Friday, March 4, 2011

Christmas in February - kinda, sort, o.k., not at all

A few weeks ago I was invited to attend a tasting of Italian wines at Eataly in Manhattan, NY (in case you were thinking Kansas). It was a last minute invite and as I'd already committed to hanging out with an adorable 23 month old vintage, I asked my classmate and friend from my WSET classes, Jen F., if she woould attend the tasting and be so kind as to write up her notes. Jen braved a sinus infection and New York City traffic (not to mention the foot traffic at Eataly) to deliver.
As it turned out, two out of the four wines she tasted were those that I was sent to taste over Christmas. When Jen told me, it made me that much more interested to see her write-up and compare it with my thoughts.

Here's what Jen had to say about the two wines I hadn't tried:

"Grecante Grechetto dei Colli Martani DOC I'm always interested in trying new white varietals from Italy and this Grecante did not disappoint. This wine is made from 100% Grechetto grapes. I thought it was delicious. The color in the glass was an intense straw yellow, which I learned is one of it's characteristics. It was soft and well balanced, very fruity with some floral notes. I really enjoyed this wine and would definitely drink it on its own, but it would also pair with seafood.

Sagrantino di Montefalco 25 Year DOCG

This is their jubilee wine, that was produced for the first time in 1993 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the winery, but has kept the name ever since. Again it is made from 100% of the very best, carefully selected Sagrantino grapes. Very similar color, nose and taste as the Collepiano - but everything is just more intensified! Very good!!"

And the two wines that I'd already tasted:

"Montefalco Rosso DOC

This is one of the wines that I noticed on your blog that you were able to try as well. Beautiful rich ruby color with notes of ripe red fruit and a little vanilla from the oak. It's a blend of 70% Sangiovese, 15% Sagrantino (the grape that this winery is best know for) and 15% Merlot. I agree with you that it was slightly thin, fairly dry and a little acidic, but the red berry fruit really came through. This wine, as with all Italian wines, are best enjoyed with food. You were definitely right with your pairing of this wine with prosciutto and salami. That is actually the serving suggestion that the winery itself was recommending for their Montefalco Rosso.

Sagrantino di Montefalco Collepiano DOCGThis is the other wine that you tasted as well. It's made from 100% Sagrantino. According to their brochure, "Collipiano represents the "renaissance" of Montefalco as a wine region and the Sagrantino as a unique variety grown only in Montefalco." Very dark ruby, almost garnet color with notes of rich red fruit, as well as some spice and vanilla from the oak. The rich red fruit came through on the palate as well, it was very smooth with a slightly bitter aftertaste. I'm not a big fan of bitter things, but I could see how this wine would shine more with food, especially meat. Once again your pairing with the filet was right on!"

When I read Jen's write up I was thrilled to see that she got a lot of the same things out of the Montefalco Rosso and Sagrantino di Montefalco that I did.  I promise we did not compare notes before she wrote up her thoughts.  

So if you see either of these wines and you're having hearty meats, you've now heard from two of us that these are worthwhile to check out - especially the Montefalco Rosso which retails in the low $20 range.

Until the next sniff, sip or quaff,


Alli M. 


elliej said...

Although I don't eat prociutto, the Montefalco Rosso is worth trying. Alli, how would it pair with wonderful Applegate meats?

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