December 2018 selection, led by sommelier Alvaro De Anna, dedicated to wines from extreme lands (stage 9)
La Gelsomina - Sicily
La Gelsomina is located in a stupendous area, overlooking the Ionian Sea on the slopes of Etna, in the area of the former County of Mascali, known for its centuries-old wine cultivation. The company complex includes an ancient millstone and a small but very efficient cellar, equipped with the best winemaking technologies. The vineyard land is located near Monte Trigna and has a difference in altitude of approximately 70 metres, 550 meters above sea level, and falls entirely within the Etna DOC area, where the native Nerello Mascalese and Nerello vines are grown. Cappuccino and Moscato dell'Etna and where the cultivation of Pinot Noir has been experimented with excellent results. The wines of La Gelsomina, the result of the particular pedoclimatic conditions and volcanic soil, express the soul of a truly unique territory.
Maixei - Liguria
Maixei is the dialect term that identifies the dry stone walls (just declared a world heritage site by UNESCO) that characterize the Ligurian landscape. Steep ridges, so unsuitable for agriculture, were shaped and tamed by the ancient Ligurians who, building the maixei , with great effort tore away horizontal areas from vertical slopes. These walls are at the same time tools for containing the earth and maintaining ancient memory . Maixei is a cooperative winery founded in 1978: it has gradually focused more and more on quality and today has over 30 members, followed in all phases by trained agronomists who are in love with these lands. Everyone at Maixei works to obtain excellent grapes, ripe, healthy and rich in the aromas of the Mediterranean scrub. The production area is made up of 14 municipalities (or hamlets) distributed along the Val di Nervia and the Valle Crosia, a foothill area ranging from 300 to 600 meters above sea level. The grapes produced are transformed by passionate winemakers into unique wines, which recall all the characteristics of this land and the emotions of those who created them.
Pian delle Vette - Veneto
We are in the Three Dolomites System, a UNESCO world heritage site, at over 600 meters above sea level, in the area of the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park. The Pian delle Vette agricultural company has designed its work by making commitment and passion for wine and the environment the true reason for its work and belief. The vineyards are located in the Vignui area and the company's varietal choice has made use of vines that are best suited to the mountain environment and that are best able to cope with the harsh winters, with the significant temperature changes that they entail, and the nutritional limitations of the soil. The company works a harsh land that has shaped the character of the people who work there and also of the wine produced. But, as often happens, visions, scents and aromas emerge from extreme situations that touch the heart.
County white - La Gelsomina
Sicily: a fascinating land, very rich and full of contrasts, even in wine. The white wines of Etna are experiencing a moment of great recognition: they are the portrait of a black paradise, with terraces, outlined by dry stone walls. The White of the County is a classic wine from Etna, produced from the vinification of native Carricante and Catarratto grapes, harvested in the first ten days of October, from vineyards located over 550 meters above sea level, on the slopes of the highest volcano in 'Europe. The grapes are harvested by hand in boxes, vinified with cryomaceration for twelve hours at 10° C, with aging in oak and steel barriques . It is a modern wine - always respecting the territory - with unique characteristics that combine fruity aromas of white fruit, jasmine flowers and lemon blossom. In the mouth it is pleasantly fresh and harmonious.
It goes well with all fish-based preparations: from grilled to fried foods and seafood sauces; in any case it is a wine for the whole meal, fresh and pleasant as an aperitif, to also be drunk with elaborate dishes and typical Etna cheeses.
Barbadirame Dolceacqua Superiore - Maixei
Cultivated in the most suitable areas of the Nevia and Verbone valleys, characterized by predominantly clayey soils with little limestone, the Rossese vine is grown with the traditional sapling system. The grapes, harvested strictly by hand, are scrupulously selected. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks with maceration on the skins for 6/8 days. Aged in second passage barriques and bottled only when deemed ready. With a ruby red color which takes on a garnet tone during refinement. The aromas are reminiscent of wild strawberry, rose and dried violet, with notes of liquorice and aromatic herbs. It has a soft, savory and velvety flavour, with a characteristic bitterish flavor on the bottom.
It will go very well where a red wine with a good acid contrast is needed: it is excellent with mature cheeses and game, but also with meat and bean stews. It is among the few wines that tolerate pairing with artichokes due to its low tannic nature: take advantage of it!
Pinot Noir - Pian delle Vette
It is the most awarded wine of the Pian delle Vette winery and less than 2,000 bottles are produced per year. An intense garnet red with ruby nuances produced from pinot noir grapes grown at over 600 meters above sea level and exposed to the temperature changes of the foothills. The grapes, hand-harvested in boxes, are selected directly in the vineyard (yield per hectare 35 q/ha) and aged for 24 months in French oak barriques and at least four months in the bottle. The Pinot Noir of the Dolomites stands out for its refined and elegant characters. On the nose, hints of red fruits are enhanced (blackberry, raspberry, currant) which then leave room for the floral notes of red rose and dried violet. On the palate it has an intense and persistent taste, which remains supported by notes of freshness and flavor. Balanced and fine.
Excellent with roast meats, braised meats with mushrooms, baked lamb or kid, red meats in general. It goes well with fresh and medium-aged cured meats and cheeses.
Fish red - La Gelsomina
Fish red: a wine that goes against all prejudice. Dressed in a beautiful intense pink color, with soft tannins, it should be served between 8 and 10°. The grapes are harvested manually (Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccino), from vineyards located at a height above 500 meters above sea level, on the slopes of Etna. The nose offers citrus notes, but also flowers and hints of spices. In the mouth it is soft, supported by excellent flavor and a curious mineral vein. Ready to drink, young and with a nice amount of freshness.
It is perfect as a "fish red", in fact, a combination once considered taboo, now accepted. But it is versatile and goes well with all fish-based preparations, from grilled to fried foods, to seafood sauces but does not look out of place on both white and red meats. In any case, it is a wine for the whole meal, fresh and pleasant even as an aperitif.
Rossese di Dolceacqua Superiore - Maixei
The Rossese vines of Maixei are grown in inaccessible areas, where all the operations essential for maintaining the vine are mandatory manual. Rossese is grown with the traditional sapling system and the thinning of the bunches as soon as ripening begins is approximately 30%. The grapes, here too harvested by hand and further selected, are softly pressed. Fermentation takes place at a controlled temperature (in stainless steel tanks) and carried out by selected yeasts, with refinement and secondary fermentation in steel. It is bottled only when it is deemed perfectly ready. With a ruby red color, during refinement it turns towards a garnet hue. Memories of wild strawberry, rose and violet also blend with notes of liquorice and aromatic herbs. Soft and tasty.
It pairs excellently with mature cheeses, red meats and the typical "goat and beans".
Selvarech - Pian delle Vette
This wine takes its name from a mythical figure of the area, the so-called wild man . Selvarech is a ruby red wine produced from a blend of grapes that are very resistant to local conditions: teroldego, gamaret and dilolinoir. The grapes are harvested manually, in boxes, and aged in steel. The result is a fresh, young, intense wine, dominated on the nose by hints of red fruits such as raspberry, currant and strawberry. In the mouth it maintains a good structure, with a persistent, savory and dry finish.
It is perfect combined with mountain cuisine: therefore pasta and beans, white meats, grilled meats, cold cuts and mature cheeses.