Fine Wine Source Wine


February 2020

Caruso E. Minini: Located on Sicily’s western-most coast near the town of Marsala, Caruso & Minini boasts a history that harks back to the late 1800’s when Antonio Caruso bought the company to grow grapes for the nearby Marsala factories. The company was passed through subsequent generations until Nino Caruso finally decided to begin making and bottling his own wine in the mid 1900’s. In 2004, Stefano Caruso joined forces with Mario Minini of Lombardy to launch the present-day winery, producing wines from indigenous Sicilian varietals such as Catarratto, Nero d’Avola, Frappato, Inzolia, and Nerello Mascalese. Today, Stefano’s daughter Giovanna works closely with her father to head up this historic winery. The winery now boasts 120 hectares at 200-400 meters above sea level, including 5 hectares that are farmed organically and dedicated to Giovanna Caruso’s BIO project. Located 20 kilometers from the sea, the area is cooled by strong winds, yet is far enough from them to avoid any potential damage. The area, which was under water millions of years ago, is characterized by its alluvial soil, rich in water and organic substances. Most notable are the large stones called cuti in local dialect. The softball-sized cuti not only impart a distinct minerality on the grapes grown in them, but also soak up heat from the sun which they transfer to the vines, allowing for an earlier ripening of the grapes thus making harvest possible at a stage which will allow for higher acidity in the wines.

Terre di Giumara Frappato Nerello Mascalese: Carefully picked by hand. The maceration and fermentation of the destemmed grapes in stainless steel tanks occurs at controlled temperature of 25°C for 15-20 days. It then undergoes malolactic fermentation in stainless steel tanks. The wine is aged 30% in large 225 Liter barriques for 4 months, and the balance is aged in stainless steel tanks for 8 months. This blend reaches perfect equilibrium between the notable tannins of the Nerello Mascalese and the lower tannins of the Frappato

Varietal: Undisclosed amounts of Frappato & Nerello Mascalese

Alcohol: 13.5%

Tasting Notes(from the producer): This blend reaches perfect equilibrium between the notable tannins of the Nerello Mascalese and the low tannins content of Frappato. Light refreshing wine with a full bouquet. Notes of spices and wild berries. Notable acidity.

Food Pairings: Perfectly matched to both fish and meat; can also be paired with medium-aged cheeses.

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: Yummy, deep, and dense; loaded with intensity. Best served with spicy and barbecued foods.

Wine Club Member HOT Deal: 2017 Bodegas Alto Moncayo Old Vine Garnacha…The 2017 Alto is now available. Sixty to One Hundred years old vine Garnacha grown in some of Spain’s highest altitude vineyards and aged in both French and American Oak; the best of both worlds!!! Wine Club Member Price $49.99 & Special Pricing of $39.99 on a full case purchase!

Fine Wine Source Wine


February 2020

Field Recordings: Field Recordings is winemaker Andrew Jones’ personal catalog of the people and places he values most. Spending his days as a vine nursery fieldsman planning and planting vineyards for farmers all over California, Andrew is sometimes offered small lots of their best fruit on the side. Having stood in just about every vineyard on the Central Coast, he has a keen eye for diamonds in the rough: sites that are unknown or underappreciated but hold enormous untapped potential. As friendships are made and opportunities are embraced, Andrew produces small quantities of soulful wine from these unusual, quiet vineyards. The Field Recordings wines are a catalog of single vineyard sites that produce wines with a sense of place and personality. Jones, who graduated from Cal Poly with a major in AG business and a minor in Viticulture, first forayed into winemaking in 2007, when he got his hands on some Chenin Blanc from Firestone’s Jurassic Park vineyard. Soon after, he made a Paso Robles field blend as part of a retirement project for his mentor in the nursery business. In addition to the single vineyard wines, multi-vineyard blends are put together under the Wonderwall, Alloy Wine Works and FICTION labels. Jones’ explorations don’t end with esoteric varietals, unique blends, and playful partnerships. He’s now experimenting with canning his wine rather than bottling it — something only a couple of other wineries nationwide are doing. “I like what the craft beer guys are doing in cans,” Jones explained. “It’s super economical, and by textbook, it should be a better storage vessel than a bottle, because there’s no light transferred. I want them to buy into the idea that cans actually are practical and useful as a wine container.”

