Stellina specializes in offering our patrons Italian and American wines that are not only delicious but intellectuallly stimulating. Join us on THURSDAY NOVEMBER 8 at 6:30 for one of the most interesting wine dinners we’ve ever given, as we taste the groundbreaking wines of GIORNATA of Paso Robles, California.
“We produce Italian-varietal wines from vineyards we farm in Paso Robles using traditional, old-world winemaking technique. Our wines are made to express the character of grape variety, terroir, and vintage. Structured for the table and the cellar, their fresh and vibrant personalities highlight the bounty of the dramatic soils in our diverse growing region.”
You’ll see classic Italian grapes like Nebbiolo and Sangiovese in an entirely new light. And as usual we’ll serve the wines alongside our equally classic Italian cuisine, chosen specifically to show them to their best advantage. Professional guidance will be provided by Mark Fratto of M.S. Walker.
Five wines and five courses, plus a complimentary sweet, will be served. Cost for the dinner is $65 per person. Please call Stellina personally at 617-924-9475 to insure prompt confirmation.
“Giornata, based in Paso Robles, is specializing in Italian varietals and also making simply stellar wines…I was absolutely enthralled by the quality of their very classically-styled Nebbiolo, Aglianico and other bottlings and look forward to following their progress with each passing vintage…Clearly the finest nebbiolo I have tasted outside of Barolo or Barbaresco! ”
— John Gilman, View From the Cellar
ABOUT PASO ROBLES:
Paso Robles is a wine region for the wild-hearted. The town El Paso de Robles (which means Pass of the oak trees) was co-founded by Kentucky outlaws Frank and Jesse James’ uncle Drury around 1869. Today, Paso Robles is still considered by many as the wine industry’s wild west, characterized by that same rule breaking diversity and innovative spirit in which the town was founded.
“Paso Robles is the wild west of California wine.”
Factoid: Paso Robles is California’s fastest growing AVA. Since 2000, the number of bonded wineries has grown from 50 to over 200, driven by growth in ownership by small family-owned producers.
Paso Robles has always been known for its heat. Average temperatures during the growing season can push 105 °F (40.6 °C) which will melt things in your car and make grapes grow plump with sugar. For this reason, it’s been popular with late-ripening varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Mourvèdre. Of course, when you have this kind of heat most wine grapes become fat and gross and rapidly lose precious acidity. This is what makes Paso unique. Night temperatures in the region drop by 40-50 °F (4–10 °C) in what experts refer to as a diurnal shift allowing the wines of Paso to achieve power and full ripeness AND maintain refreshingly high acidity levels. There is a surprising lack of flabby wines found here, compared to other inland CA regions, such as the ones closer to Sacramento.
Meet the Winemakers, Brian and Stephanie Terrizzi-“The Giornata wines are at the highest quality tier of Italian-style wines in this state.”
The journey in creating Giornata started with a dream to create wines from Italian grapes grown in California employing the sensibility and philosophy of Italian winemaking. We work with the same grape vines (clonal material) as the best producers in Italy. The Central Coast of California posseses many of the attributes of the top wine growing regions of Italy. Our winemaking style leans more Italian than Californian in that we favor wines with balance and subtlety rather than intensity and extraction. We pick our grapes at lower sugar levels and handle our must gently in the cellar, thus resulting in wines that belong on the Italian dinner table possesing both ample acidity and tannin. Traveling to Italy on a regular basis, we continue to receive feedback on our efforts while researching Italian winemaking and viticultural methods.
“I’m of the mind that these are among the most intriguing Cal-Ital wines being made…There’s a certain wildness to them that gives them a distinctly Old World flair, but they’re not overly funky and can even display a rather polished character… Brian, who took an enology degree at Fresno State, cut his winemaking teeth at Tuscany’s highly regarded Isole e Olena, by the way, and the influence really shows.”
FROM A 2016 SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE article:
By no means newcomers, Brian and Stephanie Terrizzi of Paso Robles nevertheless don’t get enough acclaim for their excellent work. “I was told for a very long time that I’d never do anything interesting with Italian varietals in California,” says Brian. But the couple — he the winemaker, she the viticulturist, both trained at Fresno State — loved the Nebbiolo grape too much to give up on it.
They’ve now found a range of sites around Paso Robles — including the excellent Luna Matta Vineyard, which Stephanie manages — with compelling versions of Aglianico, Sangiovese, Fiano, Barbera and, especially, Nebbiolo. Giornata’s structured, acid-driven wines belie the assumption that Paso is too hot to grow these grapes. Besides, the Terrizzis say, their vineyards’ soil has a lot in common with that of Chianti.
Composition – 80% Fiano, 13% Trebbiano, 7% FalanghinaÉlevage – Neutral vessels, native fermentationProduction – 65 Cases
Alcohol – 13.5%
Clean and stony, our Fiano, from a newer vineyard source for us, lended itself to a simple stainless-steel fermentation and maturation in the cellar. Destemmed and crushed in chilled morning air, it’s left to soak on its skins for a bit before a delicate basket pressing. It proceeds untouched through alcoholic and partial malolactic fermentation, then filtered and bottled in mid February.
