Upcoming Events at Vino and I Trulli

Thurs. & Fri., November 2-3
Super South Tasting
FREE 5:30-7:30 p.m. @ Vino
The wines are available at a 10% discount all week in-store.

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

Sat., Nov. 4
Naturalmente Italiano Tasting, 5 wines
FREE 4:00-6:00 p.m. @ Vino

Tues., Nov. 7
Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino Tasting
Winemaker Alessandro Bindocci will pour current vintages of his Rosso di Montalcino and Brunello.
FREE 5:30-7:30 p.m. @ Vino

for information on these or any other events at Vino and/or I Trulli, please email events@vinosite.com.

Vino is located at:
121 East 27th St. between Park and Lex.

Tues., Nov. 7
Vertical Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino Dinner
Ristorante I Trulli

To be added to waiting list, please email events coordinator Jeremy Parzen at 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.

In other news…

It’s official: on Monday Oct. 30, Ristorante I Trulli hosted a party to celebrate its new chef, Patrick Nuti (pictured top right). More than 75 persons gathered (old friends and new) to celebrate Tuscan-born Patrick who began his career many years ago in high style at the celebrated trattoria Cibreo in Florence.

Among the wines served: Cuvee Tradizione Erbaluce 2001 Orsolani (a classic-method sparkling white made from Erbaluce), Pelaverga Basadone 2004 Castello di Verduno, and the 2001 Barolo Massara also from Castello di Verduno, winner of the 2007 Tre Bicchieri award (this wine will not be available at Vino until next spring).

Also in attendance, owner Nicola Marzovilla and his sister Domenica (pictured right), and Mario Andrion, winemaker at Castello di Verduno (pictured bottom right) with his companion Giovanna, chef of the Castello di Verduno agriturismo in Verduno, Piemonte.

* * *

This Week’s Tasting: Super South

This week’s tastings feature 6 Southern Wines: 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 (10% off in-store all week).

This Thursday and Friday, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
121 East 27th St.
between Park and Lex.

(click here to order)

$32.00 (web exclusive)

Planeta’s 100% Chardonnay put the winery on the map when it was first released in 1994. Fermented in small French oak barrels, this wine showed that Sicilia offered an ideal environment for the production of modern-style Chardonnay: great weather and lots of sun. Today, Planeta and its Chardonnay continue to lead the Southern Italian wine revolution, producing approachable, fruit-driven wines that it offers to modern-style lovers at a reasonable price point.


$51.20 (web exclusive)

This 100% Cannonau from the Romangia zone of Northern Sardegna is sourced from 60-year-old vines on the winery’s estate and is vinified and aged in glass-lined cement vats before bottling. No new oak is used for this unusual and intensely flavored Cannonau, which is technically classified as an IGT. Although winemaker Alessandro Dettori is not a member of the Vini Veri (or “Real Wines”), many compare his approach to winemaking to the style of the “natural” wines that are beginning to emerge with ever more frequency in Italy.

(click here to order)


Rivera calls this extraordinary blend of Negroamaro and Uva di Troia “Il Falcone” or “the falcon” as a nod to the thirteenth-century enlightened Sicilian King Frederick II, who enjoyed hunting with his falcon in Puglia where the grapes for this wine are sourced today. This bold red wine pairs beautifully with grills and roast meats.


$30.40 (web exclusive)

Sourced from top growing areas in Leverano and Salice Salentino, Conti Zecca’s Rosso del Salento is a blend of Negroamaro with smaller quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon. Negroamaro is one of the region’s most ancient red grapes. Some believe its name to mean “black bitter” (from the Italian negro and amaro) but others believe that it means “black black” from the Italian negro and the Greek maurus for black, perhaps a reference to its dark color. Although Cabernet Sauvignon has been cultivated in Puglia for more than two centuries, innovative producers like Conti Zecca have just begun to experiment with modern-style blends like this one. Their Nero has been one of the first Super Pugliese wine to emerge on the scene, receiving great praise on both sides of the Atlantic.


$33.60 (web exclusive)

Pian del Carro or “wagon flats” is named after the vineyard where the grapes are grown for Filena Ruppi’s top Aglianico. For this wine, she uses gentle oak aging to tame the deep tannins of this Aglianico, which is grown at one of the highest vineyards in the appellation. Aggressive pruning in the vineyards results in extremely low yields for this sure-to-be long-lived wine (Filena estimates that it will reach its peak in roughly fifteen years).


