Archive for General

Jun
15

Italian Aromatic White Wines

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We have had a real fascination with aromatic wines which combine aromatics with minerality. They offer such dynamic, mesmerizing pairings with foods, on a very different level/dimension than other wines. This concept is much more than a trend. With the way fusion foods and cooking styles are changing in so many different directions, we have to continually search out and find appropriate wines for pairings. Aromatic white wines is a niche well worth checking out. The main challenge is finding GOOD ones. Yes, they are really surprisingly hard to come by. Here are four really worth trying which should show you what they can be. How often do opportunities like this come around!

 

2015 Château Feuillet Moscato Bianco “Valle D’Aosta”–A dry, quite masculine, sturdy “mountain grown” white wine, fragrant of stony soils and the Moscato grape variety. Yes, quite unique and mesmerizing.  “The vines sit in a very shallow sandy soil, but their feet wriggle into crevices in the solid granite bedrock. Any rain is quickly dried out by cleansing winds. And the vineyards are planted on an ancient riverbed, roughly 3000 feet in elevation, where over the millennia the Dora Baltea River has cut through the mountain, creating the current river valley and leaving behind mineral deposits that the wines happily lap up. The trump card, however, may be the exposition of the vineyards, which in combination with the chilly climate, high altitude, and drastic diurnal temperature shifts provides the magic charm sought by vignerons everywhere: extremely long hours of gentle sunlight”.

2015 Vignai da Duline Malvasia Istriana Chioma Integrale–Planted in limestone-red clay soils back in 1960. Wild yeast fermented, this wine is then aged for 7 to 8 months in 50% 11HL barrels (5 years old) & 50% in 2.5HL barrels (5 to 15 years old).  Kermit Lynch—“I found gold from those beautiful Friuli hills—finesse, touch, and class. Delicious AND interesting”.

 

2013 Kante Malvasia–Kante was an early proponent of “orange” wines, but today is in a “zone” of producing wines of great purity, precision and sophistication. Pure genius and a true vigneron. There is no doubt he is considered one of the true, contemporary winemaking stars of Italy. This wine remains on the lees for six months then aged for twelve months in OLD barrels.  “In this near-perfect combination of climate and terreno, Edi Kante produces wines that are poised, solid, fresh, and brimming with the character of both the chosen grape and the stark limestone soil of Carso at nearly 3000 feet in elevation”.

 

2016 Caravaglio Malvasia Bianco “Salina”–we poured this last wine BLIND.  As one taster surprisingly noted–this wine had a riper, more sundrenched mouthfeel.  Yet another noted, that this wine had a salinity to its taste (& smell).  This was the intent–to show how different an aromatic Italian white can be from a warmer growing area.  In this case the home turf is the island of Salina, which is located just north of Sicily.  This site is warmer & more sundrenched than the other 3 wines & therefore has a different mouthfeel.  In addition, this wine also has a salinity character both in the nose as well as on the palate.  Is it because the vineyards overlook the sea?  In any case. this wine would work best with a whole different set of dishes & styles of cooking.

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Fred Scherrer Wine Dinner
Tuesday June 4th, 2019 @ 6:00 p.m.

 

APPETIZER
GRILLED LEMON & OREGANO
JUMBO PRAWNS
roasted fennel potato hash,  chive truffle butter

2015 Chardonnay “Scherrer Vineyard”

 

 

 

SECOND TASTE

OVEN ROASTED KUROBUTA PORK BELLY
polenta, haricot verts,
Gouveia’s Portuguese sausage, thyme jus

2017 Scherrer Dry Rosé

 

 

 

 

SALAD COURSE
THYME SCENTED HUDSON VALLEY DUCK BREAST
Mari’s Garden arugula, currant tomatoes, Hamakua Ali’i mushrooms sautéed with pancetta, red wine vinaigrette and
local OK Farms sunny side up egg

2014 Scherrer Pinot Noir “Sonoma County”

 

 

 

 

ENTRÉE
15-DAY, DRY-AGED NATURE’S NATURAL STRIPLOIN STEAK
(All natural without hormones, antibiotics, or steroids)
roasted root vegetables, foie gras peppercorn demi-glaze, fingerling potatoes

2015 Scherrer Cabernet Sauvignon “Alexander Valley”

 

 

 

 

DESSERT CREATED BY PASTRY CHEF
CHERIE PASCUA
BANANAS FOSTER “CHEESECAKE”
vanilla cheesecake with Graham cracker crust, “Bananas Foster” topping, almond pralines, candied citrus zest and house made white chocolate ice cream

Kudos to Ivy Nagayama & her team at DK Steakhouse.  What a great showing!  And, thank you to Fred Scherrer for coming to share your wines & your expertise.

