This Week’s Wine Tasting

Italian Wines

Various Regions including Tuscany, the Veneto and the Abruzzo


“Ca’ Furlan is run by Alessandro Furlan. He has made wine for years at his family’s vineyard in Friuli known as Franco Furlan, but has since gone out on his own in search of making wines that inspire and are true to their roots. His focus is on wines that charm at first sip and are within the reach of the average consumer, while still being extremely well-crafted and among the best examples of a particular varietal.”

Ca’ Furlan Prosecco nv– Veneto, Italy. 100% Glera. “Gentle pressing of clusters with membrane presses followed by immediate skin separation and static cold-settling for clear must. Fermentation in temperature controlled tanks using cultured yeasts. The Charmat process is known as Metodo Charmat-Martinotti (or Metodo Italiano) in Italy, where it was invented and is most used. The wine undergoes “secondary” fermentation in stainless steel tanks or steel vessels covered with vitreous enamel rather than individual bottles, and is bottled under pressure in a continuous process.” $9.99


“The Cesani family’s story started at the beginning of the 1950s in the splendid Tuscan countryside, just 6 km from San Gimignano. In that difficult period when people preferred to abandon the countryside for a presumably better life in the towns, Cesani, on the contrary, refused that philosophy, deciding to renew faith and hope in that very nature that had given them sustenance up until then. Vincenzo Cesani grew up with this spirit and idea, always looking for new proposals and methods of work to realize his dream.

Today the farm, still run by the family, extends over 19 hectares (approx 40 acres) and is cultivated principally with the red Sangiovese grapes and the famous white Vernaccia di San Gimignano.”

Cesani Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2014– Tuscany, Italy. 100% Vernaccia of San Gimignano. “Vineyard exposure: South-East. Kind of ground: limy and sandy. Harvest time: second third week of September. Production: 9000 kg per hectare. Colour: pale yellow with greenish reflections. Scent: fruity and fresh reminding the green apple. Taste: fresh and dry with the typical aftertaste of almond. Food Matching: summer aperitif, white meat and fish.” $12.99


Casanova della Spinetta– “Giorgio Rivetti’s magic touch with Moscato, Barbera and then Nebbiolo took the world by storm. He produces approachable yet age-worthy wines that capture the attention of wine critics and consumers year in and year out with their lushness, concentration, aromatics and length. From his recently-acquired Tuscan estate, Casanova della Spinetta, located in the hills south of Pisa in the heart of Tuscany where the vineyards enjoy the strong summer sun and the soft breezes wafting off the nearby Mediterranean Sea, come two cru Sangiovese wines from 40+-year-old vines.”

Casanova della Spinetta Vermentino 2013– Tuscany, Italy. 100% Vermentino from 10 year old vines in the Maremma.  All stainless, with four months on the lees.  2,500 cases produced. “A fresh bouquet of citrus, rosemary and pine leads to a bright, refreshing and elegant palate brimming with fruit, floral and mineral notes. The wine’s crisp acidity and mineral finish are proof of the vineyard’s proximity to the Mediterranean.” $17.99


Fattoria Nicodemi is located in the Teramo district in Abruzzo, a hilly province bordering the Adriatic sea in central Italy. It was founded by Bruno Nicodemi, and today is run by brother and sister team Alessandro and Elena Nicodemi. High up in these chalky, clay-rich hills, the Nicodemi estate couldn’t be better located. The family’s vineyards, at more than 900 feet above sea level, enjoy a slow ripening, with warm afternoons and cool evenings. “We try to work in a simple way,” says Elena, to let the estate’s terroir speak clearly; all field work, including the harvest, is done by hand.”

Nicodemi Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2013– Abruzzo, Italy. 100% Montepulciano. “Aged: 4 months used French barrique, 6 months in bottle. This extremely solid wine is the result of a work in progress: a mix of old vine Montepulciano and younger vines planted to narrowly spaced modern spalier trellising. Aged in Slavonian cask, this wine is the classic expression of Montepulciano in the noble terroir of Teramo, a village renown for producing the best Montepulciano grapes in the Abruzzo. Tasting notes: Cranberries, blueberries and light chocolate complete a fine palate and softly textured finished.” $13.99


“The Giuliano Rosati wines are made by the Tezza family, now in its third generation of winemaking in Italy’s hilly, bucolic Veneto region, not terribly far from the great city of Venice. Since 1998, the estate has been run by cousins Flavio, Vanio and Federico.”

Giuliano Rosati Ripasso della Valpolicella 2012– Veneto, Italy. A blend of 60% Corvina, 20% Corvinone and 20% Rondinella. “The wine is at once complex and ripe, with rich flavors of black cherry, plum and chocolate. While its aroma suggests sweetness, the wine is in fact crisp and dry with a lovely, rich texture.” “Richly textured, ripe and complex, the Giuliano Rosati reveals its finesse with the first sip. On the nose, a pleasing balsamic note provides a contrast to bold flavors of black cherry, plum and raspberry liqueur. Rich Ripasso wines match well with rustic, earthy fare. Consider lamb, game, pâté or dishes that incorporate strong mushroom flavors.” $17.99


“La Rasina is located on the fine southeastern slope, or morning side of Montalcino in the Brunello DOCG area. Rolling hills with roses climbing over the old walls of the main house create an atmosphere of loving attention in this small family run property. Separate buildings on the estate have been restored for Agri-tourism. There are fewer and fewer of them, but this estate is still a true Montalcino born, family run estate.

La Rasina was founded in the early 1970′s by the grandfather of the Mantengoli family, Santi. Later managed by Vasco, his son, and now by Marco, his grandson, the estate shows the dedication and excellence of an endeavor kept in the hands of one hardworking family over many years. Recent recognition given to Marco Mantengoli at La Rasina included top ratings and awards at literally every wine review published on Brunello.”

La Rasina Rosso di Montalcino 2013– Tuscany, Italy. 100% Sangiovese. “Viticulture: Conventional farming methods. Vineyard altitude: 350 meters. Vinification Methods: Fermentation in stainless steel tanks via selected yeast. The wine is aged 6 months in tanks, 2 months in barriques, 3 months in cask, and finally 1 month in bottle prior to release.” “Tuscany’s Montalcino is all about Sangiovese, particularly its revered clone known as “Brunello.” The La Rasina Rosso is like a “baby Brunello” — a lovely coalescence of Old and New World styling. It’s pungent on the nose with scents of blueberry, raspberry and black tea, and the wine’s structure deftly supports flavors of blue and black fruits, spices, and assorted fresh herbs with a hint of leather.” $19.99

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