Caloroso Red Blend: The Caloroso Red Blend is produced with grapes sourced from the Guglielmo Giovanni Vineyard from the Central Coast appellation of Paso Robles. The grapes are 85% destemmed, 15% air dried for 21 days, with open top fermentation. The wine is then aged for 11 months in French oak barrels, 40% new oak.

Varietals: 60% Corvina, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Rodinella

Alcohol: 12.1%

Tasting Notes: Kirsch cherry and rose petals on the nose with a deep red garnet color in the glass lead to cherry chocolate and licorice with a hint of orange peel on the palate.

Food Pairings: This Red Blend is an ideal wine pairing with cheeses and charcuterie. Flank steak with roasted vegetables, a savory stew, or lamb chops would be great options for pairing with the Caloroso.

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: Old World meets New World; great weight with an elegant, classy finish. Best served with pork or lamb.

Wine Club Member HOT Deal: 2016 Barter & Trade Cabernet Sauvignon. This Washington State Wine from The Columbia Valley is the 3rd Edition of Andrew Jones’ foray into the vineyards of the Pacific Northwest. 98% Cabernet Sauvignon & 2% Syrah aged in 50% New & 50% Seasoned French Oak barrels combine to make this a stunning balance of terroir, fruit, tannins, and acidity. Made for the cellar, destined for the glass…Wine Club Member Price $24.99

Fine Wine Source Wine


September 2019

Chateau de Costis: Château de Costis, which belongs to the group of Laurent Mazeau’s vineyards, is located in the heart of Entre-deux-Mers, near the village of Targon and facing the medieval Château de Benauge. Half of the vineyard was part of the original family estate and the second half was purchased in 1972. The original family estate was bought in 1928, by Charles Mallet, the great grandfather of Laurent Mazeau. In 1949, Michelle Coullon, the granddaughter of Charles Mallet, married René Mazeau and she inherited the family estate in 1950. From 1950 until his retirement in 1985, René Mazeau ran the vineyard with the help of his wife Michelle. During this period the vineyard evolved and grew successfully to become a technical and commercial model. In 1985 René Mazeau retired and they donated the estate to their four sons. The four brothers decided to administer their heritage separately. Consequently the Vignobles Laurent Mazeau-Bergström was born.
Vignobles Mazeau started with 48 hectares of vines under the names of Château de Costis and Château Rougi. In 1986 a new and modern wine cellar, combining modern techniques and the respect of traditional wine producing, was inaugurated. From 1985 until today new plantings have allowed the estate to become a vineyard of over 100 hectares.

2016 Chateau de Costis Rouge: The Vineyards consist of 66 hectares of red vines planted on 60% southern hills, 10 northern hills, and 30% plateau. The soil is 60% clay/limestone, 30%clay/silicium, and 10% gravel. Vinified in the cellar at Targon, the grapes are brought into the cellar in airtight containers, protected with CO2 gas, and sent into the tanks for fermentation. The temperature is automatically controlled between 26° C and 29° C depending on the grape variety and the expected final result and filtered lightly to preserve character.

Varietal: 40% Merlot, 35% Cab Franc, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon

Alcohol: 12.5%

Tasting Notes: Château de Costis has an extraordinary deep, shiny, red color. The aroma is powerful with a lot of fruit. The taste is soft with a good amount of tannin for a Bordeaux wine. It is a very well balanced wine.

Food Pairings: A great charcuterie wine, think cold roast beef, cheddar, goat cheese, mild brie, and camembert. Simple grilled meat or sausage, roast duck, or a good October Mac-N-Cheese!

