ITALIAN

Wineries of the Month

Selvagrossa Vineyards

Garofoli Vineyards
The history of the Garofoli’s is a story of people and of a family that has been identified with winemaking for five generations. The same philosophy has always guided them: a constant updating of production techniques while respecting traditional and historic winemaking methods; attention to the evolution of the market and its requirements along with loyalty to the values of the special characteristics that the traditions of the territory have transmitted.

Selvagrossa Vineyards
Selvagrossa, located in Pesaro’s foothills facing the Adriatic coast of Le Marche, is a very small estate with only five hectares of vineyards. Sangiovese, the area’s dominant vine, along with select international varieties, find a terroir favorable to the production of great wines with character.

Brothers Alberto and Alessandro Taddei inherited the estate in 2002 from their grandparents, and the first Selvagrossa wine was made that same year from an old-vine Sangiovese vineyard planted in the early 1970’s by Alberto and Alessandro’s father and grandfather.

Antonelli San Marco Vineyard
The estate has been in the Antonelli family since 1881. Although originally from Spoleto, the family transferred to Rome five generations ago. Francesco Antonelli, a lawyer, bought and transformed the property. Stefano Antonelli, also a lawyer, and Marianna Antonelli maintained it with loving care. Giacomo Antonelli, yet another lawyer, and Antonio Antonelli, an engineer, enlarged the property and invested in viticulture. Filippo Antonelli has been at the helm of the estate since 1986. He divides his time between Montefalco and Rome where he manages another family wine estate.

 


CALIFORNIAN

Wineries of the Month

Barr Estate Winery

Barr Estate Winery
As native New Orleanians, Tealy and Greg grew up in a culture of great jazz and good food. French wine was the principal accompaniment to New Orleans cuisine at the time. Living in Europe during the 70’s and 80’s, enhanced our wine experience and appreciation of European wines. In the 90’s we returned to California and developed a greater appreciation of California wines.

After working for an international company for thirty years, we decided to start a second career dedicated to growing grapes and making great wines at affordable prices that enhance the culinary experience. After searching for a vineyard, we settled on the Central Coast of California in Paso Robles in 2007. It is still a place where the vineyard farmer and the wine maker are the same person and winemaking starts in the vineyard.

Bonny Doon Vineyard
While Bonny Doon Vineyard began with the (in retrospect) foolish attempt to replicate Burgundy in California, Randall Grahm realized early on that he would have far more success creating more distinctive and original wines working with Rhône varieties in the Central Coast of California. The key learning here (achieved somewhat accidentally but fortuitously) was that in a warm, Mediterranean climate, it is usually blended wines that are most successful. In 1986 Bonny Doon Vineyard released the inaugural vintage (1984) of Le Cigare Volant, an homage to Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Ramey Winery
David Ramey spent his early career creating benchmark wines for such wineries as Matanzas Creek, Chalk Hill, Dominus and Rudd. With that impressive resume, David and his wife Carla founded Ramey Wine Cellars in 1996. They have been producing critically acclaimed, award-winning wines ever since, committed to Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Syrah as their primary varietals.

 


ITALIAN Wines of the Month

Le MarcheARTISAN SERIES

2017 Garofoli Loreto Rosso ‘Monte Reale’ Marche IGT
100% Sangiovese
Alcohol: 12.5%
A bold and structured wine with notes of forest floor, red fruit, cherry, blackcurrant with some smoke notes. Bright Acidity. This wine has firm tannins and a pleasing, long, slightly spicy finish. Pair with beef or venison.

2017 Garofoli Loreto Verdicchio ‘Macrina’ Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore DOC
100% Verdicchio
Alcohol: 13%
A crisp, fresh white wine with hints of lemon, lime, apple, and pear. Slight hint of cut grass. The minerality in this wine gives it a clean, smooth finish. Pair with white fish, a salad with mild cheeses, or a light pasta dish.

WINEMAKER SERIES

2017 Selvagrossa Persaro Bianco ‘Chuchen’ Marche IGT
100% Albanella
Alcohol: 12.5%
Flavors of fresh citrus, pear, and other fresh fruits. Good minerality and acidity give this wine its slightly dry finish. Pair with a vegetarian pasta dish, appetizers, snacks, lean fish, or cured meats.

2016 Selvagrossa Pesaro Rosso ‘Muschen’ Marche IGT
Sangiovese based blend with merlot and cabernet franc
Alcohol: 13.5%
Very fruity wine with a predominance of wild blackberries, with some black currant and ripe cherry. Earthy tones with hints of tobacco. Firm tannins and acidity give this wine a long, pleasing finish. Serve with pasta, beef, venison, cold cuts, and aged cheeses.

2015 Antonelli San Marco Montefalco Rosso
70% Sangiovese, 15% Sagrantina, 15% Montepulciano
Alcohol: 14%
Ruby red in color. Olfactory intense and fruity with hints of cherry and wild berries. Palate, dry, balanced and well structured. Serve with first courses like ravioli or risotto. Also pairs with red meat and mature cheeses.

COLLECTOR SERIES

2012 Selvagrossa Cabernet Franc, Poveriano Marche IGT
100% Cabernet Franc
Alcohol: 13.5%
Complex and fruity, with an aroma of extremely ripe cassis and spices such as green pepper. A solid, well-balanced structure with soft tannins. Pair with tasty, aged cheeses (think pecorino di fossa), beef, or wild fowl.

