Winery of the Month – DECEMBER 2019
This time of year, we get a lot of questions about wines for gifts or holiday parties. We thought we would try to provide a little bit of help. For sparkling fans why not try a J Lassalle Preference (Regularly $34.99 Sale $30.99). This producer is known as a Grower Champagne in the wine business. This means that the entirety of the process was handled by the winery. So they grew the grapes, made the base wine, handled the secondary fermentation, bottled, and aged the wine. This differs from the big Champagne producers that you see in every store. They buy grapes and wine and then blend everything together. You can tell this by a little code somewhere on the label and seemingly printed in the smallest font that you can print. The codes are: RM = grower, NM = negotiant, CM = co-operative, and several others that you don’t see very often.
Maybe they like prosecco. If that is the case, we have a solution. Try a Le Colture Cartizze. Prosecco is a big area so lets narrow this down a bit. Generally Valdobbiadene is thought to be the best area within the larger Prosecco region. Now inside of Valdobbiadene is a hill named Cartizze that is considered to be the best of all Prosecco (also probably the most expensive vineyard land in all of Italy ).
If you need something a little more off the beaten path try a Ca del Bosco Franciacorta (Regularly $39.99 Sale $34.99). This little area lies within the Lombardy region of Italy. Here the methods of production are the same as in Champagne and over 70% of the vineyard area is farmed Organically.
For all of the Pinot Grigio fans try something that they have probably never seen before, Kettmeier Pinot Grigio (Regularly $21.99 Sale $18.99). This winery is celebrating its 100th year of existence this year. The Alto Adige style of Pinot Grigio is what made the grape so popular in this country and this wine is a spot on example of that style.
Lets move down south and try something really off the beaten path. How about Firriato Etna Bianco (Regularly $23.99 Sale $19.99) . This wine actually comes from the slopes of the most active volcano in Europe. The grapes are Catarratto and Carricante.
If you cross the strait of Messina into Clabria we get to our first red, Tenuta Iuzzolini Ciro. These are always good wines to bring because no one has ever been to Calabria and no one has ever heard of the main grape, Gagliopo.
Lets try another region that is very seldomly visited. Chateau Feuillet Torrette ($25.99 Sale $20.99) hails from the Aosta Valley in the far North West of Italy. The main grape is Petit Rouge. It tends towards a medium bodied wine with good acidity and some tannin.
Now we are going to get into a serious wine geek producer Foradori Teroldego (Regularly $39.99 Sale $33.99). Elisabetta Foradori is all the rage among Natural wine producers. What is Natural wine, your guess is as good as mine as there is no official definition. Generally it means making wine with as little intervention as possible in the wine making process. So no fining or filtering, only indigenous yeasts for fermentation, no pectin enzymes, no gum Arabic, no enzymatic color stabilizers, no micro oxygenation, no Dimethyl Dicarbonate, powdered tannins, acid additions, reverse osmosis, oak essence just to name a few. And yes there are many more and they are used in every mass marketed wine and a surprising number of high end wines. Now these adjuncts aren’t necessarily bad but are from the romantic idea that wine comes from a certain vineyard and year. Natural wine tries to get back to that ideal. Sorry I digress. The teroldego is an indigenous grape to the Trentino region. It makes heavy bodied wines full of bold dark fruits.