Tag Archives: Consorzio Vernaccia di Sangimigano

Christmas comes but once a year…with "Italy at Your Table"!

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Christmas comes but once a year…with “Italy at Your Table”

by Filippo Bartolotta

Christmas comes but once a year and since the arrival of the two monkeys in the old mill, we have decided to make it a big children moment.

Every year we build a green Christmas tree picking branches from the woods around the house and decorating them with various wild berries and leaves and then adding up the most beautiful Christmas balls made by Catia Massai in Barberino.

I buy one a year  to pull them out every Christmas. Artisan products last longer then us, they are all unique pieces and they give a special touch to our home.

And so when opening that refreshing and invigorating liquid that we all love during this time of the year one fills even more pampered and loved.

Usually now is when I manage to take a break, relax and enjoy a slower working peace. But this year is different.

Last summer Vanessa and I decided to organize a long winter break  to the US.

As we were telling friends&family, clients&suppliers about it we begun to realize that we were bound to put together some wine tasting events as we were going along.

So one of our older customers calls us to book an evening, then is time for another and in a couple of months a thirty dates road show was set around the US.

All of a sudden the couple of wine tasting to some of our private collectors and clients became a huge project now called “Italy at Your Table”.

The idea is to get a group of 20-30 friends to gather around one of their homes with me presenting some of Italy’s finest wines in the most friendly way possible. Once the first dates were set and the first wineries signed up for it we understood that Benedetta Vitali from the Zibibbo Restaurant would have gone for a cooking road show on the same period: in a blink of an eye, rather then Tasting with Filippo or Cooking with Benedetta, now is both experiences at once.

This has given the whole project a new boost up. And now we are going to be holding evenings not only with our precious and faithful clients but also at famous restaurants, like Rialto in Boston or Quince in San Francisco.

On top of this in Washington, together with the great Chef Alice Waters,  Tom Colocchio, Josè Andrès and the atomic food&wine journalist Joan Nathan, we will be part of a big charity event “SUNDAY NIGHT SUPPER“. Here LeBaccanti and all the Italian Producers with us will try to make the difference! I’ll be up-dating all this with more details as I go ahead, of course.

These the magic wineries and producers which are kindly and proudly part-taking at this great adventure.

LeBaccanti will of course give a more “serious” account of all the events and press release.

Aceto Balsamico Malpighi

Arnaldo Caprai

Banfi

Bindella

Bruno Giacosa

Casa Vinicola Luigi Cecchi e Figli

Castell’inVilla

Castello di Monsanto

Cesani

Cogno

Col d’Orcia

ColleMassari

Consorzio Prosciutto di Parma

Fattoria di Cusona

Ferrari-Lunelli

Fontodi

Fratelli Revello

Gigi Rosso

Giovanni Panizzi

Grattamacco

Il Palagione

Il Solatione

Isole e Olena

Latium Amarone

Massolino

Mauro Molino

Marchesi Gonzaga-Tenuta di San Leonardo

Montevetrano

Poderi Boscarelli

Proprietà Sperino

Punset

Silvio Nardi

Terra al Sole

Tenuta delle Ripalte-Meletti Cavallari

Tornesi

Valiano


Our home is going to be the East-Village in NYC next to a lovely kindergarden for Milo and Daphne.

I will though be spending most of my time on the plane or opening bottles of wine:)

This is a very exciting project that was embraced by almost all of the people I have spoken to with the most up-lifting and energetic approach. Another time, in another post, I’ll give a more precise account of everything with the credits to each and everyone who helped making all this happen.

Actually another little great news coming from Italy at Your Table is related to the Techno-Bohemian movement with John Malkovich, Simone Ramilli, Pierpaolo Moroni. I was asked to join in the group as the wine-guru and so more news to come from this new big project.

Very soon the real thing…

Meanwhile these were my Christmas presents which I had with great joy and pleasure.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone!

Tenuta di Fessina-Musumeci 2007 (magnum)

Juicy and peppery wine with a perfumed nose and a perfect cranberries and cherry velvet palate. Very easy to finish even the double size bottle!

This is the first and well executed  attempt of Silvia Maestrelli of the Tuscan Petriolo Estate in Etna. A few years ago she kicked off with the reserved help of Federico Curtaz.

