Great Italian Wines Masterclass – Understanding Indigenous Grape Varieties – Fiano and Primitivo

I attended another amazing Masterclass last night. The seminar was led again by the knowledgeable Sandra Colosimo, a member of the Associazione Italiana Sommeliers.

Sandra explored, in-depth, the Fiano and Primitivo varieties. The seminar not only gave me a deeper appreciation of two of the most important varietals of southern Italy, it also gave me a sense of the history and geography of Campania and Puglia (which I love).

Here are details on the two wines tasted:

  1. 2018 Fiano di Avellino DOCG

Varietal: 100% Fiano (organic)
Vinification/Aging: The wine remains on the fine lees for 12 months in stainless steel; further aging 12 months in the bottle
Alcohol: 13.5%

Tasting Notes:
Straw-yellow in colour, expresses scents of pear, peach, hazelnuts and aromatic herbal notes on the nose; a fine bouquet opens up to a palate of some smokey and spicy flavours with refreshing minerality; good body and excellent balance.  What a wonderful surprise!

  1. 2017 Carvinea Primitivo (Organic) IGTAging/Vinification: 20-day maceration with skins, aged in French oak 9 months,
    with 6 additional months in the bottle.
    Alcohol: 14.5%

Tasting Notes:
Deep ruby in colour; on the nose are pronounced aromas of mulberry, black plum, black cherry, with slight notes of smoke and vanilla; It’s packed with black cherry, mulberry, spices, vanilla, tobacco and dark chocolate flavours, leading to a long finish; It is a well-balanced wine; tannins are present, but are elegant and soft. Beautiful wine

The two wines were beautifully paired with Terroni Mezzo e Mezzo antipasto plate with specialty meats and cheeses: Prosciutto Crudo di Parma DOP, Soppressata Piccante Grana Padano DOP, Fior di Latte Olive verdi di Cerignola Focaccia Barese.

Wonderful Virtual Experience!  #lovepuglia

#italianwine #toronto #Italianwinelover #wineeducation #wine #instawine #winelover #winelovers #sommlife #sommelier  #terroni
#vino #winestagram #wineoclock #winetasting #wineagency  #trueitaliantaste #masterclass #friday #italianfood #italianstyle #italianwinery #italianwinetasting #redwine #whitewine #extraordinaryitaliantaste #Salento #Puglia #iffoodcouldtalk

@italchambers @trueitaliantaste @cavinonawine

 

New Chianti Classico subzones or ‘UGAs’ have been approved

Last week at the June 2021 assembly of Chianti Classico’s governing Consorzio, a “very large majority” of Consorzio members approved changes to the disciplinare that have the potential to put some separation between the Riserva and the Gran Selezione levels. Here are two key aspects to the proposal:

  • Focus on Sangiovese and native grape varieties

The current rules for all Chianti Classico wines require a minimum of 80% Sangiovese, but the new GS level will strengthen the connection with that variety (and push the wines a little closer to those of Brunello di Montalcino) by raising the requirement to 90%. Additionally, the remaining 0–10% of the wine will be restricted to native Italian grape varieties (e.g., Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo, Colorino, etc.). International varieties will not be permitted in Gran Selezione bottlings; and

  • Zonation

The Consorzio has come to an agreement on a first order of non-overlapping subzones that will allow producers to highlight and promote local variations within the 20-mile-long Chianti Classico denomination. These will be officially known as UGAs (unità geografiche aggiuntive, “additional geographical units”). It does not appear that there will be a requirement for a GS wine to be from a single UGA, but those that are will be able to carry the subzone name on the label.

Chianti Classico DOCG includes all or part of nine communes, and the new UGAs will follow commune boundaries to a large extent (see accompanying map). The communes of Castellina, Gaiole, Radda, and San Casciano will remain intact as subzones, while the three partial communes of Barberino Val d’Elsa, Poggibonsi, and Tavarnelle in Val di Pesa will be combined as the San Donato in Poggio UGA. The commune of Greve will become four UGAs: Greve, the highly regarded frazioni of Panzano and Lamole, and the lesser known frazione Montefioralle. Finally, the southern commune of Castelnuovo Berardenga will be broken into two UGAs: Castelnuovo Berardenga and Vagliagli (which is destined to be added to the list of most mispronounced wine locations).

