Tag Archives: Italian wines

Consider these wine gems from France, California, and Italy

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

As we continue dealing with the raging contest between spring and the dregs of winter here in Chicago, now’s a perfect time to turn your thoughts to lovey libations. Herewith we present for your consideration a few items we’ve sampled recently.

Bouchard Pere et Fils recently brought to Chicago a broad array of beautiful Pinot Noirs from Burgundy. The selection represents the efforts of the tall, slender, sophisticated Cellar Master Frédéric Weber, who spoke with quiet glowing happiness of the making of the current vintage. “2017 was a vintage with good growing conditions where our decisions in the vineyard transformed it into a compelling vintage… A truly pleasurable vintage ready to enjoy now.” He also promised that all these wines will be available in the U.S. by April. There were several Binny’s scouts in attendance so chances are good they’ll be able to get you these wines. At the same event, guests sampled another brand from among the Henriot Maisons & Domaines, a variety of William Fevre white wines grown in an area near Burgundy. Herewith, a few of the many lovely wines from these two iconic vineyards:

Among the Bouchard Pere & Fils Pinot Noirs were selections from Villages (the lowest level of the Burgundian hillside), Premier Cru (next highest area), and Grand Cru (highest elevation). Noteworthy among the Villages selections of 100% Pinot Noir grapes were:

  • Santenay Côte de Beaune, a worthy base-level burgundy wine.
  • Vosne-Romanée Côte de Nuits. Elegant, velvety, with charm and great length.
  • Chambolle-Musigny, 2017. Grown in soils ideally suited to produce elegant wines; aged 13 months in oak.
  • Gevrey-Chambertin Côte de Nuits. This area has the highest concentration of Grand Cru reds. These are aged 13 months in oak and are known for strength and velvetiness.

Among the Premier Crus:

  • Beaune Gréve Vigne de l’Enfant Jésus (Domaine) – an exceptionally smooth wine, one of the stars at Bouchard Pere et Fils
  • Volnay Les Casillerets Côte de Beaune- beautifully smooth blending with gentle tannins
  • Volnay Taillepieds (Domaine) Côte de Beaune – again beautifully blended with soft tannins

And among the Grand Crus our favorite was:

  • Echézeaux Cote de Nuits

Consult the William Fevre website for more information about the delicate yet full-tasting Chablis wines Winemaster Weber brought to the party in Chicago. Truly a luscious collection.

Lucas & Lewellen Estate Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Valley View 2016. Santa Ynez Valley. 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7.5% Petit Verdot, 7.5% Malbec. The warm days and cool nights of the Santa Ynez Valley facilitate a long, gentle growing season, and grapes grown in the Valley View vineyard there make fine wines. This wine is carefully blended to produce a distinctive, layered taste of blackberry and fig jam on the palate with silky tannins and a long finish. It’s marvelous with meat, pasta or, basically, anything your heart desires. SRP ~$25

Tre Bicchieri 2019
Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri USA tour‘s recent stop in Chicago brought us a broad selection of lovely special Italian wines. Many stood out this year at the show which was held again in the beautiful spaces of the Bridgeport Arts Center. The exhibition is designed to let members of trade and media in various cities across the U.S. experience the wide variety of Italian wines that have reached the highest standards.

If you’re a fan of naturally sparkling wine, consider one showcased in this show from Lusvardi, Italy. While we here in the US grew up with “spumante” as something overly sweet and extremely basic, Lusvardi now makes a line of sophisticated bubblies, several of which are made with no added sugar. We liked the Lusvardi Brut Lambrusco Dell’Emilia IGP – dry but with just a little sugar added – that we tasted at the show. Every year Tre Bicchieri celebrates Italian wines that have gained the coveted “Three Glasses” designation from a large cadre of experienced judges. Another notable bubbly, somewhat sweeter but with no added sugar, was the red Senzafondo Lambrusco Dell’Emilia IGP. These wines are made from grapes grown on a small 35-acre family farm and vinified with love.

A couple of other excellent listings from “Tre Bicchieri” (Three Glasses) participants:

  • San Salvatore Pian di Stio, a lovely white wine from Campania, available in the US for ~$40.
  • Fattori Nicolucci Romagna Sangiovese Sup Predappio di Predappio V. del Generale Ris. 2015, another beautiful white wine grown on a family farm in Emilia Romagna.

Don’t know if you’d even be able to find them all, but in case you’re a huge fan and want some new resources for Italian wines, here’s the complete listing of producers for participating wines and wineries in the Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri USA tour. Have a wonderful time browsing!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

3 rich, robust red wines from Coppo

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Luxury is defined by quality and generally by price. Sometimes, though, its possible to find fine wines that fall squarely into the luxurious taste category yet can be purchased in the  super premium range of $15 to $25 – within reach for almost any wine lover for special occasions. A number of Italian wines from Folio Fine Wine partners fit that bill, including two of the three excellent wines below from Coppo.
Any of these reds will grace your table and make you proud of what you’re serving with your rich, meaty dishes. For those who love dry, deeply flavorful reds, one of these would be perfect for upcoming holiday meals. If too heavy for turkey or fish, serve one with a plate of fine aged cheeses after dinner for a royal touch. Hopefully, you can locate a bottle or two through your favorite wine merchant.
Folio Fine Wines supplied samples of three lovely reds from the Coppo collection for review. Notes below.

2014 Coppo L’Avvocata Barbera d’Asti DOCG – Excellent, rich, deeply flavorful wine. Ruby red L’Avvocata offers Barbera’s typical intense aromas of ripened cherry and strawberry. Round, full-bodied and balanced with a spicy finish of cola and ripe berries. Pair it with pasta with rich meat sauces, roast beef, kebabs, ribs and aged cheeses. ~$15.

2012 Coppo Camp du Rouss Barbera d’Asti DOCG – Delicious with food. Deep red in color with garnet highlights. If offers textbook Barbera aromas of crushed cherry and wild berry jam, followed by notes of leather and herbs, and a hint of smoke. On the palate, Camp du Rouss is bright, with luscious, soft tannins. The supple layers of fruit are backed by Barbera’s trademark acidity making it the ideal food wine. Pair with meat in rich wine sauces, roast beef, cured meats and aged cheese. ~$23

2010 Coppo Pomorosso Barbera d’Asti DOCG Loved this luxury-priced wine. Deep ruby red in color with garnet hues, Pomorosso offers a complex and fragrant bouquet of ripe cherries and blackberry, deliciously integrated with subtle notes of cherry liqueur, chocolate, vanilla and espresso. This Barbera is very intense and toasty in character with a solid yet velvety structure. You are bound to enjoy this gorgeous and elegant Barbera with rich, meaty sauces and pasta, polenta with sausages and mushrooms, or any red meat dishes such as roasted game, fillet mignon and roast beef. ~$75

About Coppo
Piero Coppo founded the company in 1892 in the town of Canelli in Asti, Italy. Now his four grandsons and, recently, two cousins make the fourth generation to manage the family winery. They are all committed to applying  integrated agriculture that has a low environmental impact, exceeds regulatatory requirements, and uses biodynamic principles in its viticulture and winemaking practices. The Coppo family produces a range of regional specialties, but it’s best known for producing outstanding Barbera d’Asti. Its 1984 Pomorosso was the one of first in the region to show Barbera’s true elegance and its capacity to age gracefully.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail