Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For November 12, 2018

I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine reviews (mostly from samples) and tasting notes in a “mini-review” format. They are meant to be quirky, fun, and (mostly) easily-digestible reviews of (mostly) currently available wines (click here for the skinny on how to read them), and are presented links to help you find them, so that you can try them out for yourself. Cheers!

Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda

Fattoria del Colle

The Orcia DOC is characterized by such a natural beauty it attracts millions of visitors a year. Some are drawn by the region’s fantastic wine. Others by olive oil. Yet a portion of these “nature-lovers” are also sybarites who enjoy fabulous world class restaurants in their agritourismo and also “five-star” attention to detail in their rooms. These Orcia DOC lovers will find a perfect home at the agritourismo Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda. The agritourismo and its grounds and vineyards encompass 18 hectares. It is owned by the energetic Donatella Cinelli Colombini. A seeming Italian aristocrat whose family owned the winery, farmhouse, and castle-like “manor” since the 1592. Donatella graduated university with a degree in the history of Medieval Art, and could have gone on to be a lady of leisure in fashionable Milan or elsewhere.  Yet as her parents owned vineyards, she felt compelled to ...

Dinner and Visit at the Winery Sasso di Sole

Winery Sasso di Sole

It was quite a treat to visit the winery Sasso di Sole. Lorenzo was my host and gave me tour of this very modern winery which produces Brunello di Montalcino wine as well as Orcia Doc wines. The family has farmed this land since the 17th century. Though the owner was not present that night, his young son Tomas made a fabulous impression. Just ten or eleven years of age, he spoke English perfectly and was already very savvy about grapes and wine. After the winery tour, Lorenzo invited me to the modern tasting room for a very formal tasting of their wines, followed by a delicious dinner. 2014 Orcia DOC Rosso  100% Sangiovese: from younger wines. Fresh and vibrant.   2013 Brunello di Montalcino 100% Sangiovese: very vibrant wine with tart acidity and silky tannins. 2014 Brunello di Montalcino  100% Sangiovese: jammy ripe fruit ...

Wine Tasting and Lunch at Cantina Campotondo

Cantina Campotondo

Cantina Campotondo

Cantina Campotondo

The Orcia DOC as often described as having a rugged, almost wild natural beauty. This can certainly be said of the day I was greeted by our host Elena Salviucci, as she welcomed me to her home and winery Cantina Campotondo on an exceptionally stormy day. The Salviucci family was a pioneer in this region of Campiglia d’Orcia. The vineyards are located right between the mountain side and the valley slope. Elena, just 23, explains that her father Paolo created the winery in the year 2000. Today they produce 11,000 bottles a year. What’s most special about the winery is that the soil is mostly loam, sand, and clay but it is very rocky. It is beneficial that there is a great difference of diurnal temperature (drastic fluctuations between day and night). 2017 Tavoleto Chardonnay Elena begins the tasting with a Chardonnay, quite refreshing and delicious. ...

Visit to Poggio Grande in Orcia Doc

Poggio Grande

Pretty dark haired Giulitta Zamperini greets me at her family’s picturesque Orcia DOC winery Poggio Grande. Giulitta’s father Luca started this winery in 1999, though his grandparents have been making wine here for many years for personal consumption. Of course, every wine has a story. Luca started the winery because when he was young he worked in the city. Yet after 20 years he decided to return to his village here in Orcia DOC to be with his family. At first he made wine as a hobby and planted a small vineyard. But by 1999 he was producing one thousand bottles a year. Every year after that his production grew and he began to plant a new vineyard every single year. Today, the family has six hectares and they produce 30,000 a year.  Next year they will sell the quality level “Sangiovese Selection” with a new label. ...

Visiting Poggio al Vento in Castiglione de Orcia

Poggio al Vento 

Poggio al Vento

Poggio al Vento 

Our first stop on the undiscovered “magic road” of the Orcia DOC is the winery and agritourismo Poggio al Vento in the region of Castiglione de Orcia. This is a “farmhouse” in the romantic sense of the word as you can see in the photo below. This ancient structure, with fully modernized rooms, encapsulates the “romance” that many people have idealized of Tuscany for centuries. Charming and charismatic owner Roberto Mascellione greeted me upon arrival. Roberto is a pioneer of the region, and as a very young man bought this farmhouse and the vineyards with his parents. He began to market the wine and the farmhouse as an agritourismo (basically, a “bread and breakfast” in the countryside). Orcia is a newer DOC, having been established on February 14, 2000 by just ten producers. It is in close proximity to the older, more established areas ...
Poggio al Vento 

Winery Tour, Tasting, and Dinner with Valdorcia Terre Senesi

Valdorcia Terre Senesi

Valdorcia Terre Senesi

Valdorcia Terre Senesi

Valdorcia Terre Sensei is owned by Antonio Rovito, a very handsome and energetic man with incredible charisma. With his sea green sweater and Roman coin worthy aristocratic profile, he looks like a Milan-born millionaire. Though the Calabria-born Antonio spent many years in Milan, he worked as a hairdresser and then branched out into various entrepreneurial projects. When questioned why he decided to buy vineyards and a winery, he explains that he likes to start a new project every 20 years. It is a thrill to watch Antonio’s face light up as he shows me the vineyards, which have been organic since 1998. On this fall day, the grapes have been harvested and the leaves have already turned gold. Yet one can see that the vines are planted on steep slopes. One can bend down and touch the galestro soil, enjoying the sensation as ...
Valdorcia Terre Senesi

Overview of the Italian Wine Region Orcia DOC

The Orcia DOC

As a wine lover, you’re obviously familiar with the well-known wine regions and grapes of Tuscany. Regions such as Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, and others have been famous for hundreds of years. Chances are you may not have heard of one of the youngest DOC regions in Tuscany, the Denominazione di Origine Controllata of Orcia. This DOC was created on February 14, 2000, so it is still very young compared to its more famous elder sibblings. Recently I had the good fortune to visit many producers in Orcia DOC and analyze the similarities, and the differences, between it and the other (primarily) Sangiovese-based wines of the region.

