Brunello, Chianti, and Super Tuscan Seminar; Wines of Roma

The class schedule is available online: click here to view the complete schedule.

THIS WEEK’S FEATURED CLASS:

Heavy Hitters II: Brunello, Chianti, and Super Tuscans
Wednesday, February 14 ($95)

In the late 1860s, the Iron Baron Bettino Ricasoli hailed Sangiovese as the grape that “married best” with the Tuscan soil and he wrote the first official formula for Chianti, with Sangiovese as the primary grape for the blend. In the 1880s, Tancredi Biondi Santi produced the first Brunello di Montalcino by experimenting with growing sites and different clones of Sangiovese. The Brunello grape (also known as Sangiovese Grosso and Prugnolo Gentile), he discovered, was ideal for making long-lived, complex red wines. In the 1960s, Nicolo’ Incisa della Rocchetta, owner of the legendary race horse, Ribot, released the first vintage of Sassicaia as a vino da tavola or table wine, the first Super Tuscan. Inspired by the wines of Bordeaux and its famous Graves terroir (named after the “gravelly” soil), he had planted Cabernet Sauvignon in the pebbly soil of Bolgheri (hence the name Sassicaia from the Italian sassi meaning “pebbles”). In the twenty-first century, the legacy of these historic wines continues to resonate across the globe. Some would even say that they should be credited with the current renaissance and overwhelming popularity of Italian wines today. Wine Director Charles Scicolone leads participants through a guided tasting of some of Toscana’s greatest wines.

To register or for more information, please email register@vinosite.com.

* * *

Please join us this Friday (5:30-7:30) and Saturday (4:30-6:30) for our FREE weekly tastings. This week Charles and the Vino staff will be pouring six wines from Lazio.

For more information on this and other events at Vino, please email events@vinosite.com.

Charles Scicolone, Wine DirectorLazio is known for Frascati but what people don’t realize is that it is one of the best places to grow French varietals. These red varietals, basically, Cabernet and Merlot, in my opinion, do better in Lazio than in any other part of Italy and even better than in some places where they are the native grapes.

One of these is the Colli Picchioni from Paola di Mauro, which is Cabernet, Merlot, and perhaps a little bit of Cesanese. This is a classic wine that can age very well. I have been to the winery a number of times and every time I go there, her son Armando, who I believe still owns a restaurant in Roma, opens up a 1985 Colle Picchioni, which is always spectacular. Paola gives cooking lessons at the estate and for lunch always makes fried, breaded lamb chops, which go very well with the 1985 Colle Picchioni.

Another one of my favorites is the Quattro Mori, made from four French red varietals: Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. The wine is called Quattro Mori (or “Four Moors”) not because it is made from four grapes but because the ancestor of the present owner was a commander in the battle of Lepanto (1571) where the Italians defeated the forces of the Sultan. The commander brought four Moors back to the town of Marino (Lazio) with him and a fountain with their likeness was erected in the town square to commemorate the victory (in the sculpture, they are supporting the fountain). From the dining from of the winery, one can see St. Peter’s and the lights of Roma at night. This is a wonderful wine, which has that leathery flavor with a lot of fruit. It is a wine that could probably be enjoyed now but that will also age gracefully. We’ll also be tasting two white wines from the same producer, Castel de Paolis.

This Friday and Saturday, we’ll also be tasting a new wine, the Rosso del Frusinate by Casale della Ioria. Some of you may know the 100% Cesanese that this winery makes. When I was in Roma, I had the Cesanese with my favorite dish, which is lamb. I don’t remember if it was grilled, roasted, or fried, but it was a great combination. Even though it is very difficult to find in this country, Casale della Ioria’s wines are very popular in Roma. The Rosso del Frusinate is made from Cabernet, Merlot, and Cesanese.

So when in Roma, do what the Romans do, drink wine that’s made just outside of Roma and from the Castelli Romani.
–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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