November Wine Box: river, lake, sea, Stage #20, Chosen by sommelier Massimo Marchesi (November 2019)
Cantina Di Sante , Monleale (AL)
Tommaso Di Sante is lucky enough to live and cultivate vines in one of the most beautiful and geographically fortunate places in our country. The hills that connect Fano to Pesaro run for 15 km looking, peaceful and lush, at the Adriatic.
Its vineyards are exactly under the hermitage of Monte Giove, in the Carignano area, within the Colli Pesaresi denomination and above all the DOC Bianchello del Metauro, the river famous for the fatal battle against the Carthaginians during the Punic wars.
The company is completely cultivated organically and the soil is predominantly tufaceous.
The vines on which the company rests its roots are Sangiovese, Montepulciano and of course Biancame (Bianchello), perhaps the most typical of the area. In recent years, international vines such as Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon have also been planted and put into production.
Stefanoni winery , Montefiascone (VT)
Lake Bolsena seen from above clearly reveals its volcanic origin, having an almost perfectly oval shape. In fact, it was formed after the collapse of a crater about 300 thousand years ago. The Stefanoni winery cultivates its vineyards spread across various plots in Montefiascone, benefiting on the one hand from the temperature range that the lake guarantees in the summer months, when the grapes reach maturity, and on the other from the soil of volcanic origin which, above all in Colle dei Poggeri, it enriches the wines with structure and mineral skeleton.
The company is captained by Stefano who, together with his son Francesco, produces a range of wines that starts from a Classic Method Spumante based on Trebbiano Giallo (locally called Roscetto), passing through the classic Est! East!! East!!! produced in 2 versions, to arrive at the two wines that I proposed in the Boxes: a Dry Moscato and a blend of international vines.
Contini winery , Cabras (OR)
Contini is a historic company in Sardinia: its name has always been associated with the production of Vernaccia di Oristano, a wine as unique in its production method (Solera with full barrels and Flor) as it is rare to find outside the island. The company vineyards are completely particular, in fact they are located at an altitude of a few meters above sea level and located between the Sinis peninsula and the final part of the Tirso valley, always close to the coast. The soils have a calcareous structure with clay and pebble fractions. These characteristics give the wines, both white and red, a large savory component and a structure that makes them suitable for maturation in the bottle for many years. The other vine (rare and fascinating) that is cultivated and can give its best only with these pedoclimatic conditions is Nieddera, a red berried grape that is both fruity, if vinified to be consumed young, and capable of maturing intense tertiaries. and variegated, if left to age in barrel and bottle.
Bianchello del Metauro "Giglio" - Cantina Di Sante
Biancame (the vine that is the basis of Bianchello del Metauro) is a very productive grape, a close relative of the Pagadebit di Romagna; the wines that are historically produced are fresh, easy to drink and to be consumed young. Tommaso Di Sante decided to go up the river, against the current, fishing out a very old and much less productive clone of Biancame to produce a white of great territorial expressiveness, tasty, fresh and with excellent body, which takes full advantage of the tufaceous soil on which it arises. I, for reasons of the heart, am very attached to this wine (almost unknown outside the province of Pesaro) and I have an immense pleasure in making it known in what I think is its most successful version by far.
Pairing: Fanese-style grilled fish (irresistible with the addition of a light breading, locally called “rustita”), all white fish first courses and delicate fish such as sole and obviously fried fish.
Lazio Rosso "Fanum" - Stefanoni Winery
A skilful example of blending between international vines enhanced by the unique conditions that Montefiascone offers. The 2 most used vines are Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah (both 40%) accompanied by Merlot for the remaining 20%. Each is vinified individually and then assembled before maturation in wood ( barrique and tonneau ) and respectively gives vegetality, spiciness and fruit.
The passage in wood enhances the spiciness already given by the Syrah for a warm and extremely balanced wine where the minerality of the soil balances the softness.
Pairings: a baked guinea fowl with chestnuts and mushrooms could prove to be an explosive and almost perfect combination.
Vermentino of Sardinia "Tyrsos" - Contini
A paradigmatic wine of the territory and of the grape variety that creates it. The soils are those of the Tirso valley and partly of the upper Campidano, with a prevalence of sandy and alluvial soil, and a volcanic part. The nose is characterized by notes of young fruit such as pear and citrus fruits which are accompanied by notes of aromatic and iodized herbs.
In the mouth it has excellent structure while allowing for easy drinking where the freshness and flavor still stand out.
The wine ages only in steel after vinification at a controlled temperature.
Pairings: ideal companion for first courses with sea shells (in white), raw fish and very notable as an aperitif.
Colli Pesaresi Sangiovese “Timoteo” - Di Sante
Great-grandfather Timoteo di Sante was the first to cultivate vines and produce wine in the family. This Sangiovese is a tribute not only to him but above all to a way of making wine aimed at enhancing, today as in the past, the essential characteristics of the most important grape variety in central Italy. The yield is a maximum of 2.5 kg per plant and the soil is fully tufaceous.
On the nose the fruit is immediately recognisable, plum and cherry, but what drives me crazy about the scent of this wine is the frankness of the animal leather note and the marked balsamic nature which make it complex and very easy to drink at the same time.
Pairings: the heart speaks: baked pork ribs with fresh olives! Or grilled lamb with baked potatoes.
Lazio Moscato Secco "Colle dei Poggeri" - Stefanoni
Colle dei Poggeri is land located at 400 meters above sea level, with a completely volcanic conformation close to Lake Bolsena. The southern exposure of the vineyard and the temperature range given by the proximity to the lake - as well as naturally the volcanic soil - make this aromatic wine completely peculiar.
The notes of honey, flowers and white grapes typical of muscat and unmistakable are even surpassed by the mineral ones in a fusion that recalls the great aromatics of the Rhine (with due caution).
The exasperated search to get the best out of the aromatic components of the vine is manifested in the winemaking technique which involves cold contact (5 degrees) with the skins before a very slow fermentation at the almost prohibitive temperature of 13 degrees.
A gem, the result of the right choice of terrain and the stubbornness of Stefano and Francesco.
Pairings: at least one glass should be drunk alone without pairings to enjoy the finesse and fresh minerality of the wine. Excellent with shellfish and sweetly spiced foods such as those of Asian cuisines, particularly Indian.
Isola dei Nuraghi Rosso “Barrile” - Contini
A wine with clearly distinguishable characteristics due to multiple factors. First of all, the Nieddera vines (with a small percentage of other native vines such as Caddiu) are grown as saplings and are all very old. This limits production per hectare to just 65 quintals with almost no need for pruning. Furthermore, the land is located a few meters above sea level and a very short distance from the coast: it thus enjoys a ventilated and little rainy climate, which gives healthiness to the grapes by giving structure thanks to the sandy-alluvial component of the soil.
The vinification involves maceration on the skins for no less than 10 days and expert aging in wood of different sizes for a minimum of 12 months and a long stay in the bottle. The result is a soft, warm and concentrated wine that favors hints of jam and sweet spiciness which over time becomes the predominant component.
Pairings: I can't see it away from very mature hard cheeses because they manage to bring out new strength from an already prodigious wine. Also excellent with stewed game, especially wild boar.