 

Jun
07

Another Look at What Syrah Can Be

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For our VINO tastings, in general, we try to show participants a glimpse of the whole world of wines, something beyond just California and the New World and to create opportunities, which both professionals and non-professionals would not normally have access to…this is one of those tastings.

Over the years, while growing up in this industry, I was always taught Syrah was one of the world’s top five “noble” grape varieties. It was capable of making truly memorable red wines with that offered something extra. Along the way, something got lost in the transition from the old days to today. I would say Australian renditions muddied the waters some because of their BIG, opulent, over blown, often over ripe bottlings. These certainly created quite the sensation and headline news at one time because of their all universe high scores from the major wine writers. Syrah, however, doesn’t have to be loud, bold or swashbuckling. I prefer those that are transparent, refined, sultry, gamey, earthy and full of soul. I am hoping this tasting of four examples, served BLIND, will help you better understand what I am trying to describe. Hopefully, then they will help create a benchmark or two of what Syrah wines can be. 

2017 Lionel Faury Syrah “Collines Rhodaniennes”— Faury fashions more classical, blue collar styled wines–earnest, traditionally grounded, masculine & forthright.  This “Collines Rhodaniennes” bottling comes from parcels on plateaus at higher elevations than St Joseph, granitic soils. 80% destemmed. 6 months in demi-muids (10 to 20 years old).

2016 Jean-Paul Jamet SyrahCollines Rhodaniennes–Finally, some Jamet Syrah is making its way to the Islands! This estate is certainly in the groove of producing top caliber Syrah.  While their Cote Rotie wines are certainly “trophy”-esque, we find superb value in their Collines Rhodaniennes bottling.  The 2016 is a blend of three parcels:– young-vine Côte Rôtie; mica schist terroir on a plateau next to the domaine and outside of the Côte Rôtie appellation AND the 3rd from a plateau above Condrieu. Grapes are 90% de-stemmed and aged 11 months in older barrique (10-20 years old).

2016 Betton Crozes Hermitage “Espiègle”–100% Syrah from La Roche de Glun—alluvial soils with large quartz stones. Crushed by foot, wild yeast fermentation. One year in six year old (white Burgundy) barrels and bottled unfiltered and unfined.  This is an example of a more contemporary styled, fruit forward Syrah to compare with the others.

2015 Kermit Lynch/Louis Barruol Crozes Hermitage “Tenay”–The Louis Barruol-Kermit Lynch collaboration is the combination of two world class talents.  Louis has the insight & right connections/network to search out interesting parcels of Syrah (really focusing on the Petite Serine vine), crafting the wine & then blending the resulting wines with super palate Kermit Lynch.  A blend of two barrels from the lieu dit of Tenay, 30 to 50 year old heirloom/heritage vines.  The Tenay parcel is located on an upper slope just north of hermitage.  We loved the extra dimensions the old vine Serine innately has.

Categories : General, Red, Wine, Wine Thoughts
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Jun
07

What Carignane based wines can be

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Carignane can make very interesting, savory, tasty and wonderfully food friendly red wines and I am always on the look out for wines produced from this grape. When it is good, it can be smoking. Unfortunately, it can also produce very nonchalant renditions. Here is your chance to try FOUR tasty, really unique and interesting examples, each from a true vigneron of the region, just to show tasters what can be! To me a vigneron is a master of his craft who creates magic like few others can.  

2013 Neyers Carignan “Evangelho Vineyard” (California)–Undoubtedly one of our favorites out of California. These vines are around 139 years old age, own rooted, grown in predominately sand soils. Then foot stomped and done with Old World sensibilities. We are so thankful this old vine vineyard has not yet been ripped out or replanted.

2013 Domaine Neferis Selian Premier Cru “Reserve” (Tunisia)–we first tasted this wine at SommCon 2018 at a Carignane tasting conducted by  Geoff Labitzki MW & Brian Lynch.  I marveled at this wine because it was tasty, interesting, rustic, savory with a hearty personality & really delivering at a surprisingly reasonable price.  Tunisia is located in North Africa, across the Mediterranean from Italy and southern France. This is old vine Carignane, well worth checking out.  

