Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ghiomo Lavai Barbera d' Alba (2006) Piemonte

A not so great Barbera d' Alba from Azienda Agricola “Ghiomo” di Anfossi Giuesppino. Their estate, which was first established in the early 1800's, takes its name from the Ghiomo farmhouse; a former monastery. The estate occupies some prime real estate; right in the heart of Roero, just a few miles from Alba. Signor Giuesppino's Lavai Barbera is a heavy wine that's inky dark-red in color. Aged in a combination of stainless and oak. Hot like gasoline on the palate. Better the second day after it was opened, but in my opinion, the wine shows little finesse.

Quattro Mani Toh-kai (2008) Slovenia

A pinpoint oxford from Quatro Mani, or “four hands”, a concept of Italian wine importer Paolo Domenghetti of Domaine Select. His idea was to have four winemakers, each representing a different Italian wine region, create wines which would be marketed under the Quattro Mani label. Quattro Mani wines are produced from estate-grown fruit using sustainable agriculture, and are bottled at the source. Quattro Mani made its debut in 2006 with a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo made by acclaimed winemaker Attilio Pagli. Quattro Mani's Toh-Kai, produced by Movia’s AleŇ° Kristancic, followed in 2008. Franciacorta, produced by Mario Falcetti, joined the lineup in 2010. The Movia winery was founded in 1700 and was purchased by the Kristancic family in 1820. Today Ales Kristancic farms 37 acres of vines. His meticulous, low-yield farming allows for the production of barely 6,000 cases of wine annually. The Friulano (Tocai) grapes for the Toh-Kai are grown in Movia’s organically farmed Exto Gredic vineyard in Slovenia, just a canned ham throw from Friuli. The wine is a beautifully clear, straw-yellow color, with ripe, luscious pear flavors. Absolutely sparkles in the glass. Vinified in stainless steel. Its bright acidity makes it a perfect food wine. Put down the Pinot Grigio and enjoy.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Filomusi Guelfi Bianco Le Scuderie del Cielo (2008) Abruzzo

A knock-out white wine from Filomusi Guelfi, an Abruzzian winery whose family members (the Fiolmusi's and the Guelfi's) have been working the soil since the 16th century. The wine is an unknown blend of Chardonnay, Malvasia, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cococciola. Fragrant nose of citrus, apples, and peaches. Sparkling straw-yellow in color. Vibrant acidity. The name "Scuderie del Cielo" means "Stables in the Sky" from the coat of arms on the label that contains a winged horse, the idea for which was taken from a drawing on a tapestry belonging to owner Lorenzo Filomusi's grandmother. The coat of arms on all my tapestry's are not anywhere near as cool.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Paolo Bea Santa Chiara (2007) Umbria

A terrific, unique Italian white (nearly red) wine from quirky, artisan producer, Paolo Bea. The winery, situated on 15 hectares in Montefalco in Umbria, (home of the only type of lentils that Martha Stewart and my family eat) started bottling wine in 1980. The vineyard is a family affair, with all aspects of the winemaking process performed by various members of the Bea family. All have a passion for the philosophy of respect for maintaining the balance between man and nature. In 2004, son Giampiero, together with winemakers Angiolino Maule, Fabrizio Niccolaini and Stanislao Radikon founded the Consorzio Vini Veri, a movement of thought which aims to unite winemakers who share a common goal of extracting wine only by natural processes. Bea's Santa Chiara is a blend of 20% Grechetto, 20% Malvasia, 20% Chardonnay, 20% Sauvignon, and 20% Gargenega. Because of the long maceration on the skins and lack of added sulfates, the wine is nearly orange in color. Aged for one year in stainless. Strong nose of dried fruit and bread. Nice acidity. Heavy and delicious.