History “among the vines”

August 26, 2009

Taste three Tuscan wines tomorrow as we celebrate one of our favorite Chianti producers: Travignoli

famiglia busi

Propriety of the Travignoli estate has been passed on through
several generations of the Busi family.

If you’re looking to drink Chianti Rufina, you may as well make it Travignoli: wine has been made on the estate since the twelfth century. Since the 1700s the winery, named from the Italian “tra” (among) and “vigne” (vines), has been operated by the noble Busi family. Count Giovanni Busi has been chief proprietor of Travignoli for twenty years and recently served as president of the Chianti Rufina consortium.

travignoli staff blog

Today’s vineyard workers at Travignoli take a
well-earned break from the harvest

While Chianti Rufina stands proudly as the company’s flagship wine, Busi has also produced number of Super Tuscans, white wines, Vin Santo and olive oil under the Travignoli label. Anyone still doubting Travignoli’s credentials need only taste these three wines to recognize the history, experience and modern winemaking skill of this esteemed producer.

3 travignoli wines

Gavignano 2008 Travignoli

Travignoli blends small amounts of Sauvignon Blanc into the estate’s Chardonnay to create Gavignano, one of Vino’s best value white wines. While Chardonnay from California and Burgundy may have enjoyed more celebrity in recent years, the excellent drainage of the rocky soil in Chianti (and in Rufina in particular) helps to create dry, structured whites with balanced aromas and flavors.

Chianti Rufina 2007 Travignoli

Though blessed with optimum conditions, Travignoli’s output is limited to ensure the finest quality product. Roughly 300,000 bottles leave the winery each year, most of which bear the label of Chianti Rufina, the company’s flagship wine. Smooth, fragrant and ruby-red in color, Travignoli’s Rufina is fermented and aged in steel for eight months, and then spends a further two months in the bottle. Probably our best-selling Tuscan red.

San Clemente 2003 Travignoli

When Vino owner Nicola Marzovilla asked the Travignoli estate to come up with a Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese blend, the winemakers readily accepted the challenge. Vinified in traditional large oak barrels (no barrique), San Clemente is a truly exclusive wine which continues to improve with age. Big in the mouth (from the tannic Cabernet) with bright acidity (from the Sangiovese), it pairs perfectly with the meats and fish from your summer grill.

Thursday, August 27

For more details call 212-725-6516 or email contact@vinosite.com.

Right: Giovanni Busi enjoys a glass of his own Chianti Rufina.


Follow Vino_NYC on Twitter!

August 25, 2009

New York City’s favorite* Italian wine blog joins fastest-growing internet phenomenon

twitter-logo blogI am all a-twitter today as I have just signed up for the hugely popular virtual update service, known by most simply as Twitter. I shall be “tweeting” (if I remember) whenever I have something exciting to say about new wines, special events or anything else relating to the world of Vino. Several of my friends annoy me constantly with their Twitter updates, but unlike them I shall not be tweeting while standing on line at Wholefoods or absentmindedly while watching Seinfeld reruns. As the nature of this post may suggest, I am still undecided as to whether Twitter represents the future of wine marketing or simply the death of modern society as we know it. Either way please follow me.


Campania felix: Southern wines to make you happy

August 24, 2009

Taste five wines by Campania producer La Molara at our Summer Garden Party: tomorrow, 6-8pm


Typically overshadowed in the international market by the mightier regions of Tuscany or Piedmont, Campania‘s winemaking origins are every bit as valid. It is believed that the ancient Romans favored wines from what was then known as Campania felix (or “fertile countryside”). Even further back, the Greeks had recognized the arable nature of the volcanic soil of Vesuvius and wooded hills of Irpinia, planting Aglianico, Greco and Falanghina, varieties which continue to dominate Campania’s wine production today.

azienda la molara blog

Tomorrow evening at I Trulli we’ll be pouring five delicious summer wines by Campania producer La Molara at Summer Garden Party. Located in the town of Luogosano, in the province of Avellino, La Molara (whose vineyards are pictured above) was founded as recently as 2002. The relatively new estate is one of a number of companies at the helm of the region’s winemaking revival, as producers look to Campania’s illustrious past to create quality wines for this millenium.

