Category Archives: Anya Balistreri

October 2014 Dirty Dozen

DD-BANNER


All over the northern hemisphere, the annual grape harvest is well under way. That must mean it’s October. Baseball’s post-season is underway and Halloween is right around the corner. What better to have than a case of wine, all different, from six different countries, put together for a 30% discount? The October Dirty Dozen offers all that and more! From crisp whites, a fine Rosé, and Burgundy, try a Dirty Dozen today!
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Reorder Special !!! 20% off 6 bottles or more of any one regularly priced Dirty Dozen wine!Or 10%/Net Wines – 5%/ Sale Wines


2012 Tejo White, Portal da Aguia $10.48 net price, $9.43 reorder

Composed of mostly Fernão Pires, a native Portugese variety prized for its aromatic complexity, this lively white is packed with citrus and lemon scents. Devoid of oak, the stone fruit flavors dominate from nectarine to yellow plum. Start out with a glass as you put the finishing touches on dinner, or pair it with lighter fare like main-dish salads or steamed clams.

2012 Torrontes, Ecologica $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder

Torrontes is no longer an unknown variety and is now recognized as Argentina’s beloved and distinct aromatic white. Pungent on the nose, but fresh and crisp on the palate, the Ecologica is produced from organic fruit grown in the Famatina Valley. Serve with empanadas or other savory-filled pastries like cabbage piroshki or South Indian dosas.

2013 Moscato di Pavia, Centorri $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder

The market for Moscato has ignited in the last couple years. Many of these semi-sweet sparklers can be sub-par, but not this one! Produced by one of Italy’s foremost winemakers, this affordable Moscato is like popping a fresh grape into your mouth. Low in alcohol, it’s a perfect aperitif to awaken your palate. Then again, leftover Halloween candy anyone?

2013 Chenin Blanc Bush Wine, The Winery Of Good Hope $13.49, $10.79 reorder

Down in South Africa’s Stellenbosch, Alex Dale’s sturdy old bush vines produce impeccable fruit year in and year out. The ocean exposure is important, keeping things cool at night in order for the Chenin Blanc to produce proper acidity levels. The result is a versatile Chenin Blanc showing lively fruit and a flinty mineral quality. Drink it with crab cakes.

2013 Rosé, Grange des Rouquette $10.79, $8.63 reorder

Made from 100% Syrah, Thierry Boudinaud’s Rosé has a distinct fruity richness. It’s made using the saignée method, that is bleeding off some of the juice from the must of the Syrah. This intensifies the Syrah and gives the winemaker the pale juice to make Rosé. An easy-to-like Rosé, this will pair with everything from a tuna salad to a garden burger.

2013 Les Tours, Domaine La Hitaire $9.99, $7.99 reorder

From Gascogne in southwestern France, Yves Grassa’s two sons, Rémy and Armin, run Domaine La Hitaire. Their Les Tours bottling consists of 65% Ugni Blanc, 30% Colombard, and 5% Gros Manseng, typical white grapes of the region. The result is a delightful crisp white with just a kiss of fruit. The handy screwcap makes it a cinch to take on a picnic.

2011 Monastrell, Atope $11.98 net price, $11.68 reorder

Dark and inky with flavors of black cherry and blackberries, the underlying notes of dried brush give this Spanish red a full-flavored appeal. You might not want to go it alone with this and opt instead to pair it with grilled meats, long-simmering stews or earthy grains. But be careful, it’s a real tooth-stainer!

2011 Rosso, Torre Quarto $12.98 net price, $10.78 reorder

This blend of Uva di Troia, Sangiovese and Primitivo comes from the bottom of Italy’s boot. This Puglian red is another rugged, full-flavored red. Compact and dense with well-structured tannins, it would pair magnificently with olive-studded dishes, roasts, or other big flavored dishes like pasta with basil pesto or spicy sausages over polenta.

