Did you ever hear the words fresh or clean to describe a wine, especially a Barolo? Well that pretty well describes the wines of this small producer in the Piedmont.
Many decades ago, back in college, when we wanted to go upscale and move from beer to wine, we many times ordered a classic rose wine. For us that was upscale. We’ve come a long way since then, and now see rose as a summer wine-juice with very little cache. Then we tried Podere Castorani Majolica Cerasuolo. It’s a 100% Montepulciano D’Abruzzo variety, pink in color, and a perfect light wine. And a great value in the $10-15 range. (continue reading…)
Recently we tasted Podere Castorani Majolica rosso which is a 100% Montepulciano D’Abruzzo variety and a great value. We hoped that Yarno Trulli signature variety would be as good. Maybe Yarno has his name on the wrong wine.
If you like red wines with a nice grapey punch, you need to find Podere Castorani Majolica. It’s a 100% Montepulciano D’Abruzzo variety and a great value. Goes really good with pizza, and I enjoyed it with meatloaf as well.
Near a town made famous by the great Leonardo da Vinci, a modern-day renaissance is underway. The Cantine Leonardo da Vinci, an innovative winemaker and grower’s cooperative, is producing a masterpiece in the historic region of Chianti. “These wines are the best of two worlds,” says winemaker Alberto Antonini, “a pleasing balance of classical tradition and cutting-edge technology. The end result is soft, fruit-forward Chianti more appealing to today’s tastes.” Truer words, perhaps, were never spoken. Da Vinci Chianti and Pinot Grigio reflect a local commitment to quality that goes back to Leonardo’s time.
Cantine Leonardo Da Vinci, located in the heart of the Chianti region was founded in 1961. It is located in the Tuscan town of Vinci, nestled between Florence, Pisa, and Siena in the Montalbano region of Chianti. As a grower’s cooperative with over 500 hectares (1,236 acres) under vine throughout the Chianti Region, it sources only the finest grapes from premium Chianti and Chianti Classico vineyards. The result is premium, concentrated fruit which is then skillfully crafted into distinctive Chianti by renowned Italian winemaker Alberto Antonini.
The Da Vinci Chianti is deep crimson in color with aromas of cherries and red fruit balanced by soft, round tannins. We found this wine at Trader Joe’s for about $10. It may be the softest best tasting Chianti we ever tried, and is a tremendous value at that price. Da Vinci also makes Chianti Classico, Reserva, and Brunello. We hope to find them and try them all.
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
The Incanto label is an excellent vintage 2005 Nobile. The actual bottling is by a Co-op in Siena, Italy just north of the Montepulciano area. Made from Sangiovese grapes, this variety of Montepulciano is close to Brunello…at substantially less money. Nice aroma and soft flavor make this a great choice with pasta and mild meat sauces. Good with grilled chicken as well. Very fruity with lots of soft flavors. Not as balanced and full as a good Brunello but pleasant. At only $9.99 its a great value both with dinner and by itself.
Here’s an amazing “almost port like” value from Portugal. But it is truly a drinkable everyday red wine that’s juicy and delicious. This 2006 vintage has a deep purple color and a lucious semi-sweet smell. The first taste is an explosion of fruit, juicy and thick. Very low in tannins the wine is not complex but very pleasing either alone or with meat sauces like pasta dishes. Probably great with pizza. There is a hint of spice and chocolate and the aftertaste is velvety.
The winery making this is Quinto Da Leda. They us oak barrels to age the wine for 12 months, with another 6 months in the bottle. The result is a very lite port flavour in a drinkable table wine.
The Douro region of Portugal is famous for excellent grapes and this example is a real hit for only $8.99.
Barolo is Italy’s top collectable wine. When Piedmonte winemakers wish to make Barolo or Barberesco the laws governing these wines require a certain time of aging, a minimum of 4 years. They can only then be classified as such. Any excess wine can only be sold as table wine, even though the final products are relatively the same. Hence the creation of “Bastardo”.
This blend of red wines may be a breakthrough in wine making. In essence this wine is the illegitimate son of a Barolo, hence the name. Full bodied this variety is excellent with game, red meat, pasta, rich cheese, or on it’s own.
The aroma is fruity and the taste is soft and smooth. Lots of fruit, low tannins, and hint of spice on the finish. Not as bold as Barolo but very similar flavor. An amazing value at around $8. The vintage we tasted was from 2002 and it has held up well.
Graham, one of Portugal’s top port producers, has released this very drinkable everyday Port. It derives its name from the traditional cask markings used to denote the finest wines from each harvest. Only rich young wines of superior quality are used to make this blend. The six varieties are Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Amarela, and Tinto Cao.
Six Grapes is bottled relatively young to conserve its fresh assertive style and is not subject to fining ot filtration to ensure that it retains its superb, delicious fruit concentration. Six Grapes is released for immediate enjoyment and does not require decanting.
Even though Six Grapes is truly a port wine, it is quite soft and lite. It is great after a meal with chocolate, or any time with sharp cheeses. Actually it goes good with some meals that can handle a juicy heavy tasting wine. At $16 this is an amazing value, and a great way for folks new to port to explore the variety without going broke.
Welcome to “Da Felicin”
Felicin is a hotel and restaurant surrounded by the green of Langhe, whose history unfolds alongside the Rocca family history. Three generations taking care of a way of life in which the relationship between man and land is essential, gives soul to a project of cooking as food culture.