Join us in the garden for Chef Patti Jackson‘s delicious summer antipasti and an exclusive tasting, as we pour La Molara’s excellent representations of five of Campania’s most recognized wines:

la molara wines blog

Falanghina Naif 2008 La Molara

Greco di Tufo Dionisio 2008 La Molara

Fiano di Avellino Jovis 2008 La Molara

Aglianico Naif 2006 La Molara

Taurasi Santa Vara 2004 La Molara

featuring the wines of La Molara

Tuesday, August 25
$35 plus tax and 18% gratuity

For further information and reservations please call 212-481-7372 or email info@itrulli.com.

Stoppa & Shoppa!

August 20, 2009

Orange wine! Barbera & Bonarda! Italian Bordeaux! Taste three unique wines at 30% off!

When talk turns to wine (which it does pretty often at Vino), much emphasis is placed on place, climate and of course grape variety. It’s often easy to forget that an obvious component in the production of any wine is the people invloved. A winemaker’s philosophies and techniques in the vineyard and the cellar can often be a determining factor.

elena and giulio

Elena Pantaleoni and enologist Giulio Armani (above) of Emilia-Romagna’s La Stoppa winery seek to produce modern wines, though never at the expense of nature or tradition. Located among the colli piacentini (the hills near Piacenza), the estate was acquired by the Pantaleoni family in 1973, when Elena was just a small child. In 1997 her mother Angela moved to start a winery in Chile, and so Elena took over as primary owner, since which time La Stoppa, both the winery and the brand, has become a leading player in Italy’s natural wine movement.

Taste three of La Stoppa’s unique wine this afternoon at Vino from 5:30pm. And don’t forget: all three wines are now available at 30% off!

stoppa tastingAgeno 2004 La Stoppa
was $40, now $28

You may have heard the term “orange wine” being thrown about these days by fans of natural whites. This richness of color is achieved following an extended period of maceration with the grape skins. In the case of Ageno, La Stoppa’s blend of Malvasia, Ortrugo and Trebbiano, the maceration period is 30 days. Named after the estate’s previous owner, Ageno is best served to cleanse the palate between courses.

Macchiona 2003 La Stoppa
was $46, now $32.20

A 50-50 blend of Barbera and Bonarda sourced from forty-year-old vines, Macchiona has been produced by the estate since 1973. “The wine is drinking very well already,” says winemaker Elena Pantaleoni, “but this is a label that is really intended for extended aging.” We recently tasted some older vintages from her cellar and indeed this wine will only get better with time.

Stoppa 2001 La Stoppa
was $50, now $35

“Wine is made in the vineyard, not the cellar”, or so the saying goes. Stoppa, the signature wine of the eponymous winery and a former Tre Bicchieri winner, is an excellent example of what bio-dynamic farming and natural fermentation techniques can bring to a French grape variety. Elena Pantaleoni uses aggressive vineyard management and extremely low yields to make this top Cabernet-Merlot blend. Her meticulous work in the vineyard shines through her minimalist approach in the cellar.

Thursday, August 20

For more details call 212-725-6516 or email contact@vinosite.com.

Play it cool

August 18, 2009

Beat the heat with five of our favorite summer wines at our Garden Party – this evening, 6-8pm


We know that August in the city can be a struggle: it’s an oppressive 90 degrees outside, while inside the A/C is cranked so high it has you reaching for a sweater in the middle of the day. Time to chill out for real, and at I Trulli there’s no better place to relax and unwind than in our very own back yard. An oasis of calm within the mayhem of Manhattan, our lush garden is the best relief from those sticky city streets.

cool garden party

Tonight, Tuesday, August 18, we’ll be keeping you cool as we pour five of our hottest summer wines. Sample all five while basking in the shady seclusion of our back garden, where you can also delight in Chef Patti Jackson‘s delicious spread of her finest antipasti!

cool wines

Lambrusco Labrusca Bianco NV Lini / EMILIA-ROMAGNA

Sauvignon Blanc 2007 Ronco dei Tassi / FRIULI

Lagrein Rosé 2008 Castel Sallegg / TRENTINO-ALTO ADIGE

Rosso Piceno Colle Malvano 2007 Enzo Mecella / MARCHE

Monferrato Rosso Il Re 2006 Luca Ferraris / PIEMONTE

Tuesday, August 18
$35 plus tax and 18% gratuity

For further information and reservations please call 212-481-7372 or email info@itrulli.com.