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: Rich, ripe and opulent with layers of complexity. Long and dry lingering finish makes this best for beef. Pork, or lamb dishes.

Wine Club Member HOT Deal: 2016 Agricola Punica Montessu Isola dei Nuraghi from Sardinia, Italy. This very old-world blend of Carignan, Cab, Cab Franc, Merlot, & Syrah is so elegant and stunning it is breathtaking! Wine Club Member Price $39.99!!!

Fine Wine Source Wine


September 2019

Broadway Vineyards: Broadway Vineyards embodies the essence of the Sonoma lifestyle, producing authentic estate grown wines from hand-tended vineyards; they handcraft delicious, ultra-small lots of artisanal Chardonnay, Merlot and Syrah wines. In 2002 a prime property was found just 2 miles south from the Historic Square in downtown Sonoma and purchased by Jim and Marilyn Hybiske. Six of their wine loving friends joined forces to develop a small vineyard and produce exceptional Sonoma County wines exclusively for their family and friends. Work was begun on the vineyard in the spring of 2004 with special attention taken to choose the finest grape varietals and clones for this unique Carneros location. In 2006 the first harvest produced very promising fruit and Broadway Vineyards began to thrive. The winemaker, Philippe Langner, began his winemaking career at Chateau Clarke, a Rothschild property, in Bordeaux, France. Philippe had the unique opportunity to work with two of Bordeaux’s most respected winemakers: Jacques Boissenot and Michel Rolland. Learning from these masters, Philippe participated in all aspects of viticulture and winemaking and learned the art of making and recognizing great wines. Philippe’s family ties to the Rothschild’s allowed him to enter the closed world of Bordeaux’s great Chateau, helping him develop benchmarks of excellence.

Broadway Vineyards Merlot: Three varietals are grown on The Estate Vineyard — Chardonnay, Merlot, and Syrah. All were carefully chosen to thrive in the area. The unique terroir and cool nights and warm days, allow the grapes to develop rich and complex flavors. As the sun heats up the vineyards and mountainsides of the Northern Sonoma and Napa Valleys, the rising hot air draws in cool air and fog from San Pablo Bay. The intrusion of this cool air over the Carneros area in the afternoon moderates the vineyard temperatures, providing just the right conditions for growing cool-climate varietals. The Merlot is a Bordeaux Clone from Gironde root stock hand-harvested in mid-September. It is all Estate grown fruit aged 22 months in both new and used French oak barrels.

Varietals: 100% Estate Merlot…under 250 cases produced

Alcohol: 14.2%

Tasting Notes: Our estate grown Merlot is marked by black cherry, blueberry, toast, and vanilla flavors. It is remarkable and complex and as it opens up in the glass.

Food Pairings: An excellent choice with pasta, red meat, duck and smoked or grilled foods; The perfect pairing for a cool autumn night with that special someone.

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: Perfect harmony of fruit and acidity. Lush powerful finish with finesse. Serve with beef or chicken.

Wine Club Member HOT Deal: 2017 Celani Family Robusto. This 100% Celani Family Estate Merlot offers a fruit forward kaleidoscope of aromas; mountain grown boysenberries layered with crème de cassis, fresh violets, blackberry liqueur and anise. Following are secondary aromas of pencil lead, toasted almonds and suede. The wine showcases delicious concentrated flavors of exotic berries framed within a fine matrix of tannins. This wine is designed to drink in its youth and its approachable quality makes it easy to enjoy glass after glass. Wine Club Member Price $29.99…a real steal of a deal!!!

Fine Wine Source Wine


August 2019

Le Siepi di San Giovani: The Estate of Le Siepi di San Giovanni is located in the Northern Appennines, in the picturesque Santerno River Valley near the ancient city of Bologna in the Emilia-Romagna region. The Estate, owned by the Zuffa family was started in 1960. The second and third generation family members are now gearing up for the third-millennium wine making era, founded on the strength of a long tradition based on consistently using natural products and many years of industry-specific experience. The property is about 40
hectares and comprises about 11 hectares of vineyards. The grape production is located in the heart of the
property on the slopes of the gentle rolling hills that surround the property and are an integral part of the lush
landscape. The elevation of the vineyards is around 550 to 650 feet.