2009 Vaucluse Rouge, Cuvée Jean-Paul $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder

Simple pleasures here, as this is a classic Southern Rhône country wine. Grenache and Syrah are the mainstays, displaying red cherry fruit, subtle spice, and soft tannins. Enjoy it with comfort one-dish baked favorites like lasagna, mac-n-cheese, or Moussaka. Need some more ideas? Ok then, how about Enchiladas, flatbread pizza, or a cheesesteak?

2011 Ventoux Fayard, Domaine de Fondrèche $17.99, $14.39 reorder

The youthful Sébastien Vincenti worked under famed Rhône producer André Brunel for many years. He now farms his 38 hectares organically and bio-dynamically. For his Fayard, he blends 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 20% Mourvèdre. Medium in body, it’s chock-full of berry-like fruit framed by earthy minerals. A great wine to serve with a rack of lamb.

2012 Saumur, Domaine des Hauts de Sanziers $15.99, $12.79 reorder

For lovers of Loire Valley Cabernet Franc, the Hauts de Sanziers Saumur is a textbook example of the variety and terroir. It’s bright and lively, has that signature Cab Franc herbal profile balanced with red fruit and fine tannins. A great Old World red for a great price. You might want to pair this with a salumi plate or with a dry-rubbed pork roast.

2011 Hautes-Côtes-de-Beaune Clos Marc, Domaine Sylvain Langoureau $19.99, $15.99 reorder

Red Burgundy in The Dirty Dozen! Sylvain Langoureau’s Clos Marc is a rustic, vin du table style Bourgogne that offers up lovely Strawberry and underbrush aromas with a light-medium body propped up by fresh acidity. This is the kind of wine served by the glass at bistros up and down the Côte d’Or. Trot this out with a sausage pizza with Kalamata olives.

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Reorder Special !!! 20% off 6 bottles or more of any regularly priced Dirty Dozen wine!Or 10%/Net Wines 5%/ Sale Wines

 

Click here to purchase all 12 wines for $109!

 

 

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Filed under Anya Balistreri, Peter Zavialoff, The Dirty Dozen, Wine Clubs/Samplers

2012 Tour De L’Isle Luberon

Blackberry patch aromas dominate in the 2012 Luberon from Tour de l’Isle. It is as if you got stuck deep in a thicket where tangy berry scents mingle with dropped leaves, moist earth and dried herb fragrances. By simply sticking your nose into a glass of the 2012 Luberon, you will get that aromatic berry patch sensation without the threat of scratches, bee stings or poison oak. TWH’s partnership with Tour de l’Isle is a relatively new and fateful one. David had been searching for a new producer to import from Southern Rhone for some time but nothing seemed to fit. By chance, David was introduced to Tour de l’Isle’s 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape, first tasting and then buying the wine for the store. Some time later David met with Robert Rocchi who created Tour de l’Isle. After tasting through Robert’s portfolio and hearing his story, David knew that with Tour de l’Isle there was great potential for offering our customers wine with regional typicity, varietal correctness and deep value. Welcome Tour de l’Isle to The Wine House!

Robert Rocchi has worked in many capacities within the wine industry – from production, to distribution, to marketing and sales, to retail. In the early ’80s Robert opened his first wine store just east of Avignon. There he gained an enviable reputation for his tasting skills and was encouraged by several vignerons to start making wine himself. At Tour de l’Isle, Robert Rocchi makes wine at a few select wineries, each in its own appellation, with whom he partners to create wine typical of the region and styled to his palate preference. Though each of his wines accurately represent their respective appellation, there exists a common thread that weaves through each bottling which reflects Robert’s wine philosophy. He clearly prefers wines that emphasize texture and approachability. I will repeat myself yet again and assert that Robert Rocchi is not afraid to make wines that taste good. Too often with wine, power and structure are valued over impact and tastiness. Here I am reminded of T-Vine’s original winemaker and owner, Greg Brown, who would scoff at the topic of wine ageability, explaining that he made his wines to enjoy right now!

