Spring pasta, Sicily

New Arrivals & Returning Favorites, #75: Italy

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Let's make Spring of 2021 the season of Italian reds and whites! Today, we're highlighting many of our favorite bottles - and just a warning, some will be gone before you know it...

Great picks from Sicily's Cornelissen, Chianti's Monte Bernardi, Umbria's Fongoli, and more!

  • red
  • 1 in stock
  • $474.99

Romeo del Castello 2018 Etna Rosso Allegracore

The Allegracore bottling from Romeo del Castello is 100% Nerello Mascalese from the younger part of their vineyard, planted in 2004. The wine is fermented in 5000L stainless vats for 20 days.  The wine ages for a year afterwards, also in stainless.  An elegant and approachable Etna Rosso, it has been a Chambers Street favorite since the 2009 vintage! The nose on the 2018 is a fresh bouquet of pitted, ripe dark cherries and plums and violets. Attractive green aromas balance the flowers and fruit with swaths of spring grass and ferns. The juicy palate is full of cherry, raspberry and plum - all bolstered by an enticing minerality of dark stones. The finish is long, ending the wine on notes of dried red fruits and herbs. As stated above, we always love this wine, but the 2018 is a knock-out. You'll want this bottle during summer meals outside. David Hatzopoulos

  • red
  • 4 in stock
  • $29.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Cardedu 2019 Vermentino di Sardegna Nuo

Coming from vines in San Vito, Sardinia, planted to the region's grumbling granite soils, mixed with red-tinted quartz. Vine age is 10 years. Grapes harvested in late August and early September. In the cellar, the fermentation is natural, in stainless steel, including 6-8 hours of skins contact. The wine ages in 1950s concrete tanks before being bottled without filtration. This Vermentino has an incredibly special nose. A bouquet of herbs (basil, thyme, rosemary), with sliced, chilled yellow tomato slices and  shaved parmigiana. The palate has tart, small yellow apples, lemon zest, and more green herbs. The structure is bright, with a swish of delicious, tender texture - ending with a long salty finish peaked with great acid. David Hatzopoulos

  • white
  • 14 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic

Fongoli 2012 Sagrantino di Montefalco

Sagrantino is one of the most tannic grapes I’ve tasted – it makes Nebbiolo look like Beaujolais, and it gives Aglianco from Taurasi (another tannic beast) stiff competition. A tasting of more than a couple of Sagrantinos can be a punishing affair, and while I wouldn’t say no, it’s been a while since I attempted a survey. At that point only Bea and Fongoli stood out; for one thing, most of the others had been over-oaked, a really unnecessary and unpleasant addition to a robust wine like Sagrantino. Bea makes great wine, and you can buy the 2015 – the current release - for $90+; if you’ve enjoyed the Bea Sagrantino you will definitely like Fongoli – and we have a limited quantity of the 2012 available for $38.99 (less 10% for any 12 bottles of wine) – every year of age is a good thing for these wines. The Fongoli Sagrantino is fermented in cement, and aged in old 500L Slavonian oak for 3 years; bottled unfined and unfiltered (with very low added SO2) it’s then given at least 3 more years in bottle. It’s quite a beauty of a beast – and actually hitting a nice balance and tannic resolution, with warm plummy fruit and rich, velvety mid-palate. A wine to decant, for sure, and fantastic with some of those grilled meats or other barbecue  you are thinking about – ‘tis the season. Jamie Wolff

  • red
  • 5 in stock
  • $34.99

  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

I Fabbri 2019 VDT Bianco Casole

Trebbiano and Malvasia, made in concrete with 12 hours of skin contact, which seems perfect for inflecting the wine’s structure without losing freshness – and it’s 11° alcohol! Over the last month we’ve opened 3 bottles at home to have with a variety of food, and we (that is, myself and my wife, who – as is so often the case with wine nerd partners – has a great palate that’s free of wine nerd preconceptions) like the wine more and more. It’s brisk and crisp, showing green apple and herbs, but fairly rich and textured. Last night it was stellar with pasta with roasted fennel and cauliflower and pecorino. A very nice, very good wine. 110 points. Jamie Wolff

  • white
  • 23 in stock
  • $27.99

  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

I Fabbri 2018 Chianti Classico Lamole - Fiasco

I Fabbri's Fiasco bottling is an incredibly bright Sangiovese from one of our favorite Chianti producers. The nose of this fresh red is full of wild fruits - cherries, strawberries, and blueberries. Lending a rustic accent is a pleasant aroma of savory green herbs. Flavors of black cherry and dark stones create a bright palate with a healthy level of high-toned verve. Great acidity and a light hint of tannin round out this delicious (and dangerously drinkable) wine! Serve at cellar temperature for extra refreshment. David Hatzopoulos