2012 Antonelli San Marco Sagrantina di Montefalco
100% Sagrantina
Alcohol: 14%
Intense ruby red in color. Nose is rich and powerful, ethereal and very complex. Notes of fruit and aromatic herbs, featuring citrus, cherry, wild berry, mint, and oregano. Palate, very structured with firm persistent tannins. Pair with roasted meats, stewed red meats, game, and mature hard cheeses.

ITALIAN Region of the Month

Le Marche

Le Marche is a remote area between the Adriatic Sea and the Apennine mountains, a quiet region, whose inhabitants drink more wine per capita and live longer than other Italians. The Castelli di Jesi DOC zone in the hills west of Ancona is the home of Verdicchio, which many now consider central Italy’s best wine for fish. Verddicchio di Matalica is grown at a high altitudes and can have intense flavors. The red wines of Le Marche are based mainly on Sangiovese or Montepulciano, the most important Rosso Piceno, is mostly Sangiovese. Rosso Conero is based on Montepulciano.


 

CALIFORNIAN Wines of the Month

San Luis ObispoARTISAN SERIES

2017 Bonny Doon Clos de Gilroy Grenache
88% Grenache, 12% Mouvedre
Alcohol: 14.5%
Deep red in color. Powerful fragrances of spices, red berry, and cherry with floral undertones of carnation and rose petal. Palate is juicy with cherry, red currants, and white pepper. Pair with aged cheeses, lamb, or pasta in a rich, red sauce.

2015 Bonny Doon Gravitas White Blend
54% Semillon, 43.5% Sauvignon Blanc, 2.5% Orange Muscat
Alcohol: 13.4%
Nose is floral with magnolia and white peach, fresh grass, pear, and lavender. Palate is lime, vanilla, orange blossom. This is a savory wine with a fresh acidity. Pair with grilled vegetables, fish, a light pasta dish, or mild cheeses.

WINEMAKER SERIES

2012 Barr Estate Malbec
75% Malbec, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol: 13.86%
Spicy, dense Boysenberry jam aromas are complemented with shades of anise and leather. The feel in the mouth is full-bodied with chewy, plush tannins. Pair with turtle soup, lamb shanks, barbecued shrimp, Tai chicken, and chili.

2013 Barr Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Petite Sirah
Alcohol: 13.9%
Dark plum, black currant, chocolate and vanilla; the well-structured finish is layered with rounded, rich, sweet oak. Pair with beef filet béarnaise, tri-tip, rack of lamb, or braised pork shank.

2016 Barr Estate Albarino
100% Albarino
Alcohol: 12.68%
Nose, apricots, peach, floral, and a touch of white grapefruit. The firmness in the mouth and dry finish make it a great accompaniment to baked goat cheese, Chinese chicken salad, grilled or sautéed fish, calamari, and raw oysters.

COLLECTOR SERIES

2014 Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
27% Napa Valley, 24% St. Helena, 22% Oak knoll, 15% Napa-Carneros, 8% Mt. Veeder, 3% Calistoga, 1% Rutherford.
Alcohol: 14.5%
The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley is classic Ramey Cabernet all the way. Blackberries, currants, scorched earth, and charcoal aromatics, medium to full body, great elegance, and notable concentration all make for a top notch 2014 that can be drunk today or cellared for 10-15 years. Pair with a hearty beef stew, spicy pasta dish, or aged cheeses.

2014 Ramey Laurel Glenn Cabernet Sauvignon
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol: 14.4%
93 points Wine and Spirits Magazine. 90 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate “… fragrant cassis, crushed plums and blueberry scents with hints of Chinese five spice, camphor, and lilacs. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is filled with juicy black fruits, with a plush frame and oodles of freshness, finishing with a lively lift.”

CALIFORNIAN Region of the Month

San Luis Obispo

Grapes were first introduced into the Paso Robles area, in 1797 by missionaries. They planted more than one thousand vines. Commercial wine growing, however, wasn’t started until the 1880s. Since 1990, when there were fewer than 20 wineries in Paso Robles, a large expansion of activity has seen the number rise to more than 200 wineries today.The Paso Robles AVA is acknowledged for its heritage grape, Zinfandel, but has gained recognition from a wider range of grape varietals as well. In the 1950s and 1960s, growers began to plant Bordeaux varieties, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon. In the 1980s, there were increased plantings of many Rhône varieties, including the first Syrah planted in California, as well as Viognier and Roussanne. The emerging popularity of the region’s wines led it to become the first site of the annual “Hospice du Rhône” conference on Rhône style wine. Today, Paso Robles Wine Country is receiving attention for its unique blends. These wines are unique to the area, and with varietal make-ups that do not follow traditional rules and expectations of winemaking, as characteristic in other regions of the wine world.


 

DINNER WITH DEBRA

By Debra Williams

Hearty Lentil Stew
The Harvest Kitchen. Great on a cold day!

4 tablespoons EVO
1 large onion
1 celery stalk
2 leeks, white & tender green parts chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups brown lentils
2 cups kale, chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced in large pieces
2 red potatoes, diced in large pieces
2 large carrots, peeled & cut into large pieces
1 15-ounce can chopped tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat Oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onions, celery, and leeks and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for two more minutes. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender.

Mulled Wine
Yummy recipe from the NYT. It’s good with a cup of brandy added or your favorite liqueur. Another cold day treat.

Bottle of dry red wine
1 sliced orange
8 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
2-4 tbsp. honey or sugar

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and heat just barely to a simmer. Continue to cook at medium-low, covered for at least 15 minutes up to 3 hours.