Wineries of the Month
Nestled among the steep hills of Italy’s Colli Euganei, Vignalta produces award-winning sparkling, white, red and sweet wines. The largest producer in the region, Vignalta started out small, a passion project of Lucio Gomiero, a shrewd businessman who saw the potential hidden below the surface. Inspired by his love of Bordeaux wines, Gomiero started his winemaking adventure as a pastime. Discovering a knack for farming, his journey took him to two continents, growing winegrapes while earning the unofficial title, “king of radicchio”. Gomiero recently shared his story and wines over lunch with the LA Wine Writers at Cafe del Rey.
We are a family who has been producing wine for more than forty years. Now, in our third generation, we have a well-defined project: to produce different wines with the aim of presenting our vision of the land, without getting caught up in the styles and trends of the moment.
Tenuta Sant Antonio Vineyards
Armando, Tiziano, Paolo and Massimo Castagnedi: four brothers and a single passion that originated among their father’s vineyards at San Zeno di Colognola ai Colli, in Valpolicella where the most famous Veronese wines are made: Amarone, Valpolicella,
In 1989 they took the bold and far-sighted decision to buy a property in the Monti Garbi, laying the foundation for what has now become an agricultural estate known throughout the world, the producer of excellent wines, with more than one hundred farmed hectares and a state-of-the-art ageing facility.
Winery of the Month
Ty Caton Vineyards
In 1997, having moved back to my home town of Sonoma following college and various endeavors in real estate, I wanted to do something significant in the town I grew up in and loved. I suggested to my parents that we partner in the development of their 108 acre property in the renowned Mayacamas Mountain Range. I was convinced that the property was pedigree land.
Located adjacent to some world class vineyards and with an array of various soils, elevations, and sun exposures, I knew it was just waiting for vines to be planted. It was a prime location for grape growing and now has its own prestigious appellation ~ Moon Mountain District. The property took three long years to develop and from there my farming career and Ty Caton Vineyards was established.
Farming the vineyards quickly evolved into a passion for growing grapes which led to the inevitable: I wanted to make wine. . . Not just any wine, I wanted to make extraordinary wines! With the harvest of 2000, I made the first vintage, 500 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon. Although I continue to sell some grapes to select wineries, I now keep most of the fruit for my own production as the demand for the wines has increased dramatically.
The winery’s annual production is just under 10,000 cases with over 20 products, 11 being small production cabernet sauvignons (3-8 barrels) from each distinctive block on the property; so close in proximity, yet so different, as well as small blocks of Merlot, Syrah, Petite Sirah and Malbec. Planting these 5 varietals later enabled me to produce my flagship wine, Tytanium.
Tytanium, a play on my name, was inspired by my desire to make a wine of distinction that no one else could duplicate. This estate proprietary blend is always comprised of the best grapes I grow and is crafted to create a memorable wine of uncommon character. Tytanium’s inaugural vintage 2003, quickly stood out as my “flagship” wine garnering awards in wine publications and competitions. It’s been awarded “Best of Class” several times in the largest competition of American wines in the world. The 2008 vintage was honored as one of the top five wines of the year in The 27th Annual Quarterly Review of Wines “Best of the Best” Blind Tasting.
With my continued dedication to actively seeking excellence I expect Tytanium, my Cabernet Sauvignons, and my other wines to continue to earn prestigious honors for many years to come. Given our exceptional vineyard and winemaking dedication, I will never settle for anything less.
ITALIAN Wines of the Month
2018 Inama Soave Classico DOC
Light yellow colour. Elegant nose of sweet field flowers: camomile, elder flower, iris. Mineral on the palate with sweet almond on the finish. It matches, in particular, with risotto, white fish, crudo and sushi, or salads. In the local tradition: good withstewed peas, cuttlefish, or fresh ricotta. With seasonal vegetables: broccoli fiolaro, white and green asparagus, or peas.
