mercoledì 30 aprile 2014



Asian Media

Giovanni Rosso Barolo DOCG Cerretta 2008

Guest writer Chek Wong, associate member of the Institute of Wines and Spirits, contributed his thoughts on a number of Italian Barolos from Giovanni Rosso writing on Singapore’s Local Nose.

The Giovanni Rosso winery is located in the village of Serralunga d’Alba in north west Italy where owner and winemaker Davide Rosso typically bottles two single-vineyard wines from his vineyards in Ceretta and La Serra.

Of this 2008 vintage he said: “The Cerretta vineyard has a thicket of trees at its base, which acts as a windbreak. It is located 360m above sea level, with calcareous clay or marl soils, producing wines that Davide describes as feminine. Aged in 25 hl Fontainebleau oak for 36 months.

“The 08′ has a medium ruby robe with an orange rim (characteristic of Nebbiolo), showing notes of balsamic and violets on the nose. The palate has small red berries with dense, sinewy tannins. Alcohol is noticeable but integrated. An extraordinary length. Feminine perhaps, but more G.I. Jane than Anne Hathaway.”

Giovanni Rosso Barolo DOCG Vigna Rionda “Ester Canale” 2012

The limited Tommaso Canale collection comes from vines planted in the family’s Vigna Rionda vineyard by Davide Rosso’s grandfather, Amelio Canale, and his father, Aldo Canale, not long after World War II.

Of this 2012 Barolo Wong said: “A barrel sample of a production that runs only to 150 cases a year (less than DRC, jokes Davide). 2012 was described as a vintage of balance between acidity, fruit and colour. Intensely floral and perfumed on the nose, but brooding and closed on the palate, shielded behind a thick wall of tannins.

“Still very early in its development, showing lots of dark fruit and a savoury, umami character. Prepare to wait at least a decade for this flower to blossom.”

Giovanni Rosso Barolo DOCG La Serra 2009

The Piemontese region of Barolo is known for producing some of Italy’s finest red from the esteemed Nebbiolo grape. By law, Barolo must be aged for a minimum of three years with at least two in barrel. 

Of this Barolo produced from Giovanni Rosso’s La Serra vineyard, Wong said: “La Serra is located at an elevation of 378m above sea level, where the soil is most calcareous.

“A pronounced nose, floral with intense notes of violets, cotton blossom, and red plums. Impressively fresh and pure, with chewy tannins and light vanilla spice on the palate. Finishes clean and long.”

Rocca di Montegrossi Rosato IGT Toscana 2012

Sarah Wong, writing in the South China Morning Post, highlighted a number of wines from the Rocca di Montegrossi in Italy. The family of its current owner, Marco Ricasoli, has been making wine for more than 800 years.

Of the 2012 Rosato IGT Toscana Wong said: “Rosé wines can be hit and miss affairs. But this Tuscan rosé is refreshing, dry and crisp, and perfect for a lazy summer’s day in Tuscany. Made from the signature variety Sangiovese, with a small component of Canaiolo and Merlot. An attractive, bronze-coloured wine. Fresh strawberry, raspberry and floral notes. Medium body with crisp acidity. Easy to drink. Enjoy on its own or with seafood and cold meat.”

Rocca di Montegrossi Chianti Classico DOCG 2011

Of the winery’s Chianti Classico, Wong said: “Made from a blend of Sangiovese, Canaiolo and Colorino. Cherry, licorice and some savoury notes. Elegant and well-balanced with fresh acidity and ripe, well integrated tannins. A modern, approachable wine with a focus on lovely summer fruits.”

Rocca di Montegrossi Vin Santo del Chianti Classico DOC 2004

Sold in half bottles, the origins of Rocca di Montegrossi’s sweet Vin Santo, or holy wine, are said to stretch back to the Middle Ages. 

Wong said: “At Montegrossi, only 2,500 half-bottles are made. Ricasoli says that there are no financial benefits from producing this. A beautiful amber-coloured wine. Honeyed, dried fruits and toffee. Rich, and unctuous on the palate with concentrated fruit. Goes well with crème brûlée, blue cheese and braised dongpo.”


