Barolo Week at Vino

There are 6 Barolos on sale (20% off) this week (Weds.-Weds.) at www.VinoSiteShop.com. Although the wines are available at a discount all week long online, you can also come into the store and taste them for FREE on Thursday and Friday.The WINES WILL BE DISCOUNTED IN-STORE THURSDAY AND FRIDAY ONLY.

Winemaker Mario Andrion of Castello di Verduno will be on hand Friday to pour his 1998 Barolo Massara.

See the Tasting Notes below for more information on the sale.

Vertical Il Poggione Dinner, Nov. 7

Space at the Nov. 7 Vertical Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino dinner (with winemaker Alessandro Bindocci) is filling up fast: there are a few seats left. To reserve, please call or email events coordinator Jeremy Parzen at 212-679-0822 or events@vinosite.com. Many of the older vintages (going back to 1978) are also available exclusively to Vino customers and are sourced directly from Il Poggione’s cellar in Sant’Angelo in Colle. If you’d like to receive a list of available wines and prices, please contact Jeremy. Sales are subject to availability.

For more information, click here.

CARMIGNANO 1996 IS HERE!

See Charles’ Wine Opinion below or click here to purchase.

* * *

This Week’s Tasting: Barolo

This week’s tastings feature 6 Barolos: receive 20% off all of these wines all week at www.VinoSiteShop.com or come in to the store on Thurs. and/or Friday to taste them.

THE WINES WILL BE DISCOUNTED THURS. AND FRI. ONLY IN-STORE.

On Friday, winemaker Mario Andrion of Castello di Verduno will join us to pour is 1998 Barolo Massara.

Barolo Week at Vino

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

Barolo Bussia 1999 Aldo Conterno

REGULARLY $76
$60.80 this week only online

Aldo Conterno has long been considered one of Barolo’s grand masters. His exquisitely elegant wines are often compared to the Grand Crus of Burgundy in terms of their terroir expression and finesse. Indeed, Aldo himself points to Burgundy as the inspiration for his style of winemaking. Bussia is one of Barolo’s greatest vineyards and Aldo Conterno has produced some of the site’s greatest vintages. This 1999 will only get better (and increase with value) as it ages. A must-have for collectors of Barolo.

Barolo Cannubi 2000 Fenocchio

REGULARLY $43
$34.40 this week only online

This single-vineyard Barolo is made by one of the appellation’s most respected producers, Giacomo Fenocchio, and is released under the De Rham label by Florentine wine impresario Barbara De Rham. Cannubi is arguably Barolo’s most famous vineyard and expression and many consider it to be the most definitive. The 2000 vintage was perhaps the warmest of the 1996-2000 string of superior harvests and thanks to the ripeness of the fruit, it is already beginning to show very well.

Barolo Massara 1998 Castello di Verduno

REGULARLY $66
$52.80 this week only online

Castello di Verduno’s Barolo Massara is sourced from one of the great “crus” or vineyards of Barolo, Massara. Locals call the site a sorì d’la matin, meaning an ideal site that benefits from sunlight in the morning. As a result of the eastern exposure, the grapes sourced from this historic vineyard cool off during the afternoon and can ripen properly even in overly hot summers. 1998 was one of a historic string of excellent vintages (1996-2001) vintages in the Langhe.

Barolo Merlotti 2000 Cavagnero

REGULARLY $49
$39.20 this week only online

Carlo Cavagnero is one of Barolo’s youngest and brightest rising stars. He makes his Barolo in the traditional style: his Merlotti (named after his estate, the Tre Merlotti or Three Blackbirds) is blended from estate-owned vineyards in La Morra, one of the appellation’s five top townships. While single-vineyard “crus” Barolos have become increasingly popular in recent years, Carlo has chosen to stick with tradition and make blended Barolo, using the best fruit from his best growing sites (the remaining fruit goes into his Nebbiolo d’Alba, which is intended for drinking young).