luberon

A Southern Rhone red is pure comfort to my palate. The warm, sweet berry fruit, Provençal spice notes and accessible structure can be irresistible. A fuller, more complex Southern Rhone like this 2012 Luberon is a wise choice for the table as we continue to enjoy late Summer’s bounty but are nonetheless heading towards cooler temperatures and thus cooking more stovetop. In much need of comfort, I’ll be bringing home a bottle of the 2012 Luberon for tonight’s dinner: grilled sausage from a local butcher and veggies, a last-of-the-garden tomato salad and tarragon aioli to dip everything into are on the menu. Baseball, a light-hearted film and a glass of Luberon should round out the evening perfectly.  Be well!

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The September 2014 Dirty Dozen

On we go, into the ‘ber months! Kids are back in school, the French are back from their holidays, and here in San Francisco, it’s time for our summer! For the occasion, we’ve sourced some special wines to make our September a memorable one. Six reds, one crisp Rosé, and five whites, all chosen for their versatility, are screaming values on their own. Pack them all in a box and knock the price down 35%? Magic. The September Dirty Dozen!

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2012 Falanghina Nina, Torre Quarto $12.98 net price, $11.68 reorder

Give it a chill, just not too much, otherwise the lovely melon fruit and fragrant aromas (look for that slight hint of pine) will be muted. Falanghina, an ancient Italian grape, is grown in the south – Puglia in this instance. Yellow-gold in color, this lush white has a round texture that complements seafood, fresh salads and cold entrées.

2012 Côtes de Gascogne Cuvée Jean-Paul, Boutinot $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder

From southwest France, this dependable refrigerator door white’s beauty – a classic blend of Colombard and Ugni Blanc – lies in its simplicity. Notes of lemon and citrus zest move into tangy grapefruit on the palate, leaving a refreshing, lingering lightness. Nothing complicated, but it’s oh so nice ice cold out of the fridge on a warm late summer’s eve.

2012 Pedro Ximenez PX, Cucao $10.98 net price, $9.88 reorder

Pedro Ximenez is a varietal known mainly for its role in Spain’s sweet sherries, but this dry example is grown in the northern-most wine region of Chile – the Elqui Valley. Sunny weather ripens the fruit while the high altitude ensures freshness. A delightful blend of acidity and concentrated fruit; try with miso-dressed soba noodles or coconut shrimp.

2013 Ventoux Rosé l’Instant, Domaine Fondrèche $15.99, $12.79 reorder

This wine gets you at ‘hello.” Just look at that color! As pale as pale Rosé gets, winemaker Sébastien Vincenti blends 50% Cinsault with 30% Syrah and 20% Grenache and the wine is light, lean, crisp, and delicious. It’s a versatile little Rosé, textbook southern French style. Got a hankering for Salmon Étoufée? If you do, try it with this.

2012 Grenache Blanc/Rolle/Roussanne, Domaine de la Petite Cassagne $12.89, $10.31 reorder

In 1998, Diane Puymorin purchased this domaine and re-named it Château d’Or et de Gueules. TWH regulars know all about her and those wines, but Diane keeps it real and pays homage to the history of her property with this bottling. Here she blends three classic white Rhône varietals. It’s crisp, clean, and fleshy. Pair it with a seared tuna sandwich.

2012 Gewurztraminer Herrenweg, Domaine Ehrhart $21.99, $17.59 reorder

Gewurztraminer is known for its profound bouquet reminiscent of lychee nuts and rose petals. The Ehrharts’ single-vineyard, Herrenweg is a tad off-dry, and is rich and expressive, both aromatically and on the palate. Not for sipping, this one needs food. Especially spicy food. You must try it with a spicy curry dish, or spicy Cajun red beans and rice.

2010 Tempranillo Dauco, Bodegas Martúe $13.98 net price, $12.58 reorder

Hailing from central Spain, this friendly Tempranillo has silky smooth tannins and rich cherry fruit. Outside Rioja, Tempranillo can show many faces, but here it shines as a versatile, charming red, reminding drinkers what makes Tempranillo just so darn delicious! Surely Paella works but so does Pollo con Arroz, Plov, or Tadig with kebabs.

