity as soon as it is released to market,” explains estate director Axel Heinz. “That doesn’t make it predictable: the wine’s opulence and richness, hallmarks of the Tuscan coast, bestow depth and an ability to stand the test of time”.

 

Regardless of whether it is enjoyed soon or set aside for a while, Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia encapsulates the sunlight of the land, to which this wine owes its unmistakable Mediterranean character. The unique microclimate of the estate, an authentic gift of nature, becomes a rich and juicy white with a lively vein of acidity, a product of the sea breeze along the Tuscan coast which caresses and nourishes the vines.

 

The name ORNELLAIA is synonymous of fine winemaking and an authentic expression of the beauty of Tuscany. The estate is situated along the Tuscan coastline, a short distance from the medieval town of Bolgheri and the iconic cypress-lined approach. Ornellaia Bolgheri DOC Superiore and Ornellaia Bianco are the estate’s top wines, ensued by the second vin Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia, Le Volte dell’Ornellaia and the white Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia. In little over thirty years (the first vintage of Ornellaia was in 1985), the team’s dedication accompanied by optimal soil and microclimate has resulted in critical acclaim and public success within Italy and internationally. 

 

Cantina Tollo: organic and vegan certified wines made with native grapes of Abruzzo

 

Cantina Tollo, the well-known proactive brand from Abruzzo, has released on the market its latest project. The new line, which is made from indigenous grapes and with a sustainable packaging, features five wines certified both organic and vegan. The wines pay homage to the surrounding natural environment which stretches from the Adriatic Sea to the towering Maiella mountain reaching above 2.790 metres asl and boosts an incredible flora and fauna biodiversity. The five wines include Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Dop, Trebbiano d’Abruzzo Dop, Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo Dop, Terre di Chieti Pecorino Igp and Terre di Chieti Passerina Igp.

Each wine is identified by a handmade pencil drawing featuring five bioindicators. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo dop, made from the eponymous juicy and tannic red grape, Montepulciano, is identified with the ladybug, which is an indicator of unpolluted environments. The dragonfly, which inhabits clean water spaces, stands on the label of Trebbiano d’Abruzzo Dop from refreshing white Trebbiano variety. Butterflies which reveals huge information about climate change have been chosed to represent a traditional product such as Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo, the local dry rosé with a deep salmon hue, cherries aromas and a mineral palate. The stag beetle, living in the fierce old woods of Maiella mountain, stands out on the label of white Terre di Chieti Pecorino Igp whereas the bee is the symbol of the light Terre di Chieti Passerina Igp exuding aromas of citrus and wild flowers.

The whole packaging aims at respecting nature. The capsule is PVC-free, the label is made from recycled paper and cotton fibers, and the box too is made of recycled cardoboard.

The line is aimed at consumers looking for wines with a sense of place, speaking of the land they come from and playing an active role in preserving the environment, from a social and a natural point of view. “Cantina Tollo has always been safeguarding and preserving nature” states Tonino Verna, chairman at Cantina Tollo. “With this new line we want to cast a light on insects which are the daily companions of our grape growers and are the minuscule keepers of our vineyards, helping preserving the natural balance. Today, more than ever before, we have to carefully observe the signals of the environment, understand it, respect the Earth and produce in a sustainable and conscious way”.

 

A new Contrada emerges on Mount Etna: Passochianche

Passopisciaro again a pioneer, with a new Chardonnay

 

Passochianche, the name of the latest Contrada, or distinctive growing district, recognised by Passopisciaro and dedicated to Chardonnay, is an ancient terraced piece of land on the slopes of Mount Etna, lying between 870 and 950 metres’ elevation. 

Andrea Franchetti had already intuited, back in 2000, that this tiny plot of ultra-fine black sand would be an intriguing habitat for Chardonnay, so he planted a high-density vineyard to that grape. From vintage 2018 the winery has decided to bottle it as Contrada PC, shorthand for Passochianche. 

 

“This wine embodies the experience and knowledge that we have gained over the years with our parcels of Chardonnay,” explained Andrea Franchetti, who was a winegrowing pioneer on Etna and creator of the whole concept of Etna wine contrade. “Over the years, during the growing season and, in particular, with the ageing of the vines, many individual terroirs began to impose their own distinctive personality and quality on the fruit. So, year after year, as we applied precision viticultural practices to the various soils, experimenting with different ripeness regimes, we started separating out the various lots of grapes during harvest and vinification. The result is Contrada PC, which is a superb demonstration of how Etna, with the same grape variety, can yield expressions and wine personalities that are so distinct and different from spot to spot.”   

 

The first vintage of Contrada PC, produced in an extremely limited edition, will be shortly released to the market.

