I guess from almost the start of my wine appreciation journey, the wines of Italy have always been one of the cornerstones of my education process. I mean there is not one country that I will ever know completely and even though I may have drunk my share of wines from Italy there is always something new to discover and to appreciate. While I was at The Fine Wine Shop in Livonia, Michigan I had a chance to try a couple of interesting Italian red wines and through the use of the Coravin system they can pour some very exotic wines from time to time without the wine going bad waiting for the next individual that will appreciate the wine.
The first wine is one is from a region that is famous not only in Italy, but the world, as everyone enjoys a Barolo wine from the Piedmont. I did a tasting of Cordero di Montezemolo Monfalletto Barolo 2013. We have here a family that for nineteen generations since 1340 have been taking care of the Monfalletto Estate. The Nebbiolo grape reigns here and this winery also makes a special wine during spectacular vintages of only their oldest vines, and they have some very old wines on the estate. This particular wine that I had is one of their classics and depending on the grapes and vintage the aging period could be from eighteen to twenty-four months in a mix of French and Slovenian Oak barrels. This wine had a great nose and a big full taste, the kind of wine that one wants to keep refilling the glass with. That is appreciation.
The second wine had me intrigued and I had to discover it, because as I was learning about some other wines, I kept seeing the staff grab bottles of this wine and then return the bottles to the shelf and return with magnums. The Isole e Ollena Cepparello Toscana IGT 2015 was very popular. Here is a winery that is from the Tuscan region, made from all Sangiovese and is entirely in the boundaries of the Chianti Classico zone. You may ask, why isn’t the wine using the more prestigious and readily known Chianti Classico appellation, and it is because they make the wine strictly with Sangiovese and do not blend it, as Chianti laws require. Since 1980 when they started the Cepparello label they originally had to use the basic Vino da Tavola designation and even then, it was recognized by those in the know, that this was not a table wine, and when the laws changed in 1992 it became a Toscana IGT or popularly now known as Super Tuscan wines, because they do not play by the traditional rules of the region. My immediate note that I wrote down for this wine was “FULL” and “CHEWY,” which I realize is very terse, but for me and my normal disdain for descriptors, it was plenty of information for a future purchase.
Interestingly enough there are several producers who make their Chianti Classico with only Sangiovese. As long as they have the minimum 80% sangiovese it’s fine. They don’t have to blend in any other grapes if they don’t want to and its still a DOCG. Isole e Elena is outstanding!
Thank you, I was just responding to what I could ascertain. – John