2012 Malbec, Ecologica $11.98 net price, $10.78 reorder

Argentian Malbec is unquestionably a favorite for those looking for value and quality in an everyday wine. Ecologica sources only organic fruit and is Fair Trade Certified. Medium-bodied with welcoming notes of green herbs, red plum and cassis fruit, the acids and tannins hold up well to heavily-seasoned grilled meats or a quesadilla with fresh Pico de Gallo.

2010 Dão, Proeza $11.98 net price, $9.88 reorder

Looking for a full-bodied red that goes easy on the pocket book? Look no further than this voluptuous Portuguese red from Proeza. Loaded with big flavors courtesy of Touriga Nacional and Tinto Roriz, grapes traditionally made into Port, this dry red is grippy and broad-scaled. A lot of wine for the money! Hearty, rib-sticking meals would work best.

2010 Touraine Rouge, Domaine des Corbillières $14.99, $11.99 reorder

We’ve been working with Dominique and Véronique Barbou for two decades, their wines can magically transport us to the land of France’s most majestic chateaux. This blend of Pinot Noir, Côt (Malbec), and Cabernet Franc is marked by juicy fruit with an herbal twist. Drink it on its own or with anything you would want to pair with a cheerful red.

2011 Barco Reale di Carmignano, Le Farnete $14.59, $11.67 reorder

In the rolling hills just west of Firenze is the commune of Carmignano. Long before the days of the ‘Super Tuscan’, Cabernet Sauvignon was allowed to grow here, only to be blended with the native Tuscan Sangiovese. It’s a zippy little red table wine with another layer of complexity. Pasta with fresh tomatoes and basil is all you need with this one.

2009 Côtes-du-Rhône Villages, Tour de l’Isle $14.59, $11.67 reorder

Proprietor of Tour de l’Isle, Robert Rocchi acts as a negociant in the southern Rhône Valley who advises a handful of growers on improtant aspects of winemaking. The results in bottle are not only delicious, they are reflective of their places of origin. Or as Anya likes to say, “He’s not afraid to make wine that tastes good.” Try this with a grilled steak.

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Reorder Special !!! 20% off 6 bottles or more of any regularly priced Dirty Dozen wine!Or 10%/Net Wines 5%/ Sale Wines

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Filed under Anya Balistreri, Argentina, Carmignano, Costieres de Nimes, Cotes du Rhone, Cotes du Ventoux, Peter Zavialoff, Portugal, Rose, The Dirty Dozen, Touraine, Uncategorized, Wine Clubs/Samplers

2013 Matthiasson Linda Vista Chardonnay

Last Sunday morning, I was awakened by an earthquake that caused serious damage to Napa and Vallejo, about 20 miles from where I live. After being certain that my daughter, husband, dog, and house were safe, I grabbed my phone to fire up Twitter. It didn’t take long for me to understand that many of the small, independent producers I follow (and I don’t mean just on Twitter, but as a wine drinker and wine buyer), were going to be hit hard. Matthiasson wines always have a presence on our shelves. Crafted with passion and with an adventurous spirit, it’s easy to understand why people quickly attach themselves to Matthiasson wines. The 105 year old farmhouse Steve and Jill Matthiasson share with their sons suffered structural damage … they lost a chimney. The house had been lovingly brought back to life by the couple and the surrounding land has been an important source for their winery and organic farm business. Their farmhouse, gotten to by way of a long driveway, is tucked in among tract homes along the Valley floor in what is known as the Oak Knoll District. What looks like their back yard, but is an adjacent property, is the Linda Vista Vineyard. On it grows Chardonnay, and in 2011 Steve leased the vineyard, allowing him to farm it as he sees fit thereby making a stand-out wine.

