STELLINA offers the last in our summer series of “UNDER THE STARS” WINE TASTINGS on THURSDAY AUGUST 25 at 6:30. Entitled “THE ITALIAN RIVIERA,” it’s a celebration of the most unique and exciting wines that Italy has to offer.

Culled from five different regions, it features not only world-renown grape types like Sangiovese, but lesser known indigenous species such as Lagrein, Bonardo and Grillo among others. There’s a diversity of styles on display. Some wines were made in the old fashioned way from 70 year old vines. Other winemakers represent the new generation, bringing scientific methods to the vineyards in order to raise standards of quality to award-winning levels.

This wine tasting will be held OUTDOORS, under the stars, in the comfort of our Italian garden. Selected antipasti will be served alongside the wines, and an industry representative will be present to guide the tasting and answer questions.

The cost for the tasting is $35 per person, including all food and wine. Reservations are required. Call 617-924-9475 or go to the reservation page of this website.

Guests interested in staying afterwards for dinner are encouraged to make a reservation to insure seating.

TASTING NOTES:

MALVIRA “TRINITA” ARNEIS (PIEDMONT)

Our Vinum Nobis DOCG Roero Arneis Trinità is a wonderful and special white wine. The color of this wine is brilliant straw yellow. It has a distinguished aroma and complex structure. Our white Vinum Nobis wine has a fresh minerality mixed with flavors of peach, lemon and pineapple. The complexity and elegance of our white Arneis makes it a perfect pairing for a wide range of dishes, including; appetizers, soups, seafood, poultry, pastas and fresh cheeses. It’s alcohol content 13.0 % and can be enjoyed fresh or after a few years if you prefer more round mature flavors. Serve between 12-14˚C.

GRAPE: The Arneis grape, is situated in the beautiful area ‘Roero” of Piemonte. Literally ‘Arneis’ means ‘small and difficult’, perhaps even ‘stubborn’. The Roero region is the homebase of the Vinum Nobis Trinità vineyard. This vineyard has a sandy soil with chalky components. It is rich with fossils and minerals also left over from when the region was covered by the sea. The Arneis, also known as the ‘white Nebbiolo’, is a typical Piemonte grape. This grape is generally floral and fruity with mineral tones. Growing the Arneis grapes requires much care and attention. Pruning the Arneis grapes to a minimum, the production is diminished to realize an intense yield. The grape harvest will be completely picked by hand approximately at the end of September.

WINE MAKING: We owe our deep gratitude to the Malvira’ winery for rescuing the white and stubborn Arneis grapes from extinction. It is this winery that makes the Vinum Nobis DOCG Roero Arneis Trinità. The wines made by Malvira’ are considered as some of the purest Arneis of the Piemonte. 10% of our Arneis grapes will be aged for six months in French oak barrels while the other 90% will be aged in stainless steel tanks for ten months. After aging, both parts are combined to make the beautiful complex Vinum Nobis white wine, which is dry with a fresh and fruity after-taste.

Malvirà was established in the 1950s by Giuseppe Damonte, at a time when the Roero’s potential was yet unrealized. Giuseppe had a great passion for farming and wine, a passion that he passed on to his two sons, Roberto and Massimo. In 1974, Roberto and Massimo took the reigns and began slowly turning the family’s bulk wine business into an Estate focusing on quality wine production.

Today, Malvirà’s wines are produced from Estate fruit, organically farmed across 104 acres and 6 vineyards. Over the years, they have been one of the most ardent proponents of the Arneis grape. 42 of their 104 acres are devoted to the propagation of Arneis. It is the wine for which Malvirà is renowned. In 2007, the Damontes purchased the Renesio vineyard, which they leased since 1983. Renesio is the cru from which the Arneis grape was identified in 1478. In fact, it is unknown which came first, the name of the vineyard, or the name of the grape!

Arneis needs careful farming. According to Massimo Damonte, who oversees viticulture at his Estate, the secret to great Arneis lies in old vines. Malvirà’s average vine age for Arneis is 40‐50 years old. Vine age naturally helps to inhibit yields, allowing the plant to channel more of its energy in producing lesser quantities of higher quality fruit.

Winemaker Roberto Damonte reflects: “I remember my first Arneis. I was 15, studying to be a winemaker, and at the time my family only made red wines. I wanted to try making Arneis, but we didn’t have any space in the cellar, so I had to put it in large jugs in our garage where at least it was cold in order to stop the malolactic fermentation. I made 500 bottles and I remember my mother asking me, what she was supposed to do with all of this Arneis? She could not just make roasted rabbit all year and use it for the sauce. So I brought it to my uncle to try to sell a couple bottles to some clients of his. The next week, he came back to me and asked me if I had more. The restaurant down the street liked it so much that they bought the whole lot. For my first Arneis experiment, it went very well.”

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FEUDI DEL PISCIOTTO “MARENGO” GRILLO (SICILY)

Feudi del Pisciotto consists of 82 acres of vineyards planted in 2002 that sit at 820 feet above sea level just under four miles as the crow flies from the sea. The property, therefore, benefits from two climatic moderators: the elevation, which allows the vineyards to enjoy the sea breeze, and the sea itself, a great mitigator of temperature.

Grillo is perhaps the least known of the Sicilian varieties, though is no way inferior to those more widely recognised.
Its notes of dried pineapple, papaya and straw fl avours layered with hints of honeycomb and white pepper make it instantly recognisable and noteworthy.

Colour:  Gold hue.

Nose: Aromas of lemon rind, white chocolate, mushrooms with a lingering lees character.

Palate: Dry medium bodied wine with balanced acidity and medium intensity. Flavours of lemon rind, quince, apple, white pepper and vanilla spices are apparent though out the smooth palate.

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LARCHERHOF LAGREIN (ALTO ADIGE)

Estate: The Larcherhof vineyard is located in the St. Magdalena region at the base of the Dolomite Mountains in Alto Adige, northern Italy. The St. Magdalena church along with the majestic Dolomites in the background has become the quintessential photograph for visitors to the area. The vineyard has belonged to the Egger-Spögler family since 1893, although the 5 hectare vineyard has been cultivated for many centuries. Hailed as a “library of native varietals”, the family are custodians to several rare clones of Schiava. Whilst specializing in growing native grapes, Lagrein is the predominant grape in Larcherhof, and a couple of international varieties such as Merlot and Pinot Gris have managed to be included in the vineyard.

Winemaking: The average vine age is 70 years, although many vines are considerably older. “Cultivated close to nature”, the vineyard is farmed using sustainable methods and the grapes are cared for and harvested by hand.

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with aromas of wild berries and a bit of funky earth. A bright beam of tart red currant and blackberry flavours carried along by smooth leather notes and firm tannins in the medium body, whilst crushed black peppercorn, hints of warm clove and traces of menthol comprise the engaging finish.

Larcherhof employs sustainable practices in the field, extremely limiting the use of chemical treatments.

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CASTELLO DI LUZZANO “CARLINO” OLTREPO PAVESE (LOMBARDY)

The “Oltrepò Pavese” region is an area in the Province of Pavia, around the town of Pavia located about 36-38 kilometers south of Milan in the southwestern part of Lombardy, which lies to the south of the river Po. This explains the word “Oltrepò”, meaning that the region is located “oltre” (beyond) the Pò River, when considered from the provincial capital Pavia.)

Producing dark, earthy and slightly tannic wines, Bonarda is a red grape variety known as “Corbeau” or “Douce Noir” in the Savoie in France, where it is supposed to have originated from. Yet, it is also a name applied to several different grape varieties used to make red wine predominately in northern Italy and other parts of the world. It grows under the name of “Charbono” in California. It is now wildly planted in Argentina where it benefits from ideal growing condition and produces great everyday red wines that can easily rival some Malbec.

In the glass, it exposes a bright, deep dark ruby color with purple reflects. Quite intense, the nose offers aromas of nicely ripe dark fruit and berries, violet, earth and soil. The palate is really juicy, with dark, concentrated, ripe and earthy dark fruit flavors and Terroir oriented notes, with great acidity and tannic structure. The finish is dry and textured with reminiscent raw soil components. It definitely tastes “Natural”, which could slightly displease the no-organic-and-no-biodynamic-and-no-natural wine lovers, yet I found it excellent, quite complex, rich and definitely worth trying. An earthy and hearty food friendly wine that will pair ideally with charcuterie, pasta in meat-based sauces and some risottos, all pork dishes and most game and stew dishes

90 POINTS! The Wine Advocate“The 2009 Bonarda Carlino is a flat-out great bottle of wine. Clean, mineral notes frame an exuberant core of dark jammy fruit, spices, flowers and earthiness, all of which come together beautifully in this exquisite, harmonious red. The Carlino is 100% Croatina aged in steel. Readers looking for something new to try should check out this delicious offering from one of northern Italy’s under the radar producers.

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LA SPINETTA “IL GENTILE DI CASANOVA” SANGIOVESE (TUSCANY)

Giorgio Rivetti produces approachable yet age-worthy wines that capture the attention of wine critics and consumers year-in and year-out with their lushness, concentration, aromatics, and length. From his recently-acquired Tuscan estate, Casanova della Spinetta, located in the hills south of Pisa in the heart of Tuscany, come two cru Sangiovese wines from 40+-year-old vines. Both are 95% Sangiovese with 5% Colorino aged one year in French-oak barrels.

Furthermore, never let it be said that the greatness of La Spinetta is unavailable to the average consumer—it’s actually quite the opposite! Giorgio’s entry-level value wines are some of his best and his Nero di Casanova, the young-vines blend of Sangiovese with a bit of Colorino is a great way to experience the success of La Spinetta’s move into Tuscany.

92 POINTS! The Wine Advocate – “Scents of super-ripe dark cherries, tobacco, spices and leather waft from the glass as the 2006 Il Gentile di Casanova opens up. A vein of minerality frames the fruit beautifully through to the long, creamy finish. The La Spinetta house style built on ripeness and textural depth is in evidence in this Sangiovese-based red but is not as overdone as in previous wines. This is a gorgeous juice”

 

 

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