FEBRUARY WINE BOX: LAVA WINES ( Step #35). A selection by sommelier NICOLA BETTINAZZI
Le Battistelle , Brognoligo (VR)
We are in the Soave Classico: agriculture here is heroic. Cristina and Gelmino are very proud – and rightly so – of the well-deserved success of their company. The name is that of their most representative cru, which is called Le Battistelle, located in the most sought-after and suitable area of Castellaro.
In the nine hectares of vineyards they grow only the native Garganega: thanks to the climate, the soil and the ventilation their wines are elegant and also mineral. Their vineyards grow on volcanic soils: basaltic and tufaceous. The volcanic matrix of the soil allows the grapes to express themselves at excellent quality levels and gives wines with clearly recognizable characteristics: complex wines, capable of evolving over time, which need time to fully express all their potential.
Alfio Nicolodi , Cembra (TN)
Alfio is a passionate promoter of Val di Cembra viticulture and mountain winemaking in a broader sense.
Here we talk about heroic viticulture. The prohibitive slopes and the terrain are so rough that cars can rarely be used: winemakers like Alfio literally have to climb up them. This is why in this area the most evocative symbol of viticulture is fatigue, which in the past was also linked to poverty. The company was founded by his grandfather at the beginning of the twentieth century but the turning point was due to Alfio, who changed the systems and winemaking in less than 2 hectares of vineyards, carefully following the entire production phase.
With enthusiasm and great stubbornness, Alfio has recovered two rare vines from the Valley for production: Lagarino Bianco and Veltliner Rosso.
Marco Antonelli , Olevano Romano (RM)
The company is located in the municipality of Olevano Romano, an ancient medieval village south-east of the province of Rome. The company's vines enjoy a territory that has unique and distinctive soil and climate conditions. Marco Antonelli's two vineyard plots are located at altitude, one on deep clay soils, about 600 meters above sea level, and the other on limestone soils between 300 and 400 meters above sea level. Three hectares in total.
The vines are over 50 years old and reach over 75 in the vineyard called Morra Rossa. The low yields allow us to take care of and follow every detail of the production with extreme attention, even adopting rigorous organic methods (even though the organic certification is recent, from the 2020 vintage). The winery's choice is to focus heavily on Cesanese, an important native red grape variety from Lazio to which Marco contributes with great passion.
Cenatiempo , Ischia (NA)
A viticulture that respects the soul - maritime and volcanic - of the island of Ischia. The Cenatiempo family began producing wine in 1945: since then it has grown a lot but has remained firmly anchored to its traditions. Theirs is a heroic cultivation, where the native Biancolella, Forastera and Piedirosso have never seen agricultural tools. Where mechanization cannot reach, the winemaker expresses all his energy and attention, taking care of the six hectares of organic vineyards. “Our wine is made in the hills and by the sea” is their slogan: the truth of this motto can be felt in the unique identity of each of their bottles.
Soave Classico Battistelle, Le Battistelle
This wine takes its name from the Le Battistelle cru where the vines are grown, in extremely sloping conditions, on volcanic soils with a tufaceous basaltic structure rich in micro elements.
100% Garganega, grown on steep terraces with simple pergolas. Manual harvest, destemming and soft pressing. It matures in steel on its fine lees for 6-8 months with constant batonnage.
Straw yellow in color with vivid golden reflections. The scent is intense and broad: it mixes sensations of ripe yellow fruit, with fresher notes of apricot and citrus, together with aromatic herbs and white flowers. A wine with a nice body, fresh, savory and soft. On the palate it shows all its structure which refers to the volcanic matrix of the soil, it is persistent, mineral and offers a floral sensation.
Soave Battistelle is a wine suitable for aging (even ten years): it can be drunk now but it benefits from a few more years of refinement in the bottle.
Pairing: perfect as an aperitif together with seafood appetizers or in combination with baked fish.
Serve at 12-14° C.
Müller Thurgau, Alfio Nicolodi
Manual harvest, soft pressing, maturation in steel for 6 months, refinement in bottle for at least 2 months.