Le Siepi di San Giovani Sangiovese Superiore: Entirely manual harvesting in late September/early October, followed by a short trip to the grape pressing area for immediate crushing, fermentation for 10/12 days at 27/28 °C (80F).

Varietal: 100% Sangiovese

Alcohol: 13.5%

Tasting Notes: Intensely bright ruby red colored wine opening with fresh notes of mulberry & floral notes on
the nose. Slightly tannic but with a suitable level of softness, and a peppery aftertaste on the palate. Perfect for a summer’s evening patio chill session with charcuterie or meats on the BBQ.

Food Pairings: Pairs well with fresh egg pasta dishes, meat sauces, grilled, roasted and stewed red meat, but also with hard to semi-hard mild cheeses.

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: Elegant Sangiovese perfectly aged over the past seven years. Earthy mushroom pork flavors makes this great to serve with fowl and oily fish dishes.

Wine Club Member HOT Deal: 2015 Bos Wine Moon Bos Harvest Red…This lovely red blend from Michigan native turned California wine maker David Bos, is a quaffable stunner! Syrah and Mourvedre are complimented with Zinfandel and make this a perfect summer sunset sipper. Wine Club Member Price $34.99.

Fine Wine Source Wine


July 2019

Tortoise Creek Wines: Tortoise Creek is an outstanding line of varietal wines that have been sourced from vineyards predominately in the Lodi region. Great importance is placed on sustainable practices in both the vineyard and winery and the large majority of the Tortoise Creek wines are certified sustainable. The wines all represent the purist possible examples of single varietal wines and all are remarkable value. Starting with the 2009 vintage Lodi Zinfandel “The Chelonian” (April 2019 Wine Club featured the 2016 vintage), Tortoise Creek Wines has partnered with the Chelonian Research Foundation (CRF) to donate a portion of the annual profits to benefit the conservation of turtles and tortoises. The Chelonian Research Foundation, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1992 by Dr. Anders G.J. Rhodin for the production, publication, and support of worldwide turtle and tortoise research, with an emphasis on the scientific basis of chelonian diversity and conservation biology. More information can be found at www.chelonian.org.

Mission Grove Pinot Noir: “Mission Grove” refers to the native Californian Olive cultivar, originally planted at the San Diego Mission by Franciscan monks. Mission olives grow throughout California and close to areas where we source our Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir is a grape variety that demands optimum growing conditions. Sixty percent of our blend comes from vineyards in the Clarksburg region where the clay and loam soils combined with a cooling effect from the Sacramento Delta, balances the acidity in the ripening of the fruit. The other forty percent is grown from vineyards in the Monterey region that benefit from direct sunshine and shelter from the Pacific winds by the Santa Lucia Mountains. This is where the low temperature during the nights and the warm days are just perfect for Pinot Noir. A seven day fermentation process occurs, during which the wine is cold soaked for 2 days and then pumped over twice a day. It is then allowed to go through malolactic fermentation and later aged on French Oak for 12 months.

Varietals: 100% Pinot Noir

Alcohol: 13.6%

Tasting Notes: Our Pinot Noir “Mission Grove” has lovely aromas of violets and ripe cherries and is soft on the palate, delicate but with delightful impressions of raspberries and other red fruits.

Food Pairings: Cedar plank salmon on the grill, any seafood if you want a nice red wine alongside, anything pork or chicken, and for the meatless folks go with mushroom dishes, or something with a Mediterranean flair.

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: A lovely wine with hints of rhubarb, dried cherries, and strawberries! Best served with seared salmons, oily rich fishes, or poultry dishes.

Wine Club Member HOT Deal: 2016 Loring Wine Company Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir is a delicious offering from Brian Loring that represents Pinot Noir from a more Southern CA region. Some of our Members may remember the last time Brian Loring visited us with this gem in his offerings! Wine Club Member Price $35.99…Save yourself a Fiver.

