Tasting Group 75 Selections for July

2011 Graf Hardegg Riesling “Vom Schloss”                  Weinvertel, Austria

100% Riesling “from the castle” belonging to the Hardegg family.  The winery is located in the Weinviertel, 75 km north of Vienna.  All vineyards are operated organically, supplemented by biodynamic and homoeopathic preparations. This improves the quality of the soils, making the vines more resistant whilst steadily increasing biodiversity at the same time.  Austria is clear about its interpretation of the world’s greatest white grape versus Germany’s.  Austrian Rieslings are technically dry, period.  Hate sweet? Fear not – this wine has a residual sugar of 5.7g/l, fairly low in Rieslingland – and the correspondingly high acidity will make it taste even more dry.  Intense nose of apricot and peach combined with a cool mineral note with delicious stone fruit on the palate.  Excellent with antipasti, fish, shellfish and seafood, as well as white meat.

2012 Antoniolo Rosato “Bricco Lorello”                         Piedmont, Italy

100% Nebbiolo.  This is what happens when you put a harness on the muscle of Nebbiolo.  The red grape that produces some of the most age-worthy, complex & broad-shouldered wines known to man also makes its pinks with more power than the vast majority of other roses in the world.  This is due to the high level of tannin in the skins of Nebbiolo.  Antoniolo is based in Piedmont’s Gattinara, where the wines are an excellent lower-priced, off-the-beaten alternative to more southerly & well-known Barolo & Barbaresco.  In Italian, a bricco is a vineyard area with “a steep or precipitous rugged rock.” Lorello is Rosanna Antoniolo’s daughter.  She must be a difficult teenager….!  Very low doses of sulphur are used in Antoniolo’s wines and no chemical fertilizers are used in the vineyards.  As its fairly rosy color indicates, this is a sturdy rosato, no delicate flower from Provence, and will stand up to main course dishes including grilled meats and strong cheeses.

“…the most dynamic winemaker [in Gattinara] is Rosanna Antoniolo with markedly improved single-vineyard wines…Rosanna Antoniolo is a driving force behind the recovery in Gattinara…” — Burton Anderson, The Wine Atlas of Italy

2012 Lo Triolet Gamay                                                       Valle d’Aosta, Italy

100% Gamay.  Compare & contrast the flavor & structure of this gamay with the cru wines of France’s Beaujolais region.  This is a special wine – very limited production and hand-made. Grapes are grown on a tiny .6 hectares in two separate plots of 15 year old vines – one at 600 meters above sea level and the other at 900m.  It’s rare to come across any wine from of the Valle d’Aosta, a small region the size of Rhode Island in Italy’s Northwestern corner.  The proximity of the Alps influences wine styles – extreme elevations create crisp whites & light reds. The area is not known for any commercial wines like the vast lakes of Pinot Grigio & Sangiovese that other Italian provinces produce.  Lo Triolet ferments the fruit in temperature-controlled stainless steel and time on the skins lasts a quick seven days. Just 480 cases produced!  Perfect for summer, on the lighter side, though fruit forward with great balance.  This can take a little chill so pop it in the fridge for 10 minutes before opening.

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