Barolo Pressenda 2000 Abbona

REGULARLY $47
$37.60 this week only online

A top “cru” (vineyard) of Piedmont, the Pressenda vineyard lies in the township of Monforte d’Alba where the Helvetian subsoil produces some of the most structured and long-lived wines in the world. Abbona’s bottling is made from vines planted in 1965: the older the vine, the farther the roots dig down into the soil. As a result, the soil imparts its minerality to the fruit, which in turn, gives the wine its characteristic earthy, tar flavor. Abbona made only 9,800 bottles of this hand-crafted Barolo.

Barolo Sorì Gepin 1998 Spinona

REGULARLY $40
$32.00 this week only online

La Spinona is a traditional-style producer who makes long-lived, terroir-driven Barolo. For this wine, the fruit was sourced exclusively from the Sorì Gepin, a site that enjoys perfect exposure (denoted by the dialectal term sorì) in the township of Novello (between Barolo and Monforte).

* * *

Wine Opinion: Who Says Sangiovese Can’t Age?

In 1985, I had the privilege of having Count Ugo Bonacossi and his wife at my home for dinner. This was an extraordinary event: not only because the Count and his wife were there, but also because my wife Michele was on a business trip, and I had to prepare the meal with a little help from my friends. Count Ugo is the owner of the Capezzano winery in Toscana, which, in my opinion, makes the best wine from the Carmignano appellation. For those of you who don’t know Carmignano, it is a blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon grown in the province of Prato, just northwest of Firenze (Cabernet Franc is also permitted).

That night we drank a number of wines from his estate. The last wine, however, was a wine that, at the time it was produced, was not called Carmignano but rather it was called Chianti (editor’s note: the Carmignano appellation lies within the Chianti Montalbano appellation and although it has been recognized unofficially for centuries, it was not until 1975 that it acquired DOC status, DOCG in 1991). The Count poured this wine himself and then proudly announced that this was the first wine that he remembered his father making.

The year was 1925 (the wine, not the dinner!). That meant that the wine was 60 years old. As we all tasted it, we looked at each other in amazement: the wine seemed as if it were only 10 or 15 years old. Who says that Sangiovese can’t age? (There was very little Cabernet in the wine, certainly less than the winemaker uses today.) I have been drinking the Carmignano from Bonacossi since the early 1980s and it has always been one of my favorite wines because it never seems to disappoint. A few years ago, after one of our trips to Vinitaly, we stopped at the winery and they opened some vintages for us from the 1930s. In all truthfulness, some of them were showing their age and some of them were not. In 1997 the estate revamped its approach to winemaking and the winemaker began adding more Cabernet Sauvignon and using new French oak (barrique). They still make a great wine, however in the modern style.

A few weeks ago, the North American representatives for Capezzano came into Vino. We tasted some of the wines and I asked them if they had any older vintages. The rep said, yes, “We have some 1996 Riserva.” This was the last wine labeled “Riserva” and the last wine made in the old style by the winery. By coincidence, the woman who helped me cook the dinner the night that Michele was away happened to be in the store with her husband and we tasted the 1996 Riserva together and we talked about that dinner long ago. The next week, I invited them over for dinner — Michele cooked, of course — and we opened up a 1985 Carmignano Riserva to commemorate the 20 years since that dinner. It was drinking perfectly.

At Vino, I was lucky enough to obtain the very last bottles of the 1996 Carmignano Riserva. They told me how many cases that they had and I said, “We’ll take it all.” We don’t have much and many bottles have been reserved already (of course, I’ve taken some home for myself). If you’d like to buy some, please send an email to my colleague William Leonard-Lee at william@vinosite.com, and he will take care of your order personally. You can also buy the wine on our site, http://www.VinoSiteShop.com. For many reasons, this is a historic vintage of a historic wine.

In unrelated news, you will not be surprised to find out that I appear in the current issue of Men’s Vogue. They wanted me to pose for the cover, but unfortunately Hugh Jackman (otherwise known as the “Boy from Oz”) got the gig instead of me (see his picture, right). You can however look for my interview with Lawrence Osborne (author of The Accidental Connoisseur: An Irreverent Journey Through the Wine World) in the current issue. He and I tasted a number of grappas together. To read his article, please click here.
–Charles Scicolone, Wine Director, I Trulli and Vino

Charles would love to hear from you. Please email him at charles@vinosite.com.

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