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Divine Vintage: Following the Wine Trail from Genesis to the Modern Age

Divine Vintage: Following the Wine Trail from Genesis to the Modern Age | 'Winebanter' | Scoop.it

Winner of the Gourmand Wine Books prize for 'Best Drinks Writing Book' in the UK
A fascinating journey through ancient wine country that reveals the drinking habits of early Christians, from Abraham to Jesus.
Wine connoisseur Joel Butler teamed up with biblical historian Randall Heskett for a remarkable adventure that travels the biblical wine trail in order to understand what kinds of wines people were drinking 2,000 to 3,500 years ago. Along the way, they discover the origins of wine, unpack the myth of Shiraz, and learn the secrets of how wine infiltrated the biblical world. This fascinating narrative is full of astounding facts that any wine lover can take to their next tasting, including the myths of the Phoenician, Greek, Roman, and Jewish wine gods, the emergence of kosher wine, as well as the use of wine in sacrifices and other rites. It will also take a close a look at contemporary modern wines made with ancient techniques, and guide the reader to experience the wines Noah (the first wine maker!) Abraham, Moses and Jesus drank.

 


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True Grape: So easy to fall in love (with wine) in Verona, Italy

True Grape: So easy to fall in love (with wine) in Verona, Italy | 'Winebanter' | Scoop.it

It’s appropriate that the country producing both the greatest quantity and greatest variety of wine in the world should also host the globe’s largest wine show.

Over 4,200 wineries and 140,000 wine lovers gathered last week in the literary home of Romeo and Juliet, which seems fitting as the event is frequently billed as “another love story in Verona.”

What follow are some Italian grape varietals that you may not have heard of, but your palate is sure to be rewarded by making the effort to seek out these wines.

Lacrima di Morro d'Alba

The name means teardrop and the grape is found in the central east coast region of Le Marche. Typical aromas of roses with wild strawberries and a beautiful juicy vinous character. Used to produce still red wines, sweet wines and unique and delicious sparkling.

Pecorino

Mostly found in Le Marche and Abruzzo regions resulting in white wines with fresh and delicate aromas, full on the palate with mineral notes, some fresh herbs and citrus.


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Elisabetta Tosi's curator insight, June 5, 2013 5:36 AM

Verona is a very special experience in the Italian world of wine: in a few kilometers, you can have all the wines - red, white, rosé, sparkling, still, sweet - from both native and international grapes you can wish to drink...

All.

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Le Caniette Rosso Bello

Michelangelo gave the name 'Rosso Bello' or Beautiful Red to a brilliant red color that this full bodied wine is named after. This wine was produced in the land of Ascanio Condivi, named after the apprentice, friend and biographer of Michelangelo. You will find this wine intense and persistent recalling red fruits, cherries, rose petals & violets.


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Umani Ronchi presentation

A collection of images through vineyards, ageing cellar and wines, together with Bernetti family, owner of Umani Ronchi since over 50 years


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Tasting Montepulciano

Tasting Montepulciano | 'Winebanter' | Scoop.it

Retrospective on the Montepulciano of Le Marche and Abruzzo, which will give an idea of the vine’s potential.[...]

 

Conero Dorico Riserva, 2005, Moroder - Pure Montepulciano. It looks menacing from the start, dark, with purple tones. A monument to these lands’ beauty, it’s concentrated, a potential masterpiece, densely fruity, perfectly fused in powerful tannic weaves that persists until a savory finale. Its fierce tannin requires a Sacrifice of Korean-Barbecue Ribs. It will easily get to twenty years. Score: 90. €20.Conero Vision of J riserva, 2006, Le Terrazze - The house’s first born, which gets only the best vintages—and it shows. Elegant in its deep, fruity notes of sour cherry and blackberry, its spicy wealth and its savory suggestions that come from the sea, a luminous window opened in a dark tannic score. This wine has great personality and consistency, which make it one of the great standards of the area. Its fine bouquet can be accompanied by Game Pies or, even, Turkish Shish Kebabs with a Garlicky Tahini. Score: 91. €25.Kurni, 2008, Oasi degli Angeli - Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in a bottle. Only six thousand bottles per year make the Kurni a pure temptation, an idea that became substance. This is its greatest quality, to elevate itself above matter and aim for the Absolute. Its appearance is imperturbable like ink, splendid, a whirlpool of red fruit in many forms—fresh, caramelized, in alcohol, in a frappé, in ice cream, in yogurt—but also rose, mulberry, carnation, licorice, iris, aniseed, coffee, cinnamon, tobacco, china root, rhubarb, ginger, myrtle. It’s a surprising fugue of flavors that finds no rest. The magnificence of its taste is amplified by a warm texture, while tannins are under control. Its sweet intensity make it taste almost like a passito, the dream of a sweet-toothed kid. One wonders if such roundness isn’t maybe too much, too frivolous, but this feeling doesn’t last, and becomes fresher, sharper, a statuesque body behind this softness. A wine for meditation, it performs at best with a Castelmagno cheese or Duck with Orange. Score: 95. €80.Regina del Bosco, 2007, Fattoria Dezi - A strong-willed wine, which encompasses all the nuances typical of the vine, the ruby color, the clear fruits and massive character. The sweet concentration of wild strawberries and cocoa turn it into an irresistible syrup. The taste flows boldly. Its warmth is persistent, yet never overwhelming. Pair Roasted Pig with Plums or Canadian Onion Soup. Score 92. €28.Full Article


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Italian wines: what happens when heritage grapes get cutting edge winemaking

Italian wines: what happens when heritage grapes get cutting edge winemaking | 'Winebanter' | Scoop.it

Very few wine producing nations bring as much panache to their tastings as do the Italians.

