Vertical Barbaresco Dinner

Space at the October 24 Vertical Produttori del Barbaresco dinner with Charles Scicolone is filling up fast: there are a few spaces left. Please email events@vinosite.com to reserve.

Vertical Dinner featuring
Produttori del Barbaresco

moderated by Charles Scicolone
Wine Director, I Trulli and Vino
Tuesday, October 24, 8:00 p.m.
Ristorante I Trulli

In other news…

We recently spoke with Alessandro Bindocci, winemaker at Il Poggione, and he has informed us that he will be pouring the following wines at his Meet Your Winemaker Dinner on Tuesday, November 7:

1999 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva
1997 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva
1988 Brunello di Montalcino
1985 Brunello di Montalcino

Space is extremely limited for this event and is beginning to fill up. For information and/or to reserve, please send an email to events@vinosite.com

As one of the three original producers of the appellation, Il Poggione has been making Brunello di Montalcino since the late nineteenth-century. It was also one of the founding members of the Brunello di Montalcino Consortium in the late 1960s. While literally hundreds of Brunello producers have appeared since the appellation began garnering international fame in the 70s and 80s, Il Poggione has continued to make traditional-style, long-lived Brunello without bowing to the pressures of the “New World” marketplace. The winemaker still employs “promiscuous” farming in its vineyards (where olive groves stand side-by-side with Sangiovese vines as they have for hundreds of years) and the estate’s Brunello – made using estate-grown fruit exclusively – is never aged in barrique (new oak). As a result of their steadfast commitment to the historic tradition of Brunello, they have consistently produced wines that can age for 20, 30, and even 40 years. During a recent visit to the winery, we tasted a 1978 Rosso di Montalcino over a Bistecca fiorentina at the Trattoria Il Pozzo in Sant’Angelo in Colle (Montalcino). The wine was drinking great: testament to a truly natural and organic approach to winemaking.

The wines listed above, as well as many other old vintages, will be made available exclusively to Vino customers on a pre-buy basis during the week of the tasting. More details to follow in the weeks leading up to the event.

All the wines will be coming directly from Il Poggione’s cellar.

* * *

New Flights at Enoteca I Trulli

This week’s tastings feature new Fall flights at Enoteca I Trulli (flights consist of three tasting pours, organized by region, wine type, and/or theme).

This Thursday and Friday, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
121 East 27th St.
between Park and Lex.
FREE
800-965-VINO
contact@vinosite.com

Flight #2 Aromatic Whites
Italy is perhaps most famous for the bone-dry white wines that come from the North. Less known but just as intriguing are the aromatic whites that hail from central and northern Italy, like the highly unusual La Gazzella from Ezio Voyat.

Traluce 2004 Le Velette

The word traluce means literally “it shines through” in Italian: the name of this wine refers to its beautiful yellow-golden color. Recently, the Sauvignon Blanc grown in Friuli has enjoyed a lot of notoriety in the wine press: few are aware that the grape has been cultivated with great success in Umbria for centuries. Le Velette is one of the region’s oldest producers and its underground cellars date to the Roman era.

La Gazzella 2003 Ezio Voyat

The late Ezio Voyat named this wine after his daughter Marilena Voyat, an educator and track star whom he liked to compare to a gazzella or gazelle. In the 1980s she was a sprinter for the Italian national team.

Made from 100% Moscato, this is a crisp white wine with great depth and structure. Shortly before the great winemaker’s passing, this wine was named “one of the top 100 white wines of Italy” at the prestigious Salone del Sapore (literally the Flavor Convention), one of Italy’s leading food and wine fairs.

Cinerino 2004 Abbona

Although the Viognier grape is cultivated traditionally in the Rhône valley of France where small amounts are blended with Syrah in the Côte Rôtie appellation, recent DNA analysis of the grape has shown that it is a “white” cousin of Nebbiolo, the varietal used to make Barolo and Barbaresco. Ever since, the experimenter Marziano Abbona has produced this Viognier from grapes grown in Dogliani (since no appellation exists for Viognier there, it simply called a Vino da Tavola or “table wine”). He named it after the elegant gray heron of Northern Italy, the Airone Cinerino meaning the “ashen heron” (from the Italian cenere or “ash”).