Apparently, there is already talk about extending the use of these UGAs to the basic and Riserva levels as well as GS.

This proposal will have several hoops to jump through before it becomes official, then the wines will be required at least 2½ years of aging before release.

 

 

Preview Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2021 — by Filippo Magnani

Wine, history and tradition all mixed in this extraordinary wine region!

The “Anteprima” preview of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, usually held in February , was postponed to the 17th and 18th of May. Another great effort by another Tuscany’s consortium, opening their doors to international and Italian journalists. We were summoned to the beautiful town of Montepulciano, in the heart of the village, inside the suggestive Medici fortress where the Consorzio del Vino Nobile and the Enoliteca are located. You can feel the history above your head, surrounded by art, soft hills, vineyards and monuments! Extraordinary. 

The event, this year, is unique in its kind since the Consortium reserved for us a surprise! Indeed the preview was an opportunity to not only to evaluate actual vintages on the market such as Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2018 and the 2017 Reserves, Rosso di Montepulciano DOC 2019 but also to present the exciting new type of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano; the denomination “Pieve” which will hit the market as early as 2024.

12 subzones and additional geographical units, represented by different Pievi (churches). The idea behind the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano “Pieve”, came from a scientific study which required the consent and collective participation of all the wine producers.

The Pieve originally was a church-owned building in charge of many duties, functioning not only as a church but also as a small hospital and as the village municipality. It is a name that will be a path between the past and future, intertwining the old culture and local winemaking with the international future and innovative production techniques. The grape blend will be tied to Sangiovese (also locally known as “Prugnolo Gentile”) and complementary native only Tuscan varieties allowed by the Consortium, with grapes exclusively produced by the producers and coming from vines that are at least fifteen years old. Another important factor is the implementation of an internal commission within the Consortium composed of oenologists and wine technicians. These experts will be delegated the task of assessing the characteristics that correspond to the specification before the required legislative steps.

Such interesting wines will represent the quality of this magnificent territory holding a precious history.

 

 

 

 

on my radar

                                      Winery:  Bindella – Tenuta Vallocaia
Wine:   Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Docg 2018 
Ruby core with rims. Intense bouquet of cherry with balsamic overtones and slight scent of black pepper. Lovely entrance, round with ripe fruit, medium body. Firm, velvety tannins with a long finish. I like it ! 

 

Winery: Dei
Wine:  Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Docg 2018
Ruby core with narrow light garnet rim. Intense nose of ripe plum and notes of rhubarb and new leather. Powerful structure with ripe red fruit, fragrant with well integrated silky tannins. Elegant with a long finish. Lovely wine. 

 

Winery:  Poderi Boscarelli  
Wine:  Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Docg 2018
Brillant, ruby red with compacted rim. Pronounced flavour of cassis and violet. Spicy with overtones of leather. Full bodied with quite bright acidity. Well balanced with rich red fruit and elegant tannins. Harmonious finish. Charming wine with ageing potential.  

Winery:  Poliziano
Wine:    Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Docg 2018
Ruby colour turning slightly purple. The nose expresses flavours of red fruit and rhubarb with a hint of mint. The palate is balanced with notes of ripe cherry and prune. Dry and fragrant, with soft tannins and long persistence.                                               Full body with a nice end.  Great wine. 

Winery:  La Ciarliana
Wine:   Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Docg 2018
Clean with a deep ruby core. Lovely aromas of ripe plum with a touch of vanilla. Blackcherry in the palate with a light toasty scent. Full body with round, sweet tannins. Fresh and harmonious finish. I like it ! 

 

Winery:  Salcheto
Wine:      Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Docg 2018
Bright with paler reflections. Pronounced flavour of red cherry, wild blueberry and balsamic notes and anice. Rich and well structured, good balance of body, fruit, acidity and velvety tannins. Lovely wine. 