2016 Les Milles Vignes Fitou “Denis Royal” (Southern France)–From one of the hottest winemakers in southern France, this cuvee is 80% (75 year old) Carignane 10% Grenache & 10% Mourvedre—such a spellbinding, old vine, wonderfully textured standout.  Their vineyards in the rugged terrain of Fitou is a composite of clay, limestone, marl & schist.  Furthermore, these sites are fiercely & relently pounded by the region’s infamous, ferocious Tramontagne wind, which just adds to the unforgiving growing conditions.  It is without a doubt work driven by passion.  The reins have been completely turned over to (daughter) Valérie Guerin, who in turned, along with her wines are currently one of the “wine darlings” of Paris wine scene.

2013 Domaine Vinci “Rafalot” (Southern France)–Absolutely wild, wooly, unabashed funkster, probably because of the extreme low, if at all, use of sulfur. The wine nonetheless moves me because it does have a good dose of soul, hidden amongst the funk.  Domaine Vinci is located in the heart of Roussillon–a hodge-podge of remote, non-contiguous parcels, totaling only about 6 hectares.  The “Rafalot” bottling comes from a parcel of 100 year Carignane vines grown in clay limestone.  The whole clusters are gently foot stomped with minimal, if any sulfur used during the winemaking process.  It is aged for 18 months in demi-muids & 12 year old barrels.  This is something very unique & different.

Categories : General, Red, Wine, Wine Thoughts
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May
24

“Claret” Styled Californians

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In the old days, the English used to refer to Bordeaux red wines as claret. While this tasting is not featuring any Bordeaux red wines, I just used to the word to conjure up a style reference—classy, elegant, civil, refined and so different from the lavish, humonguous “fruit bombs” quite in fashion these days. Hopefully these wines will show a different slant of what California is capable of.

2016 Obsidian Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon “Obsidian Ridge Vineyard”–This a rising star of noteworthy Cabernet from the Red Hills, Lake County, offered at surprisingly reasonable prices. The 2016 is 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petite Verdot, 1% Malbec and 16 months in oak, 45% new.  “Obsidian—glassy black rock of volcanic origin—covers the hillsides of Obsidian Ridge Vineyard. The steep, sloping terroir of this land, with its incomparable red gravely soil shot through with obsidian, is all that a winemaker could hope for. Half a mile above sea level, the harsh mountain climate shows our fruit no mercy, and this builds character. Pacific winds, blinding mountain sunlight, and cold, rocky conditions produce grapes with exceptionally thick skins, dark color, and intense flavor”.

2016 Falcone Cabernet Sauvignon “Paso Robles”–I first met husband/wife winemakers John and Helen Falcone during their tenure at Rusack Vineyards. They were ex-Napa Valley-ers who came down to the Ballard Canyon enclave of the Santa Barbara appellation and completely turned the project around. While doing so, they also purchased a small parcel in eastern Paso Robles (Creston, I believe) and in 2000 planted four acres each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. This wonderful 100% Cabernet, aged for 17 months in French and American oak (52% new) is the fruit of their journey. I ran into them at the past two Wine Speak events and we were able to get some to share with you all.

2014 Consortium Cabernet Sauvignon “Napa Valley”–This is a collaborative effort by the “Band of Vintners”, a high profile, wine “rat pack” (including Jason Heller MS) of the Napa Valley, which “overdelivers pound for pound” AND especially for the dollar.  83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot & 2% Petite Verdot.

2014 Selene Merlot “Frediani Vineyard”–we purposely poured this wine last & BLIND for the tasters.  Our intent was to show the Merlot grape variety, when grown in interesting soils & microclimates is very capable of producing top caliber wine.  In Bordeaux, for instance, the Right Bank seems to be growing its acreage of Merlot.  PLUS, despite the downward turn in popularity of Merlot in the U.S., currently the 2 most expensive Bordeaux “trophy” red wines are Merlot based.  Furthermore, on a recent wine trip to Washington state, I was very impressed with many Merlot based red wines there & truly believe this grape has a real potential & future there.  So, just to mix things up a little, we poured this wine on this night.  100% Merlot from the iconic Frediani Vineyard & superstar winemaker Mia Klein.  It did not disappoint.  In fact, right out of the gates, it had the most provocative perfume–with lots of depth, savoriness, character & vinosity.  Some might think it is because of the additional bottle age or that perhaps Merlot opens up sooner after its been bottled.  Whatever the reason, this wine had grandeur, class & much to say.  On the palate, it was deep, glorious, vinous & savory with superb texture, flow on the palate & balance.