 

The 2013 Linda Vista Chardonnay from Matthiasson is styled for freshness and crispness. Only a small portion of the wine went through malolactic fermentation, something they opted out of doing in past vintages, but felt it needed to temper the sharp acidity of 2013. Aged and fermented in neutral barrel, this is an A-typical California Chardonnay in that it pushes forth vivacious citrus notes that don’t get muddled with too much oak, lees-stirring or other winemaking techniques that are implemented to bolster a full-bodied final wine. Instead, the 2013 Linda Vista Chardonnay is more comfortable as a pairing for oysters or light poultry dishes. I may cringe after I write this, but I do believe it is a fair analogy to make – think more Premier Cru Chablis and less big buttery Cali Chardonnay. At under 13% abv, Matthiasson’s 2013 Linda Vista Chardonnay is a welcome change.

 

My husband, a PE teacher, and my daughter, a 5th grader (yikes!) are sick with a cold … welcome back to school! Rather than heading north as is tradition, or visiting with friends at backyard cookouts, we’ll be staying home. No, no violins here needed because I am thinking ahead, making sure I return home today with supplies from The Wine House, including the dynamite 2013 Linda Vista Chardonnay. The plan is to serve it with some juicy prawns that will be grilled and doused with home-grown herb vinaigrette. If I can’t go to the party, the party will have to come to me. Here is to those that labor and to those that enjoy time with friends and family when not laboring! - Anya Balistreri

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Ouled Thaleb: Morocco’s Finest

The Wine House has been stocking the wines of Ouled Thaleb for nearly two years! Our reputation for carrying a vast selection of French wine may cause some to overlook the global wine selection at the The Wine House but we have wines from Central Europe, the Southern Hemisphere and beyond. The beyond part takes us to Ouled Thaleb, one of Morocco’s leading wineries established in 1923. The winery is located twenty miles northeast of Casablanca in the Zenata appellation. The Zenata AOG is prized for its coastal climate, sandy shale and gravelly sand soils, and high elevation. The history of wine production in Morocco is said to go back 4,000 years and has appeared and disappeared over the centuries. In the late 1880’s French winegrowers came to Morocco seeking new areas to plant while back home phylloxera was creating havoc and devastation. In 1923 Morocco became a protectorate of France and the cultivation of vines grew to over 130,000 acres. When France left Morocco in 1956 many of the vineyards turned fallow. However in the 1990’s French winemakers returned to Morocco at the urging of its king to lease vineyards and replant. I hope this very brief history lesson is not a total bore, but I find it helps to better understand why there is such a prevalence of traditional French varietals planted in Morocco.

 

Two years ago, a young Frenchman came into our store and asked whether we’d be interested in tasting wine from Morocco. I jumped at the chance to have a new wine experience. I remember tasting Moroccan wine years and years ago at a restaurant in the Richmond district called Mamounia’s – nothing impressive, but fine and drinkable. I’m sure in those days not much made it out of Morocco and even today, it’s extremely limited. Fortunately for us, this young Frenchman has a strong passion for wine and believes deeply in the potential for great wines from this area of the world. He poured me the entire portfolio from Ouled Thaleb. I was immediately captivated, not only because it was exotic and new, but because the wine tasted so good. The Moroccan White Blend is, you guessed it, a blend of the native varietal Faranah and Clairette. It is a bright, stainless steel fermented, citrus-laden, zippy white. Lots of clean flavors that encourage casual sipping or perhaps a seafood match-up. The Moroccan Red Blend (also a blend!) is comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache. A juicy, medium-bodied red that sees a short stay in oak barrel, flavors of red plum, ripe cherry dominate with hints of spice. The two Moroccan Blends are perfect everyday wines offering high value to price ratio. The Ouled Thaleb Syrah steps it up a notch, offering a dark smokey fruit profile, a dead ringer for a Northern Rhone Crozes-Hermitage.  Speaking of Crozes-Hermitage, famed vigneron Alain Graillot visited Ouled Thaleb some time back and was so impressed with their Syrah, he collaborated with them, creating his own “barrel-selected” bottling. I like to turn people on to Ouled Thaleb Syrah who express both interest in Syrah and enjoy the more finesse-ful side of the varietal.

