Feeling a bit frustrated because here comes another summer and you’re not going to be in Italy? Again! Well, not to worry as we have some new arrival wines from Italy that will bring an Italian summer to you. Just pull out those favorite Italian recipes, prepare the food, pour one of the following excellent wines and you just might imagine you are actually there! But even if you don’t have that good of an imagination, these wines will still be great right here in California. Oh yes, one other thing, the quality for the price is remarkable too. So, enjoy!
2013 Terredora Di Paolo “Rosaenovae” Aglianico Rose - Campana. ($12.99)
This Aglianico Rose easily has enough character to match up to grilled meats, fish and vegetables, slathered with garlic and olive oil. From Terredora, the highly acclaimed winery in Campana, this wine displays fragrant aromas of cherry, red fruits and floral notes with a mellow texture, minerality and good depth of flavor on the palate. Introduced around 750 B.C. by Greek colonists, Aglianico can be a hearty, sometimes brooding red wine with notable tannins. This Rose version, however, is just the opposite, showing vivacity and freshness, and dare I say, a touch of elegance.
2013 Argillae - Orvieto, Umbria. ($14.99)
Made from the Grechetto grape, Orvieto is one Italy’s most famous white wines. Like so many Italian wines with a long history, Orvieto is purported to have been the favorite wine of Michelangelo, although during his time it was amabile, or sweet. This dry Orvieto offers subtle complexities of citrus and tropical fruits with floral scents. It pairs very well with lighter foods such as many appetizers, salads, pasta with seafood or vegetables and light second courses. Fresh, without being overly acidic, it is delightful wine to sip on its own during those warm and, especially, hot summer days to cool down.
2013 Bruni “Plinio” - Vermentino, Maremma/Tuscany ($14.99)
Vermentino, known as Pigato in Liguria, and Rolle in France, is a grape often associated with the wine from Sardinia. This Vermentino, however, comes from the region of Maremma, in the southwest corner of Tuscany along the Mediterranean coast. The combination of exotic aromatics and fruit in this wine are stunningly delicious. Seriously, I was totally caught off guard by the explosive honeyed, melon, citrus characteristics which were evident at the first drop. And then the texture, plush and dense without being heavy, with perfect acidity that keeps the wine fresh and vibrant. This wine is great with richer seafood dishes, pastas (try a pesto), chicken and pork, even sausages. But, I must say, just pour a glass and savor what this wine has to offer all by itself.
2010 Librandi “Duca Sanfelice,” Rosso Riserva, Ciro/Calabria ($15.99)
During those warm summer evenings if you want a red wine that has plenty of flavor, but not too heavy, this wine will do just that. Duca Sanfelice is the name of a single vineyard owned by the Librandi family in the coastal area of Ciro in Calabria. The grape for this wine is Gaglioppo, the key indigenous varietal introduced by the Greeks centuries ago. It’s medium to lighter bodied and somewhat like Pinot Noir in that respect. The flavors, however, are different and unique to Gaglioppo, showing dark red fruit, with a hint of herb, balsamic and smoke. Try it with lamb or pork with rosemary for a great match!
Gary M., Beltramo’s Wine Consultant