Categories : General, Red, Wine, Wine Thoughts
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May
19

A Taste of Piemonte

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The region of Piemonte in northwest Italy is the home to Barolo and Barbaresco, two of Italy’s most prestigious red wines and is also the home to one of the world’s finest truffles. No other region provides similar characteristics for red wines or truffles. I often ask myself what makes the soil so special and where does that intriguing pungency and savoriness come from? While the Nebbiolo grape variety produces red wine royalty, there are other indigenous grapes which can produce something unique and special too. Perhaps not as grand, but certainly still worth experiencing. We asked VINO Chef Keith Endo to create Piemontese inspired foods to work with some of our most unique and interesting red Piemontese “country” wines.  Each is from small, family owned estates, who produce classically styled wines in homage to what their forefathers produced.  Wines like this are getting harder and harder to come by.

 

WINE: Cantine Valpane “Rosa Ruske”Cantine Valpane was founded in 1899. The estate is located in a more remote niche of Monferrato where untamed forest and fields play a imporatnt role is producing a very unique set of wines. The Rosa Ruske bottling is their most unique red , one produced from the nearly forgotten ruché grape variety. (Today, I am told it is the moscatellina grape variety).  In either case, this wildly rustic, very aromatic red wine combines the pungent, savory core of what Piemonte is about with floral/wild rose aromatics of the ruché grape variety.

Homemade Tajarin Pastabraised oxtail, grilled Ali’i mushrooms, Swiss chard & mudica bread crumbs

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WINE: Tenuta La Pergola “Il Goccetto”“The little nip” is a country-styled Piemontese red, meant for immediate consumption with regional foods. This family has been producing their own estate wines since 1903.  In this particular vintage, “Il Goccetto” is 100% Brachetto, a grape variety rarely produced on its own as a stand alone red wine. We absolutely love its wild, exotic fragrance of rose petals and wild strawberries, with a pungent, musk scented, savory core. These aromatic red wines create such a different dynamic with foods like this.

Risotto alla Piemontesecarnaroli rice , grilled baby portabella mushrooms, red wine & truffle

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WINE: Cantine Valpane Barbera del Monferrato “Rosso Pietro”We are continually amazed with each taste of this wine as we don’t run into old style Barbera like this stylistically too often. It might be because in many cases, Barbera is more often grown where and when Nebbiolo cannot ripen to perfection, kind of like an after thought. Valpane produces meaty, masculine, musk scented, savory Barbera, which still has very lively, stony fruit in a delicious, provocative style. What a real treat!

Red Wine Braised Veal Cheekscreamy polenta, roasted root vegetables & espelette pepper

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DESSERT

WINE: Filippo Gallino “Birbet”Where the top Piemontese red wines have a strongly pungent, savory, musk scented core at its best, this 100% Bracchetto produced in the Roero region innately offers a slightly sparkling red wine, which is instead so remarkably light, fruity, ethereal & wonderfully refreshing & delicious.  Having this wine at the end of meal is like having a sorbet to finish–completely upbeat & uplifting.

Meringatahazelnut meringue, warm caramel sauce, macerated fruits, whipped cream and chocolate gelato

 

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May
12

Foie Gras & Wine

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Foie Gras (fattened duck or goose liver) is a French delicacy.  Its decadent richness, bordering buttery is world renown & has become an iconic luxury dining offering.  The leading purveyor in the U.S. is Hudson Valley.  Historically, sommeliers & gourmets paired foie gras specialties with top end Sauternes, mano e mano.  True decadence.  The richness, unctuality & visceral mouthfeel of the wine could keep up with the foie gras & the wine’s innate sweetness would freshen & refresh the palate between bites.

At VINO, we chose to do something different on this night just to shake the bushes some.