Fine Wine Source Wine


June 2019

Purple Star Winery: In 2008 winemaker Kyle Johnson and his wife Amy set out to start a winery with a specific vision: to embody the soul of wine from vineyard to bottle to table. Our philosophy is that wine should be accessible, approachable, and affordable. But most of all, they believe a wine’s purpose is to bring together family and friends! With 10 years of viticulture and winemaking experience in Washington State, they know a thing or two about making wine. For starters, Purple Star’s varietal blends are grown from some of Washington State’s finest appellations; including, Wahluke Slope, Yakima Valley and Red Mountain. With grapes handpicked at their optimal flavor profile and juice fermented at cooler temperatures for longer periods, their wines exhibit softer tannins and retain more varietal character..
From Keith and Amy: As a family we find ourselves blessed with good health. Our good fortune comes with a realization that others are less fortunate. As a result we have chosen to donate 15% of Purple Star Wines’ proceeds to Seattle Children’s Hospital to benefit uncompensated care—a gesture we hope will lighten the financial burden of families overwhelmed by the expenses associated with critical medical care. It’s our way of “paying it forward.”

Purple Star Syrah: Grapes were destemmed and lightly crushed, retaining 60% whole berries. Punch downs and pump overs by hand for 8-14 days, depending on lots. Aged for 14 months in 100% French Oak barrels with 1036 cases produced. The fruit was sourced from three of Washington State’s best Syrah vineyards: 75% Weinbau-Wahluke Slope,
16% Red Heaven-Red Mountain, and 9% Kiona-Red Mountain.

Varietals: 100% Syrah

Alcohol: 14.5% (6.4g/L Acidity, 3.84PH, .03g/L Residual Sugar)

Tasting Notes: Black berries, plum and smoke aromas lead to black raspberry and pepper. Followed up by moderate acid structure and fine grained tannins, this wine will age well over the next few years, but is very approachable now.

Food Pairings: Syrah in general pairs very well with roasted leg of lamb, vegetables, wild game, beef stew, mushrooms, and barbequed meats; especially, BBQ chicken, smoked pork, or BBQ spareribs. On the charcuterie board, Syrah is best with salami, chorizo, and pastrami as well as with aged hard cheeses like Cheddar and Gouda. One of the best uses for Syrah, other than drinking it, is in the kitchen is as a demi-glaze reduction.

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: Rich, opulent and loaded with black and red fruit makes it lush with a long and lingering finish. Best served with braised beef short ribs or beef kabobs.

Wine Club Member HOT Deal: Also from Washington State, we are featuring Sleight of Hand’s 2016 The Spellbinder. This enchanting and charming medium-bodied red blend, which Keith Johnson had a “hand” in making, casts a spell on the drinker with its blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Cabernet Franc, 12% Syrah, and 18% Merlot. Wine Club Member Price $24.99…Take this magical bottle home before it disappears!!!

Fine Wine Source Wine


April 2019

Tortoise Creek Wines: Tortoise Creek is an outstanding line of varietal wines that have been sourced from vineyards predominately in the Lodi region. Great importance is placed on sustainable practices in both the vineyard and winery and the large majority of the Tortoise Creek wines are certified sustainable. The wines all represent the purist possible examples of single varietal wines and all are remarkable value. Starting with the 2009 vintage Lodi Zinfandel “The Chelonian”, Tortoise Creek Wines has partnered with the Chelonian Research Foundation (CRF) to donate a portion of the annual profits to benefit the conservation of turtles and tortoises. The Chelonian Research Foundation, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1992 by Dr. Anders G.J. Rhodin for the production, publication, and support of worldwide turtle and tortoise research, with an emphasis on the scientific basis of chelonian diversity and conservation biology. More information can be found at Chelonian.

