March WINE BOX: the best of a year together ( Stage 12), chosen by our customers - March 2019
An obligatory stop on a tour of Italy in search of bubbles is Sicily and in particular Etna: a large territory of great wines, under the eye of the storm due to the explosion of its wine excellences on the national and international markets.
We are in Sicily, a stone's throw from the sea, but in reality we are in the mountains above a volcano, at 800 meters above sea level. All these oxymorons (south and mountains, altitude and sea) drive the palate crazy and the same emotion is communicated by the centenary vineyards that climb up to the slopes of the volcano .
In 1981, Baron Emanuele Scammacca del Murgo decided to transform the family land holdings into modern agricultural businesses and in the following years his sons and brothers also joined in this venture. Currently the vineyards are located on the three estates: San Michele, Gelso Bianco and La Francescana.
In 1982 the first Etna Rosso was bottled and in 1990 the first Classic Method Murgo Brut sparkling wine.
Murgo is today the point of reference for the classic methods of the entire area, but also a stylistic expression capable of transcending regional borders.
Fontanabianca is a small, large company in the Langa, founded in the Bordini district by Matteo's grandfather, the current manager, in 1969. In his grandfather's time the grapes and wine were sold in bulk, then - due to his bad illness - the the reins pass to Matteo's father, who begins to renovate the cellar. The great journey of quality began in 1985, with the first sales abroad.
This is what Fontanabianca is for Matteo: “For a couple of years my father has left me more and more space in the company. From there the project of making a Classic Method came to life, also at the insistence of some of my friends: they are the ones who registered the name of the wine, Class 91, our year of birth . Now we want to renovate the cellar to guarantee a better offer to our guests. It's nice to think that my younger brother has also undertaken studies in oenology: the hope is that he will stay in the company and that the Pola family will continue to cultivate this passion and promote Fontanabianca wines in the world".
Not far from the banks of Garda lies the farm of Matilde Poggi and her family. The third of six siblings, she cultivates vineyards and produces her wines in Cavaion Veronese, in the heart of Bardolino.
Growing up in the world of wine, since she was a child after school, she helped with the harvest and imagined the vineyards going into hibernation in the winter to awaken in the spring. She has always been fascinated by the earth - that simple and grandiose universe that advances to the rhythm of a dance - and soon the desire to take an active part in it takes hold.
In the eighties she was among the few women at the forefront of the world of wine.
Matilde works in an experimental way, testing varieties, breeding systems and grape varieties, animated by the courage to interpret the territory independently, respecting a land that she feels she must preserve for the men of tomorrow.
Murgo Brut – selected in stage #3 by Andrea Galanti
Murgo icon that I couldn't help but choose for you. 100% Nerello Mascalese, more than two years of refermentation in the bottle.
Bright and young colors tending towards a straw yellow, fine and elegant perlage. On the nose, hints of citrus and fresh flowers and iodine notes; great freshness in the mouth and a savory finish typical of the volcanic territory.
The first Classic Method of Etna and a point of reference for the entire denomination, as well as a wine that sommelier Andrea Galanti (who selected it) is particularly fond of because - he says - " every glass makes me dream of that mythical land" .
Pairing: try it with raw fish…
Arneis, Fontanabianca – selected in stage #2 by Gabriele Scalici
There is a bad boy among the vineyards of Piedmont: "t ses propi n'arnèis" is said when you meet a bizarre and rebellious person, but also nice and jovial. Arneis is like this: its difficult character has made it risk extinction, due to its low yields and low acidity.
Fortunately, since the 1970s we have been witnessing its rediscovery: there is no shortage of ambitions and neither are there any capabilities. With its Arneis, Fontanabianca offers a rich version of this wine, very tasty and fragrant: citrus fruits, white flowers and pear accompany the sip, punctuated by precise fruity returns.
Pairing: perfect partner for aperitifs or light lunches based on fish or vegetables.
Bardolino Chiaretto Rodòn , Le Fraghe - selected in stage #0 by the Three Musketeers (Fiorini, Boninsegna, Scagliero)
It presents itself to us dressed in a beautiful medium intensity, almost brilliant pink, the result of maceration at low temperature. When brought to the nose it fascinates us with a fragrant olfactory stage and even mineral touches: small red fruits such as currants, blueberries and cherries meet very pleasant floral notes (sweet violet, hints of wisteria, orange blossom). The flavor is savory, fresh and with well-balanced tannins with an alcohol that does not disturb and, indeed, reinforces its pleasantness. Savory and at times mineral, it is never excessive, defining a pleasant palate and surprising persistence. Don't be fooled by the color: this Rosé has strength and character to spare!
To drink at a recommended temperature of 10/12 degrees.
Pairing: it pairs well with pasta, white meats and vegetables but declares its unconditional love for fish.
Murgo Brut Rosé – selected in stage #3 by Andrea Galanti
Murgo icon : impossible not to choose him. 100% carefully selected Nerello Mascalese, more than 2 years of refermentation in the bottle. Brief maceration on the skins for this Classic Method of great acidity, with a volcanic minerality that distinguishes all Murgo products.
The light maceration on the skins gives this Rosé an attractive colour , a pale pink and with a very fine perlage . On the nose, aroma of grapefruit and rose; great personality on the palate, with acidity and flavor that are the protagonists.
Pairing: it lends itself to interesting combinations: try it with a salmon with dill…
Brut Classe 91 , Fontanabianca - selected in stage #2 by Gabriele Scalici
When we talk about sparkling wine, the mind flies to images of celebration and Piedmont is famous for this favorite son, a tradition that is now part of our cultural heritage. However, it was the desire for dry bubbles that transformed the very concept of Italian sparkling wine, which until a few years ago was relegated only to certain areas, especially northern Italy. For some time now we have been lucky enough to taste them from every Italian region with previously unthinkable levels of excellence.
Piedmont, here too, has its say: the production of dry sparkling wine is concentrated in the Langhe and in the Chardonnay grape. And it is not a passing fad: in the Langa there are examples of very high level sparkling wine production.
Fontanabianca's Brut Classe '91 is an example of this: its fine bubbles emphasize the delicacy of the sip, the great readiness of a balanced drink and the affability of the nose. Soft and refined , it has a single small "flaw", typical of good bottles: it always ends too soon!
Pairing: offer it freely from the starter to the second course.
Bardolino , Le Fraghe - selected in stage #0 by the Three Musketeers (Fiorini, Boninsegna, Scagliero)
A wine that presents itself dressed in a beautiful ruby red, lively and taut, the result of processing of the grapes that starts from the vineyard. When brought to the nose it releases elegance and intensity at the same time: if you expect territory and interpretation here you will find Bardolino! It immediately indulges with floral notes, dog rose and violet, and fruit (blueberry and wild strawberries). This wine must be discovered little by little, and then pepper, graphite notes and vegetal hints appear, closing the olfactory experience in a composed and pleasant way. On the palate it presents itself in line with what it declared to the eyes and nose: composed, moderately alcoholic and with a nice tannic texture on the finish, very pleasant. It is a wine that is appreciated for its generous character. To drink at a recommended temperature of 14/16 degrees.
Pairing: on the table its perfect pairing is with first courses based on white meat and second courses based on pen meat.