2017 Tenuta Sant Antonio Nanfre Valpolicella DOC
70 % Corvina, 30% Rondinella
Inky ruby red with purple reflections. Aroma: wild fruits, woody hints and mineral tones with aromas of liquorice, black pepper, tobacco, spices and chocolate. Flavour: balanced, very intense, with a lingering robust body, to be drunk at least 5 years after harvesting. Pair with charcoal-grilled red meats, roast beef, braised meat, sliced beef or foal, roasts with tasty sauces, furred and feathered game, hard and mature cheeses, nuts.
2017 Vignalta Pinot Blanco Collio Euganei DOC
100% Pinot Blanco
Bright and fruity. Hints of pear and citrus. Light on the nose with a pleasant finish. Pair with first dish, appetizers, vegetables, or delicate white fishes.
2013 Vignalta Vemola Collio Euganei DOC
60% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon
Deep on the nose; Flavors of red fruits, tobacco, and black pepper. Strong but pleasant finish. Great wine to pair with both red and white meats, steak, spicy pasta dish, or chicken in a rich sauce.
2016 Inama Piu Carmenere Veneto Rosso ICT
70% Carmenere, 30% Merlot
Vivid ruby core with a narrow purple rim. Pronounced nose with black cherry, damson, soy, cocoa and Parma violet. Elegant front-palate with fresh acidity, firm, integrated tannins and medium length. At its best with local salami (sopressa, sopressa with garlic and Val Liona DOP ham) and grilled pork.
2013 Tenuta Sant Antonio Amazon de Gigli DOC
70% Corvina, 30% Rondinella
Bright ruby red. Fruity with hints of cherry and red fruit, floral and spicy nuances. Soft and fresh, fragrant and savory with moderate tannins. Pairs with cold cuts and pork, pasta, rice and risotto entrees. Great with a hearty bowl of spaghetti.
2013 Vignalta Gemola Collio Euganei DOC
70% Merlot, 30% Cabbernet Franc
Deep red wine with flavors of red fruits, berries, cherry. Pleasant on the nose with mild tannin finish. Pair with strong cheeses, a juicy steak, or a spicy pasta dish.
ITALIAN Region of the Month
Venezia, a city built into the sea, is haunted by the princes and poets of its past and by centuries of tourists. The cities of Padova, Vicenza, and Verona, originally frontier posts on the Roman trade route between Venezia and Genova, grew into Renaissance splendor. Nature exhibits its own marvels, the Dolomite Mountains in the north, the Euganean hills in the south, vast Lake Garda in the east, and to the west, the Adriatic with its beaches and ports. Today, Veneto is a thriving agricultural center, ranking first with classified DOC wines. There are three areas of premium production: the western province of Verona, the central hills, and the eastern plains. Verona is the leader in classified DOC wines, especially Soave, Bardolino, and Valpolicella, a blend of Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara. When young, Valpolicella is a fruity red, but when the grapes are partly dried, they become Amarone, one of Italy’s most noble wines. Bardolino is made from the same grapes but is a lighter version. The central hills produce Soave, Tocai, the Pinots, Merlot, Cabernet, and sparkling Prosecco. The eastern plains have been dominated by Merlot and Cabernet Franc for decades.
CALIFORNIAN Wines of the Month
2016 Ty Caton enTycement Sonoma Valley
60% Zinfandel, 27% Petite Sirah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon
88 points Wine Enthusiast. A sexy and approachable wine crafted to “entice” and attract you to the world of fine red wines. Aromas and palate of red fruits, cherries, plums and berries. Soft tannins with a pleasant finish. Pair with red meats, hearty pasta dishes, and aged cheeses.
2018 Ty Caton Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma Valley
100% Sauvignon Blanc
Crisp and refreshing wine leads with aromas of zesty lime and is accompanied with flavors of green apple and white peach. Pair with a fresh salad, delicate white fish dishes, or mild cheeses.
2016 Ty Caton Ty’s Red
69% Syrah, 18% Merlot, 13% Petit Verdot
Double Gold Medal-San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. With Savory aromas and a deep luscious color, this much loved wine stokes your palate with flavors of dark cherry, blackberry, and cassis. The thick velvety texture gives way to a toasty oak and finishes with just a hint of chocolate. Enjoy with your favorite grilled meats.
