Tasting Group 75 Selections for March

2012 Poggio al Tesoro Vermentino “Solosole”           

Bolgheri, Italy

100% Vermentino.  “Solosole” means “just sunshine” and aptly so, because Vermentino truly is one of the sunniest grapes known to man. And we could certainly use it right now to usher ourselves out of the grip of winter at long last…!  Vermentino is a white grape that’s seen mainly in Italy & Southern France, where it is called Rolle.  In Italy, the central region of Tuscany is a stronghold, along with the island of Sardinia & craggy Liguria on the northwestern coast.  Vermentino typically produces light, attractively aromatic & refreshing wines and Solosole is no exception.  Enjoy it on its own and it will complement fresh sushi or seafood prepared in any manner – grilled, fried, poached or on the half-shell.  Solosole is grown & made in sunny Bolgheri by the Allegrini family.  This is a relatively new project for the Allegrinis who are already well established in the Veneto for crafting high-quality Amarone & Valpolicella.


2011 Falesco Ferentano Lazio IGT

Lazio, Italy  

100% Roscetto.   The lovely Roscetto is an ancient indigenous Roman variety from the Montefiascone region that was rescued from extinction almost single-handedly by superstar oenologist Ricardo Cotarella. It isn’t grown anywhere else in the world!  It is certainly interesting to see such a fringe grape being made in what must be considered an international style.  Cryomaceration techniques (using dry ice) are implemented in the wine-making to preserve aromatic freshness, and the wine later sees four months of oak for a bigger mouthfeel.  Golden-hued, it has enticing, lush tropical aromas.  Ripe & full-bodied with a good deal of complexity, Ferentano will stand up to anything that can handle a big Chardonnay, so pair it with substantial dishes like risotto or anything with a cream or béchamel sauce.              


2012 Cascina delle Rose Dolcetto d’Alba A Elizabeth

Piedmont, Italy

100% Dolcetto.  Cascina delle Rose is located in the Rio Sordo Valley in Barbaresco and roses are indeed omnipresent on the farm and in the vineyards.  Organic viticulture is practiced.  The translation of Dolcetto is “little sweet one” which is a little misleading, as most Dolcetto coming out of Piedmont Italy is neither.  While versatile, these wines tend to be high in tannin and low in acidity.  Dolcetto, like Barbera is an everyday wine meant to be drunk young in the area known for well-structured Barolo & Barbaresco that one must wait for.  Winemaking techniques can drive different styles.  The more “old-school” Dolcettos will present firm tannin, blueberries, leather & tea, making them good to drink with hard cheeses and rich meats.  Softer, fruitier versions such as this one will be a bit more approachable and pair well with appetizers, pasta dishes with light sauces & fresh cheeses.