Italian Wine Discoveries at Vintages

Last Saturday, August 22nd 2015, a dozen of Italian wines were included in the new LCBO Vintages catalogue. Among them, a few interesting discoveries plus some usual suspects.

We start noticing that the Italian Pinot come from Northern regions. This is generally the case, since all Pinot (GRIGIO, BIANCO, NERO -- literally: Grey, White, Black or Noir) perform better in cooler climates. The featured Pinot Grigio #412734 and Pinot Nero #424150 from the North-East regions of Friuli and Alto-Adige (page 23) are great examples of quality, well priced between $20 and $30.

Then we go to Piemonte. The Marchesi di Barolo RUVEI at $19.95 is a great buy, but pay attention to the name. This is NOT a Barolo! "Marchesi di Barolo" is the producer (yes, located in the production area of the wine Barolo from Nebbiolo grapes). Ruvei is the name of this wine, made with Barbera grapes. Barbera d'Alba is the appellation (DOC).

A great Puglia discovery is the Primitivo from MASSERIA ALTEMURA, one of the best producers in Salento, the southern tip of the Puglia peninsula. #366955 $17.95 page 23.
The two photos you see in this email were taken last May 2015 during our wine tour to Puglia. This lunch and tasting at Masseria Altemura was one of the highlights of the journey!

A Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (Tuscany) at $18.95 on page 24 may look like a great buy. It certainly is, if you like an "easy-drink" red with medium body and medium finish. Pair with something "earthy" like a red beet salad with sundried tomatoes and pan-fried guanciale, or, if you are traveling somewhere in Tuscany, stop at a trattoria and try it with pappardelle with sage and porcini mushrooms.

Among the many Chianti in this release you will find the Castello Di Gabbiano Chianti Classico GRAN SELEZIONE, These last two words are important as they refer to the newest sub-appellation of Chianti. To make things a bit more confusing for my students....!

Salute amici!
Antonio Mauriello

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