Foie Gras Torchonserved with crostini, caramelized pineapple, garnished with apples bits

 wine pairing:  2013 Domaine de Durban Muscat de Beaumes de Venise–a very iconic, standout late harvest, fortified white wine, grown France’s southern Rhone Valley.  “The domaine and its vineyards sit atop a picturesque plateau in the Vaucluse, sheltered by the Dentelles de Montmirail, just above of the village of Beaumes-de-Venise. The scenic views put one at pause considering the timelessness—wine has been a part of the culture here for millennia”.  The higher altitude, the plentitude of sun exposure, the constant pounding mistral winds & the clay-limestone strewn hillsides create a very unique niche for producing this sweet, though brilliantly fresh vin doux naturale, which is quite a revelation for the appellation & its wines.  “The Leydiers are particularly proud of their Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise as they are among the last to craft it in the traditional style. Leydier’s old-fashioned vinification keeps the spirits as low as possible, so that they may hold on to the bright freshness in the grapes. One can find more powerful Muscats, but none as tasty and fine”.  The youthful 2013 still has the hutzpah & decadence for the torchon, but still with enough zest & nerve for the pineapple & apple garnishes.  (Sweet wines like this can lose their apparent sweetness with considerable bottle age, as it transforms into a more tactile, visceral feel).  Definitely an interesting pairing.

 

Pan Seared “A” Grade Foie GrasPort wine reduction, quail egg & duck prosciutto

 wine pairing:  2016 Domaine La Tour Vieille Banyuls “Rimage”–Banyuls is a wine appellation in southern France, right on the Mediterranean, 2 miles from the Spanish border.  The impossibly steep, daunting, sun baked, wind pounded hillsides of schist have to be terraced to help keep the soil in place & also make the slopes workable.  The Banyuls wines are fortified vin doux naturale.  While some renditions can be very rustic, rugged, bordering coarse, we have taken quite a liking to the more civil, wine-like bottlings from Domaine La Tour Vieille.  Their “Rimage” bottling is old vine Grenache with a dollop of Carignane.  While Grenache can typically offer wonderfully ripe, lush, round fruit, this estate’s Grenache terroir also innately adds an intriguing, very savory, masculinity to its core, which I am sure is at least partially from the challenging schist driven hillsides.  The wine is then buttressed with roughly 10% Carignane which helps with savoriness, structure & frame.  The best way to sum up describing this wine…..”A delicious, savory Mediterranean red wine, which happens to be fortified“.   We typically enjoy this wine well chilled.  It certainly proved to be an interesting pairing to say the least.

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Helen Keplinger

Thursday, April 18, 2019

There is no doubt that Helen Keplinger is one of the New Age winemaking stars of the California wine scene.  Besides consulting for a portfolio of various wine projects, she & her husband DJ have their own label, Keplinger, which is garnering big scores & praise from the media, including a “Winemaker of the Year” recognition from Food & Wine Magazine.  She is making her first trip to Hawaii & doing a special dinner with Ivy Nagayama, Managing Partner/Corporate Director of Operations of DK restaurants & the culinary team of DK Steakhouse.

Here was the menu for the night.

APPETIZER

FENNEL POLLEN SEARED BRISTOL BAY SCALLOPS–with herbed cauliflower puree, confit of Hamakua King Oyster mushrooms, roasted fennel butter

2014 KEPLINGER ELDORADO WHITE–(Viognier, Roussanne & Marsanne)

 

 

INTERMEZZO

TRUFFLED AHI WITH JALAPEÑO AND MICRO CILANTRO

 

 

DEMI ENTREE

KIAWE SMOKED “TAJIMA” AUSTRALIAN WAGYU SHORT RIBS–with roasted kohlrabi, twice cooked fingerling potatoes, thyme jus, and crispy shallots

 2013 KEPLINGER “SUMO” RED–(Petite Sirah, Syrah & Viognier)

 

 

INTERMEZZO

LA GELATERIA LEMONGRASS SORBET WITH MARI’S GARDEN MICRO MINT

 

 

MAIN ENTRÉE

21-DAY DRY AGED KING NATURAL STRIP LOIN–with summer truffle and gruyere cheese gratin, red wine peppercorn jus, bay leaf gremolata, shaved asparagus

 2015 KEPLINGER CALDERA RED–(Mourvedre, Grenache & Counoise)

 

 

DESSERT CREATED BY PASTRY CHEF CHERIE PASCUA

DECADENT CHOCOLATE S’MORES BAR–with layers of graham crackers, brownies, chocolate mousse, toasted marshmallow & strawberry ice cream

Apr
18

Sparkling Wine & VINO Food

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Most people think of sparkling wines when it is time to celebrate festive times. Furthermore, we also find them to be quite amazing with foods. We have asked VINO Chef Keith Endo to pair foods to a quartet of our favorite non-Champagne bubblies. Yes, this will be–pure enjoyment–on an early Sunday night, so one can go home and sleep early. Let’s get together and hang out.