Summer sparklers

August 13, 2009

Put some sparkle back in your summer with four cool and bubbly white wines

lini bottle top blog

From the shadow of Champagne comes a bubbling Italian Renaissance: innovation, affordability and sheer diversity are just some of the factors making Italy’s sparkling wine production a booming business, especially in the international market. Just check out these great examples: four sparkling white wines, made from four different grape varieties (two of them red!), each representative of place and tradition but typical of modern winemakers’ skill and craft. Taste all four this afternoon at Vino from 5:30pm.

4 sparklers blogLambrusco Labrusca NV Lini

White Lambrusco… why not? Enologist Fabio Lini doesn’t allow any contact with the skins of his Lambrusco Salamino grapes during fermentation, resulting in this light, bright, white sparkler. As the label states, the wine is made “per gli amici” (for friends) and must be enjoyed young, fresh and in good company.

Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Brut NV Col de’ Salici
was $18, now $15

Col de’ Salici are relative newcomers to Veneto’s vast wine scene, but have already honed their Prosecco practice, opting to produce only Brut Spumante and Extra Dry Spumante, thus abandoning production of still and frizzante Prosecco. The firm believes that the Spumante Prosecco is the finest expression of the DOC variety — we find it hard to disagree.

Erbaluce Caluso Cuvée Tradizione 2006 Orsolani

Made from 100% Erbaluce grapes using the metodo classico, whereby the wine undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle to create its fine pinpoint bubbles, yeasty aromas and white stone-fruit flavors. First created in 1968 by Francesco Orsolani (Gianluigi’s father), the wine was the zone’s first metodo classico Erbaluce, and lent credibility to an otherwise dismissed variety.

Pinot Nero Metodo Classico Bianco 2002 Lini

Fabio Lini, a longtime fan of both Champagne and Burgundy, couldn’t resist planting Pinot Nero in his backyard. As his vines matured over several decades he tinkered in his cellar and came up with what we believe is one of the best dry metodo classico wines in Italy, with all the depth and aromatic complexity you would expect from vintage Champagne or Franciacorta… and at a fraction of the cost!

Tuesday, August 13

For more information call 212-725-6516 or email contact@vinosite.com.

Le Tre Venezie

August 11, 2009

Taste five of north-eastern Italy’s greatest hits at our Garden Party: this evening, 6-8pm

Venezia blog

Home to some of the Europe’s most historic and romantic cities, glistening lakes and spectacular alpine vistas, the north-eastern regions of Italy have traditionally been a favorite destination on many a traveler’s map. But given their popularity with vacation-makers it’s easy to forget that Le Tre Venezie, the term used to encompass the three regions into which Venice’s sphere of influence historically extends — Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige — are also at the very forefront of Italy’s wine production.

All three regions undoubtedly feel the impact of their unique location and a special proximity to the Alps, of which Le Tre Venezie are on the sunny side and thus protected from damp cold from Eastern Europe.

Though blessed with ancient native grapes, today’s rare mix of international varieties reflects a modern approach to winemaking in the area. Many of Italy’s most forward-thinking producers can be found in Friuli and Trentino, and have been strongly influenced by neighboring Austria and Slovenia. The results are some of Italy’s finest white wines, and an increasing number of complex reds.

Indeed, many winemakers and wine professionals continue to learn their craft in the area: Veneto – now the largest producer of wine in the country – is home to the prestigious Scuola Enologica in Conegliano, as well as Vinitaly, Italy’s largest wine fair held annually in Verona.

Tonight, Tuesday, August 11, we’ll be pouring five of your favorite wines from Le Tre Venezie. We think they’re the perfect wines for summer; see for yourself this evening in the cool seclusion of our lush garden, where you can pair all five with Chef Patti Jackson‘s tastiest antipasti.

le tre venezie wines

Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Brut NV Col de’ Salici / VENETO

Soave Classico Campo Vulcano 2007 I Campi / VENETO

Lagrein Rosé 2008 Castel Sallegg / TRENTINO-ALTO ADIGE

Clic Rosso Merlot 2007 Ronco dei Tassi / FRIULI-VENEZIA GIULIA

Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso 2005 Le Ragose / VENETO

Tuesday, August 11
$35 plus tax and 18% gratuity

For further information and reservations please call 212-481-7372 or email info@itrulli.com.