Tasting No. 195– January 29, 2018 – Less Known Italian Reds

Club del Vino

 

Capri Ristorante, McLean VA

1. Presenters and Participants

Wines presenters: Clara Estrada and Jorge García- García

Participants: Mario Aguilar, Marcello Averbug, Jorge Claro, Clara Estrada, Jaime Estupiñán, Jorge Garcia-Garcia, Alberto Gomez, Orlando Mason, Italo Mirkow, John Redwood, Lucía Redwood, Alfonso Sanchez, Jairo Sanchez, Ricardo Santiago, Xavi Vila, Ricardo Zavaleta, Germán Zincke.

Guests: Patricia García, Aberra Zerabruk

Type of Tasting: Blind

2. Tasting Overview  

The  main objective of this tasting is to explore and assess less known red wines for Italy It also includes a white form Sicily made of the Fiano variety.

These are the wines:

  1. 2016 Planeta – Cometa, Fiano, Menfi, Sicily
  2. 2013 Morgante Nero D’Avola, Don Antonio, Sicily
  3. 2013 Agricola Punica, Barrua, Red Blend, Sardinia 
  4. 2014 Odoardi – Scavigna Vigna Garrone, Calabria

3. The Menu

  1. Capri Salad
  2. Fried Fresh Calamari and Zucchini
  3. Agnolotti with Fresh Spinach
  4. Veal Scallopine with Mushrooms Sauce, Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans
  5. Dessert/Coffee

4. Information on the Wines

(The information below has been compiled from varios internet sources) .

2016 Planeta – Cometa, Fiano, Menfi, Sicily

The Wine: Fiano is a high-quality, white-wine grape variety used widely in southern Italy, particularly in Campania. Used mainly as a varietal wine, Fiano is nutty and textured with floral and honeyed notes, spice and tropical fruit flavors like pineapple. Its main incarnation is as Fiano di Avellino DOCG wine.

Intense and full of character, with integrated aromatic notes of citrus and tropical fruit, white peach, pink grapefruit and wisteria. On the palate it has plenty of character with elegantly mineral elements. The acidity is well integrated with the fruit, making for a harmonious whole which is without a doubt one of the finest examples of this variety.

The Winery:  (Taken from WineSearcher. com) Planeta is a wine producer with vineyards all over Sicily. It produces a range of high-end wines across the IGT level as well as DOCG wines from select appellations. It was founded by cousins Alessio and Santi Planeta with their uncle Diego, who originally owned the Settesoli wine cooperative. At Planeta, there are six different wine-producing estates spread across the island, producing wines from local grapes Fiano and Nero d’Avola, as well as international varieties like Chardonnay, Merlot and Syrah

Read more at: https://planeta.it/en/wine/cometa-en/

  •  2013 Morgante Nero D’Avola, Don Antonio, Sicily

    The Wine: (Wine Spectator) This Nero d’Avola suggests mature black-skinned berry, carob and toast on the nose. Concentrated and chewy on the palate, it offers ripe black cherry, raspberry jam, clove and cocoa flavors framed by velvety, polished tannins. Thanks to its fruit richness, it’s not overwhelmed by the warmth of evident alcohol. Enjoy through 2021.

    Winery Notes: Don Antonio is a fine Nero d’Avola, with a deep purple colour suggesting an aroma of voluptuous ripe cherries, rose, sweet spices, liquorice and cocoa. It is a silky red wine but with an imposing structure enhancing a blend of persuasive and refined tannins. Don Antonio is a perfect match for matured cheeses, roasted red meat and braised wild game.

