Taste Sassicaia and Pergole Torte at Vinoteca

May 24, 2007

Robert Scibelli pours 2000 Sassicaia, 2001 Pergole Torte, and 2003 Sammarco

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to taste three of Italy’s most collected Super Tuscans from some of the best vintages in recent memory.

First released in 1968, Sassicaia is the original Super Tuscan. A blend of Cabernet and Merlot, the wine is made using grapes grown in the gravelly soil of Bolgheri, similar to that of Graves in Bordeaux. The 2000 harvest was hailed by many wine writers as one of the best vintages of the century and this vintage is drinking beautifully right now. Sassicaia is becoming increasingly difficult to find in this country as most allocations are spoken for before they even reach American shores. Owner Nicola Marzovilla bought the 2000 vintage at auction a few years ago.

Produced by the famed Montevertine winery in Chianti Classico (specifically, in the township of Radda in Chianti), Pergole Torte is also one of the earliest Super Tuscans: first bottled in 1976 and first released the following year, Pergole Torte is a 100% Sangioveto (Sangiovese) that undergoes long maceration with skin contact, daily punching down of the cap, and then 18 months aging in Slavonian oak. The resulting wine is arguably one of the most powerful expressions of Italy’s greatest and most widely planted grape. Like Sassicaia, Pergole Torte is extremely difficult to find and is highly collectible. It is also distinguished by its artist labels, created expressly for each vintage by celebrated Italian painter Alberto Manfredi.

Also located in the heart of Chianti Classico (in this case in the township of Panzano), the Castello dei Rampolla winery also produces one of Italy’s most famous and coveted wines, Sammarco. Historically, Sammarco (a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon with small amounts of Sangiovese) was created by legendary Italian winemaker Giacomo Tacchis, who continues to oversee its production. Aggressive vineyard management, extremely low yields, and judicious use of wood (only 30% of the wine is aged in new Slavonian oak) make for a Super Tuscan that truly reflects the unique terroir of Chianti Classico. The 2002 harvest was an excruciatingly difficult one for central Toscana and very little Sammarco was produced. But with the 2003 vintage, this historic wine was returned to its former glory and enough wine was produced that it has become available at a reasonable price on the American market.

We rarely open such expensive bottles for our tastings, so don’t miss this opportunity to taste some of Italy’s greatest trophy wines with Robert Scibelli, DWS of the International Wine Center in Manhattan.

Sign up now by emailing register@vinosite.com.

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This Week’s Tasting: Sicily and Sardegna

Summer schedule for weekly tastings: beginning next week, Vino’s free weekly tastings will be on Thursdays and Fridays, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

This Friday (5:30-7:30) and Saturday (4:30-6:30) the Vino staff will be pouring 6 wines from Sicilia and Sardegna.

These wines will be 15% off in-store and 20% off online.

You can browse all of our current web offers by clicking here.

Friday and Saturday tastings at Vino are FREE.
To register for the free tastings, please send an email to events@vinosite.com.

The Vino staff will be pouring the following wines.*

*Wines subject to change depending on availability.

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Upcoming Events at Vino and I Trulli

Mark your calendars: things are heating up at I Trulli and Vino, and you won’t want to miss out!

Thursday & Friday Free Weekly Tastings: Vino’s summer schedule for tastings starts next week, so come by on Thursday or Friday from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

June 13 – Brunello Seminar (6:30-8:30 p.m., $105): Operations Manager Jim Hutchinson will pour 10 wines from this storied appellation. Sign up before the class fills up by emailing register@vinosite.com.

June 20 – Sparkling Summer Blast-Off (5:30-7:30 p.m., $35): There’s no better place to celebrate the official beginning of summer than the beautiful I Trulli garden. Kick back with antipasti and sparkling wines. Space is limited and filling up fast, so sign up today by emailing register@vinosite.com.

June 26 – Taste of Toscana Dinner (7:30 p.m., $150): This very special evening brings the much-celebrated flavors of Toscana to I Trulli with five courses and five wines. This event will sell out, so be sure to book your place now by writing to events@vinosite.com.


Super Tuscan Seminar, Piemonte On Sale

May 22, 2007

I Trulli and Vino Launch New Websites!

Please visit our new sites by clicking on the following links: I Trulli and Vino.

You can browse I Trulli’s wine list, check out Chef Patrick Nuti’s latest menus, read about featured wines, and learn about upcoming classes, tastings, and much, much more…

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Featured Wines for Super Tuscan Seminar (June 6)

There are a still a few spots left in tomorrow’s Barolo seminar, where Operations Manager Jim Hutchinson will be pouring many remarkable wines — most notably from the 1996 vintage. Sign up now by emailing register@vinosite.com.