From Volcanic hills, Reassi wines

Few kilometers from Padua in the Euganean hills, a family wine estate totally devoted to organic vineyards, transform grapes into wine for more than one hundred years. This is Azienda Agricola “Reassi extended over an area of about 6 hectares, where the favorable position of the land, together with volcanic soils, guarantees the grow of vines with optimal results.

The ancient volcanic cone of the Euganenan hills has a rich and diverse geological composition. Sedimentary limestone of marine origin lies below the unique Euganean marls, which cover the volcanic subsoils formed during the last period of volcanic activity, rich in basalt, tracheae, rhyolite and lalite.

In this ideal environment there is a continual search of the ultimate expression of the terroir using techniques reinforced by modern technology while maintaining respect for ancient traditions.

The company philosophy reflects the characteristics of the land, concentrating predominately on autochthonous vines.

 

Reassi’s wine production:

  • Antichi ReassiColli Euganei Pinello. Bubbles mean fun. This festive wine is perfect as an aperitif or for a dinner with friends. Easy to drink, it is ideal for welcoming guests and it can accompany snacks between meals or a casual lunch.
  • Sparviere – Colli Euganei Cabernet. A versatile wine that flatters a wide range of foods. The ideal pairing for bigoli (a typical Veneto pasta) with duck ragu, braised game with polenta and grilled steak.
  • Tre frazioni – Colli Euganei Rosso. The most serious wine; the grapes come from a vineyard that borders the three villages of our municipality. Perfect with game and roasted or grilled beef.
  • Terre d’argilla – Colli Euganei Manzoni Bianco. Its fresh and fruity aromas make this wine seem “happy-go-lucky” but with its structure and complexity it has a more serious side as well. Smart and fun! Excellent with risotto or homemade egg pasta, oven-baked fish and soft cheeses.
  • Vin Bastardo – Marzemina Nera Bastarda, Turchetta, Corbina. Perfect for casual get-togethers with friends and with snacks typical of the Veneto region: fried polenta with salami, cotechino, Prosciutto or homemade sopressa.
  • Arche’ – Colli euganei Merlot. Many people consider Merlot an international grape, but to us it is a traditional variety. Archè prefers starters with delicate sauces, lamb and mushroom or vegetable dishes.
  • OP! – Opera Prima Spumante Metodo Classico. For those who love the Classical Method. Opera Prima is an ideal alternative to Franciacorta or Champagne. Perfect for celebrating special occasions or for making any occasion special. Ideal with risotto, white meats or tartare.
  • Fior d’Arancio – Colli Euganei Spumante Dolce Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita. Life always needs a little sweetness! This is a sparkling wine to be enjoyed at the end of a meal with pastries, cakes, fruit plates or as an enchanting addition to aperitif cocktails.

Ca ‘Lustra, an exciting journey in a unique land

 

Ca’ Lustra is a path, now more than 40 years long, in a land rich in history and character.

The cellar is located on the southern slopes of Monte Venda, the highest Euganean hill.

The Euganean Hills are a true school of geology in the open air, highlighting very particular volcanic phenomena, whose legacy is made of clear siliceous rocks often interspersed with limestones of different ages and origins.

 

The wine-growing vocation of the Euganean Hills derives from their extraordinary geology, evident in the alternation of generous volcanic soils to much more arid marine sediments. A variability that we support with patience and experience, field by field, with the dual purpose of safeguarding the natural environment and enhancing the “cru” details. For consistency and tangible influence on the quality of the products we have chosen since 2008 to grow organically in a territory that is today, in addition to the Natural Park founded in 1989, also Biodistretto and UNESCO candidate.

 

The Muscat and Bordeaux vines are the most important in terms of expressiveness and diffusion. Evidence of the presence of Muscat in these areas dates back to the 1st century AD. The moscato bianco, with excellent freshness and delicate hints of flowers and aromatic herbs, enriches the moscato giallo which releases sweet and intense notes, nectarines.

The Fior d’arancio represents the appreciated DOCG, especially in the passito version, awarded periodically in many guides. Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc, widespread in Roman times, integrated perfectly into the environment of the Euganean Hills to give us Bordeaux wines of great pleasure, structure and longevity.

The deep knowledge of the territory, the constant experimentation, the belief in healthy products through organic cultivation, are the basis of the company’s personality.

The production commitment is divided into 2 lines:

• Wines Ca’ Lustra Bontà, simplicity and recognizability where product and territory are intended as sincere identity in the bottle. They are wines that carry the volcanic and Mediterranean character of this small acrocore of over 100 hills that emerged from the waters of the Adriatic just 30/50 million years ago.

• Select Zanovello Studio, experience, need for comparison and progress. From the historical research on the first Venetian and Euganean civilizations follows a cultural path in which we insert ourselves with the fruit of our work today. For this reason, in the “Zanovello” label, the current sign fits into the old one, shown in the characters of ancient Venetian writing.