 

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG 2017 Riserva
[wines 15 reviewed]

The Riservas 2017 turned out to be rich and ripe with intense fruit. The wines showed good structure, sweet tannins, and a discrete alcohol presence. 

on my radar

Winery:  Tenuta Valdipiatta
Wine:  Vino Nobile di  Montepulciano Docg 2017 Riserva
Deep ruby core, paler on the hedge. Complex nose with flavours of dark cherry, prune and chocolate. Juicy palate with good acidity, discrete alcohol level and soft tannins. Fragrant and long. I like this wine! 

Winery:  Tenuta della Talosa
Wine:     Vino Nobile di  Montepulciano Docg 2017 Riserva
Brilliant deep red. Attractive bouquet of strawberry and violet mixed with spicy notes of black pepper. Full body with lots of red fruit in the center palate with smoky scents on the back. It expresses harmony with velvety tannins and long, fresh finish. Lovely wine. 

Winery:  Le Berne
Wine:  Vino Nobile di  Montepulciano Docg 2017 Riserva
Brilliant, deep ruby core with violet hues. Intense flavour of black cherry and liquorice with overtones of lavender and new leather. Fragrant entrance with discrete alcohol and ripe fruit. Sweet, velvety tannins and quite long aftertaste. Harmonious, charming wine.

Winery:  La Braccesca
Wine:   Vino Nobile di  Montepulciano Docg 2017 Riserva, Vigneto Santa Pia
Colour ranging from deep ruby core to lighter rim. It shows a lovely bouquet of ripe plum, violet and chocolate with a hint of tobacco. Full body with lively acidity well integrated with rich red fruit. Silky tannins with elegant finish. Great wine. 

 

THE 2020 HARVEST 

The year 2020 was defined by four key periods; germination from the 28th of March to the 19th of April; flowering from the 22nd to the 31 May; fruit ripening between the 21st of July and 21st August and the harvest which began on the 15th of September. Heavy rains interfered with harvesting operations, and in some areas of the appellation they continued without interruption. For this reason, the harvest was extended until the first week of October to avoid botrytis infections and a drop in yield quality. The wines of 2020, when tasted, demonstrated intense colors, a fine varietal aromatic expression and structure that is supported by medium acidity and tannins. On an analytical level, one can detect normal values of intensity and color tone, acidity, pH, extracts, and total polyphenols. The alcoholic grades are medium to high. Balance and elegance are keywords to describe the eccentricities of 2020 wines.

Montepulciano 

Near the city of Siena, Nobile di Montepulciano D.O.C.G., Rosso di Montepulciano D.O.C and Vin Santo di Montepulciano D.O.C, are exclusively made within the city limits of the town of Montepulciano, near the city of Siena. We are talking of a territory that has been a wine production zone for centuries, witness to not only the progress in cultivation techniques but also of the geopolitical impact on those “noble” hills. We have known these hills as a wine territory since the 17th century. It is a place that captured the attention of elite and noble families of Tuscany and was recognized as one of the finest red wine areas of the region. Vino Nobile has been one of Italy’s most esteemed wines for centuries, though it has been eclipsed in recent times by other Tuscan wines. The turning point was 1980 with the birth of the Consortium. In the last 15 years, the consortium has made enormous efforts to elevate the production in Montepulciano. Only in the recent decades Vino Nobile di Montepulciano has witnessed amazing growth in terms of winemaking techniques and quality. Today, the roughly 70 producers of Montepulciano believe that the Sangiovese produced in this district can top the levels of excellence of the other Tuscan icon wines.

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
International Markets

Always a big “Thank You” to my colleague, and friend, Liz Palmer !

 

Filippo Magnani

Valpolicella Soars in 2021

The Valpolicella Wine Consortium has recently announced the numbers for the first five months of 2021.  The numbers show around 30 million state seals were issued for the Valpolicella, Ripasso, Amarone and Recioto origins, which is 18% over 2020.