On June 6, Robert Scibelli D.W.S. (National Development Coordinator and Instructor, International Wine Center, New York) pours and discusses 10 Super Tuscans. The class is filling up quickly so please reserve now to ensure that you get a seat at the tasting.

Sign up now by emailing register@vinosite.com.

In 1968 — nearly 40 years ago — Tenuta San Guido first released Sassicaia, a wine that is hailed by many as the first “Super Tuscan.” The wine’s name was inspired by the gravelly soil of Bolgheri along the Tuscan coast (from the Italian sassi or “stones”) and was a nod to the famous Bordeaux appellation Graves (meaning “gravel”), which also inspired the winemaking style. Historically, the euphemistic term Super Tuscan has been used to denote fine Tuscan wines that were classified as vino da tavola or “table wine” because they did not technically qualify for DOC or DOCG labeling. Today, Sassicaia is its own DOCG and the classification IGT or Indicazione Geografica Tipica (Characterstic Geographic Classification) is generally used to distinguish the Super Tuscans from table wines.

This extraordinary tasting includes the new vintage of San Clemente (created for Vino and I Trulli owner Nicola Marzovilla, a Super Tuscan aged in large oak barrels) and 2000 Sassicaia, as well as an unusual Syrah blend from Lazio.

Participants will taste the following wines:*

*Wines subject to change depending on availability.

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<strong>This Week’s Tasting: Wines from Piemonte</strong>

This Friday (5:30-7:30) and Saturday (4:30-6:30) the Vino staff will be pouring 6 wines from Piemonte.

These wines will be 15% off in-store and 20% off online.

You can browse all of our current web offers by clicking here.

Friday and Saturday tastings at Vino are FREE.
To register for the free tastings, please send an email to events@vinosite.com.

The Vino staff will be pouring the following wines.*

*Wines subject to change depending on availability.


Featured Wines for Barolo Seminar

May 15, 2007

There are a still a few spots left in tomorrow’s class, Italian Wine 101a: Northern Italy. Don’t miss Robert Scibelli’s popular introductory seminar on wines made north of the Apennines — sign up now by emailing register@vinosite.com.

And for those of you who are well acquainted with the wonderful wines of Northern Italy, we’re pleased to announce the wines that Jim will be pouring at his May 23 Barolo seminar — a unique opportunity to taste 10 expressions of Nebbiolo, including 6 different wines from the legendary 1996 vintage, as well as a 1989 and 1982 Borgogno. The class is filling up quickly so please reserve now to ensure that you get a seat at the tasting. There might even be a wine celebrity or two in attendance for this illustrious collection of wines.

Sign up now by emailing register@vinosite.com.

Participants will taste the following wines:*

  • Barolo 2001 Bartolo Mascarello
  • Barolo Ginestra 2001 Domenico Clerico
  • Barolo Sorano 1996 Ascheri
  • Barolo Rocche 1996 Vietti
  • Barolo 1996 Borgogno
  • Barolo 1996 Famiglia Anselma Adasi
  • Barolo Massara 1996 Castello di Verduno
  • Barbaresco Pora Ris. 1996 Produttori del Barbaresco
  • Barolo 1989 Borgogno
  • Barolo 1982 Borgogno

*Wines subject to change depending on availability.

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This Week’s Tasting: Bordeaux-Style Wines

This Friday (5:30-7:30) and Saturday (4:30-6:30) the Vino staff will be pouring 7 Bordeaux-style blends.

These wines will be 15% off in-store and 20% off online.

You can browse all of our current web offers by clicking here.

Friday and Saturday tastings at Vino are FREE.
To register for the free tastings, please send an email to events@vinosite.com.

The Vino staff will be pouring the following wines.*


Vino Wedding Registry in the NYTimes

May 10, 2007

We were thrilled to see Vino mentioned in The New York Times T Style Magazine as one of a handful of wine shops around the city that offer a wedding registry.

For the wine lover and soon-to-be newlywed, there’s no comparison to a particularly stunning vintage or a great starter cellar (especially if we’re talking toasters and salad servers). Nicole Serle is our resident registry consultant and she’s more than happy to help you figure out what you’ll want to drink to celebrate your nuptials and what you’ll want to put away for future anniversaries.

To find out more or to start your wedding registry, write to registry@vinosite.com.

