THURSDAY NOVEMBER 19 at 6:30 THE WINES OF ITALY’S WEST COAST
On Thursday November 19 at 6:30 Stellina will present the second in a series of Italian Wine Tastings, with a review of wines from the peninsula’s West Coast.
We will be pouring wines from vineyards located in five different provinces: Liguria, Tuscany, Lazio, Campania and Basilicata. The grape types include some of the country’s best known such as Sangiovese, plus a handful that are unknown in any other part of the world.
Three of the most unique wines being presented have a heritage that dates back to pre-Roman times, when Greek sailors first visited southern Italy. The crisp white Pigato and the dark, spicy reds known as Aglianico and Taurasi are rare examples of old-fashioned grapes that have remained local favorites over the centuries. And all three have found new life in the last two decades, as collectors and connoisseurs searched for wines that reflect these unusual terroirs.
The wine tasting will include five wines, selected antipasti and commentary from an industry representative.
The cost is $29 per person. Reservations are required. Call 617-924-9475 or go to our reservation page.
NOTES ON THE WINES BEING SERVED:
TAURASI from TERRADORA DI PAOLO
“From a rich and ancient tradition, the passion that animates the present” Terredora Di Paolo is a continuation of the ancient story of Campania, its people and their passion for their land and their winemaking. For us the land is central to our family. It represents our soul and the driving force behind the winery, which is why, year after year, we consider the harvest our greatest treasure. TERREDORA DI PAOLO has been on the forefront of the wine renaissance in Campania since 1978. This is a region that was famous for producing the best wines of the Roman Empire and Terredora Di Paolo is committed to re-establishing it to its former glory. They have been instrumental in reintroducing ancient grape varieties, promoting modern innovation and training the men and women who will be responsible for carrying their vision into the future. Today, with more than 120 hectares of vineyard land, Terredora Di Paolo is Campania’s largest wine producer and vineyard owner, with a worldwide reputation for the quality of its wines. Their commitment to excellence was proven in 1994 when they decided to vinify their own grapes. This decision was prompted by their belief that great wine comes from the balance of natural resources: terrain, varieties used, climate and man’s ability to work with nature.
Grape Variety: 100 % Aglianico
Production area: Pietradefusi vineyards on the top of Calore hills river.
Wine-making techniques: Carefully selected and handpicked grapes. About 12 days maceration and fermentation around 28°C. Matured in French oak barrels for 14 months and then for a further 24 months in bottle.
Tasting notes: A deep ruby red colour, a blooming aroma of ample ripe cherries, sweet spices, plum, tobacco, pepper, tar. Supple and silky on the palate, with concentrated texture mellowed into body richness and ripeness. Sweet and fine tannins, long fruity, spiced and toasty finish. Excellent cellaring potential, with bottle age, adding to the wine’s complexity.
Food pairings: All roast and braised meats, game, wild boar, ragout, beef fillet, rib-eye steaks, grilled lamb chop, game, spicy dishes, mushrooms, truffles and mature cheeses such as seasoned provolone, parmigiano or gorgonzola.
Serve at 18/22°C.
2008: Decanter World Wine Awards 2013 – Silver
2006: 94 points – The Wine Advocate, Feb 2013
2006: Year’s Best and Best Buy – Wine & Spirits, Jun 2013
2005: 94 points – The Wine Advocate, Jun 2011: “A huge, explosive wine”.
2005: 90 points – Wine Enthusiast, An insider’s guide to Italy’s best wine, food and travel.
2004: 95+ points – The Wine Advocate, Aug 2010
AGLIANICO DI VULTURE from RE MANFREDI
Aromas of rose, violet, all spice and black berries lead the nose on this structured Aglianico, with bright acidity and velvety tannins. The palate offers up fleshy black cherry and raspberry layered with black pepper, nutmeg and mocha. Score – 90. (Kerin O’Keefe, Wine Enthusiast, Sept. 2014)
Re Manfredi is located in Venosa, in northern Basilicata. Basilicata is located in the “instep” of the boot in the south of Italy bordered by Campania to the west and Puglia to the northeast. This is a region of relatively little wine, but when the right climate manages to combine with perfect soil, the resulting wines can be of a truly outstanding quality.
As is the case on the Re Manfredi / Terre degli Svevi estate founded in 1998 by Nunzio Capurso, formerly longtime Managing Director of Tuscan Estate, Melini, and is now managed by Andrea Lonardi. The 235-acre estate is run like a top Barolo or Brunello property with an unswerving focus on quality. It is perfectly situated on the slopes of Monte Vulture, an ancient extinct volcano, which rises tall over the Apennines mountain range. Here, plentiful sunshine, parched, hilly farmlands at fairly high elevation and volcanic soils found on Monte Vulture all combine to form ideal growing conditions in the Aglianico del Vulture DOC. The estate vineyards are spread along the lower elevations of the volcano’s base. Plantings consist mainly of the indigenous Aglianico with smaller amounts of the white Mu?ller Thurgau, Traminer and other varietals spread throughout. This benchmark Aglianico producer has earned numerous Tre Biccheri awards.
PIGATO from COLLE DEI BARDELLINI
Founded in the 1970s, Colle dei Bardellini came under its current ownership in 1983. A group of dedicated investors headed by Franco de Paolis, which included Pino Sola and his brothers, purchased the estate in order to focus on producing the highest quality regional wines with all the elegance possible. Work on a modern winery began immediately, giving the estate the tools it needed to craft highly aromatic white wines that harness the rich aromas of the terroir. Soon after, the new owners purchased contiguous vineyards, creating an expanded estate of 15 acres with seven acres dedicated to Vermentino and Pigato vineyards.
Sitting at almost 1,000 feet above sea level, Colle dei Bardellini enjoys a desirable south-west exposure in a Mediterranean climate surrounded by the floral maritime vegetation of the region, such as maritime pine, from Pittosporum, and wild herbs. The mild weather creates the ideal conditions for viticulture, and the vibrant aromas of the surrounding hills and the saline sea breeze seem to inspire the local varieties to great aromas that cannot be found in any other region.
Today, Pino Sola is the administrative director of Colle dei Bardellini and its unofficial historian. Having spent over thirty vintages on the estate, he can describe the personality of its two exported wines from memory. The U Munte Vermentino is a feminine wine that is silky, soft and pleasant on the palate. Its nose shifts from floral to herbal aromas of thyme and rosemary wrapped in a noteworthy marine sensation. This complements the palate with a fresh, aromatic persistence.
Their other wine is Pigato, a native variety of the area. Pigato found in Riviera Ligure di Ponente is considered the pearl of Ligurian viticulture. While found in other areas, the Pigato of this place differentiates itself with its delicate finesse. Colle dei Bardellini has made this delicate character its calling card.
SYRAH from PRINCIPE PILLAVICINI
The Principe Pallavicini winery was established by one of Italy’s oldest noble families. With over 300 years of viticultural experience, the family focuses on the development of the winemaking business in order to produce wines of impeccable quality in the magical, inimitable Lazio terroir.
Principe Pallavicini represents the largest, private estate in Frascati. Of the 208 acres of vineyards at their Colonna (Pasolina and Marmorelle) and Cerveteri holdings, 133 acres are dedicated to the cultivation of white varietals for the production of Frascati DOCG. In-depth knowledge of the land has led to identifying the best vineyards, and after careful study and experimentation conducted in the field and in the cellar, these vineyards are producing increasingly more refined and enjoyable wines with their own outstanding personality.
The team of agronomist Mauro de Angelis, winemaker Carlo Ferrini and resident winemaker Carlo Roveda controls every aspect of production, from cultivation to bottling. Great efforts are taken to maintain the rich character of each varietal. Careful selection, chilled transportation and tailored vinification techniques ensure that the final wines have the bright, nuanced personality of the varietals that went into them.
To this end, renovations were initiated in the family’s historic Colonna cellars and Marmorelle vineyards in the 1980s. The refining of the wine takes place on the Marmorelle farm, where an old stable has been restored and equipped for drying grapes used to make raisin wine, while a section of an ancient aqueduct holds the barrel, cask and bottle chambers. The cellar has been designed to focus the utmost attention on this conclusive phase of the winemaking, utilizing a combination of traditional and modern techniques.
Principe Pallavicini dedicates 35 acres of its Cerveteri property to the cultivation of red varietals. This Syrah is crafted from young vineyards that have been planted after 1995.
Careful selection takes place during manual harvest in late September. The selected grapes are transported to the winery in refrigerated trucks in order to preserve the fruit’s bright aromas. Vinification then takes place using a special strain of yeast that the Pallavicini family developed with the assistance of the University of Milan and the University of Bologna.
VINO NOBILE from TENUTA LA BRACCESCA
To me, Brunello has always been the most elegant Tuscan choice – long refined notes of mostly perfect control: discipline. The Chianti regions on the other hand offer, less than superfine wines praised for their easy-drinkability and mass-appeal. What if there was a wine that could combine the both of these things? Fine and elegant and yet fun and racy: there is, Vino Nobile.
Also made almost entirely from a mutation of Sangiovese (in this case Prugnolo Gentile and a splash of Merlot), VIno Nobile often offers up some of the notes that Sangiovese is better known for: sassy, tart and exciting fruit with long, luscious minerals and a handful of luxury aromas.
This wine, from Tenuta La Braccesca, is the brainchild of that famous Tuscan producer, you know: the one which makes Tignanello, Solaia, Pèppoli, Santa Cristina and the like. The Antinoris bought the estate back in the early 1990s and whilst it might not be their most-famous Tuscan product, it’s a very good wine nonetheless.
Deep red-purple with a bright pink hue.
The first sense on the nose is one of a bright black fruit mixture: a big sense of blackcurrant but also black cherries, redcurrants and blueberries. Some lovely sweet Virginia tobacco, a patch of leather and even some freshly-roasted espresso are all in there too.
A much more subdued explosion of taste than expected and one that implemented the alternative sides to the fruit rather than their sweet sides: slightly sour berry tannins eventually gave way to ripe red and black fruit, lead entirely by the blackcurrant and black cherry. A nice toasty finish with well-worked in tannins completed the wine rather elegantly.
A great wine and a brilliant example of how Vino Nobile is the most accessible of the finer Tuscan DOCs and DOCGs. With enough elegance and pride to impress the drinkers of the stuff grown 20 or so miles to the South West, the tart and lively notes of Montepulciano make Sangiovese-based DOCG wines attractive to anyone: not just the classic wine drinker.
CHIANTI RISERVA from LA SPINETTA
Wine Spectator – “With its wild, balsamic flavors, this red evokes a sense of place, exhibiting flavors of cherry and strawberry as well. Though fresh, the wine is just slightly dry on the finish. Best from 2012 through 2020.”