 

So where did summer vacation go? School started up this week and it caught me totally unprepared. Granted my focus has been elsewhere, but I just wish I had a few more weeks to laze around in that unscheduled nirvana of summer vacation. The calendar is back up and filling in quickly with after school activities and all the other stuff surrounding elementary school. My consolation is that we’re entering prime tomato season! My own tomato plants had a surge of ripening a few weeks back and have tapered off due to the cooler nights we’ve had in the Bay Area of late. Thankfully the good folks at the Farmer’s Market travel far with their heat-soaked sweet tomatoes! I might take a cue from my own weekend write-up and put together a Moroccan-spiced eggplant tangine to serve with one or all three of the Ouled Thaleb wines offered here at The Wine House! Be adventurous with your tastebuds. Anya Balistreri

 

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Filed under Anya Balistreri, Clairette, Syrah

Picollo’s Gavi di Gavi “Rovereto”

The 2012 Gavi di Gavi “Rovereto” from Ernesto Picollo captures the essence of seaside freshness as it combines lime-scented, citrusy fruit with sparkling acidity. There is no argument that Ernesto Picollo’s Gavi DOCG is a true workhorse and bargain, but when you want a little more there there, the “Rovereto” is the way to go. Picollo’s winery and most of their vineyards are in the hamlet of Rovereto within Gavi in southeastern Piedmont. Often referred to as the crown jewel of Piedmontese whites, Gavi, in actuality, has more in common with its southern neighbor’s wines, Liguria. In fact, Rovereto’s climate is influenced by its proximity to the Ligurian sea. The maritime breezes make their way up the hills to Rovereto, preserving there a more Mediterranean climate. Most of Gavi has a mix of both sand and clay soils, however in Rovereto soils tend to be more clay, allowing for reserves of water for deep roots during dry summer months. Also, Rovereto gets full southern exposure, which helps with ripening.
Gavi’s grape, Cortese, can trace its history way, way back. There is written documentation from 1659 naming it as one of the vines planted on an estate in Piedmont. It was prized for its resistance to grape disease and for producing quality grapes with high yields. Ideally Cortese needs a dry climate, meager soils and good sun exposure, all things that Rovereto provides.

 

So it follows that the lush texture of Picollo’s “Rovereto” with its golden hue and zippy minerality is especially complimentary to seafood and in particular to shellfish. All stainless steel tank-fermented, there is plenty of concentration propelled by a suave palate feel, making Picollo’s “Rovereto” dangerously easy to finish off well before any food shows up at the table. But remember, this is Italian wine and Italians insist on eating food while drinking wine, so do as they say and make sure to have a few nibbles on hand when you pull the cork. Enough with the lecture!

 

This really happened. At a staff tasting we tried a white wine that struck us as interesting but maybe didn’t quite wow us, so we decided to give it another chance and placed it in the fridge overnight to see if it would evolve in the bottle. At the end of the following day, after the shop was closed up and before heading out, Chris presented Pete and me with a glass of white wine. I took a whiff and was positively baffled at how dramatically the sample white we tried the day before had changed.  Gone were the earthy, adhesive aromas and in its place was pulpy citrus, charged acidity and a fragrant herbal nose. It was fabulous! Could a wine really change that much overnight? Well the glass in my hand certainly proved it could, that is until Pete caught sight of my confusion and also noticed the vast difference between the wine we tasted the day before and the one we were tasting now. Putting two and two together, Pete quickly announced that what we were drinking was not the funky sample but most likely the 2012 Gavi di Gavi “Rovereto” from Ernesto Picollo. This made perfect sense to me however the only way Chris could have gotten a hold of a perfectly chilled bottle of “Rovereto” was to have opened a bottle that I had placed hours before in the fridge to take home for my Friday Night Fish Fry! Flip flopping from bouts of laughter to shooting “you son of a gun” glances over at Chris for ruining my planned dinner wine, I had to admit it was a comical way to end the work week and that great wine will always and immediately make itself known.