Compared to 2019, the increase is 14%.  Amarone, which after a disastrous January 2021 (-24.5 %), accelerated to a sensational 38 % increase by May 31. According to the consortium’s analysis, these are the best figures of the last decade. “A total of 7.4 million bottles were brought to market in this period, two million more than last year. Not only is the quantity excellent, but the performance also gives us hope. According to the latest price list of the Chamber of Commerce of Verona, the open goods have increased by 4.5 percent,” Christian Marchesini, president of the consortium, states. The figures are due to a combination of the restrictive measures of the consortium as well as the high flexibility of many small businesses, which immediately knew how to move on unfamiliar terrain like e-commerce and food retail.

Valpolicella achieved an overall growth of 14 % after a strong pick-up in the month of May (+48 percent). Ripasso closed with an increase of twelve %. Stocks are down for all typologies of Valpolicella, especially Amarone and Recioto. In May 2021, five million bottles less were registered than in May 2020 (-8 percent).

Source:  Valpolicella Wine Consortium

Benvenuto Brunello 2021 Preview  – Tasting Sensational New Vintage Brunellos – A Tempting Invitation To Discover the Wines and the Captivating Region of Montalcino – by Filippo Magnani

After Benvenuto Brunello “OFF”, the first preview of the year which was in March, an additional edition of Benvenuto Brunello was organized for the press from the 16th and the 17th May dedicated to the Tuscan wine previews “Anteprime di Toscana”. Thanks to the diligence of the Consortium Brunello di Montalcino, the tastings took place in-person in the heart of Montalcino village in the beautiful Monastery of Sant’Agostino. Forty kilometers south of the city of Siena, Montalcino is a stunning hilltop town in the heart of Tuscany. With rolling hills and farmland of rare beauty, the village’s distinctive mount is encircled by forest. Vineyards and olive groves fill the countryside and many historical stone buildings are witness to centuries of cultivation in this area. Montalcino and the villages of Castelnuovo dell’Abate, Sant’Angelo, and Torrenieri are picturesque hamlets with an overall population of just over five thousand inhabitants. This territory is of particular historical character, having never lost touch with the cultural heritage and traditions.

It is important to note that this DOCG is among the wine-growing areas with the highest organic incidence in Italy.

Following safety protocols, the capacity of participants was extremely limited and ensured proper distance between persons. All journalists and writers were called to taste and evaluate the last vintages released on the market: Rosso di Montalcino 2019, Brunello di Montalcino 2016, and Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2015. We can say that this edition of Benvenuto Brunello will surely remain a memory in each of our minds, not only for the outstanding organization that the consortium put on stage but also for the combination of two remarkable vintages.

Both 2016 and 2015 had exceptional conditions in the vineyard and produced wines of absolute complexity and longevity.

 The vintage 2016 was outstanding in terms of balance. Rainfall throughout the winter into the beginning of the spring was consistently average. After the blooming, rains in July set the perfect conditions for a great vintage. Summer shifted from not so high temperature (max 32°) to very chilly nights (min 13°), diurnal moderate temperatures alternated to night precipitation, which offered the wines an amazing structure, complexity, and aroma. The maturation took longer, a fundamental factor both for the different layers of the aroma and the quality of the tannins (especially in the Sangiovese grape and for long lasting wines)

The 2015 vintage was characterized by a cool winter preceded by an irregular spring, which continued with a hot growing season during the summer with adequate rain. Harvest brought limited rainfall and good ventilation which favoured the last stages of ripening of the bunches up to harvest…..continues .. https://bit.ly/3zbCDJR.

I have missed my friends and colleagues during this Benvenuto Brunello but I really hope that was the preview of the restart, once again in-person hopefully we will be able to discover this beautiful wine paradise in the near future.

Always a big thank to my collegue and friend Liz Palmer !

#wine #winetasting #winenews #italy #tastingnotes #winewriter #winejournalist #winetourism #winetravels #benvenutobrunello #brunello #AnteprimediToscana #Montalcino #wine #winetasting #wineblog #wineblogger #winelover #winestagram #winecritic #wineevent #vino #winetime #wineoclock #winewinewine @brunellodimontalcino #montalcino #brunellodimontalcino #benvenutobrunello #italianwine #redwine #brunellowinestage  @filippomagnaniwine