Straw yellow color with greenish reflections, the nose is aromatic, with a fine and fruity bouquet of apple and banana. The flavor is dry and dominated by the fruit, fresh, very elegant, with excellent freshness and great character. The freshness, flavor and minerality deriving from the porphyritic soils are accompanied by the elegant aroma, reminiscent of citrus fruits and the characteristic scent of sage.
A Müller Thurgau which derives its unmistakable imprint from the volcanic soils of the Val di Cembra, where it finds one of its most typical expressions.
A ready-to-drink wine that can also refine for a few years in the bottle (about 3)
Pairing: perfect with savory pies, vegetable and fried appetizers.
Serve at 10° C.
Olevano Romano Cesanese Il Fresco, Marco Antonelli
Pure Cesanese di Olevano, from 50-year-old and even older vineyards. Vinification in steel for approximately six months, followed by refinement in the bottle.
Ruby red in colour, it expresses a fresh and direct bouquet, with hints of red fruit such as cherry and morello cherry, accompanied by hints of Mediterranean scrub. The sip is fresh and clean, for a wine of great drinkability and extreme pleasantness, a very pure expression of the grape variety.
A ready-to-drink red, to be enjoyed immediately to preserve its fresh and fruity character.
Pairing: versatile, we recommend pairing it with cured meats and cheeses, first and second courses of meat, with a preference for lamb.
Serve at 14-16° C.
Soave Classico Roccolo del Durlo, Le Battistelle
The Roccolo Del Durlo vineyard extends over one of the best volcanic territories in the entire Soave Classico area. The vineyard is located 250 meters above sea level and is characterized by accentuated steepness supported by dry basalt rock walls; there are many over one hundred year old ungrafted vineyards. In this unique terroir, the Garganega grape manages to convey truly unrepeatable emotions .
100% hand-harvested Garganega. Destemming, cryomaceration and fermentation in steel. Matured in steel on its fine lees for 8 months with constant batonnage.
Straw yellow color with golden reflections; on the nose it stands out for its intense bouquet, including yellow fruit, citrus fruits and notes of aromatic herbs. The palate is structured, very elegant and persistent, with a beautiful floral persistence and a lively mineral and balsamic accent due to the volcanic soil.
Soave Roccolo del Durlo is a white wine that lends itself well to long refinements in the bottle, even beyond 10 years.
Pairing: perfect with steamed prawns or fish soup. Serve at 13-14° C.
Cesanese di Olevano Romano Riserva Kosmos, Marco Antonelli
Pure Cesanese, from the “Morra Rossa” vineyard, located 450 meters above sea level. Harvested by hand, it ages 12 months in steel, 18 in large barrels and 12 in the bottle.
Bright garnet red in colour, the nose is broad: it starts with cherry and morello cherry to arrive at more complex notes, including spices, notes of vanilla, cocoa, pepper and white chocolate.
The sip is fresh, long, dry and clean, with an excellent tannic finish. The minerality that accompanies the sip is also pleasant. Balanced and persistent, it fully expresses the potential of this native grape grown in the Olevano Romano area.
This is a structured wine, suitable for aging, which can be kept in the cellar for 10 years or more when well preserved.
Pairing: try it with cold cuts, first courses, red meats or game. Serve at 18° C.
Ischia Biancolella Kalimera, Cenatiempo
Pure Biancolella, harvested by hand and vinified in steel, matures for 4 months on the fine lees.
Deep yellow in colour, the nose expresses an intense bouquet, with fruity notes of citrus fruits, yellow-fleshed fruit such as apricot and peach, accompanied by interesting Mediterranean and saline hints.
An intense, complex and elegant wine, savory and persistent. Kalimera is a white that amazes with its unique and characteristic features and its structure allows long refinements in the bottle, even beyond 10 years.
Pairings: perfect with seafood cuisine, and therefore with shellfish and fish first courses, but also in combination with white meats. Serve at 10-12° C.