Category Archives: Carmignano
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!
Click here to purchase the Dirty Dozen for $109.
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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|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
|October 2013. It has been with much excitement that we’ve proudly reported here that we (in the form of David) have found and have begun importing the wines from more than a handful of new producers over the past couple of years. There’s Claudie Jobard, Stephane Magnien, and Philippe Pernot with their lovely Côte d’Or Burgundies; the Côtes Chalonaise producer Michel-Andreotti; northern Rhône producer Stephane Pichat, and Robert Rocchi, with his stable of southern Rhône wines. That is exciting stuff!! If you think about it, that represents a great deal for you. Buying directly from the importer is the best way to get the wines you want for the lowest price in town. We’ve been doing this a long time, and just as excited as we are about all of our new producers, we’re happy and proud to have so many more producers already as a part of TWH family!
We’ve been directly importing the wines from Tuscan producer/winemaker Enrico Pierazzuoli for 20 years now. Why? The quality is high, they speak of a place, and they’re very fairly priced. Enrico has two estates, one in Chianti Montalbano, and the other in Carmignano, west of Firenze. The estates are located in areas with a high wine growing and wine production culture, as stated by the Bando Granducale of 1716, which was issued by Cosimo de’ Medici and is considered the first law in the world declaring specific wine production to come from vineyards in specific prestigious areas. See here for a reproduction of the Bando Granducale. A wine coming from the prestigious DOCG of Carmignano is the 2009 Le Farnete Carmignano. Enrico’s Carmignano has been the stuff of legend around here for years! Both Anya and I having written about it in years past. In a past life I remember drinking some fancy, high falutin’ Super Tuscans which were pretty special, but did they ever leave a mark (in the pocketbook). If you think about it, the Super Tuscan is a relatively new concept, beginning in the 1970’s. Aha! But in Carmignano, they’ve been allowed to grow Cabernet Sauvignon to bolster the indigenous Sangiovese since Cosimo de’ Medici’s Bando Granducale! This wine has a special place in our hearts and on our tables, as it is truly a special wine that has a great history, and best of all, it can be had for less than $20.
|2009 was a stellar vintage in Carmignano with wines that show power and concentration, yet they have finesse and can be accessed at present. Enrico’s 2009 Le Farnete Carmignano is alive with expressive purple fruit aromas, hints of smoky incense, and a kiss of the earth. The palate is rich and lively, yet deep, with a good dose of the aromatic complexity, and barely noticeable tannins. The finish is bright and balanced, the fruit and earth persisting. A great food wine, it boggles the mind as to the possibilities … Let’s see, meatballs seem to be all the rage in my world these days; some pork/veal meatballs with an herbal infusion, on a bed of polenta with a rich arrabbiatta sauce along with some sauteed broccolini. Yeah, that’ll be just fine. You’re welcome to try something fancier, but when you get home at 7:00, quick, simple, and delicious is always welcome.
Rumor has it that we’re soon to be celebrating an Anniversary. It’s true, TWH will enter our 37th year of business this weekend. We owe you all a big, giganticTHANK YOU! As we wouldn’t be here without you. We greatly appreciate your continued patronage, as well as the positive feedback we receive regarding our wines and promotions. As we continue to meet and introduce you to new producers, we would like to take the time to focus on the passion and dedication of one of our stalwarts, Enrico Pierazzuoli and his 2009 Le Farnete Carmignano. – Peter Zavialoff