Great Italian Wines [Master Class] Understanding Indigenous Grape Varieties – Montepulciano & Aglianico

I attended the online Masterclass Series “Great Italian Wines – Understanding Indigenous Grape Varieties” –  Montepulciano & Aglianico on Thursday, April 15th,  Part 3 in the series, and here is what I found out.

Montepulciano
Vines in Montepulciano have been cultivated since the late 1700s. Currently, Montepulciano is the second most widely planted varietal in Italy, just after Sangiovese, and is planted mainly in central Italy, predominantly in Abruzzo, as well as the regions of Marche, Molise. and Puglia.

The most famous Montepulciano wines come from Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC. It is a high-yielding grape that thrives in the area of Abruzzo. Winemaking traditions in Abruzzo date back to the 6th century BC. Montepulciano is produced in each of Abruzzo’s provinces – L’Aquila (Capital), Chieti, Pescara, and Teramo – and over half of the 32,000 hectares of vines are planted to this varietal. This variety has a blue-purple skin colour; is late-ripening and thick-skinned yet produces wines with softer tannins and lower acidity.

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo was designated a DOC in 1968 and requires at least 85% of the wine to be made with Montepulciano varietal and no more than 15% of Sangiovese.

Important to note – This is Montepulciano “The Indigenous Variety” NOT Vino Nobile di Montepulciano MONTEPULCIANO

Aglianico
Aglianico is considered to be the “Barolo of the South”, with the finest examples found in Basilicata and Campania. Basilicata is a region located in the instep of the “boot of Italy” which borders Campania, Puglia, and Calabria between the Adriatic, Ionian and Tyrrhenian coasts.

Aglianico del Vulture DOC was established in 1971; 2,400 hectares are cultivated on volcanic soils from Mount Vulture.  Aglianico is the only permitted grape within this DOC. The best examples of Aglianico del Vulture DOC wines are grown between 350 to 500 metres above sea level.

The Aglianico varietal has a dark blue-black colour and is thick-skinned; is a late-ripening variety that can be harvested into November and is also low-yielding. This varietal also requires abundant sunshine and dry weather; thrives on steep slopes, high altitudes, and volcanic soils. These wines tend to be full-bodied, have good structure, firm tannins, and are age-worthy.

Wines Tasted

Torre Dei Beati Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2018
Varietal: 100% Montepulciano (organic)

Deep, violet-ruby red in colour; elegant nose with complex blackberry fruit, hints of spice and mint; on the palate ripe red berries and earthy notes; well-structured with refined tannins through to a long finish. This is an elegant interpretation of Montepulciano.
—-
Score: 90 points

Grifalco Aglianico Del Vulture 2018
Varietal: 100% Aglianico

Ruby red in colour; the nose is generous and elegant; fresh and preserved red berries, enriched with balsamic note and mineral notes; the palate is bold and full-bodied with lovely red and black cherry and earthy flavours; structured tannins; good acidity lengthens the deep defined finish.
—-
Score: 91 points

@italchambers @trueitaliantaste @cavinonawine #trueitaliantaste #extraordinaryitaliantaste #iffoodcouldtalk #indigenousgrapevarieties #greatitalianwines #aglianico #BarolooftheSouth #Montepulciano #winetasting #instawine #winelovers #Italianwinelovers

The World of Pinot Noir announces March 2021 will be ‘WOPN Wine Month’ 

This year, the largest annual gathering of Pinot Noir producers and fans is going virtual it’s going to be bigger and longer.

During the month of March every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday will feature a series of virtual tasting seminars, events, auctions, and winemaker happy hours via Zoom, Instagram Live and Facebook Live.

“Each year, our 3,000-plus attendees often say they’d love even more content and more opportunities for intimate experiences with winemakers,” says Laura Booras, president of the World of Pinot Noir Board of Directors. “This year, we actually have an opportunity to grow those opportunities.”

New this year is the “WOPN Wine Case Experience.” Each guest will receive a carefully selected case of hard-to-find pinot noirs handpicked by our esteemed World of Pinot Sommelier Team. Then, each Wednesday (beginning March 3), David Glancy, Master Sommelier and Founder of the San Francisco Wine School, will host an exclusive winemaker seminar and discussion featuring three of the 12 wines.

Every Thursday (beginning March 4), WOPN will present a different deep-dive tasting seminar. These winemaker panel discussions will feature esteemed personalities in the winemaking community and delve into sites such as Bien Nacido, the terroirs of the Santa Lucia Highlands and explore the rugged elegance of the Sonoma Coast. Each tasting seminar will feature a collection of wines for purchase.

In addition to the eight tasting seminars, WOPN will host a series of free live Facebook and Instagram winemaker discussions and Happy Hours every Wednesday at noon (PST) and Friday at 5 p.m. (PST), respectively.

WOPN’s popular annual silent auction also goes virtual. Bid throughout the month on large-format bottles, exclusive library wines, and one-of-a-kind experiences from scores of producers from around the world.

For further information please visit the World of Pinot Noir website

Women in Wine Talks with Chile and Argentina – October 20, 2020 1:00 PM EDT

It is our great pleasure to invite you to be part of an exclusive “live talk” with five trailblazing women leading the Chilean and Argentine wine Industry into the future.

Join us as the panelists discuss their regions, share an intimate look at their wineries and discuss their commitment to crafting exceptional wines while preserving the natural environment.

Panelists:

Wines of Chile – Viviana Navarrete of Viña Leyda; and Emily Faulconer of Viña Carmen

and

Wines of Argentina – Susana Balbo of Susana Balbo Winery; and Andrea Ferreyra of Finca La Celia

October 20, 2020 – 1:00 pm (EDT) Zoom

Zoom link to join the Women in Wine Talks October 20 1:00 pm EDT
[complimentary ticket] https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/women-in-wine-talks-with-chile-and-argentina-tickets-123908055329?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch&keep_tld=1#

We look forward to seeing you!


	

Vertical Tasting with Caroline Frey of Chateau La Lagune – Part 1

Vertical tastings offer a magnificent glimpse into the many facets of a wine’s personality and its many expressions over different weather conditions. It also offers a glimpse into the quality of the terroir and the site from which the grapes originate.

On September 28, 2020, I have the privilege of participating in a vertical “zoom tasting” and deep dive into Chateau La Lagune with Caroline Frey, winemaker, at her family’s Haut-Médoc third-growth estate.

Wines being tasted include

Chateau La Lagune 2015

Chateau La Lagune 2016

Chateau La Lagune 2017

Chateau La Lagune 2018 [100% Cabernet Sauvignon]

“Part 2” will include my tasting notes, the impact of vintage variations, particularly weather, and stylistic changes across vintages, along with personal quotes and my overall impression.