The Chelonian Zinfandel: “The Chelonian” refers to the genus of tortoises and turtles. The Zinfandel fruit comes from three well-managed vineyards in the Clements Hills and Lodi-proper areas near Sacramento and is a blend of 90% Zinfandel, 5% Tannat and 5% Petite Syrah. Gravity flow handling is used where the fruit is destemmed (but not crushed) and whole cluster fermentation maximizes flavor and color extractions. Extended maceration was used to add depth, structure, complexity and to stabilize the unique color of Zinfandel. To fill in the mid-palate and add softness the wine was aged in oak for 6 months.

Varietals: 90% Zinfandel, 5% Tannat, and 5% Petite Syrah

Alcohol: 14.5%

Tasting Notes: No other variety represents the region of Lodi like Zinfandel. Over 100 years ago European settlers believed it to be the best fit for the climate and soils and their keen insight paid off. Our Zinfandel “The Chelonian” has a lovely spicy, cherry like bouquet and is bursting with sweet, berry flavors. There are also delicious overtones of black currant and plums, with a welcoming finish of vanilla and cinnamon toast.

Food Pairings: Zinfandel wine is happiest when paired with anything from the meat aisle, burgers, grilled sausages, lamb chops, pork, meat stews, hearty pastas, or barbequed dishes. If cheese is more your thing, try The Chelonian Zinfandel with aged cheddar, aged Gouda, parmesan, asiago, or a dry cheddar jack.

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: Big, rich, and spicy with layers of complexity; best served with zesty grilled or BBQ meats!

Wine Club Member HOT Deal: 2015 The Omen Zinfandel is a classic example of terroir-based Sierra Foothills Zin. We currently have what may be the last of the retail inventory in existence. With the 2016 vintage, The Omen winemakers decided to discontinue the single-varietal bottling; instead, using the fruit for blending. FWS Wine Club Member Price $24.99!!! Grab a bottle or two before it disappears…FOREVER.

Fine Wine Source Wine


February 2019

Domaine Laroque & Cite de Carcassonne:

Laroque is made from historical vineyards in the ancient region of Carcassonne that produce an extraordinary and unique wine made from 100% Cabernet Franc. Laroque (from the Latin roqua) translated ‘The Rock,’ derives its name from the Menhir (single lone-standing stones that date back to the middle of the Bronze Age) which are found around Carcassonne. During the Middle Ages, the vineyards belonged to the Bishop of Carcassonne, who was renowned for making the best wines in the region. Local legend has it that the devil, upset with the Bishop of Carcassonne for stealing his ‘clients,’ tried to stone the Bishop with giant rocks. Following the attack, the Bishop constructed the fortress of Cazilhac with these Menhirs and marked the event by placing a cross on the last remaining Menhir. After this, processions were undertaken around this oratory and all the parcels of vines that surrounded it, including those of Laroque, in order to ward off the devil. The vineyards which produce Laroque have been making wine since the 6th century. Laroque Cabernet Franc is an easy-drinking wine that combines the structure, minerality, and dusty rose characteristics of Cabernet Franc with the lively, fruitiness of wines from the south of France. The Laroque vineyards are located near the city of Carcassonne, famous all over the world for its medieval city and the Canal du Midi, both classed as World Heritage sites by UNESCO. Situated between the Pyrenees to the south and the Black Mountains to the north, Carcassonne enjoys a privileged climatic position where the excesses of the Mediterranean climate are tempered by the softness of the Atlantic. This results in sunny, hot, dry days, but very cool nights. This extraordinary harmony in nature creates wines that are fresh, fruity, elegant, rich and balanced.

About:

The average age of the vines for Larouqe is around 25+ years. They are grown in clay and limestone soils on hillside vineyards that experience alternating warm winds from the Mediterranean, humid winds from north-west Narbonne, and dry temperate winds from the Atlantic. The grapes are destemmed and pressed gently. Fermentation is completed with fresh oak to enhance aromas and structure. A ‘remontage’ (pump-over) is performed 3 times a day until ‘delestage’ (racking of the wine during fermentation to soften tannins). Then 2 pump-overs daily are done toward the end of the maceration period and there is no fining, but filtering is done prior to bottling.

