Friday Sips


FRIDAY SIPS
Central Italy
Today January 11 from 1:30 - 6:30
Drop by this today to sample four wines from the gut of Italy. Tuscany, Le Marches, Umbria & Abruzzo will be featured and will make for a delightful winter afternoon dreaming of being in the warm Italian sun.


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2011 VALLE REALE MONTEPULCIANO
D'ABRUZZO 'VIGNETO POPULI'
$19.99 BTL./$239.88 CASE
93+ POINTS - VINOUS

Montepulciano indeed but in this wine’s case we should call it Mondo Montepulciano. In existence for just under 20 years, this estate has impressively vaulted itself into the top echelon of Abruzzo wines with the likes of Cataldi Madonna, Valentini and Tiberio. There is always a balance in this region of quality versus quantity and on all levels; Valle Reale is delivering the goods quality wise with their handcrafted wines from the Montepulciano grape. They damn near treat this wine like Barolo or Brunello as it is aged 24 months in 500-liter tonneaux followed by bottle age before release. 2011 is actually the current release and it also happens to have a fat review from Vinous:

‘Good full ruby. Dark perfumed plum, raspberry, minerals and grilled herbs on the nose. Silky and lush for a 2011, but with no shortage of underlying structure, and both very dense and complex. Finishes with fine tannins and superb precision and minerality. Outstanding, multilayered, long Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. The vines were planted in 1952, and old vines no doubt contribute to this wine’s magic. – 93+ POINTS - VINOUS'



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2015 BISCI ROSSO FOGLIANO
$14.99 BTL./$179.88 CASE

Fifteen-dollar Italian red wines should not be this good. If this were made in another more famous region, it would certainly command a much higher price. Last week while watching basketball and eating pizza with pepperoni and mushrooms, there could not have been a better match.

A classic blend highlighted by Sangiovese from vines planted in 1978 in the Le Marches region of Italy, Bisci is most notably a great Verdicchio producer and this red shows that they are just a great wine producer, period. Loaded with scents and flavors of black cherry, blackberry, herbs, and black pepper, it is soft and silky in the mouth. This is a yummy-delicious red that pairs well with pasta with a marinara sauce, roasted chicken and even seafood, which is not an uncommon pairing in this region. Then again, I think another pizza and several bottles of this may be consumed by many of us over the weekend.



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2015 AMBRA CARMIGNANO
'SANTA CRISTINA IN PILI'
$17.99 BTL./$215.88 CASE

Year in and year out this is one of the strongest values from Tuscany. Not as known or as popular as other DOCG regions like Brunello di Montalcino or Chianti Classico, the region of Carmignano, located northwest of the city of Florence, is unofficially the first "Super-Tuscan Region" since Bordeaux varietals have always been permitted for blending with the native Sangiovese. Only of the early proponents of this Tuscan region as well as remaining one of the leading producers since 1955, well before the DOCG was granted in 1984.

One of the leaders of this NW Tuscan region, Ambra’s ‘Santa Christina in Pili’ Carmignano is a blend of 75% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Canaiolo, and 5% others. Intense nose of dark cherry, cassis and a hint of licorice. In the mouth, this has delicious berry fruit, good tannic structure, with overall excellent balance. A terrific value, once you taste this you will be back for more. Drink over the next 4-5 years with penne Bolognese, grilled hanger steak or hard cheese pecorino cheeses from Tuscany.



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2017 ANTONELLI MONTEFALCO GRECHETTO
$11.99 BTL./$143.88 CASE

A white grape of Greek origin that thrives in Central Italy, Grechetto is often utilized in the blend for the other famous Umbrian wine region, Orvieto, but in and around the hills of Montefalco, it thrives nicely on its own.

Fillipo Antonelli strives to make wines that are both full of character and flavor while retaining the freshness and balance to carry over to the table. The 2017 Grechetto is an Italian slip~n~slide that possesses fresh, leaping aromas of nectarine and stony minerality. Delightful in the mouth with a rich clean middle that is loaded with nervous energy on the back end, it's the perfect wine for lounging by the pool or as an accompaniment for light seafood dishes. Antonelli's Grechetto has a very high "chug factor" that is a must-try for those who like 'em unoaked, blazing and alive.






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