Fine Wine Source Wine

May 2019

Franco Serra: Franco Serra is produced by the Sperone family who has been making affordable premium wines for four generations. In 1920, Antonio Sperone opened a small wine shop in Torino where he sold bulk wine directly to consumers. Unsatisfied with the quality and price of the local wine, Antonio started his own winery in Puglia and built a bottling facility in Torino. He was soon able to offer his customers quality wines at prices everyone could afford. Sadly, it was destroyed when the city was bombed in WWII. The winery in Puglia survived the war and enabled Antonio’s grandson Giacomo to open a new facility near Milan where he produced vermouth, sparkling wines, spirits and fine wines. In 1965, the family purchased 75 acres of prime vineyards in Piedmont and built the current winery in the small town of Mombaruzzo just outside Monferrato.

About The Gavi DOCG: DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) is the highest classification for Italian wines. It denotes controlled (controllata) production methods and guaranteed (garantita) wine quality. There are strict rules governing the production of DOCG wines, most obviously the permitted grape varieties, yields limits, grape ripeness, winemaking procedures and barrel/bottle maturation. Every DOCG wine is subject to official tasting procedures. To prevent counterfeiting, the bottles have a numbered government seal across the neck. The Gavi, or Cortese di Gavi, is located in the southern part of Piedmont, in northwest Italy. The town of Gavi is at the center of the production zone while Cortese is the indigenous white grape varietal from which it is made. Due to its close proximity with Liguria (A small Mediterranean Coastal region between the French Border and Tuscany) its winemaking and gastronomic traditions are more Ligurian than Piemontese, which could explain the light and fruity style of this white wine. Gavi wine is considered Italy’s “white jewel in the crown” and acquired its DOCG status in 1998.Made exclusively from the Cortese grape, a variety which has a heritage dating back to the 1600s, this is a wine that reflects its terroir. It is noted for its bone-dry character and crisp, flinty and fresh acidity, coming from the mineral-rich soils of the area. The bouquet is particularly floral, offering delicate aromas reminiscent of white flowers, lemons, green apples and honeydew. It also often shows hints of almonds on the finish. The grapes do not offer high levels of potential alcohol, but it is certainly an age-worthy wine.

Varietal: 100% Cortese

Alcohol: 12%

Tasting Notes: Light-bodied, crisp and clean with wonderful sweet fruit and floral aromas. Dry and pleasant with soft fruit flavors, buoyant acidity and hints of minerality.

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: Clean with zippy acidity, great fruit flavor of cucumber and lime. Best served with antipasti and/or any Mediterranean dish!

Wine Club Member HOT Deal: Another great Spring/Summer Italian white…2018 Tenuta di Altavilla ‘Villa Matilde’ Greco di Tufo. Greco is a rare indigenous varietal from Campania. Wine Club Member Price $19.99…a savings of $5!!!

Fine Wine Source Wine

May 2019

Foxglove Wines: Foxglove is the value label from twin brothers Jim and Bob Varner. “The idea,” says Bob Varner, “is to be as simple as possible.” At the core of Foxglove is Bob Varner, also the winemaker at Varner Wines. Starting from their first vintage in 1991, Bob sources his Pinot & Chardonnay from a variety of places, all of which are in Edna Valley. The resulting wine has Central Coast appellation pricing, and is full of the complex fruit flavors that the Edna Valley appellation is known for. Edna Valley, a relatively small appellation, grows mostly Chardonnay on about 1000 acres. The entire acreage is tightly controlled by a few owners employing the most up-to-date vineyard practices that give the valley impressive evenness. Located just south of San Luis Obispo, its vineyards are some of California’s closest to the Pacific Ocean. Mild winters, cool, foggy summer, and clay-loam soils produce a combination of flavors that have been described as “textbook Central Coast.” Bob and Jim Varner are best known for the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir they produce under the Varner label, but Foxglove has become one of the great value labels made in California. The Foxglove wines are selected from several sites located in the Central Coast and are made with the same care and dedication as the Varner wines. The warm climate and ocean influence create wines that burst with fruit but have plenty of vibrancy and freshness. The use of oak is minimal and the Chardonnay is non-malolactic. While Chardonnay is the best know varietal from Foxglove, the Cabernet and Zinfandel have slowly gained an equally strong following.

Foxglove Cabernet Sauvignon: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, 100% Paso Robles, 20 year average age of vines. Sourced from the Northern area of Paso Robles, the vines are planted on rolling hills, with loam soils at 900-1,000 feet of elevation. The fruit is 100% destemmed, pressed at dryness, with malo-lactic fermentation completed after pressing.

Varietals: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Alcohol: 13.9%, 0.60 TA (Total Acidity) 3.75 pH, .05 RS (Residual Sugar)

Tasting Notes: From Antonio Galloni of Vinous: “A rush of super-ripe dark cherry, tobacco, licorice, and plum give the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon from Foxglove its racy personality. Voluptuous in the glass, with silky tannins and soft contours, it will be impossible to resist upon release. One of the best values in California Cabernet.”

Food Pairings: If you are looking for a great food pairing for Cabernet Sauvignon, you only have to look as far as the butcher’s counter where they have the red meats! With a young Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon it helps to have a nice char with a bit of spice to offset the semi-sweetness and tannins. Seasonings that tend to flatter cabernet are garlic, rosemary, mint, and porcini (dried mushrooms). Steaks, burgers, beef short ribs, roasted or grilled lamb will do the job!

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: Big ripe and rich with concentrated flavors of cedar, boysenberry, and cherries with a long silky finish. Best served with anything from the barbeque grill.

Wine Club Member HOT Deal: 2014 Paul Hobb’s Cabernet Franc, Moon Mountain District-Sonoma County, CA. “Likely the best Cab Franc I have ever had from California; as good as or better than ones from Bordeaux.” Jim. Wine Club Member Price $49.99…a savings of $10!