Encounter with #storiedivino 15 Italian wine producers live on Facebook and Instagram.

Wine-lovers across the globe can now enjoy a virtual encounter with 15 top-ranked wine producers throughout Italy in a “virtual wine fair.” In place of the usual stands will be direct social-media encounters right from the wineries, vineyards, or desks of these wine producers in most of Italy’s regions. Anyone using social media can meet with them via the wineries’ Facebook and Instagram pages.

 

During these weeks, while almost all of us in the world are “sheltering in place” in our homes, spring has awakened the vines. In synch with the season, wine producers are looking resolutely towards the future. Each of them is ready to personally describe the wines that, following long months of maturation and bottle-ageing, are ready for their journey to the tables of consumers in all corners of the globe. Each bottle has a story of a growing year, and, behind that, the passion, beauty, and values classic to Eternal Italy.       

 

After they introduce their new vintages, the producers will be happy to engage in conversation with wine-lovers and wine sector professionals and to respond “live” to any questions they may have.  (Note: All times are CET-Central European Time)

Monday, 6 April: Ricasoli 1141 (IG 3pm), Tenuta di Ghizzano (FB 4pm), Pio Cesare 1881 (IG 6pm)

Tuesday, 7 April: Azienda Vitivinicola Passopisciaro (FB 4pm), Conte Vistarino (IG 4.30pm), San Leonardo (IG 5pm)

Wednesday, 8 April: Tenuta di Trinoro (4pm on Instagram under „passopisciaro_trinoro“), Tenute Silvio Nardi (FB 4.30pm), Castello di Querceto (FB 5pm), Fattoria Le Pupille (IG 5.30pm)

Thursday, 9 April: Ornellaia (FB 3pm), Antico Podere Gagliole (IG 3.30pm), Alliance Vinum (FB 4pm), Giodo (IG 4.30pm), Luce della Vite (IG 5pm)

CUSUMANO PRESENTS BENUARA 2018 A SMALL RED FLOWER


It is to a small red flower that grows in the spring around the Mediterranean that Benuara owes its name. And, just like that flower, this wine presents itself in the new vintage, 2018, at the end of the cold season, at the end of those five thousand hours of work that the brothers Alberto and Diego Cusumano dedicate to each of the twelve labels that produce in five, very different, kept scattered throughout Sicily.

Benuara was born in Presti and Pegni, from the union of the all Sicilian power of Nero d’Avola to the complexity of Syrah which has found a home suitable for developing its spicy character in the vineyards of this estate. We are in Monreale, on hills where the vineyards are exposed to the sun from sunrise to sunset. To cool the air comes the sea breeze, about 10 km away, which dissipates the heat. Here the soils are clayey and compact, a factor that gives wines greater complexity, starting from the color. The harvest is manual: it starts with Syrah in late August, continues with Nero d’Avola in the first ten days of September. Vinification, with frequent pumping over and punching down, allows to enhance the full color of this wine. The aging takes place at 80% in steel, the rest in large barrels, of 20 hl, to enhance the spicy notes of Syrah and the tannins of Nero d’Avola. The result is a complex wine, but very pleasant and refined.

An elegance, that of Benuara, which is also reflected in its new guise, recently chosen by Cusumano for each of its twelve labels: material colors and interweaving of dark and light backgrounds translate the shades, shades and harmony into color the vines offer the palate. To complete the sensorial experience, the Touching Experience: a plot of free lines placed in relief on the label depicts the rows of Tenuta Presti and Pegni and allows the consumer to enter, with a simple touch, in this corner of Sicily which, like the mosaic tile, it composes the multiple and courageous identity of Cusumano.

Benuara

Sicily D.O.C.
Grapes: Nero d’Avola 70%, Syrah 30%

Nero d’Avola in a complex, refined guise marries Syrah. Elegance and drinkability from the vineyards of Tenuta Presti e Pegni.

Like all Cusumano wines, Benuara uses the SOStain / VIVA “Sustainable Wine” certification. In fact, the common denominator of the diversity and uniqueness of Cusumano wines is the commitment to sustainable viticulture that stems from the sentiment and ethical obligation to protect resources, limiting their waste. A research that translates into actions compliant with the SOStain protocol, the sustainability program for Sicilian viticulture, sponsored by the Ministry of Agricultural and Forestry Policies and recognized by the Ministry of the Environment, Land and Sea, through the V.I.V.A.

Harvest 2018: quality / price award, Berebene 2020, Gambero Rosso.
Harvest 2017: 93 points, Yearbook of the Best Italian Wines 2019, Luca Maroni; 90 points, Wine Enthisiast, Feb. 2020; 89 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate.

