Tasting Group 75 Selections for September

tasting group photo

2013 Tami Frappato Sicily, Italy

100% Frappato. One might be misled by the phrase “Everyday Wine” printed on the cartons that hold the Tami line of wines. This bottle really punches above its weight. Winemaker Arianna Occhipinti is part of the new generation responsible for driving Sicily to the top of everyone’s list of what’s now important in Italian wine. She oversees this terrific project on behalf of a group of friends including her boyfriend who runs Tami, a quirky store in Siracusa. Frapatto, one of a handful of indigenous Sicilian varieties, has thicker skins than its deeper, more imposing pairing partner Nero D’Avola, yet it makes a surprisingly feminine wine. Enjoy its straightforward, fresh, fruity red-fruit driven flavors with antipasti, pasta, pizza & grilled meats.

Arianna Occhipinti: “The Tami project was an idea that came to me a few years ago, and that was to prove that it’s possible to make good, simple, natural wine in Sicily. Tami is something I’ve started with some friends who own vineyards in Contrada, a district close to mine. The goal was to take good grapes and make a simple, every day wine.”

2012 Waldgries St. Magdalener Classico Alto Adige, Italy

92% Schiava/8% Lagrein – red varieties that are common to Northern Italy. A dollop of Lagrein is added to bring color and structure to the racy Schiava, but don’t take this for a lightweight. This beauty is spicy, floral and elegant and takes on weight and a lovely plush character with a little air. Without question its style evokes the red wines of Northern Burgundy – at a fraction of the price. The Waldgries estate is north of Bolzano within the tiny appellation of St. Magdalener and produces only 4000 cases per year from a tiny 5 hectares.

“The wines show almost unparalleled character, stylistic definition and above all territoriality… Waldgries wines are always elegant and balanced throughout, with great personality.” –Gambero Rosso 2010

2013 Hendry Ranch Albariño Napa, California

100% Albariño, a fragrant, floral, high-acid variety rarely seen outside of Spain’s Galicia. The Hendry family has been farming the same 114-acre vineyard in Northwestern Napa since 1939. The latitude in the valley experiences substantial marine influence, and allows the Hendrys to grow 10 different varietals including Primitivo & Petit Verdot. There has been a recent movement in California to break out of the Chardonnay-Cabernet-Merlot mold and explore other varieties & the Hendrys were pioneers, planting their Albariño blocks way back in 2003. This wine offers up ripe and gorgeously floral aromas. Firm acidity, with flavors of green apple and Meyer lemon on the palate. A pretty, tangy, fresh wine, great as an apéritif or first-course wine. Only 594 cases produced.

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