2016 Ty Caton Cabernet Sauvignon Winemakers Cuvee Sonoma Valley Caton Vineyard
90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot
The 2016 Estate Winemaker’s Cuvee meets the palate with rich and full-bodied flavors of black currant, red plums, and cassis, followed by oak notes of cedar and vanilla. These dark flavors produce a lush and velvety textured mouth feel that combine with supple tannins, and leads to a long silky finish. Pair with well aged cheeses, lamb, salmon, or pasta in a spicy red sauce.
2016 Dry Creek Valley Grenache Blanc Mounts Vineyard
100% Grenache Blanc
Bright fresh lemon, honeyed apple and a creamy apricot nose that then turn more savory with hints of tarragon, cider, and sage. In the mouth its initial impression of fruit (spiced apple sauce, quince and green melon) is followed by vibrant acids, then turning sweeter again on the finish, suggesting preserved lemon and anise and leaving a lingering impression of saline minerality. Pair with a Cobb Salad, mild fish dishes, or medium aged cheeses.
2016 Ty Caton Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Valley Caton Vineyard
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
The 2016 Estate Cabernet greets the palate with rich and robust flavors of black cherries, plums, and cassis, followed by oak notes of sandalwood and vanilla. These dark flavors produce a dense textured mouth feel that combine with soft sturdy tannins, followed by a long silky smooth finish. Pairs nicely with lamb, a flavorful lentil stew, aged cheeses, or wild game.
2016 Ty Caton Tytanium Red Wine Sonoma Valley Caton Vineyard
36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Petite Sirah, 17% Syrah, 7% Me5rlot, 4% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot
This sophisticated wine opens with alluring aromas of wild black cherry, anise and cocoa. Deep indigo tones lead to a soft, silky generous mouth feel accompanied by flavors of dark fruit and toasted oak. Layered, complex flavors remain lingering on the palate with an exceptionally long finish. Perfect for any occasion, this wine pairs beautifully with filet mignon or portobello mushrooms.
CALIFORNIAN Region of the Month
Russians planted the first vineyards after establishing a colony at Fort Ross on the Pacific in 1812. In 1824 while he built the Mission in the Town of Sonoma, Father José Altimira planted grapevines to provide sacramental wine for religious services and for the table. Sonoma County is large and boasts a huge diversity of vines and wine styles because micro climates, soils, and topography are infinite. Some of these micro climates are hospitable to grapes that require warmer temperatures, like Cabernet Sauvignon and associated Bordeaux varieties or Zinfandel and other Mediterranean grapes. The County also offers cooler areas where Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and additional white varieties thrive. Marine fog, breezes, and cool nights prolong ripening to produce complex flavors. Sonoma County so far includes 16 distinct American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) recognized by the Federal government. AVAs include Alexander Valley, Bennett Valley, Carneros, Chalk Hill, Dry Creek Valley, Fort Ross-Seaview, Green Valley, Knights Valley, Moon Mountain District, Northern Sonoma, Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak, Rockpile, Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma Mountain, and Sonoma Valley.
DINNER WITH DEBRA
By Debra Williams
Curried Fish Fillets
This is such a quick and easy recipe for the end of a busy work day.
4 Fish fillets, about 1 ½ to 2 lbs., ¾ inch thick
2 green onions, minced
2 small cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp. curry powder
Pinch of salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 Tbsp. salad oil
Flour to coat fish
Lemon wedges and parsley for garnish
Mix onions, garlic, curry powder, salt and pepper. Rub mixture into both sides of each steak. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.
Heat butter and oil in heavy skillet. Coat fish on both sides with flour. Brown fish on both sides about 3 to 5 minutes.
Serve with lemon wedges and parsley for garnish. Serve with steamed brown rice, buttered asparagus, and a decadent chocolate desert. This is a great recipe to go with any of the red wines featured this month.