FEBRUARY 2015 - WINE CLUB WINE SELECTIONS

FEBRUARY 2015 WINE CLUB NOTES

PRIMARY RED WINE:
2011 GRAN PASSIONE – BARBERA D’ASTI DOCG SUPERIORE – PIEDMONTE, ITALY
Piedmonte is often called the “Burgundy of Italy” due to its reputation for many small family wineries and a focus on quality. The Gran Passione Piedmonte wines come from the north western pocket of Italy, set at the foot of the Alps. Gran Passione is a brand know to longtime wine club members, back in 2013 we introduced you to their much loved “Rosso” blend. We seem to have hit a happy note with you, so when we tasted this wine, we knew we had to introduce you to another wine from this talented winery. This month’s primary red is made with Barbera. This is one of the most representative grape varieties in Piedmont (and third most widely planted red grape in Italy) and covers approximately 35% vineyards in the region. The grape variety is cultivated mainly in the provinces of Asti and Alessandria, where it reaches its maximum expression in Barbera d’Asti. It makes a round, balanced red, featuring black cherry, raspberry, spice and tobacco notes that offset the firm structure. The Superiore version is obtained with meticulous care and selection of the grapes in the vineyard, then matured in the cellar for at least 14 months, during which it has to spend at least 6 months in wooden barrels. A powerful and heady Piedmont Barbera, with good length. Open this wine about ½ before you drink it, and pair it with hearty meat/tomato sauces: spaghetti and meatballs meal, a roasted red meat dish and/or aged Italian cheese.

PRIMARY WHITE WINE:
2013 FRANCE GONZALVEZ – “ESCAPADE” BLANC VIN DE FRANCE, BEAUJOLAIS, FRANCE
France Gonzalves is not only a talented, young, small-production winemaker, she’s also a wife, a mother of two, and a very driven all encompassing manager of her own 10 acres of vines in Beaujolais, France. With limited financial means, she set out to Beaujolais to make her own wines. Beaujolais is considered a prime place for small production winemakers as many winemakers have retired or abandoned Beaujolais for wine regions where they can make more expensive wines. Vineyards and wine facilities are easier and more affordable than in most of France. Her first harvest was in 2004 and now she tends 10 acres of vineyards around the Beaujolais-Villages appellation. The wines are playful and serious at the same time. And you’ll see that in this wine, a Beaujolais Blanc, although the wine’s appellation is not listed on the label, it follows the region’s law. Often a winery of this small size is not able to finance the “official” designation fees and therefore must call their wines “Vin de France” – since the winemaker’s name is France, she plays with the label and saves on appellation fees, she DOES NOT however, skimp on the wine. Made with 100% Chardonnay, fermented in stainless steel tanks, put through malolatic fermentation and produces a mere 250 cases. The nose has notes of freshly picked golden delicious apples, lavender, light hints of vanilla, and a hint of buttered popcorn. Drinking this wine is like biting into a ripe apple, clean minerality, and acidity that cleans the palate and leaves a lovely finish. Don’t serve too cold, the ideal temperature for Chardonnay is about 50F and serve it with a grilled fish, topped off with a mango salsa, or any seafood with a lemon butter sauce, or an appetizer of warm brie.

SECONDARY RED WINE ENTRY:
2012 BODEGAS BRECA – OLD VINE GARNACHA – CALATYUD, SPAIN 90 POINTS – STEPHEN TANZER
By now, you have seen many wines from the famous Spanish importer Jorge Ordonez portfolio at Anne’s, and if you’ve attended our tastings, you have tasted them as well. The wines simply taste beyond their price and both consumers and wine professionals love these wines. Which is why we are excited to introduce you to another of his wines, a delicious old vine Garnacha. The winery and vineyards that produce this wine are owned by Mr. Ordoñez. He saw that the vines could produce some amazing wines…and they do. The vineyards were reportedly planted between 1925 and 1945, making the oldest vineys over 80 years old, and at that age, the amount of juice they produce is rather elegant and complex. The grapes are carefully hand sorted for only perfectly mature clusters. The wine is fermented in stainless steel then transferred to new three vintage old French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation. The wine is aged for 21 months. Decant this wine to bring out dark berry and spicecake aromas, the violet notes and that alluring hint of mocha. Juicy and expansive in the mouth, offering fleshy black raspberry and cherry compote flavors enlivened by a jolt of cracked pepper. Fantastic long finish with supple tannins and lingering spice and mineral notes. Pair this wine with your favorite game meats, Mexican cuisine, or pulled pork sliders.

SECONDARY WHITE:
2013 PRINCIPE PALLAVICINI – FRASCATI DOC, LAZIO, ITALY
This traditional blend has played a role in the history of Lazio, going back over 1,000 years. The Pallavicini family upholds this singular tradition, crafting a thoughtful Frascati Superiore that celebrates the bright nose of this wine. The grapes are hand-harvested using a careful selection process, from late September through late October. No expense is spared to preserve the delicate perfumes of the varietals as they travel to the winery in refrigerated trucks. Malvasia di Candia, or Malvasia Rosso, gives the final wine rustic tones and its full color, while Malvasi del Lazio, or Malvasia Puntinata, lends harmonious notes and rich aromas to the final wine. Bombino, Chardonnay and Greco round out the blend with a refreshing acidity. The grapes were gently pressed and the juice fermented in in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, where it aged for three months. This wine has straw yellow with green reflections, it is quite delicate on the nose with peach and white blossom notes. It is dry, fresh and elegant, with a well balanced acidity and finish. This wine is an ideal drink with spaghetti carbonara, and lamb, also spaghetti with clams. It is also one of the world's only wines that seems a natural partner to artichokes. Like a chardonnay, the ideal serving temperature is 50F.

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