 

The last couple of weeks have been tough. Without going into details, let me just say that my family has faced some rough challenges – but we’re a tight bunch and I am thankful for that. In between handling family matters, I have taken some time out to bask in summertime’s fun.  An annual trip to the Sonoma County Fair with my daughter and husband was a highlight. Who can resist newborn piglets, greasy fair food, or a free cone of vanilla ice cream from the Clover stand? Oh yeah, and I helped rescue a drowning woman out of the Russian River. All of this makes me more mindful of how blessed I am for the family I have and how it’s best to do now and not later. There is a bag of calamari in my freezer that went in when my husband passed on going to a long ago planned, all-guys retreat to stay home with me while things were still up in the air. The calamari is going to be fried up soon and with it a bottle of 2012 Gavi “Rovereto” will be served. I’ll just have to make sure to hide the bottle away from Chris! – Anya Balistreri

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Filed under Anya Balistreri, Cortese, Gavi

Pierazzuoli’s 2011 Barco Reale di Carmignano

Le Farnete’s 2011 Barco Reale di Carmignano combines Sangiovese’s lush red cherry fruit and fresh acidity with Cabernet Sauvignon’s structure and backbone. Not some newfangled blend, Carmignano, a Tuscan region just northwest of Florence, has championed this combination of grapes since the 18th Century! A Super Tuscan before there were Super Tuscans. The Barco Reale di Carmignano will see less time in barrel and comes to market sooner than its big brother, Carmignano. I find the inclusion of Cabernet Sauvignon extremely complimentary to Sangiovese and in no way detracting from Sangiovese’s intrinsic juiciness and vibrancy. July’s heat has found me drinking plenty of Rose, that’s for sure, but when I am in need of a red wine that has softer tannins yet still has body, the 2011 Barco Reale di Carmignano from Le Farnete fits the bill beautifully.

 

Le Farnete is one of two Tuscan estates owned by the Pierazzuoli family. Enrico is the owner and is assisted by his wife, brother and two sisters. Along with the wines, the Pierazzuoli’s produce olive oil and vegetable preserves and also run an agriturism business. It’s a true family affair for the Pierazzuoli’s. This close connection to each other and to the land is what fuels their passion for making the best wine possible. When Enrico took over from his father in 1990, he began an extensive replanting of the vineyards, choosing low-yielding clones which were densely planted. Improvements also occurred on the production side including building a state-of-the-art winery. All this investment has paid off as their wines continue to impress and provide a high quality to price ratio. I’m not sure exactly how The Wine House was introduced to Enrico Pierazzuoli but I am sure it was his confidence and vision that attracted us to his wines. Believing in Enrico and his vision for the future, The Wine House began importing his wines. That was nearly two decades ago!

 

Sangiovese in summertime. Sounds good and tastes good! Checking out our blog, I noticed that the last two times I wrote about wine from Pierazzuoli it was in summer. I can tell you honestly that stuffed zucchini and Barco Reale di Carmignano are dynamite together! My garden is exploding with zukes and I have a couple of recipes using them that need a red but one where the tannins are in check, has good acidity and rich fruit. Ba-da-bing…2011 Barco Reale di Carmignano from Le Farnete!
 

Last weekend I rushed from work for a quick trip up to the River to meet with childhood friends for a “Russian River Rats” reunion. Many of them I hadn’t seen for a very long time – too long! Lots of laughter and reminiscing ensued and continued well into the night. Funny how we all fell into our roles behaving like we did all those years ago. I brought along a bottle of the Barco Reale di Carmignano. It was a big hit, especially with the lamb shashlik that my brother grilled over a Weber while three of us held flashlights allowing him to see in the darkened backyard. Summer fun! – Anya Balistreri

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Filed under Anya Balistreri, Barbecue Wine, Carmignano, Tuscany