$51.20 (web exclusive)

De Conciliis’ Naima is a 100% Aglianico made from grapes grown in Cilento (in Campania). The wine under goes temperature-controlled fermentation in small French-oak barrels. The result is a gorgeously modern expression of Aglianico. The wine takes its name from the famous composition by jazz musician John Coltrane, a reflection of the family’s interest in jazz and their desire to push the envelope of winemaking tradition.

* * *

Wine Opinion: 2001 Bartolo Mascarello

The other day, our good friend and esteemed colleague, Alice Feiring, mentioned to us that she was surprised when she read that one of the world’s most popular wine magazines gave one of our favorite wines a very low score. For those of you who read my Wine Opinion every week, you know what I think of wine scores. The wine in question was the 2001 Barolo from Bartolo Mascarello. Neither Alice nor I had had a chance to taste the wine and so we asked Vino’s Marketing Director Jeremy Parzen to set up a blind tasting along with other Barolos from the same vintage that had received high scores from the publication in question as well as in other magazines. Operations Manager Jim Hutchinson decanted the wines in the afternoon and I tasted them blind and later that evening, Alice joined the Vino staff for the event. (The only person who knew which wine was which was Jim.)

For those of you who don’t know her, Alice Feiring (pictured right at the tasting) is a widely read wine writer and journalist, who’s won numerous awards for her reporting and most recently for her excellent wine blog (www.alicefeiring.com). She and I share a passion for traditional-style wines and the natural wines of Italy.

Even in off years, Bartolo Mascarello — and now his daughter Maria Teresa, who took the reins at the winery after he died last year — has made and makes a great wine. A number of years ago, I had the 1983 at a blind tasting and loved the wine so much that I was shocked to see that it was an ’83, which was not a good year, until I saw that it was made by Bartolo Mascarello.

The highlight of this blind tasting was the 2001 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo. This wine was made in the same style of all his other wines. I met Bartolo on many occasions and discussed and tasted his wines with him. He never made a “cru” Barolo (in other words, he never made a single-vineyard wine) but rather blended his wine using grapes from different vineyards. In this way, he felt that he could get the perfect expression of Barolo. And in fact, many believe that the true Barolo is a wine made from the best-showing vineyards and not from a single vineyard. It is also well known he employed the traditional submerged cap technique during maceration, where the winemaker uses a grill to keep the cap (in other words, the surface formed by the grape skins) submerged.

One of his more famous slogans, which appeared an artist label that he had designed for his wines, was “no barrique, no Berlusconi” in reference to his feeling about new oak and the then new prime minister of Italy. Another was a play on a quote from Robespierre: “use wood for barricades not barriques.”

This is all very close to my heart because he was one of the few making wine the way wine is supposed to be made and doing a great job at it. And his daughter has continued this noble tradition — thank goodness!

The 2001 Mascarello was a classic example of what Barolo should be. It had all those flavors of mushrooms, faded roses, and tar, with hints of licorice. This is a wine that will last for many years. If you can, I would suggest buying a case: taste one bottle now and over the next few years, keep on tasting them until they are ready to drink (in my opinion, 15-20 years, even more if cellared properly). Your wait will be well rewarded.
–Charles Scicolone, Wine Director, I Trulli and Vino

Charles would love to hear from you. Please email him at charles@vinosite.com.
Click here to purchase 2001 Bartolo Mascarello.

* * *

Dolcetto di Dogliani 2004 Abbona $20

Marziano Abbona’s Dolcetto di Dogliani is named Papa Celso after his father who planted Dolcetto vines two World Wars. Today, the wines are still made from these “old vines” (the older the vine, the deeper the roots grow as they search for water in the subsoil; the resulting fruit becomes richer and richer with each passing year). Marziano often reminds us that while in Asti and Alba, the best growing sites are reserved for Nebbiolo and Barbera, in Dogliani (where this wine is made) the best sites are used exclusively for Dolcetto.

In today’s New York Times, Eric Asimov writes that Abbona’s Dolcetto di Dogliani is “Lightly tannic and well balanced with fruit and spice aromas and flavors.”*

“Typically, [Dolcetto] has bright cherry flavors that contrast with a bitter chocolate edge that comes directly from the grape rather than from an oaky varnishing. It’s a delight, but not a demanding one; light verse rather than an epic. No need to chew it over. Immediate pleasure is the goal; it doesn’t require appreciation.”

*Eric was tasting the 2003 vintage. Like the 2003, the current 2004 vintage won the Tre Bicchieri award in the Gambero Rosso Guide to the Wines of Italy.

Click here to purchase.


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