    Nero d’Avola (also known as Calabrese) is the most important and widely planted red wine grape variety in Sicily. Vast volumes of Nero d’Avola are produced on the island every year, and have been for centuries. The dark-skinned grape is of great historical importance to Sicily and takes its present-day name from the town of Avola on the island’s southeast coast. The area was a hotbed of trade and population movement during the Middle Ages and Nero d’Avola was frequently used to add color and body to lesser wines in mainland Italy. Nero d’Avola typically has high tannins, medium acid and a strong body. However, it can also be very smooth if grown at higher elevations where cooler temperatures restrict the alcohol levels. It thrives on the eastern part of Sicily and is being trialed in Australia and California. Because of its generous color, Nero d’Avola is sometimes produced as rosé wine. (Read more at : https://www.wine-searcher.com/grape-323-nero-d-avola)

    This variety of vine is grown almost exclusively in Sicily, a supposition is that the name Calarvisi comes from Calauria, a Greek island, and that it was imported during the Hellenic colonization in Sicily

    The Winery:  The Morgante Company is situated in Grotte, a small town in the province of Agrigento, found about 21 kilometres from the coast and the Valley of the Temples. The various vines are scattered amongst a charming landscape interspersed with natural hills and small valleys placed at different altitudes varying from 350 to 550 metres above sea level. Thanks to the favouring Mediterranean climatic conditions, the terroir is ideal for viticulture, with a temperature ranging between the day and the night from 10-15 °C, and the particular clayey and calcareous soil. The terroir is fascinating and captivating, not only for its natural scenery, its colours and the peace it diffuses, but also for the history and the tradition that distinguish it.

    Read more at: http://www.morgantevini.it/

    2013 Agricola Punica, Barrua Isola de Nuraghi, Red Blend, Sardinia

    The Wine:Winemaker Notes: With a deep violet color, the wine displays clean; on the nose elegant aromas of spices, wild herbs and mature red fruits. On the palate, the wine is soft and elegant, a unique blend of sage, myrtle, rosemary, vanilla flavors and fine tannins. Notes of red fruits, pepper and liquorice add an interesting spiciness before a harmonious and persistent finish.

    Wine Spectator: Sleek and mouthwatering, this harmonious red features creamy tannins and layers of flavor, with black currant pâte de fruit, dried marjoram and smoky mineral notes accented by abundant ground white pepper, star anise and graphite details that play out on the finish. Carignano, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Drink now through 2025.

    Blend: 85% Carignano, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot.

     

    The Winery: (Taken from Wine-Searcher.com) Agricola Punica is a Sardinian estate formed as a joint venture between Sardinian co-operative Cantina di Santadi and Tenuta San Guido, the makers of one of Italy’s most famous wines, Sassacaia. It makes two key wines based on the Carignano grape – Barrua and Montessu.The company was started in 2002, after noted Italian winemaker Giacomo Tachis became interested in Sardinia and persuaded Sassacaia’s winemaker, Sebastiano Rosa, to buy land there. In conjunction with Santadi, Rosa bought two estates, Barrua and Narcao, located in the southwest of the island. The estates fall within the Carignano del Sulcis DOC zone, although the wines are made under the Isola dei Nuraghi IGT to give more options when it comes to blending.

    Barrua is Punica’s flagship wine, and is made from 85 percent Carignano, with a little Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It is aged for 18 months in French oak barrels, 30 percent new. Punica’s other red wine, Montessu, is also Carignano-dominant, but is blended with higher percentages of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Cabernet Franc. The single white wine, Samas, is a blend of Vermentino and Chardonnay. It is fermented in stainless steel and aged in small concrete vats.

    In 2002, Agripunica purchased a 370 acres estate divided betewwn two sites: Barrua and Narcao, located in the soutwest region of Sardinia, in the area known as Basso Sulcis. Even though the vineyards are situated in the DOC Carignano Del Sulcis area, the wine falls under the I.G.T. Appelation of Isola dei Nuraghi, a name referencing the ancient stone buildings built by the Nuragic civilization which shaped the island’s development from the Neolithic age until 238 B.C. when Sardinia was brought under the Roman Empire.Agripunica vineyards lie inland from the coast and are planted to 65 hectares counter espalier trained vines, comprising Carignano, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah for the reds, while further 5 hecatares are currently planted to Vermentino and Chardonnay white grapes, for an overall of 70 hecatares.