 

WINE: Flor ProseccoItalian Prosecco has grown to be one of the top wine imports into the U.S.. sadly, that means there is a growing number of mediocre renditions coming in. here is one whose intent is to be delicious, light, crisp, flirtatious & completely refreshing. It comes from the iconic restaurant family of Bastianich. We wanted to show how food friendly good ones can also be.

Charred Cabbage–braised vegetable/chicken jus

 

 

WINE: Breton Vouvray Brut “Dilettante”Vouvray is located in France’s Loire Valley and is the home to the world’s finest Chenin Blanc based wines. The best are wonderfully alive, exciting and a burst of synergy between the Chenin Blanc grape variety and limestone soils it is grown in. Catherine Breton takes this wine to another level through the “traditional” (Champagne) method, adding fine bubbles and much more excitement and pizazz to an already bright eyed and bushy tailed wine. There really is no wine like it. While we think Vouvray and shellfish are made for each other, this wine takes that idea to another level.

Seafood Sausageroasted, fresh herbed fingerling potato bits, braised leeks, corn relish & truffle butter

 

 

WINE: Scammacca del Murgo Brut RoséThe wines of Mt Etna, down in Sicily are exploding in popularity among the sommelier community, both in the U.S. and across the world. There really is magic created between the native Nerello Mascalese grape variety and the volcanic soils of Etna. The Scammacca family have been toiling their vineyards in the shadow of this active volcano for well over 100 years. Their masculine, stony bubbly is 100% Nerello Mascalese, aged for three years on the fine lees, ala metodo classico. What a real treat!  Nerello Mascalese is  a grape variety typically used to produce hearty, masculine, savory red wines.  In this case, however, it is used to produce this very refined, yeasty, completely refreshing sparkling pink wine.  In short, masculine, savory, crisp & completely refreshing….is why we paired this wine with this dish.

Braised Spanish Octopussquid ink linguine tossed with braised celery, onions and fennel with espelette pepper

 

 

WINE: Elvio Tintero Moscato d’Asti “Sori Gramella”Moscato d’Asti is a very special, unique wine, which has a razor edged tetter totter between sweet & sour, in a very uplifting, airy manner. At its best, there is really no other wine like it. This is one of our absolute favorites!

Pineapple Panna Cottamango sorbet & grilled Moroccan spiced apple bits

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Apr
10

Savory Red Wines

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Here is your chance to try FOUR really unique and interesting Italian red wines, each from a true vigneron of the region! To me a vigneron is a master of his craft who works with a code, discipline, skill, passion and dedication for his craft. This honor is for a select few who embrace and masterfully work through a grape, a vine, a vineyard and create magic like few others can. We love how savory and food friendly each is, without any sense of heaviness or gaudiness. What an opportunity!

2015 Renzo Castella Dolcetto di Diano d’Alba “Rivolia”–For most Piemonte wineries, Dolcetto is often an after thought, planted when Nebbiolo or Barbera couldn’t be. In comparison, Renzo Castella proudly is a Dolcetto specialist—50 year old organically farmed vines in the Diano d’Alba appellation with its largely sandstone dominated soils. We were absolutely captivated with this charming, classy, delicious rendition. WOW! 

 

2017 Baron Widmann Vernatsch Südtiroler”–Grown at roughly 2000 feet elevation in the mountains of northeast Italy. 100% Sciava from one of the most revered vineyard-ists in all of Italy.  “Light colored, delicious and very drinkable table wines (sort of like a cross between Beaujolais and Bourgeuil and as mouthwatering and savory as that description suggests). This is a wine to be drunk and not discussed”. 

2010 La Viarte Schiopettino di Prepotto “Colli Orientali”–Schiopettino is an indigenous grape variety of northeast Italy, high in the hills.  It seems to excel in the Prepotto enclave.  Interestingly, Schiopettino seems to be fastly rising in recognition among the sommelier community across the country. This grape variety is easier to grow than many of its peers, while still delivering a wonderful savoriness, especially in the core, without pondering weight, richness or high alcohol levels. It definitely has a rightful place at the dinner table.

2017 Vigneti Vecchio Etna “Sciare Vive”–Mostly Nerello Mascalese—50 to 130 year old vines—grown in the volcanic soils of Etna at 2000 feet elevation and only six months aging in 500 liter oak. Yet, another red wine all about savoriness and mojo, while still being wonderfully transparent, surprisingly refined and delicious.

 

Categories : General, Red, Wine, Wine Thoughts
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