Monday, June 20, 2011

Fattoria Nittardi Ad Astra (2006) Tuscany

A delicious Super-Tuscan from Nittardi, a traditional wine growing estate located half-way between Florence and Siena in the center of Tuscany. During the 16th Century, the estate belonged to Michelangelo; who was so enamored with his wines, he often sent them to the Pope as gifts. Over the centuries the property changed hands many times until 1982 when it was purchased by the current owners, a Frankfurt publisher and art gallery owner named Peter Femfert (say Peter Femfert from Frankfurt ten times fast!) and his wife Stefania, a historian from Venice. The estate continues its long association with art by having an artist design the label and wrapping paper for a limited edition bottling of Casanuova di Nittardi wine each year. The 2006 Ad Astra is a blend of 30% Sangiovese, 30% Cabernet, 20% Merlot, and 20% Syrah. Deep, ruby-red color. Powerful dark fruit nose. Aged in a mix of steel tanks and in small French oak barrels for six months. Nice smooth fininsh. A good value.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Lucchetti Lacrima di Morro d' Alba (2008) Marche

A tasty Italian red from Lucchetti, a small (34 acre) winery whose owner, Mario, who along with a number of other small producers, rescued the Lacrima grape from extinction. The name of the grape; Lacrima, is Italian for tear, and comes from the fact that the grape skin, as it matures, tends to crack thus allowing "tears" of juice to form. In Calabria, the same grape is called Gaglioppo. Reddish/purple/violet in color. Raspberry/spicy nose similar to a Zinfandel. Luscious mouth feel. Great with grilled foods. Inexpensive.