  • red
  • 34 in stock
  • $22.99

  • Biodynamic

I Fabbri 2016 Chianti Classico Riserva

100% Sangiovese, 13.5° alcohol, vinified in concrete and aged in old wood ranging from tonneau to 30HL botte. And wow! Very aromatic – delicately floral, bright fruit, stony. On the palate a lovely light texture and beautiful balance, again very stony, with sweet raspberry, thyme, olive, and slightly grainy tannins that add complexity. Very, very good, old school wine – I’m brought back to why I fell for Chianti in the first place. After a few days open still beautifully lifted and complex – my kind of wine. 111 points. Jamie Wolff

  • red
  • 4 in stock
  • $38.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Fornacina 2018 Rosso di Montalcino

A nice lively translucent color; both savory and meaty red fruit on the nose; very bright cranberry and current fruit on the palate, and somehow both powerful and elegant. After 4+ hours the wine relaxed and opened to become really drinkable – a very fine Rosso. Jamie Wolff

  • red
  • 15 in stock
  • $28.99

  • Organic

Fornacina 2015 Brunello di Montalcino

I've tried to resist the temptation of a potential cliché, but: this made me think of Burgundy, because this is a really elegant Brunello with no sign of heat, beautiful balance – it’s intense, but not at all too rich, with good lift, and a clear sense of place. I’ve tasted Fornacina for about 10 years now, and terroir emerges in the wine; the relatively high altitude (400+ meters), and the high PH of the galestro soil, must play a role in how fresh the wine is, even in a hot vintage like 2015. The wine is very fragrant with “frutti di bosco”, or forest fruits (wild strawberry, blackberry, etc), clay and “sotto bosco”, or forest floor – leafy and earthy. After 4+ hours open, it’s showing even better: a very refined wine, aromatic, dynamic, and delicious. Jamie Wolff

  • red
  • 6 in stock
  • $49.99

  • Organic

Monte Bernardi 2017 Chianti Classico Riserva

Another fantastic vintage of this staple red from Monte Bernardi. 95% Sangiovese with 5% of Canaiolo Nero from estate vines in Panzano, Chianti. Wine is fermented naturally in oak and stainless steel before aging 18-24 months in oak. The nose is very fragrant, with notes of warm blueberry preserve, balsamic and freshly baked pie crust. Above those deep aromas, there are fresh red cherries and woodsy forest shrubs. On the palate, there are flavors black cherry, milled coffee beans, and a very lovely note of candied blackberry. The wine has a long finish of herbs and spice. Structure-wise, this Chianti has high acidity and healthy tannin. An incredible wine! David Hatzopoulos

  • red
  • 15 in stock
  • $29.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Monte Bernardi 2016 Chianti Classico Riserva Sa'etta

A Chianti Classico Riserva that pushes tender dark fruit and fresh earth into leading roles. 100% Sangiovese from the Sa'etta Vineyard on the Monte Bernardi estate in Panzano. This single vineyard has southern exposure, boasts soils of shale and limestone, and maintains vines of 40(+) years of age. The area is described by the producer's website as having the "best position, exposure, and terrain on the estate." The choicest grapes are picked by hand from vines tended with biodynamic practices. Once moved to the winery, natural fermentation begins in large oak casks. After malo naturally occurs in Austrian and German oak, the wine ages in wood for 18-30 months. Bottle aging before release is a minimum of 12 months. The wine is unfiltered. Powerful and full, the color in glass is black at the core, with dark burgundy edges. The nose is a basket of fresh black olives, sage leaves,  bushy stems of oregano, dried dark cherries and milled cocoa. Large ripe plums and dates are the foundation to a dish of flavors that also include less forward notes of Provencal herbs and subtle black tea. There is an overarching "of-the-earth" quality, aromatically and flavor-wise, that makes this Sa'etta '16 so comforting and pleasant to drink. It has medium acidity and a tempered, though engaging, chew. Please enjoy in 2020, but know that the wine has been made to develop well over many years. Sipped alongside Parmesan-polenta with sausage, shrimp, onions and tomato.  Looking forward to revisiting today after a night open... David Hatzopoulos 

  • red
  • 6 in stock
  • $39.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Monte Bernardi 2016 Colli Della Toscana Centrale IGT Tzingana

This is the only Super Tuscan we carry in the store, and an anomaly within the character. 45% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon/Cabernet Franc, and 15% Petit Verdot. All estate grown fruit, picked by hand, from southern facing slopes. Natural Fermentation in steel, secondary fermentation in oak, with 18-24 months of aging in barrique and tonneaux before bottling. The color here is black cherry, especially dense in the center of the glass. The nose is minerally and bright, with a scent of crushed graphite. Additional aromas of soft vanilla bean, mosey forest floor, and fruits like cherry, blueberry, strawberry, and raspberry fill out the profile. The palate also carries that stony character, surrounded by rounder flavors of plum and dark cherry. On the finish, that lean taste of graphite reappears to add an earthy final touch. This is a tannic wine, but tender on the tongue with a soft middle. Acidity is refreshing and vibrant. What a beautiful wine! Complex and so tasty. Drink now or age 10 years. David Hatzopoulos