    The Southwest corner of Sardinia is a near perfect environment for the hot climate traits of the Carignano vine. Winters are mild and summers are hot and dry, with temperatures sometimes stoked by the fierce Scirocco African winds blowing across the Sardinian Sea, among the hottest in Italy. An extraordinary average of seven hours of sunlight daily anable the fruit to reach a level of ripeness such that polymerization of the tannins begins within the berry while it is still on the vine. “It is the amount of light that makes this the perfect region of Carignano based wines! – The sun provides heat and light which causes grapes to mature very well. The Cabernet and Merlot mature much faster than they would in Bordeaux for example; on top of that, the wonderful influence from the sea regulates the extreme summer heat and stabilizes the climate”, recounts Giacomo Tachis.

    Read more at: http://www.agripunica.it/en/agripunica.html

     2014 Odoardi – Scavigna Vigna Garrone, Calabria

    The Wine: (WA) Odoardi’s 2004 Vigna Garrone is fleshy and vibrant in its perfumed violets, black cherries, jammy blackberries, earthiness and sweet toasted oak. It offers superb balance and poise, with elegant, refined tannins that round out the close. Today it comes across as youthful and powerful but it should settle down in another year or two. This blend of 80% Gaglioppo, 10% Nerello Capuccio, 5% Cabernet Franc and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot spent 14 months in French oak. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2019. (Wine Advocate Review)

    (WS) Inviting from nose to finish, this dense red sports layers of sun-dried wild berry, plum paste and grilled fig notes wound with layers of espresso bean, rosemary and brick dust on the long, rustic finish. Gaglioppo, Nerello Cappuccio, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Drink now through 2020. 400 cases made.

    Gaglioppo is a southern Italian grape variety best known for producing soft red wines from the mountainous Ciro DOC in Calabria. The variety is the main grape in this part of Italy and has been used in the region for centuries. It produces varietal red wine that is typified by a range of crushed berry flavors, often accented by cherry and spicy secondary notes.

    The origins of Gaglioppo are unclear. The traditional theory is that the variety arrived with Aglianico at the time of the ancient Greeks. However, recent DNA testing suggests that it is more likely to be one of the many descendents of Sangiovese. A third theory is that both are true but that it is the result of a cross-pollination between Sangiovese and an unknown variety from Greece. Read More at: https://www.wine-searcher.com/grape-179-gaglioppo

    The Winery: (Taken from Wine Searcher) Cantina Odoardi is an estate situated in Calabria in southern Italy. The Odoardi family is thought to have arrived in this region in 1480, and today Gregorio Odoardi and Barbara Spalletta cultivate vines on the 270-hectare (670-acre) family-owned estate. Production is focused on the wines under the Scavigna and Savuto DOCregional titles, as well as several Calabria IGT-classified wines. The estate itself stretches from the banks of the Savuto river to the town of Falerna, with the vineyards ranging in altitude as high as 2000ft (610m) above sea level. Odoardi’s Savuto vineyard is located at the mouth of the Savuto river and is the source of its two Savuto rosso wines. These are made from a blend of typical Calabrian grape varieties, including Gaglioppo, Aglianico, Magliocco Canino, Greco Nero and Nerello Cappuccio, and are fermented and then aged for four months in stainless steel tanks.

    Read more at: http://www.cantineodoardi.it/home.do?lang=en

    4.  CV Members Rating

    View full evaluation here:Tasting summary 195

Best Rated: 2016 Planeta – Cometa, Fiano, Menfi, Sicily

Best Buy: 2016 Planeta – Cometa, Fiano, Menfi, Sicily

 

5. Technical Notes 

Jairo Sanchez compiled a more detailed description of the wines, varieties and regions of origin included in this tasting.  The sources are Wine Folly, Wine-Searcher and Wikipedia.

Less commom reds Italy -Tasting 195

 

 

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