Flight #3 Malvasia
Malvasia has been cultivated in Italy since antiquity and today is grown across Europe where it used to make a wide variety of wines. The Malvasia flight at Enoteca I Trulli features three entirely different expressions of this versatile grape variety.

Malvasia Bianca 2005 Conti Zecca

The Malvasia grape variety is one of the Mediterranean’s most ancient and has been cultivated throughout the region for millennia. Conti Zecca’s Donna Marzia Malvasia Bianca (White Malvasia) is crisp and dry, a perfect summer white.

Malvasia 2004 Ronco dei Tassi

Famed Friulian winemaker Fabio Coser was so pleased with the 2004 vintage that he decided to make a 100% Malvasia for the first time in the history of his illustrious winery. A traditional approach to winemaking and careful selection of fruit result in a superior expression of Malvasia, which is traditionally vinified as a dry wine in Friuli.

Ageno 2004 La Stoppa

Ageno is a 100% Malvasia named after one of winemaker Elena Pantaleone’s ancestors. She lets the juice macerate with the grape skins for an extended period (a very unusual approach to vinification of white wine). The resulting wine is intensely flavored and fragrant, rich in color and taste. She generally serves it as a sorbetto, a wine to drink after big reds but before dessert.
See Charles’ Wine Opinion for his notes on this wine below.

* * *

Fall 2006 Class Schedule

All classes last approximately 2 hours.

To register, please send an email to register@vinosite.com.

Noble Nebbiolo
Wednesday, October 18, 6:30 p.m. ($85)

Many believe that the word Nebbiolo comes from the Latin nebula or “cloud”: the famous fog of Piemonte helps to keep the grapes cool as they ripen to perfection in the late summer/early fall. While the Nebbiolo grown in the Langhe hills is used to make the most notable expressions, Barolo and Barbaresco, Nebbiolo is also used to make Piemontese appellations Carema (in Carema) and Ghemme (in Novara) among others, as well as Valtellina in Lombardia (where it is used to make dried-grape Sfurzat or Sforzato) and the Valle d’Aosta. Participants in the Noble Nebbiolo seminar will sample a variety of Nebbiolo and Nebbiolo-based wines as they explore a wide range of winemaking styles and techniques. Wine director Charles Scicolone leads the guided tasting and comments on the many different Nebbiolo clones, aging potential, tasting profile, and the similarities and differences between the Nebbiolo grown in the Langhe and that cultivated in other parts of Italy.

Vintage Italian
Wednesday, October 25, 6:30 p.m. ($95)

Old wine is a topic dear to Wine Director Charles Scicolone’s heart: there is perhaps no other subject that inspires him to wax poetic than a tasting of vintage Italian. Especially today, wine lovers are tempted — by producers and wine sellers — to drink open bottles young. In his Vintage Italian seminar, Charles leads participants through a guided tasting of young and old wines as he discusses what to look for in young wines in order to assess their longevity and reveals how wine and tasting profiles evolve (e.g., secondary and tertiary flavors and aromas found only in vintage wines). He will also discuss cellaring and wine collecting. Aglianico, Sangiovese, and Nebbiolo are just some of the grape varieties that will be tasted (young and old).

Italian Wine and Cheese
Saturday, November 4, 1:30 p.m. ($85)

What could be better than having dinner with Charles and Michele Scicolone over a variety of Italian wines and cheeses at I Trulli, where Michele discusses the formaggi and Charles pairs the wines? In what has become one our most popular courses, Charles and Michele hold court at the restaurant and discuss fresh, aged, and ripened cheeses, cow’s milk vs. goat’s vs. sheeps, and in what has proved to be the high point of the event, Michele tries to stump Charles with an unusual and hard-to-pair cheese. This seminar fills up fast and availability is extremely limited.