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There are still a couple places left in Italian Wine 101a: Northern Italy on May 16. Our popular introductory Italian wine classes with Robert Scibelli DWS are a great way to get acquainted with the wine traditions and grape varieties of the boot, so register today by emailing register@vinosite.com.

Barolo, the Wine of Kings, the King of Wines
Wednesday, May 23, $105.00

Left: Barolo seminar instructor Jim Hutchinson MA, DWS discusses a bottling of 100% Colorino on a recent trip to Chianti.

Operations Manager and Langhe expert Jim Hutchinson pours 10 wines highlighting the varied terroirs and aging potential of Barolo.

Jim’s knowledge of the “king of wines” comes directly from the source: he lived and worked for more than a year in Piemonte where he cooked professionally and made wine (from harvest to bottling) with one of Vinoteca’s favorite winemakers Sandro Barosi (some of you may remember Jim’s excellent blog from a few years ago: “Our Man in Piemonte”). In his seminar, Jim discusses the mosaic of Langhe crus, their different expressions, and some of the fundamental differences in “modern” vs. “traditional” winemaking styles.

A key element in understanding the terroirs of Barolo is the east-west division of the appellation. The road that connects the towns of Alba and Barolo divides the Barolo DOCG into what is commonly referred to as the Tortonian subzone to the west — the townships of Barolo and La Morra — and the Helvetian subzone to the east — townships of Serralunga, Castiglione Falletto, and Monforte (the terms Tortonian and Helvetian refer to the prehistoric geological eras when the subsoil was formed). The wines made from fruit grown in the east subzone tend to be more tannic and better suited to aging, while the wines from west are softer and tend to mature more quickly. Within each of these subzones, each cru (“growth” or “growing site”) adds new variables to the mix depending on exposure, altitude, and microclimate.

Jim holds an MA in Food Science from NYU and DWS from the International Wine Center. No member of the Vinoteca staff has had more direct experience with these wines than Jim: his seminar offers an extraordinary sampling of 10 Barolos, some made from crus, others carefully blended by master producers from select vineyards.

This class is a must for any collector of Barolo — veteran and neophyte alike.

Limited seating available. Reservations are given on a “first come, first served” basis.

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


Ronco dei Tassi On Sale, Taste of Toscana Dinner

May 8, 2007

This Friday (5:30-7:30) and Saturday (4:30-6:30) the Vino staff will be pouring 7 Ronco dei Tassi wines.

15% off every Ronco dei Tassi label in-store and 20% off online.

You can browse all of our current web offers by clicking here.

Friday and Saturday tastings at Vino are FREE.
To register for the free tastings, please send an email to events@vinosite.com.

The Vino staff will be pouring the following wines.*

*Wines subject to change depending on availability.

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Taste of Toscana Dinner
with Nicola Marzovilla, owner of I Trulli
and Chef Patrick Nuti

Tuesdsay, June 26, 7:30 p.m.
Ristorante I Trulli
122 East 27th St.
five wines, five courses
$150.00 (inclusive)
Limited seating
To reserve, please send an email
to events@vinosite.com.

Or call events coordinator Jeremy Parzen at 212-213-8772.

We’d like to thank everyone who took part in last month’s Taste of Puglia dinner: the event was a smashing success, the wines were fantastic, and Chef Patrick out did himself.

If you’d like to reserve for the Toscana dinner, please do so right away: space is limited and reservations are taken “first come, first served.”

Toscana has long captured the attention and hearts of travelers and food and wine lovers from all over the world. Few can pass through the region without being moved by the magnificent rolling hills set ablaze by the dazzling Tuscan sun (which never seems to shine quite the same anywhere else) or captivated by the centuries-old hilltop villages where time seems to stand still.

Not to be overshadowed by the spectacular scenery, the food of this region is also one of its main attractions. Food lovers delight in the earthy, robust fare here, where the elemental, unsalted bread finds its way into dishes like panzanella and ribollita and pasta like fresh, hand-rolled pici might be served with cinghiale (wild boar). Toscana offers a bounty from both land and sea: this is the region of bistecca alla fiorentina and cacciucco alla livornese (a hearty fish stew from the port city of Livorno). This is also the home of Chianti and Brunello and where Sangiovese is king.

Join us as we celebrate the wonderful food and wines of Toscana. This event will sell out, so be sure to reserve you place today by sending an email to events@vinosite.com.


Charles Scicolone and Vino in New York Sun

May 4, 2007

Wine writer Peter Hellman of the New York Sun recently attended Wine Director Charles Scicolone’s class “Charles’ Greatest Hits,” where he tasted 10 of Charles’ favorite wines. The article below appeared in the Wed., May 2 issue of the paper.