  • red
  • 15 in stock
  • $44.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Pisano, Danila 2019 Rossese di Dolceacqua

Rossese is the grape, Dolceacqua the place, just a few miles from the French border, and close to the sea. And (naturally, since nothing about grapes is simple) Rossese is a genetic match for the French grape Tibouren, known to me for some terrific rose and red (the Clos Cibonne, for example) in Provence. Dolceacqua is considered the best source for Rossese, and the wine should be fairly light, and definitely fresh in character. The Pisano shows lovely bright tart fruit – cranberry, and cherry, along with clay, and fresh herbs; it will take to being served cool; it’s a red for a warm day. We celebrated the early spring weather last week with the first outing to the backyard grill: salmon, zucchini, and Rossese – it was a hit. Jamie Wolff

  • red
  • 17 in stock
  • $24.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Cornelissen, Frank 2019 Etna Rosso (not Rosato!) Susucaru

On the nose there are pomegranate seeds, red cherry (a little candied), blood orange essence, and very fresh aromas of island grasses and sea breeze. The palate begins with cranberry and cherry, with hints of raw cinnamon and a long finish of bitter herbs. The structure of this wine is probably my favorite part - a soft layer of tannin that falls on the tongue  turns into an engaging chew a few seconds later and a mouthwatering core of acidity keeps this wine incredibly upbeat. A lighter red that has so much textural definition. Also, we recommend chilling this red. David Hatzopoulos

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $32.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur
  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $49.99

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $109.99

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $259.99

Cardedu 2016 Canonau di Sardegna Caledu

The Cardedu '16 Caledu is a delicious Canonau. The wine has a soft nose, with lovely forest aromas - moss, birch and wild red berries. There are wafts of more savory smells, like sun-dried tomato and basil. On the palate, the wine has a crunchy mineral core. The fruit is concentrated with richer, darker flavors of cherry and plum. The mouthfeel is rich, but refreshed by that spark of stoniness. A wonderful wine to drink with a weeknight dinner... and it'll be wonderful with BBQ when we get over this last stint of winter. David Hatzopoulos

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

Cardedu 2019 Monica di Sardegna Praja (Arrives 5/26)

**Arrives 5/26** Grapes are grown in San Vito, Sardinia, to soils of crumbling granite and red-tinted quartz. Fruit from these 10 year old vines is harvested in mid-September. Native fermentation is done in 1950s cement tanks. Wine ages in the same tanks for 5 months before being bottled unfiltered. If you enjoy Grignolino from the Piedmont, this bottle would be great for you. Extremely fresh on the nose, with  a mix of fresh picked raspberries, blueberries, sprigs of Provencal herbs, and dark flowers. Over an hour open, aromas of black tea and mint shine through. On the palate, the wine has an aperitif-like profile. Flavors of blood orange, red cherry, and a mix of bitter but refreshing herbs create an appealing, easy drinking character. Like Grignolino, although the wine is approachable, and definitely chill-able,  it has some tannic foundations. Grip is felt on the sides of the tongue and the tops of the cheeks. A long finish, shaped by appealing, strong acidity, is noted with flavors of red fruits and black pepper. This is the type of wine I'd pair with cold cured meats, summer lunches, hearty fish and vegetables. So happy with this lovely wine. David Hatzopoulos

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic

Fongoli 2019 Umbria Bianco Biancofongoli

The clear bottle reveals the wine's color - a roasted yellow, like over steeped chamomile tea. From the glass, the wine smells like a mix of green and black teas with sliced pear and chopped raw almonds. Served at a picnic with salami, mortadella, cheeses and cut vegetables, the wine's flavors of crushed quince and apple, with hints of sherry and green herbs, hit the mark. Easy drinking but still really interesting. Delicious, most importantly. David Hatzopoulos

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $18.99

Trediberri 2016 Barolo

The Barolo is a La Morra wine, with fruit from Berri and (until the 2017 vintage) about 20% from Capalot. The vineyards are fermented separately in concrete (whole cluster, for about 21 days), with malo and aging in large Slavonian oak (Garbellotto, for you botte geeks out there). I’ve tasted the 2016 twice, about a year apart, the first from botte just before bottling. Both times have shown the great balance and energy that are the best aspects of 2016. Most recently the wine was showing quite savory, with some pronounced mint and cocoa, followed by a rush of fruit. The bottled wine shows much riper and rounder tannin; it’s very long and energetic, and while I think you could cellar it for a long time, it’s so easy to drink that I’m going to have trouble resisting.  I’ll have to buy some extra bottles… Jamie Wolff

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $49.99