Category Archives: Grechetto

Wine Wednesday: Falesia Chardonnay from D’Amico Winery

This week’s wine Wednesday is dedicated to one I tasted a while back but have not been able to forget. It’s the Falesia chardonnay from D’Amico Winery located at the confluence of Umbria/Lazio/Tuscany. I met the couple during a lunch in New York at Marea organized by the lovely Tony DiDio. I had never heard of the winery and was intrigued. The couple made their mark in other industries and started their winery out of a passion for the vine in 1985. The winemaker is quite young and french which was a further twist. Their winery is located in the Calenchi valley on volcanic soil which brings lots of minerality to the wines.

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Vaiano, is a UNESCO protected area on the border between Tuscany, Lazio and Umbria.
It is said to be the birthplace of the Etruscan culture. The exciting and moonlike landscape is a result of water passing over tufa stone which led to these amazing cliffs.

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I have never visited the property but it looks very interesting and the cellars apparently have been excavated underneath the vines and the hanging gardens, attempting to recreate an Etruscan cellar that was found on the property.

We tried a number of wines that day, both reds and whites. Like many others, I tend to be a little less enthusiastic when I try an international varietal from Italy rather than an indigenous one, of which they have so many,  but I decided to suspend my usual thinking and was richly rewarded throughout the tasting. I really enjoyed the Calanchi and Falesia Chardonnay wines. The latter particularly as it was made from 30 year old vines. I even got some petrol notes on the Falesia which were unexpected The wines also both spent time on their lees and this creamy texture came through on the palate as well. According to the winemaker, they have a regime of using a low level of sulfites. Lees can also do the job to protect the wines from oxygen, the winemaker said. Commenting on the high level of acidity, he noted that volcanic soil helps to maintain freshness and acidity in wines.

Vaiano, Private Property (http://www.cedricreversade.com), Italy

We also tried a wine called Noe which was a blend of Grechetto, Pinot Grigio and Trebbiano. It was very aromatic and fresh. I am sure on a hot day like today, more than one bottle would be poured at my table.

The Falesia which was my pick for today had a bit of everything I like, great minerality, white fruit notes of apple, pear and some herbaceous notes. as well as a creamy texture from the lees. It reminded me a lot of some of the Antinori chardonnay I have tasted from Italy. The volcanic soils also brought sapidity to all of these wines, another characteristic I favor.

The winery also makes a Pinot Noir and a Cabernet Franc which we tasted and were inviting. I’m in love with Cabernet Franc as a grape so I will write about that one as well. The Cabernet Franc had just the right amount of pepper and spice and elegance that I look for with that grape together with great mineraity, something I love to find in a red wine. I hope to see more of these wines on various lists in the city. I know you can find them both at Marea and at the Lincoln. You can also find some of the wines in these places on wine-searcher. A winery to watch, I hope to visit on a future trip to Italy.

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Filed under Grechetto, Italian regions, lazio, Tuscany, Umbria, Wine Wednesday, wines

Italian Indigenous Varieties: Grechetto

Italy

This week’s grape hails is Grechetto  which grows in Umbria but also  in Lazio and Tuscany.

The green heart of Italy, Umbria is the home of the Grechetto Bianco grape also called Grechetto di Orvieto. Grechetto produces a lovely white wine with notes of pear and almonds as well as hints of white flowers. It is used in a variety of DOC wines including Montefalco, Oriveto, Torigiano, Colli di Trasimeno, Colli Amerini as well as in Vin Santo di Montepulciano.

I’ve always loved Umbria for its artists, landscape, wine, foods and Umbria Jazz. Something about the Perugino green always reminds me of the deep green you see in Umbria which is different than the one you see in Tuscany which again differs from the green you see in Apulia. Italy is such a beautiful and varied country.

The first years I lived in Italy I traveled a number of times to see performances during Umbria Jazz. It was incredible as was a weekend I spent eating tartufo in every form for breakfast, lunch and dinner in Gubbio or the first time I saw the churches in the small town of Bevagna. Yes, Umbria has a lot to recommend it along with wines made from Grechetto.

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Grechetto is the flagship grape of the Sergio Mottura winery. I was reminded of the family when I saw one of the twins at the Tre Bicchieri tasting in New York earlier this year. Very famous for their Grechetto based wines, the family tenuta is located in Civitella d’Agliano (VT), betwen Rome and Florence. The 130 hectare farm has 36 hectares of grapes planted and the grapes are cultivated organically, following the European Union legislation in this sector and the Associazione Italiana per l’Agricoltura Biologica.

When mentioning Mottura’s wines I must mention the Latour A Civitella made from 100% Grechetto which once again was a favorite at the Tre Bicchieri. Full bodied and rich on the palate with notes of citrus and white fruits, I would drink this wine with a whole host of dishes including Indian food which I am craving for lunch as I write this.

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Filed under Grechetto, Oriveto, Sergio Mottura