The seminar entitled “Wine is More – Message in the Bottle,” continues with five more producers who I will discuss in this companion piece to my first blog post. There were so many people and projects to talk about that I thought I would split it into two days.
The sixth producer to speak at the seminar was Albiera Antinori from the Antinori family. She showed us a film about the construction of their new headquaters in Bargino (San Casciano Val di Pesa) The work lasted six years and is a testament both to the family and the protection of the environment. The building is almost completely underground, built into a hill but is so large inside that it contains an auditorium that seats 250 people, as well as a restaurant, the winery, the tasting room, a store, a library and a museum.
The Antinoris are one of the most historic winemaking families in Italy. Albiera is the oldest of three sisters. The family had been in San Casciano for 200 years but the winery they wanted to build was too big for the town and for the population so they came up with an innovative project that only created two long cuts into the earth.
The wine we tasted was a Chianti Classico Riserva D.O.C.G. 2007 from Badia a Passignano. It is 100% Sangiovese. The wine is macerates and ferments in stainless steel and then ages in barriques of Hungarian and French wood where it undergoes malolactic fermentation for 14 months. It then spends 12 months in the bottle prior to release.
The wine was deep ruby red in color with intense and persistent dusty cherry notes of Sangiovese. It was dry and full-bodied with nice acidity and minerality, a bright version of Sangiovese with sweet tannins.
Riccardo Cotarella, the famed oenologist, spoke about the winery where he consults. He introduced us to two young men who had been part of the program and gone on to work in the industry. The winery is part of a larger institution which works with drug addiction. They have helped over 20,000 people since it was founded in 1978. Some of the programs they offer are tied to agriculture and viticulture in particular.
The wine we tasted is the same one that I had written about in my post, dedicated to the founder of San Patrignano, Vincenzo Muccioli, Avi stands for for “A Vincenzo.”
The eighth producer was Lungarotti. Teresa Severini who runs the winery together with her sister Chiara was the speaker. She spoke about the wonderful oenological museum that they have created called the Museo del Vino di Torgiano (MUVIT) and the Museo dell’Olivo e dell’Olio (MOO). Giorgio Lungarotti and his wife Maria Grazia Marchetti were ahead of their time and opened the museum in 1974.
I was lucky enough to spend some time with the Lungarotti family in 2005, to visit the MUVIT and to stay at their hotel, le Tre Vaselle. It was one of my most memorable wine-related visits in my years in Italy.
We tasted their signature wine Rubesco Vigna Monticchio, Torgiano Rosso Riserva D.O.C.G. 2006. The wine is made from Sangiovese (70%) and Canaiolo (30%). The grapes are vinified in stainless steel and ferment on their skins for 15-20 days. The wine is then put into barrels of different sizes for 12 months. It then ages in the bottle for a further four years.
The wine was ruby red in color with intense and persistent aromas of earth and fruit. On the palate the wine was dry, full-bodied, with cherries, berries and ripe tannins. It was harmonious and balanced on the palate.
The ninth producer was Marilisa Allegrini. Marilisa spoke about her dream which was to purchase and restore the Villa Della Torre, a jewel of the Italian renaissance, created by famed architect Giulio Romano. The villa is used as the symbol of the winery and for wine tastings and wine tourism visits but it also hosts a series of initiatives for the Associazione Arcobaleno, part of the Oxfam Italia network that works with handicapped children.
We tasted her Palazzo della Torre, IgT Veronese 1998, a wine made with Corvina Veronese (70%), Rondinella (25%), and Sangiovese (5%). The grapes are harvested in September but they 30% are left to raisin until the first two weeks of January when they are added to the fermented wine and undergo a second fermentation. Malolactic fermentation takes place in April in barriques, The wine then ages in barriques for 15 months and finally spends 7 months in the bottles.
The wine was quite herbaceous and earthy on the nose with sweet cherry and berry fruit as well. On the palate it was similar, rich and luscious, it called for a hefty pasta or meat dish.
The tenth producer was Masi Agricola. Masi gives out a series of prizes every year, and 2014 is their 33rd edition. They give out prizes in three areas: the first is given to someone from the Veneto of distinction, the second someone in the wine world from outside of Italy and the third to a global figure who has contributed to spreading culture. Sandro Boscaini, the President of Masi Agricola wants the prize to be a symbol of his links to his land and its traditions, of which wine is one essential component. Since 2001, the group has promoted its cultural activities through the Masi Foundation,
We tasted the Masi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Costasera. The wine is made from Corvina (70%), Rondinella (15%), Oseleta (10%), and Molinara (5%). The wine ages in oak barrel from Slavonia and France of 600 liters for 24 months. Oseleta is a very ancient variety that was brought back to life by Masi.
The wine was opaque in color and very powerful with intense and persistent notes of chocolate, red and black fruit and oak.
Another long seminar that ended with a bang. It was also held on the last day of the fair and was a spectacular way to close out the experience. Thank you Civilta del Bere.