Sunday, July 29, 2018

Wine Review: Feudi di San Gregorio Rubrato Aglianico 2015

Feudi di San Gregorio Aglianico 2015

Founded in 1986, Feudi di San Gregorio is located in the tiny village of Sorbo Serpico near Mount  Vesuvius in Campania, Italy. I'm going to be reviewing two of their wines. The first is their 2015 Aglianico, which you're reading right now, and the second is their 2017 Falanghina, which will come out on Wednesday.

Aglianico was brought over from Turkey to Campania 2,500 years ago, so it's one of the most ancient grape varieties that we know of. After its arrival it would be an important part of southern Italy's wine and culture. Pliny the Elder even mentions it in his writings. If you'd like to learn more about Aglianico, and I suggest that you should, then check it out in probably my most classic blog post ever: The Adventures of Aglianico - A Complete History of an Ancient Wine.

Well this 100% Aglianico is from the Arpinia Aglianico DOC and grown between 1,000 to 1,600 feet above see level in soil that was originally ash and fallen pumice (Aglianico loooooves volcanic soil). The grapes were hand harvested, macerated and fermented in stainless steel vats for ten days at 79°F, aged in stainless steel for eight months, and then six months in the bottle. The final ABV is 13.5%.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Wine Quickie: Nino Franco Summer Kir Recipe

Nino Franco Summer Kir

So check this out... take 5 ounces of Nino Franco Rustico Prosecco and half an ounce of ROOT 23 Cherry Almond Simple Syrup to make a Summer Kir! It's pretty friggin delicious! *glug glug*

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Wine Review: James Charles Cincinnatus 2017

James Charles Cincinnatus 2017

A wine by Virginia's Bogaty Family Wine Group is back on the blog! I've reviewed a bunch of wines by them and I like to think of them as good friends. Hey, Bogaty! Give Coy a raise! He's great!

James Charles Bogaty's parents came over to America from the Italian Alps, and his family in the old country still runs a small vineyard. So James thought he'd carry out his family tradition in Virginia. He bought his first vineyard in 1995, and in 2000 he and his wife Della founded Veramar Vineyards.  Their son Justin became the winemaker in 2001.

They've got three labels: Bogati Bodega, Veramar Vineyards, and James Charles. To read the other reviews I've written on all three of their labels, check out the Virginia label for the blog.

Now how about we sip some dessert wine from Virginia? This is a fortified dessert wine made from the hybrid Seyval Blanc. Unfortunately that's all I really know about it, because as of right now there's issues getting information from their labs. But hey, it really doesn't matter. The final result does!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Wine Review: Antonelli Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG 2012

Antonelli Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG 2012

This week I'm reviewing two wines from Montefalco, Italy. Today I'll be doing Tenuta Alzatura Montefalco Rosso DOC 2014 and on Sunday it'll be Antonelli Montefalco Sagrantino 2012.

Montefalco is an ancient town and commune within the Colli Martana DOCG of Umbria and it's been one of those hot wine regions of late that everybody is talking about. Montefalco has three tiers to its wine categorization: Montefalco DO, Montefalco DOC (Montefalco Bianco, Monterfalco Rosso, Montefalco Rosso Riserva), and Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG. Forgive me if I've missed any.

Montefalco vineyard
MONTEFALCO
IMAGE CREDIT: stradadelsagrantino.it
Antonelli Montefalco Sagrantino 2012 is 100% Sagrantino, as all wines of the Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG must be. This is also from Montefalco which you think would be a gimme, right? Buuuuuuut I guess all wines of the Montefalco Sagrantino DOGC don't have to be from Montefalco because the fellow Umbrian communes of Giano dell'Umbria, Bevagna, Gualdo Cattaneo, and Castel Ritaldi also qualify to use the DOCG.

Gravity feed was used for vinification and it fermented with its skins for twenty-five to forty days at 77°-82°F. Apparently it also "clarified spontaneously with no need for filtration." Sooooo... magic? Wines of this DOCG must be aged for a minimum of thirty-six months but, as we saw with the Tenuta Alzatura Montefalco Rosso DOC 2014, that doesn't mean just oak aging and includes bottle aging. This one had six months in lightly toasted 500L barrels, eighteen months in 25hL oak barrels, twelves months in glass lined cement vats, and then twelve months in the bottle. Lemme do my math... *mouthing numbers* uuuuh, carry the four *confused look* I don't know how to math, but my calculator says that's forty-eight months. So four years, or eleven months longer than the DOCG minimum.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Wine Review: Tenuta Alzatura Montefalco Rosso DOC 2014

Tenuta Alzatura Montefalco Rosso DOC 2014

This week I'm reviewing two wines from Montefalco, Italy. Today I'll be doing Tenuta Alzatura Montefalco Rosso DOC 2014 and on Sunday it'll be Antonelli Montefalco Sagrantino 2012.

Montefalco is an ancient town and commune within the Colli Martana DOCG of Umbria and it's been one of those hot wine regions of late that everybody is talking about. Montefalco has three tiers to its wine categorization: Montefalco DO, Montefalco DOC (Montefalco Bianco, Monterfalco Rosso, Montefalco Rosso Riserva), and Sagrantino di Montefalco DOCG. Forgive me if I've missed any.

Montefalco vineyard
MONTEFALCO
IMAGE CREDIT: tenutastella.it
The Montefalco DOC, both for Bianco (white) and Rosso (red), was created in 1979. So I was a fetus when this DOC was born. Nice. The Rosso has to have a minimum from 60% to 70% Sangiovese, at least 10% to 15% Sagrantino, and pretty much whatever you want for the remaining 30% or less. It also needs to be aged for eighteen months. However, as you'll see, that doesn't appear to mean just oak aging but includes bottle aging.

Tenuta Alzatura Montefalco Rosso DOC 2014 is 70% Sangiovese, 15% Sagrantino, and 15% Merlot. Fermentation was done using "traditional" temperature control (I'm not sure what "traditional" means, like if it's not in stainless steel or whatever) on its skin at 61°F for fifteen days, then it saw fourteen months in barriques (not the minimum for aging) and another four months of bottle aging (putting it right at the eighteen month minimum for aging).

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Wine Review: Matsu El Viejo 2015

Matsu El Viejo 2015

Out of the Toro region of Spain comes Matsu, which means wait in Japanese, paying homage to three generations of viticulturists and winemakers. And that shows on the unique labels, as different faces of each generation are shown by the age of the vineyards and the wine's oak aging, quality, and also personality.

El Pícaro 2016 (pícaro means rogue) represents youthEl Recio 2015 (recio means strong) represents  maturity, and El Viejo 2015 (viejo means old) represents wisdom. I'm reviewing all three, and this is the conclusion with El Viejo 2015.

This is 100% Tinta de Toro (AKA Tempranillo) manually harvested from vineyards more than one-hundred years old. Fermentation and maceration takes three weeks in small concrete deposits with natural yeast, and then softly pressed with a pnuematic press. It spends sixteen months in new French oak barrels before being bottled without filtration or use of any "aggressive" clarifier. The final ABV is 15%.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Wine Quickie: The Drop Cans - Red, White & Rosé


The red is Zinfandel, Petite Syrah, Syrah, and better than I thought it would be. Light bodied, bright and fruity, definitely meant to be chilled, and not sugary at all. Hey, it’s not fine wine but it’s better than a lot of mass produced brand names. I’d take it every day over Ravage or Apothic. The white is mostly Sauvignon Blanc. It’s crisp with aromas and flavors of stone fruit and petrol. Very simple and refreshing, and much more satisfying directly out of the can than in a glass. Being a New Englander and a Cape Codder, it’s only natural that I love the lobster on the rosé can. This is just a mouthful of Jolly Rancher watermelon candy and lime lollipop. You can chug a can of that in mere seconds. The rosé is clearly the crowd-pleaser of the bunch.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Wine Review: Matsu El Recio 2015

Matsu El Recio 2015

Out of the Toro region of Spain comes Matsu, which means wait in Japanese, paying homage to three generations of viticulturists and winemakers. And that shows on the unique labels, as different faces of each generation are shown by the age of the vineyards and the wine's oak aging, quality, and also personality.

El Pícaro 2016 (pícaro means rogue) represents youthEl Recio 2015 (recio means strong) represents maturity, and El Viejo 2015 (viejo means old) represents wisdom. I'm reviewing all three, and this is the middle of the pack with El Recio 2015.

This is 100% Tinta de Toro (AKA Tempranillo) manually harvested from ninety to one-hundred year old vineyards using biodynamic techniques. It spends three weeks fermenting and macerating in small concrete deposits with natural yeasts and is softly pressed with a pnuematic press. Then it's aged in French oak for 14 months before being bottled without filtration or use of any "aggressive" clarifier. The final ABV is 14.5%.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Wine Review: Matsu El Pícaro 2016

Matsu El Pícaro 2016

Out of the Toro region of Spain comes Matsu, which means wait in Japanese, paying homage to three generations of viticulturists and winemakers. And that shows on the unique labels, as different faces of each generation are shown by the age of the vineyards and the wine's oak aging, quality, and also personality.

El Pícaro 2016 (pícaro means rogue) represents youth, El Recio 2015 (recio means strong) represents maturity, and El Viejo 2015 (viejo means old) represents wisdom. I'll be reviewing all three, starting right now with the El Picaro 2016.

This is 100% Tinta de Toro (AKA Tempranillo), as are all three of these wines, from fifty to seventy year old vineyards using biodynamic techniques. It's fermented and macerated in small concrete deposits with natural yeasts, softly pressed, bottled without filtration or use of any "aggressive" clarifier, and has a 14.5% ABV. And here's why this Rogue represents youth: It was not aged in oak but spent three months aging on its lees in concrete tanks. I'm expecting it to be fruit forward and less nuanced then the other two.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Wine Review: Hacienda López de Haro Rioja Reserva 2013

Hacienda López de Haro Rioja Reserva 2013

Has it really been half a year since I reviewed a Rioja? That's kinda crazy. Luckily that streak ends today! And with a hell of a lot of things going on in life, let's end the streak quickly. I really can't wait to go back to my old format of reviewing but it'll have to do just that: wait.

Bodega Classica's Hacienda Lopez de Haro Reserva 2013 is 90% Tempranillo and 10% Graciano from old, low-yielding vineyards. The grapes were manually harvested in October, macerated for two weeks, fermented under the controlled temperature of 28°C, and then saw twenty months of oak aging in French and American barrels. The final ABV is 13.5%.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

July Wine Pick: Domaine La Tour Boisee 2014 Plantation 1905


During the summer the sales for red wines go down as the sales for white wines go up. As things get hotter, people want something refreshing and understandably so. I have met many consumers that only drink white wine in the spring and summer, and then only drink red wine in the fall and winter. Of course, there are many that only ever drink red wine or white wine year round. Myself? I don’t see how somebody could give themselves limits. I’m all for a crisp Sauvignon Blanc during a snowstorm, or a big robust Syrah during an August heatwave.

But there are reds that work better with the hotter months than others. The performance of Beaujolais-Villages and Grenache/Garnacha is enhanced with a slight chill (I said SLIGHT!) and they make for perfect summer reds. Pinot Noir is a lighter varietal and also a good option for the summer. But this guy that I have here is really different, and it’s a go-to wine for me this time of the year.

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