This Week’s Wine Tasting
Italian Wine- Piedmont and Veneto
Secco, Scarpetta and Cantina del Pino
Secco Italian Bubbles– “Grower-driven, vintage-dated, pure and fresh, Secco Italian Bubbles truly defines “the dolce vita.” Growing up in Rome, Italy, Ginevra and Olivia Casa always had an infatuation for Prosecco. In 2010, after the change in laws pertaining to Prosecco production, Charles Smith and Casa sisters jumped on the opportunity to champion both the noble varietals and the growers of Chardonnay and created a new category of sparkling wine called Secco Italian Bubbles.”
Secco Italian Bubbles Bianco 2012– Veneto, Italy. “2012 Secco Italian Bubbles Bianco, IGT Veneto (77% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Bianco, 8% Raboso Piave). Fresh and elegant. Layers and layers of flavors. Elderberry, anise, Italian summer melon, beeswax and seashells live within so many tiny bubbles. Totally delicious! Secco Italian Bubbles goes with everything from seafood salad to your favorite Thai take-out. The vineyards, located in the northern Piave Valley of Veneto, are made up of alluvial soil, a mix of sand, fine rocks and stone. The vineyard sites are Cimadolmo, Stabiuzzo and Negrisia.”
Secco Italian Bubbles Rose 2013– Veneto, Italy. 100% Pinot Noir, IGT Veneto. “Brilliant color, rich strawberry and Italian cherry with subtle biscotti and a hint of red vines and watermelon.…persistent bubbles, highly drinkable! Secco Italian Bubbles goes with everything from caviar to oysters to your favorite Chinese take-out. The vineyard, I Salici, is located in the Piave Valley of Veneziano, are made up of alluvial soil, a mix of sand, fine rocks and stone.”
Scarpetta– “You would be hard pressed to find two people more Friuli-[Italy] obsessed than Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan Patterson. Even within Friuli their true passion for the region elicits some curious head scratching and warm Italian chuckles from the humble wine-makers and restaurateurs. After working together at The French Laundry, Bobby as a Master Sommelier and Lachlan as a chef de partie, they moved to Boulder Colorado with the dream of opening a neighborhood restaurant. One fateful trip to Friuli, complete with carsickness from the winding roads of the Alps, traditional Friulian fare, and lots and lots of amazing local wine was enough to seal their fate. They came back to Boulder and opened Frasca Food and Wine, a restaurant dedicated to the cuisine and culture of Friuli. It was only natural that when Bobby and Lachlan dreamt about starting their own wine label they looked first to the beautiful whites of Friuli, and Scarpetta was born.”
Scarpetta Pinot Grigio IGT delle Venezie 2013– Veneto, Italy. “We work with three of the best vineyards for Pinot Grigio in Friuli. The first vineyard is on the rolling banks of the Isonzo River, the second is in the hills of the Collio and the third is in the hills of the Collio Orientali del Friuli. Our grapes are planted in cooler sites resulting in a wine of balanced acidity and alcohol. The wine shows that Pinot Grigio can be light and dry with veins of minerality and floral aromatics.
The grapes are fermented in stainless steel after being de-stemmed and left on the skins for approximately 12 hours, resulting in a wine with clear and bright aromas and flavors. The wine settles with the lees contact for six months. Aromas of white flowers, stone fruits such as apricots and peach and hints of minerality. Palate: On the palate, the wine is crisp and dry with medium high acidity and tastes of stone fruits, lavender, honey, pear, white flowers and minerals.”
Scarpetta Barbera del Monferrato DOC 2013– Piedmont, Italy. “We work with Fabrizio Iuli in Monferrato, Piedmonte to create this Barbera. Monferrato is the birthplace for Barbera, and historically unlike the rest of Piedmonte, its top cuvees are frequently Barbera. Hence, for good reason, Barbera from Monferrato is celebrated for its balance of fruit, terroir and acidity.
The grapes are fermented in stainless steel and then approximately 60% aged in 1 year old neutral oak, resulting in a wine that shows fruit and earth without being marked by wood. 60% is aged in wood and 40% stainless steel. Aromas of crushed berries and plums. Hint of earth and porcini mushrooms. A medium bodied red wine with low tannins but bright acidity, giving it wonderful balance.”
Cantina del Pino– A tiny Piedmont operation that is owned and operated by Renato Vacca. He inherited the winery from his late father who sold grapes to the notorious Produttori.
“My father is the youngest son of Natale and Teresa Vacca. Our family has lived in this region for generations. Like many families in the Langhe, we speak Piemontese as our first language and Italian second. Some of the grapevines we manage today were planted 70 years ago by my great grandfather.” -Renato Vacca winemaker & owner Cantina del Pino
Cantina del Pino Dolcetto 2012– Piedmont, Italy. 100% Dolcetto. “The Cantina del Pino Dolcetto has splendid perfume with ruby and garnet colors with a finesse and an intense and interesting nose… with jammy flavor and a hint of black pepper and soft background of mineral.” Bouquet of fresh summer fruit with good acidity and a full round finish that makes this wine perfect for serving with food.”
Cantina del Pino Langhe Nebbiolo 2012– Piedmont, Italy. 100% Nebbiolo. “Grown in Barbaresco and aged six months in large barrels, can aged as well as be enjoyed now. This wine has all of the fruit and spicy characteristics of the traditional Barbarescos but it is meant to be consumed young. Complex and smooth with good structure of fruit and tannins.”