Later today I will be pouring wines for Fattoria Mazzalupo at Altacucina’s Epicurean Center on East 38th Street in Manhattan from 3 pm to 7 pm. If you are in the neighborhood, come by and try the wines and their food products which are all made without preservatives of any kind.
The three wines that I will be pouring Gallicano, a white blend of trebbiano and chardonnay as well as Brando and Ortello, both made with Sangiovese. Ortello has a very small percentage of Merlot to give it a slightly rounder edge. Sangiovese is one of the most acidic red grapes and producers often add a touch of Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon to give it a little more velvety mouth feel.
I had a long chat with the someone of the winery to discuss the wines. With a very Tuscan accent he assured me that the wood that they use is older wood and doesn’t impart strong flavors into the wine. Italians call wine that is overly oaked, carpenter’s wine or vino da falegname.
The winery is located just outside the Tuscan city of Arezzo and the denomination for these types of wines is Colli Aretini. The wines they are showing are not the Chianti Classicos from the region which could use the DOCG denomination but are instead classified as IGTs.
Wines from Arezzo are not that well known in the United States nor for that matter is the city of Arezzo. Both are a shame in my view. As I wrote in an earlier post on wines from Arezzo, it is a beautiful city with many wonderful churches and bell towers, a flourishing antiques market on the first Sunday of every month and a strong jewelry business. They also make delicious wines.
Arezzo is only 90 kilometers away from Florence on the highway and you can get there in one hour. The landscape changes a bit and it gives you an idea of the wilder side of Tuscany with many forests. Forests in Tuscany always make me think of Wild Boar or Cinghiale. I was told by a dear friend that eating cinghiale makes you have wild hallucinations. Be that as it may, Tuscan pappardelle al cinghiale is one of my all time favorite dishes. Lucky for me, Fattoria Mazzalupo has just that type of sauce as one of their mainstays.
I, like many foreigners before and after me, feel in love with Italy through my adventures in Tuscany. I lived there for many years before moving up North – to Milan. To this day, whenever I go to Tuscany, I feel like I am coming home. Time is a bit slower and it always brings me back to that first love feeling that is truly unique. I am excited to “lavare i panni nell’Arno” again today with Fattoria Mazzalupo. This is a phrase from Alessandro Manzoni’s seminal work I Promessi Sposi and really refers to the use of the Italian language. To Tuscans, It also means you need to go home a bit.