Masseria Li Veli Valle d’Itria Verdeca

Jon Bonné, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, rounded up 20 wines for under $20 this week including this Italian Verdeca – “a native Italian grape, returned to respectability.”

She said: “In 1999, the Falvo family of Tuscany’s Avignonesi launched Li Veli, restoring a 19th century property all the way down in Puglia. Most of Li Veli’s fare is standard for the heel of the boot – Negroamaro, Primitivo – but their Askos project aims to revive Salento’s traditional grapes.

“Verdeca is just that, often used for blending but on its own possessing a mix of exoticism – ripe honeydew, turmeric, gardenia – and a flinty, briny kick.” 

Price: $16

Montesecondo Toscana Rosso, Tuscany

Another of Bonné’s under $20 wine recommendations was for this Tuscan red, which he said had “all the joys of Chianti, without the name.”

He said: “In the late 1990s, Silvio and Catalina Messana returned from New York to his family’s land in Tuscany. They began farming, eventually using biodynamics, to make great Chianti. But no Old World bias here: The Messanas also planted Merlot and Cabernet (their Rosso del Rospo is a fine example of the latter grape).

“This Rosso came about because one of their blends, a standard mix of Sangiovese and Canaiolo, was denied the official Chianti designation. No matter. Here’s a hybrid of old and new Tuscany; the Rosso is Chianti in all but name, exuding candied cherry, juniper and toasted rye seed. What great Chianti used to taste like.”

Notte Italiana Prosecco

If bubbles are more your thing then this kosher Prosecco will be perfect for Passover, as recommended by McIntyre.

He said: “This is a fantastic Prosecco, adding a celebratory air to any occasion with its bubbles and oh-so-slightly-sweet, juicy fruit palette of flavors.”

Price: $17

2011 Filieri Cannonau di Sardegna

Michael Dresser recommended this Italian Grenache as his “wine find” writing in The Baltimore Sun this week. 

He said: “This deep, earthy red wine from Sardinia is delightfully distinctive. It’s a full-bodied, plummy, spicy wine with hints of black pepper, Mexican chocolate sauce (mole) and pine resin. It’s an excellent value for the price and is very drinkable now.”

“Serve with pasta with red sauce, osso buco”

Price: $13

Masseria Li Veli Valle d’Itria Verdeca IGT, Puglia

Wes Marshall, writing in the Austin Chronicle, said this Italian blend of Verdeca and Fiano Minutolo, brand-new to the market, was “no wimpy wine”. 

He said: “There are so many wines from Italy that you could spend your whole life tasting and never get through them all. Dalla Terra is one company that seems intent on discovering the tiniest small-production vineyards, especially those that focus on the most obscure grapes the country has to offer.

“One of their brightest stars is Masseria Li Veli, a winery that focuses on grapes from the boot heel of Italy. The owners describe their winemaking mission “with the aim of selecting long-forgotten indigenous varietals for making new wines, with the highest standard of quality in viticulture and winemaking. Talk is cheap, but when I opened this bottle of Verdecca, I was simply amazed. It is a blend of Verdeca (90%) and Fiano Minutolo (10%) grown in the Valle d’Itria.

“The color is a densely beautiful gold. This is no wimpy wine. We had it at dinner along with a friend from the Italian wine business who had never heard of it, just to give you an idea how obscure it is. We paired it with roasted sea bass on a bed of sweet onions and fennel and the combination was perfect.”

Feudo Principi di Butera Insolia 2011

Rebecca Murphy, writing in The Dallas News, recommended this Sicilian white made from the Inzolia grape. 

She said: “The grape Inzolia, sometimes spelled Insolia, is considered to be a native of Sicily, where it is often used in white wine blends as well as the fortified Marsala wine. Here it is quite refreshing and zesty, with bright lemony fruit and floral, nutty and herbal notes. It is light bodied, with crisp, citrusy acidity, perfect for grilled shellfish or a scallop cerviche. It’s available at Jimmy’s Food Store and Pogo’s. Feudo Principi di Butera is owned by the Zonin family, along with 11 estates in seven other wine regions of Italy and Barboursville Vineyards in Virginia. The family counts its involvement with wine from 1821. Domenico Zonin, born in the late 1800s, began planting vineyards on his family’s land and founded Casa Vinicola Zonin in 1921. Today the company is run by Gianni Zonin with his sons Domenico, Francesco and Michele.