Varietal:

100% Cabernet Franc

Alcohol:

13%

Tasting Notes:

Appears as a crimson robe in the glass, the nose hints of subtle raspberry, rhubarb, with spicy and tobacco aromas. In the mouth the elegant and silky tannins bring a very feminine touch to this wine. Laroque Cabernet Franc is a special wine that defies competition. It is unique in its combination of concentration of fruit, attractive aromatics and body. 90pts from James Suckling

Food Pairings:

Domaine Laroque is a medium-bodied, fresh and fruity wine, with luscious flavors of red berry and vanilla. Enjoy it alone or paired with Mediterranean cuisine, Asian cuisine, pasta, lamb, chicken, pizza and hamburgers.

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts:

Spicy, rich, and layers of complexity with a long and lingering finish. Best with spicy meat dishes!

Fine Wine Source Wine


January 2019

Agricole Vallone:

Basking in the balmy Adriatic-cooled microclimate of the Salento peninsula in Puglia, on Italy’s heel, Agricole Vallone is a large multi-tasking agricultural concern with 170 hectares of vines interspersed with other crops; mostly olive trees, artichokes, and vegetables. It was founded in 1934, but like others at the time, sold grapes to the local co-operative. It was only in the late 1990s that it began bottling its own wines, but it quickly made its name with its flagship wine Graticciaia, a partially barrel-aged red made largely from negromaro grapes dried on mats (graticci) in the autumn sunshine. Designated IGT Salento, this is a very special wine with powerful, concentrated flavors that ages beautifully. The Vallone family started the winery in the 1930s, and many years before then they were Puglian bankers. Now, Francesco Vallone is running the business. He is a tall, usually immaculately dressed, always polite, and very driven Italian, who spends a vast amount of his time doing business in Milan. Francesco only took over the business recently following the tragic and premature death of his father (it had previously been run for many years by his two aunts, Vittoria and Maria Teresa Vallone). The family still owns a grand building in the heart of the beautiful southern Italian city of Lecce, where the company’s office is located, as well as where the family lives. The ‘building’ is actually a 400 year old castle that was used as a fortress to protect the locals from the Crusaders as well as to produce olive oil and wines. Francisco plans to restore and transform the castle into a resort with private rooms, where guests can enjoy facilities such as private swimming pools, private dining rooms, private cooking facilities, and an exclusive spa.

About IGT Classification:

The IGT, DOC and DOCG acronyms are designations used for the Italian wine appellation system (similar to the French AOP system, from which most countries have modeled their industries). Each individual designation has specific rules controlling the various factors of winegrowing: what grapes are allowed, grapes to yield per hectare (@2.5 acres), geographic borders, alcohol levels, ageing, etc. These strict regulations ensure that certified growers have a safeguard on the quality and the authenticity of their products. Indicazione di Geografica Tipica, or Indication of Typical Geography (IGT), is the 1st level of designation for Italian wines. With this designation, winegrowers do not have to follow the specific growing and winemaking rules as they do with the DOC & G, and thus have more creative freedom. You can find beautiful IGT wines all across Italy; however, the only rule is that the wines must originate in the stated region.

Varietal:

100% Negroamaro

Alcohol:

13%

Tasting Notes:

An elegant nose leads to flavors of ripe plum, baked raspberries, and spice-cabinet notes like anise, allspice and cinnamon. Even though Negroamaro is full bodied it is not too tannic or acidic, and instead leads with bombastic fruit which makes it easy to chug, especially alongside meatballs or pizza.

Food Pairings:

This fruit-forward gem can pair with many foods because the wine’s personality is not overly dominant. You could pair spicy foods, fatty meats like Lamb, red sauce dishes, and hard and soft cheeses.

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts:

A silky wine with a strong, long finish that’s loaded with Asian spices on the palate, best served with tomato sauce dishes