The first wine to feature a tiny amount of fruit from our estate vineyard, the 2017 Fiano is a worthy successor to a string of very popular bottlings of this wine. Along with its red Campanian cousin Aglianico, Fiano is entirely suited to the southern Italian-like warm and dry climate of Paso Robles. Intense aromas of cantaloupe, baked apple and hazelnut are followed honey, persimmon and pear notes on the creamy/rich palate.
“One of my favorite wineries in Paso Robles, Brian Terrizzi’s Giornata is dedicated to exploring the potential of Italian varieties in this part of California. They do a great job with all their cuvées, but I have a soft spot for their beautiful Fiano, a grape that I’d love to see planted more extensively in this region.
“The 2017 Fiano from Giornata is lovely, offering up notes of honeyed peaches, white flowers and citrus rind. On the palate, it’s medium to full-bodied, glossy and layered, with lovely purity, concentration and depth, concluding with a long, flavorful finish. If there’s a better example of Fiano being made in the new world, I’d love to taste it.”
-William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
Composition – 100% Aglianico, French Camp VineyardÉlevage – French oak (10% new), native fermentationProduction – 200 Cases
Alcohol – 14.0%
Our block of Aglianico at French Camp Vineyard thrives in one of the warmest sections of the Paso Robles AVA. Nevertheless, it is often the last fruit to be picked in any given harvest, it ripens slowly, and retains beautiful freshness and acidity at relatively low sugars. Thick-skinned and intense, its brooding dark fruit dominates flavors produced early in fermentation. As the intensity subsides, floral and nuanced spice aromas emerge.
Our 2016 French Camp Aglianico shows more classic Italian character this vintage, structured and nuanced with delicate hints of earth and spice. The nose has notes of dried violets, blackberry, and game. Leather, peppercorn, and wild berries brighten the vivid and lively palate.
Composition – 100% Sangiovese
Vineyard Data – Luna Matta Vineyard Clones: VCR 19, VCR 6Élevage – French Oak, Native Fermentation
Production – 100 Cases
Alcohol – 13.8%
Foot-stomping facilitates the gentle extraction of color and tannin from these small-berried Sangiovese clones. Aged for 18 months in neutral French-oak barrels and puncheons.
Our Sangiovese is generally one of the most powerful and complex produced in California. The 2015 is serious sangiovese, with aromas of dark cherry, bay leaf, iron and clove. The palate also has some cherry with pencil lead a bit of spice
and oregano. The texture is rich with substantial yet polished tannins and acidity. Should have very rewarding cellar potential.
Composition – 25% Sangiovese, Creston Ridge Vineyard 25% Merlot, Jim Black Vineyard
50% Merlot, Margarita Vineyard
Élevage – French Oak, 50% new, Native FermentationProduction – 100 Cases
Alcohol – 14.5%
inspired, it melds Sangiovese’s acid and tannin structure with the soft, generous fruit of Merlot and Petit Verdot.
With Gemellaia, we draw from modern Italian wines for our inspiration, utilizing
the highest percentage (roughly 50%) of new barriques in our lineup. The 2015,
like the previous two vintages, places two fantastic Merlot sites at the forefront, harnessing the richness and immediacy of the fruit while Sangiovese adds
balance with acidity and tannin. This vintage of Gemellaia has very complex aromatics
palate has classic tar notes with some dark plum and espresso with a touch of cinnamon spice.
“A super Tuscan-styled blend incorporating 75% Merlot and 25% Sangiovese, the 2015 Gemellaia offers up a creamy bouquet of currants, cherry and fruitcake, framed by a touch of new oak. On the palate, it’s medium to full- bodied, layered and velvety, with lovely succulent acidity and a long, flavorfulfinish. This is the most lavish, crowd-pleasing wine in the Giornata portfolio, but it’s beautifully balanced.”-The Wine Advocate
Composition – 100% Nebbiolo
Élevage – French oak (neutral), native fermentationProduction – 120 Cases
Alcohol – 13.7%
Our Nebbiolo pays homage to the Great wines of Barolo and Barbaresco. It matures for about 24 months in oak and over 6 months in bottle prior to release. It is well structured and built to age. Utilizing a lengthy post-fermentation maceration on its skins, its formidable tannin is refined to a cellar-worthy, yet immediately approachable profile. Constant attention to these vines over so many harvests gives Stephy a one-of-a-kind perspective on this rather unique location. The soils mirror those of great properties in Piedmont, and as the vines age we are seeing more and more Nebbiolo character emerge in our finished wine.
Classic, unmistakable Nebbiolo aromatics of tar, sarsparilla root, fresh oregano, mushroom, cured meats weave through the aromatics with beautifully restrained cherry fruit. Tobacco, and bay leaf echo on the palate.
“They chose Nebbiolo as their holy grail – usually a foolhardy decision in California, but they perhaps have accomplished making the most successful Nebbiolo yet in the state”
— Jon Bonne, The New California Wine