Price: $15.99-$17.99

2010 Luna di Luna Pinot Grigio delle Venezie

Finally Gil Lempert-Schwarz, writing in The Las Vegas Review Journal, recommended this “crisp and softly acidic” Pinot Grigio – a bargain at just $3.99. 

He said: “Luna di Luna Pinot Grigio is a fine pale citrine color with a clear, bright core going out into a translucent and lightly greenish-tinted edge and clear rim definition with medium viscosity.

“On the nose: The wine has a lovely white fruit fragrance right off the bat with a sort of hypothetical white cran-raspberry and green honeydew melon melange, then pear skin and light citrus notes and finally a supple minerality underlying.

“On the palate: It is a crisp and softly acidic wine with excellent white fruit delineation and sweetish underlying citrus and pear and apple sauce character. There’s excellent balance in this wine, fluidly mixing the acidity with the fruit and the citricity through the midpalate and into a nicely lingering finish that should satisfy even the savviest of tastes.”

Price: $3.99


2013 Terlaner Classico, Cantina Terlaner, Alto Adige

His third choice was this white blend from Italy made predominantly from Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

He said: “Founded in the late 19th century, Terlaner focuses purely on quality and wines for the cellar and is one of the finest producers in Alto Adige. In the 2013 Classico ripe pears, spice and cream combine to produce a wine of power and interest.”

Price: £14.99, AG Wines

Aldi The Exquisite Collection Gavi 2013

David Williams, writing in The Observer, recommended a selection of “unusual Italian wines” this week, including this “creditable cheapie” from supermarket Aldi. 

He said: “I once enjoyed a similar dish to Claudia’s octopus salad in a restaurant in Genoa: the consolation for a missed train and a difficult day. The wine, inevitably for this part of the world, was from Gavi, 30 miles inland – a typically lemon-skin scented and lemon-juice tangy dry white made from the Cortese grape.

“Gavi can be fabulously flowing, textured and mineral (like La Guistiana Gavi di Gavi Montessora 2012; £22.30, Aldi’s creditable cheapie is rather less complex, but it’s richer than you’d expect and does a good job of providing a dry and citric condiment for octopus and other seafood.”

Price: £5.29

Friuli Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Arrigo Bidoli

Suzy Atkins, writing in The Telegraph, picked a number of Sauvignon Blancs which she said was a variety which had suffered something of a “backlash” in recent years with “pungent, very sour” Sauvignons falling out of favour. However, as Atkins explains, there are many Sauvignons offering a “better balance”. Of this Italian Sauvignon she said: “More floral on the scent and with a grassy edge, but this is married with enough tangy lemon and lime fruit. Makes a good apéritif.”

Price: Marks & Spencer, £8.99

2013 Gavi, Araldica, Piemonte

Matthew Jukes, writing in The Daily Mail, picked a “perfectly balanced” selection of three red and three whites to try this week, including this “crunchy” Italian white. He said: “While this is not the most accurate, flavour-wise, Gavi I have tasted, at eight pounds this is a lovely, crunchy, Italian white with a stylish palate and a delicious, lip-smacking finish. Take advantage of the deal and load up – this is a superb wine for summer parties, assuming the sun keeps up its appearances from behind the clouds!”

Price: £9.99, reduced to £7.99 each if you buy two bottles, until 28 April, Majestic.

2012 Verdicchio di Matelica, La Monacesca, Marche

Jukes also recommended this Verdicchio, also from Italy, which he said had the finesse of a Premier Cru ChaBlis for half the price. He said: “A little richer and more structured than many Verdicchios, this is a beautiful, greengage and honeysuckle-scented white with a lovely texture and oodles of class. I always compare this famous style of Italian wine to Chablis, but this particular version has the finesse of a Premier Cru Chablis, for half the price!”

Price: £10.99, Waitrose