 

New Executive Team for Masseto Estate

Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja, CEO of Masseto, has announced today the new executive team of Masseto Estate which will see Tim Banks as the new Sales & Marketing Director, alongside Axel Heinz, who continues his commitment as Estate Director.

 

The role of Sales & Marketing Director was held until 2019 by Alex Belson who decided to retire after two decades of successful work. Alex Belson joined Ornellaia in 1999 and since 2015 she has dedicated herself exclusively to Masseto in the role of Sales & Marketing Director, becoming an international point of reference for the winery.

 

The quality, creativity and complete dedication of Alex” states Giovanni Geddes in his message of thanks and greetings “have greatly helped the growth of these two companies which in recent years have seen an important increase in their turnover”.  

Tim Banks, Ornellaia’s Sales & Marketing Director since 2015, thus doubles his role and begins a new further professional path. He will be supported by a new team formed of Vianney Gravereaux as the new Global Sales Manager, Susanne Weber as Brand Manager and Elena Oprea in the role of Communication Manager. Eleonora Marconi continues as winemaker of Masseto.

 

www.masseto.com

Lungarotti wine: Rubesco 2017 limited edition by Mamo

Special edition for Rubesco 2017, the iconic Rosso di Torgiano Doc of Cantine Lungarotti, born in 1962 and now exported to 50 countries worldwide. A limited series of 350 bottles in magnum version with a label signed by the eclectic artist Massimiliano Donnari from Perugia, known as MaMo, and accompanied by the “Scatolo”, a package with a coordinated design. The exclusive edition was presented today in Torgiano during the opening ceremony of the exhibition “MUVIT MAMO MOO – Un filo rosso tra arte e vino” (MUVIT MAMO MOO – A red thread between art and wine), scheduled for 23 November, until 12 January 2020 and which sees 16 works by the artist on display at both the Wine Museum (Muvit, 8 canvases) and the Olive and Oil Museum (Moo) of the Lungarotti Foundation.

For Chiara Lungarotti, managing director of the group: “Art and wine are a union that has always characterized Lungarotti’s identity, starting with the Foundation’s commitment to the Museums of Torgiano, dedicated to the millenary culture of oil and wine, to collaborations with contemporary artists. A contamination that, together with our wines, allows us to export the history and culture of Umbria and the Mediterranean to the world”.

The label designed by MaMo for Lungarotti sees E.T. coming out of a new flying saucer depicted with the Fontana Maggiore of Perugia, in the act of indicating a glass of Rubesco circling among the stars.

Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator

Vernaccia di Serrapetrona DOCG from Quacquarini wine estate

Serrapetrona is a small town in the countryside around Macerata, at the heart of central Italy, where the mountain has preserved its natural origins: the cold chill of winter and the summer Mediterranean sun have created a natural balance between man and nature. This is the homeland of the “Vernaccia di Serrapetrona DOCG” wine.

Love for the land, experience and tradition in cultivating vines have nourished the entrepreneurial enthusiasm of the Quaquarini’s family along the years. Alberto is the founder of this family concern; assisted by Francesca, his wife, he has defied the occurrences of life, and together they have set solid foundations for the future generations. Monica, Luca and Mauro have accepted the challenge and at present run the business, co-operating with each other in a sort of natural symbiosis. Alberto Quacquarini is the leading manufacturer of Vernaccia di Serrapetrona Docg that is produced in 35 hectares of vineyards planted with Vernaccia Nera – Black Vernaccia.

THE METHOD OF WINE

The intense quality of the grapes is obtained in places of semidarkness, where the grapes are hung up and left to dry for 3 months. The new grape-picking takes place in January: the must from the grapes is a fiery ruby red, sweet and thick like honey. This is added to ferment in the October wine where the freshness of the recent harvest is blended with the richness of the dried grapes. The new wine, which has matured in cool fresh cellars, is left to ferment further still to obtain the sparkling wine. In this way this natural sparkling wine acquires its final precious crucial flavours. The dense ruby red consistent effervescence captures different scents and aromas, those of the refined perlage of an elite sparkling wine with the simplicity of clear, well-defined flavour. The long drawn-out process makes it impossible to put the product on the market until one year and a half has gone by since the vintage.

THE VERNACCIA DI SERRAPETRONA DOCG

The Vernaccia di Serrapetrona is produced using the superior Vernaccia Nera, or black Vernaccia. The vineyards are small with little foliage and few grapes, and the Alberto Quacquarini wine business can count on no more than 8.000 kilograms of Vernaccia grapes per hectare. Only the grapes grown and cultivated by Alberto Quacquarini are used in the winemaking. The high point of this wine is the special method of vinification which makes it the only Docg red sparkling wine undergoing three distinct and consecutive fermentations.

Antonio Gala

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