Rules of the Denominazione di Origine Controllata of Orcia

Like most DOC and DOCG regions in Tuscany, Sangiovese comprises the majority of production, but the Orcia denomination also includes white, rose, and the sweet, long aged wine called “Vin ...

Historical Attractions in the Orcia DOC

Historical Attractions in the Orcia DOC

The Orcia DOC region of Tuscany has a wild beauty quite unlike any other region. While the gorgeous natural scenery of sky, hills, and rivers might have visitors snapping their heads to take it all in, you will find many historical attractions to visit as well. One such attraction is the ancient “Castle of Vignoni” – San Quirico d’Orcia.  This castle was a residence of the Salimbeni in the 12th century and includes a tower and Romanesque church. The village surrounding the castle looks deserted, and there is a pleasant yet eerie silence about the area, especially on a chilly grey day. Another “must see” is the village of Bagno Vignoni, famed for centuries for its thermal waters.  This village is located in the Val d”Orcia National Park. It was a highlight of my trip to see this ancient Roman creation, ...

Weekend Wine Notes: 12 Wines, A Miscellany

For today’s Weekend Wine Notes, I offer a diverse group of 12 wines — six white, six red — arranged according to ascending price within each color, the range altogether being $11 to $32, so nothing to make the credit card groan. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s something here for every taste and palate, including some unusual selections; we (mostly) aim to please at BTYH. As usual with the Weekend Wine Notes, I eschew technical, historical and geographical data — much as we might dote on those details — for the sake of quick, incisive reviews, ripped, as it were, from the pages of my notebooks and intended to pique your interest and whet your palate. Enjoy — in moderation, of course. These wines were samples for review, as I am required to inform My Readers by authority of the Federal Trade Commission.

Marco Felluga “Montgris” Riserva Pinot ...

Pasta e Fagioli

I had hoped to hand roll pici as a part of my Father's birthday dinner a few weeks ago, but I got savaged by a dog and my dominant hand has until the last few days been mostly useless for anything laborious.

It's a slow process - I think I spent two hours hand rolling these little slugs. . .

For the pasta - in a thermomix or similar - bring together 500g of plain flour, 2 eggs, 250g of ricotta, a teaspoon of salt and 4 tablespoons of water.  Tip out the dough, clump and kneed together before wrapping in cling film to rest for 15-30 minutes. Then pinch, roll and repeat x300.

Fagioli - just before you start on the pasta - take 150g of dried borlotti beans and soak in boiling water. They should be ready once you have finished rolling out all of the noodles (approx 2 hours). ...

Vinography Images: A Rift in the Sky

A Rift in the Sky
PAUILLAC, FRANCE: Dramatic clouds separate amidst the evening light above Château Lafite Rothschild, which has been owned by the Rothschild family since the 19th Century. Lafite, as it is affectionately known, is one of four First Growths established by the 1855 Classification in Bordeaux. INSTRUCTIONS:
Download this image by right-clicking on the image and selecting "save link as" or "save target as" and then select the desired location on your computer to save the image. Mac users can also just click the image to open the full size view and drag that to their desktops. To set the image as your desktop wallpaper, Mac users should follow these instructions, while PC users should follow these. BUY THE BOOK:
This image is from a series of photographs captured by Andy Katz in the process of shooting his most recent work The Club of Nine, ...

Tour Des Deux Rives Comes to NYC

Very exciting to see old friends from Bordeaux come to New York this week for a tasting of excellent wine from the various appellations. Nicholas Glumineau was on hand to present several vintages of Chateau de Pez in Saint-Estephe, Chateau Haut-Beausejour, and Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande. Herve Gouin was on hand to present Chateau Mouton Rothschild from Paulliac as well as Chateau D’Armailhac, and Chateau Clerc Milon. Cathleen Burke Visscher presented Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou, and Chateau Lalande-Borie. Veronique Sanders was also presenting Chateau Haut-Bailly. Jean-Philippe Lemoine presented Chateau d’Yquem, the dry wine as well as two vintages of the sweet wine. Christian Moueix and Kassidy Harris presented an assortment of wines from the many estates including Chateau Hosanna, Chateau Certan de May, Chateau Bourgneuf, Chateau Lafleur-Gazin, Chateau Magdelaine, Chateau Puy Blanquet, and Chateau de Sales. The post Tour Des Deux Rives Comes to NYC appeared first on Wine Reviews: ...

Maison en Belles Lies Maranges 2016

12.5%. Cork.

Humble Maranges gets spell checked to manages. . . not entirely incorrect. I had the odd idea that my home cooked moussaka might be a match for a Musigny. Mouss and Moose. . . Sadly no redundant, sacrificial bottles of Musigny in my cellar. . . based on this wine, I think the pairing might work - though in my dish I used an eggy Bechamel sauce which might distract from a more profound bottle.

Tasting note - like it's sibling - a pretty nose - sap, spice, musk and florals. Mid weight and fast. It seems to evoke something shiny, small and new. . . rhubarb tartness. Unresolved.