Grappa and Italian Brandy
Wednesday, November 8, 6:30 p.m. ($75)

Back by popular request, the Grappa and Italian Brandy seminar includes a tasting of a wide variety of distillates, fruit- and pomace-based (spitting is encouraged!). Following the grappa mania of the late 1980s and early 90s, a tide of grappa flowed into this country, not all of it good. Today, myriad labels are available to the consumer but quality varies greatly and in some cases, you pay more for the hand-blown Murano bottles than you do for the contents. As an extra added bonus, I Trulli and Vino’s Operations Manager Jim Hutchinson will lead a hands-on demonstration of how to prepare a flavored grappa (an excellent holiday gift idea).

Amarone and the Wines of Verona
Wednesday, November 15, 6:30 p.m. ($95)

This class is a must for collectors of Italian wine. The wines of Verona and the Valpolicella are often Italy’s most misunderstood and are certainly among the most unique in the panorama of Italian winemaking. Amarone and Recioto (both dried-grape wines) are some of the world’s most collected and collectible appellations. These are long-lived wines with great power and depth. But the province of Verona also produces Soave, an appellation that has enjoyed a renaissance as winemakers have moved away from commercial production, and a wide range of monovarietal wines. Wine director Charles Scicolone leads a guided tasting that includes dry and sweet wines, white and red classics, and some of the cutting-edge and more unusual labels that have appeared in recent years.

* * *

Wine Opinion: Vintage Nebbiolo and Natural Wines

Sunday night, I was lucky enough to have three wines from the 1982 vintage in Piemonte. They were the Barbaresco Santo Stefano from Bruno Giacosa, the Barolo Brunate from Macarini, and the Barolo Villero from Vietti. These three great examples of the Nebbiolo grape show its aging power. In fact, each of these wines could have continued to age and would have done so gracefully. Ordinarily, I do not like to decant old wines, but in this case, I did so because I felt they needed the extra aeration.

Two of these wines have resided in my cellar since the late 1980s: the Giacosa and the Macarini. The other was given to me two years ago by Alfredo Corrado of the Vietti winery. It is interesting to see that the wines that I had in my storage aged as well as the one given to me by Alfredo. If I told you the prices of these wines, which I bought almost twenty years ago, you would not believe me. I doubt that I could afford to buy these wines today. Therefore, in my opinion, if one likes older wines, then one should buy wine now and lay it down for ten or fifteen years and one will be well rewarded when one drinks the wine.

One of the ways to see if a wine will last is to compare younger vintages with older ones of the wine by the same producer, from the same vintage, and/or made in the same style. In doing this, we can see if the younger wine has the same potential to develop into its older counterpart and if the older wine is still drinkable.

On October 25, I will be leading the Vintage Italian seminar and tasting at the Vinoteca: in my opinion, this class offers a wonderful way to compare older and newer vintages without spending too much money. It is a great opportunity to see what type of older wines you like or don’t like and to figure out which wines you want to buy and to cellar.

And now for something completely different…

As you know, we have been doing the flights from Enoteca I Trulli at Vino. We are now down to the last two flights and they are both white. Two of the wines that you must taste are the La Gazzella from Voyat (Val d’Aosta) and the Ageno from La Stoppa (Emilia-Romagna). The former is a Moscato done in a dry style. It is all Moscato fruit on the palate but the finish and aftertaste are dry. It is one of the most unusual wines that I have ever tasted. However, it is not as unusual as the Ageno: this wine is completely “natural,” by which I mean that it was made the way they made wine one hundred years ago. The winemaker does not even use temperature-controlled stainless-steel fermentation. Everything is natural. The color is amber to darkish brown and does not look like any other white wine that most people are familiar with. Come and taste the six white wines that we have on the tasting menu this week, including these two unique white wines on Thursday and Friday the 13th. By the way, in Italy Friday the 13th is not an unlucky day. In Italy, Friday the 17th is the unlucky day. So, it’s a great day to come to Vino and taste wine in relative safety.
–Charles Scicolone, Wine Director, I Trulli and Vino

Charles would love to hear from you. Please email him at charles@vinosite.com.
To sign up for Charles’ Nebbiolo class, please click here.

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