There are still a few spots open for Charles’ May 9 class, “Chianti in All Its Glory.” To register, please send an email to register@vinosite.com.

To view class schedule, click here.

Next Monday, Charles will be attending the James Beard Awards where he has been nominated — for the 6th year in a row — for Outstanding Wine Service.

To celebrate Charles’s nomination, we are offering 9 of his 10 “greatest hits” at 10% off until Monday (online and in-store, subject to availability).

See the wines below.

A Traditionalist’s Top 10 Italian Wines
by Peter Hellman
New York Sun, May 2, 2007

Above: Wine Director Charles Scicolone with Brunello di Montalcino Consortium President Stefano Campatelli at I Trulli presenting the “Benvenuto Brunello” vintage tasting earlier this year.

Personal taste in wine is, for most people, blessedly apolitical. That’s not true of Charles Scicolone, the wine director of the all-Italian bottle shop Vino on East 27th Street and of the restaurant I Trulli. I have no idea for whom Mr. Scicolone casts his ballot on Election Day, but when he votes for Italian wine, he stands somewhere to the right of Silvio Berlusconi, Barry Goldwater, and maybe even Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Mr. Scicolone disdains “modern” winemaking practices of delivering plumped-up flavor impact via super-ripe grapes, high alcohol, and plenty of new oak, often augmented by high-tech interventions in the winery. He refers to such wines as from “the dark side” — Darth Vader wines.

Darkest of all in Mr. Scicolone’s eyes are what he calls “barrique” wines, which have luxuriated — possibly even fermented — in new 225-gallon oak barrels rather than the far larger, relatively flavorneutral wood vats called botti that are traditionally used in Italian winemaking. “Barriques impart nuances of oak, vanilla, and butter flavors that overwhelms a wine’s natural fruit,” he said last week at Vino. “There is a chemical compound in the barrique that is the same as in the melted butter product that is poured onto popcorn at the movies.” In Italy, the bathed-in-oak style was pioneered by the so-called super-Tuscan wines, notably Sassicaia and Tignanello.

What kind of wines does Mr. Scicolone like? “I’m looking for the least amount of interference in the winemaking process so that the flavor comes from the wine,” he said while he presented the 10 red wines he calls his “Greatest Hits” — all Italian, of course. Overtly fruity flavors are unwelcome in his top 10. “You’ll pick up flavors in these wines from the umami category like soy, mushroom, and balsamic vinegar,” he said. “Or the more masculine flavors: leather, mortadella, cedar, barnyard, even chocolate.” He also looks for an enlivening current of acidity as a foil to rich foods and as an aid to aging — rather than barriques.

So firm is Mr. Scicolone’s taste in wines that he stopped going to one of his favorite spots, La Pizza Fresca Ristorante on East 20th Street, because its extensive wine list was overloaded with barrique wines. “The owner called me to ask why I wasn’t showing up any more,” he said. “When I explained the problem, he invited me to bring my own wines to the restaurant.” Mr. Scicolone is once again a customer of La Pizza Fresca.

His predilection for the wines of tradition is not absolute. “The most revolutionary thing in winemaking since the Egyptians is cold fermentation to preserve the flavors of white wines,” he said. “It’s a modern technique — that of which I approve.”

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9 of Charles’s Top 10 On Sale

To celebrate Charles’ mention in the Sun and his Beard nomination, we’re offering 9 of his 10 greatest hits at 10% off.

This offer lasts only until Monday, May 7 (or sooner, if our supplies run out), so get your order in today!

Don’t forget: Monday is also the end of spring clearance, so don’t wait to place your online orders. View all of our current web offers by clicking here.


First Rosato of Summer: Monks Make It Better

May 1, 2007

Slowly but surely, it’s heating up outside, and that means we’re filling our glasses with rosato. And just in time, our first rosato of the season has arrived:

Lagrein Rosato 2006 Muri Gries

The monks at Muri-Gries have got the formula down for a wine that’s festive both inside and out: take one of South Tyrol’s most prized grape varieties and, in an unusual move, vinify it on its own for a fresh, bright, deep-flavored, beautifully hued wine that just begs for barbecue and sunshine.

Also new:

Pecorino 2006 Cantina Frentana

New to our shelves, this unusual wine is made from the little-known Pecorino grape that is native to Abruzzo.

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Don’t miss out on your last chance for steep discounts on our wines. We’ve got 33 — count ’em — bottles on sale for 20% off when you purchase online. You can find them all on the Web Offers page on our website or click any of the wines listed after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »