Fortana is a relatively unknown grape variety typical of sand soil in north east of Italy. Growing vines in this kind of extreme terrains is very difficult and fortana is one of the few varieties that makes it possible. Its low vineyards survived attacks from phylloxera and therefore still today are grown self-rooted (e.g. no grafting). Mattarelli makes 500k bottles/yr of Bosco Eliceo DOC, but also has a small higher quality production (just 3k bottles/yr) using barriques and named Baba.
This wine has a very structured bouquet. At first you can feel a strong smell of minerals, paint, sage. Wait a while and you will see hints of asphalt and some black berry emerge from behind. Wait some more and it will turn in caramel and the hay. Wait even more and it will finally turn into tobacco. Taste is a little bitter, strong, with good balance between acidity and tannin and a sapid tail. Surprisingly, it disappears relatively quickly. Refreshing.
Althougth not very known, Henri Abelé is one of the best champagne houses in Reims, France. This champagne, made with Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, has a beautiful golden color, with hints green, and a great perlage. You can feel elegant scents of flowers and crisp, and a dry pleasant taste, particularly appropriate as aperitif.
I had a chance to taste it in Reims, chez Lousie, a greate crêperie in the city centre. Champagne and crêpes work very well together.
Unfortunately, finding this bottle in Italy is quite hard.
This morning me and Anshul left Firenze for a trip to Chianti. He wanted to visit a winery, so I headed myself to Greve. We stopped there looking for some information and to visit a famous wine shop. The tourist info office was closed on sundays and while we were leaving, Jessica, Kate and Lauren, three cute canadian girls, stopped us asking for info and how to get to some wineries. These undergrad students were backpacking around Europe and felt a little lost because they had reached Greve from Firenze on a bus but on sundays almost everything was closed. “We have no car, can we come with you?” Read the rest of this entry »
My friend Stefano argued he can’t find any difference among wines and feels perplexed when sommeliers use all sorts of spice and fruit adjectives to describe them.
You know, wine is just grapevine juice where fermentation transformed sugar into alcool. Water, alcool and tartaric acid. This is all you need to synthetize something that’s technically 99.99% wine. The problem is, if you try tasting this fake wine you quickly discover it’s ugly, has no aroma and feels completely uninteresting. This is because the last 0.01% is what makes a wine great: hundreds of aromatic chemicals. And this is the only part you should care for. Read the rest of this entry »
Lamole di Lamole Chianti Classico is produced in Lamole, a tiny village nested into Chianti, south of Greve. It’s made mainly with classic Sangiovese grapevine, but using the specific clone selected in Lamole 3 decades ago. Has a deep and clean ruby red color. Smells of berries, cherry, spices. Feels full with good persistence, scents of wood and jam. It’s perfect with roasted beef or meatballs. You can drink a bottle and still feel you want more. I’ve had a chance to visit the winery and it’s amazing, definitely a must see. And a must taste, of course
In the last few months I studied wine tasting and today – after 3 exams – I’ve been officially sanctioned as a full blown sommelier! No, I’m not gonna make sommelier my profession, so this diploma will be mostly useless, but then again… The graduation ceremony has been to Colle Bereto, a wonderful winery farm in Radda in Chianti, at the very center of Chianti Classico, 550m over the sea. It’s amazing this winery dates back to the 11th century! They let us visit the vineyard, the cellar and explained all the wine making process down to the details. Then they gave us a diploma and taste vin. Finally, we’ve had lunch while tasting their great wines: Chianti Classico Colle Bereto, Cénno and Tocco. Fabio, who became sommelier as well, documented everything. Now I think I can get drunk and still insist it was for a serious purpose!