Chianti Classico Il Solatione 2006

This is one of the rare examples of pure, simple Sangiovese fruit at its best. A wine with an amazing alcoholic balance, smooth tannins and plenty of depth for a regular Classico from a small and cute family run Azienda Agricola.

Barbaresco Punset Barbaresco 2004

Awesome vintage for the only organic estate in Barbaresco. Marina Marcarino has been starting this adventure alone with a great energy and motivation which is somehow dripped into her wines: rich and savory this Barbaresco with plenty of complex earthy tones and clean fruit.

Tenuta Friggiali Brunello PIetranera 2003 (double Magnum format)

A massivily black cerry packed Brunello with a lot of leathery and tobacco complexity.

Very rich and quite hot palate with a lengthy licorice and forrest fruit finish.

This is the open friendly South-East vineyard Brunellos of the Centolani family in Montalcino.

Tenuta delle Ripalte Aleatico dell’Elba 2006 and 2007

Here comes the end of the Holiday dinners with one of Italy’s most respected wine makers. Piermario Meletti Cavallari after making his Super Tuscan Grattamacco famous around the block he sold it and begun a new venture in the Island of Elba in Tuscany to make an extremely difficult wine: Aleatico Passito. Its a red dessert wine with plenty of juicy refreshing character of forrest fruit and hezelnuts combined with a touch of crounchy chocolaty mouth-fill. The ’06 has got more vanilla and structure, the ’07 is more on the jucy savory fruit. A delight with the Marron Glacè from the Badiani Pasticceria!

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THE TRUE POTENTIAL OF VERNACCIA DI SAN GIMIGNANO

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Filippo Bartolotta was on hand for a very special tasting of Vernaccia di San Gimignano on February 18th, part of a series of tastings he co-created with Ernesto Gentili to promote and explore the potential of Vernaccia. At the event, conducted by Ian D’Agata, the denomination’s highest quality producers dared to compare their new releases against recent vintages of the renowned Sauvignon Blancs of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé.

“There have been a lot of innovations and experimenting with Vernaccia recently. Sauvignon Blanc is a powerhouse, but Vernaccia held its own against such a super-aromatic grape,” Bartolotta said. “We were very impressed. The Hydra 2006 (Il Palagione) and Santa Margherita 2006 (Panizzi) really stood out.”

The French producers who participated—Alphonse Mellot, Vincent Pinard, Michel Redde, Didier Dagueneau and Henri Bourgeois—were full of praise for the Vernaccia tasted. They admitted to having known very little about the Italian varietal, but that the tasting had shown them it was a force to be reckoned with. “The Vernaccia and Sauvignon Blanc had a lot in common. They shared a minerality, freshness, and the spicy aromas of anis, hazelnut and lime,” explained Bartolotta.

This is third in a series of daring and uncommon Vernaccia tastings. The first, held in 2006, was a vertical tasting going back 30 years and showcased without a doubt the wine’s aging potential. “The participants were blown away” said Bartolotta. Next was a vertical comparative tasting of Vernaccia vs. top Chablis. “We learned that the longer Vernaccia ages, the better it matched up against the Chablis.”

The tastings are an example of how Vernaccia is discovering and defining its identity. It is growing with audacity, and earning great respect in doing so. “Take the Silex, for example, which we tasted last in the comparative Sauvignon Blanc tasting,” explained Filippo. “It is the sharpest, cleanest and also dirtiest, naughty-girl wine on the planet. This is a biodynamic wine, a model for what a white should be. And Panizzi put his Evoè up alongside of it. It takes guts to compare yourself to the best.”

The tasting:

1st Set

1. Hydra 2006- Il Palagione

2. I Maccioni 2006- Casa alle vacche

3. Cusona 33 2006- Guicciardini Strozzi

4. Generation XIX 2006- Alphonse Mellot

5. Nuance 2006- Vincent Pinard

6. La Moynerie 2006- Michel Redde

2nd Set

7. Vigna Santa Margherita 2006- Giovanni Panizzi

8. La Lastra Riserva 2005- La Lastra

9. Vigna Casa Nuova 2004- Fontaleoni

10. Cuvée Mojorum 2005- Michel Redde

11. Pur Sang 2005- Didier Dagueneau

12. Jadis 2005- Henri Bourgeois

3rd Set

13. Evoè 2006- Giovanni Panizzi

14. Silex 2006- Didier Dagueneau

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