The Italian Trade Commission recently sponsored its ninth annual tasting in Vancouver..
The Italians have sponsored tastings in Toronto and Montreal for 19 years; those cities are the major Canadian markets for Italian wine. In the last decade, Italy has made more of an effort in Western Canada as well, trying to win away consumers that buy most of their wine from Australia, California, South America and British Columbia.
Perhaps half of the 37 wineries at the Vancouver tasting have no wines in the market. Those wineries were looking for agents and listings in the BC Liquor Distribution Branch.
The LDB currently lists 460 Italian products, including multiple sizes and fortified products. Sales of Italian wines in British Columbia in the 12 months ended September 30 totalled $59.2 million, up five per cent from the previous 12 months.
It is a sliver of the market. The LDB’s total sales in the same 12 months were just under $3 billion.
But the Italian sliver is worth exploring, to discover the excellent “new world” styling of the wines. In the past decade or two, Italian producers have really raised the bar. And they are doing it with varietals that grow primarily in Italy. The taste profile of Italian wines is a refreshing change to palates that may have become jaded with Merlot and Shiraz.
Their edge comes from using varietals not even grown in much of the rest of the wine world. When you add those novel flavours to modern wine making, you get crisp, fresh whites without a trace of oxidation and you get juicy and appealing reds without the hard tannins of yesteryear.
Italy still offers the familiar brands that have been on the market for years and years, but made to improved quality standards. One example is a 45-year-old brand, Fazi Battaglia Verdicchio Classico ($14.99), a crisp, refreshing white still being sold in the green hourglass shaped bottle. Many of us bought it initially because the bottles, like the Chianti in the “fiasco” served well as candle holder.
Fazi Battaglia is an example of why the Italians are competitive. Verdicchio is an ancient variety that is planted widely in central Italy but hardly anywhere else. The LDB’s tasting notes speak of flavours of baked apple, hazelnut and ripe melon. The wine is light but it has its own personality...
...The bottom line is that the Italians, by adopting cutting edge winemaking techniques but not jettisoning their traditional varietals, are producing wines that are unique.

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Selezione Vini da Pesce: Fishing for Wines for Fish

Selezione Vini da Pesce: Fishing for Wines for Fish | 'Winebanter' | Scoop.it

Second edition of ‘Selezione Vini da Pesce’, the International Competition of Wines for Fish will be held on May 15—17 in Ancona, the Capital city of the Italian Region Marche, where over 500 white, rosé as well as sparkling wines are expected to vie for the ‘Calice Dorico’ top award and the gold, silver and bronze medals in each category, writes Subhash Arora who has been invited as one of the international judges

I met an Italian lady a couple of days ago, who wanted to know where in Italy I was headed for judging the wine competition next week. When I told her it was ‘Selezione Vini da Pesce’ her eyes beamed as she said, ‘Oh, then I am sure you are going to Marche. What beautiful beaches on the Adriatic Coast! The fish is delicious. And what a heavenly combination they make with Verdicchio wines!’

She was partially right. What she was thinking of was “Selezione Di Pesce” wine competition, the only one approved in Italy by the Italian Ministry for Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies that makes the important link between wine and fish. This was and still is held in Ancona for domestic wines that go well with fish. It was designed to promote the fishing industry of Marche whereas I have been invited to ‘Selezione Vini da Pesce, the international wine competition that was started last year to expand the horizon of the original competition.

 

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Wine of the Day: Lucchetti Lacrima Di Morro d’Alba 2011

Wine of the Day: Lucchetti Lacrima Di Morro d’Alba 2011 | 'Winebanter' | Scoop.it

Lucchetti Lacrima Di Morro d’Alba 2011
Marches, Italy
$17.95, 88 points, Vintages 310094

Lacrima de Morro d’Alba is from Marche on the Adriatic (not related to the town/region of Alba in Piedmont. This is a very fruity, soft, rounded and pleasant young red with purple-ruby colour and generous aromas of candied plums, red licorice twizzler and some leesy character. It’s medium weight, soft and well balanced with the barest dusting of tannin. The length is good. Chill lightly. 


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Valturio - Tour of the property & wines with proprietor Adriano Galli

The wine estate Azienda Agricola Valturio was founded by Adriano Galli and Isabella Santarelli in 2002 with the aim of restoring the production of high quality wine to Montefeltro following centuries-old traditions that date from the times of the Dukes of Montefeltro to the beginning of the last century.
At the beginning of the nineteen hundreds, the Antimi Clari family, one of the most illustrious of Macerata Feltria, repeatedly won gold medals at the National Wine Exposition of Turin and traces of old barriques can still be found in the cellars of Palazzo Gentili Belli.
The late lawyer Egisto Gentile Belli narrated that at the beginning of the last century, his family was supplying products from its spinning-mills to France in exchange for small oak barrels used for aging wine.


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Lalium Verdicchio Dei Castelli Di Jesi Classico Riserva 2009 – Fattoria Laila

Lalium Verdicchio Dei Castelli Di Jesi Classico Riserva 2009 – Fattoria Laila | 'Winebanter' | Scoop.it

"Made from 100% Verdicchio. After a careful thinning out in vineyard follows a soft grapes pressing previously cooled. During a fermentation of 15 days at Fattoria Laila wineries on its cask, must is preserved at a low temperature in special thermo barrels. The fermentation ended, wine is put on barrique and everyday moved to keep the lees suspended. The color is bright straw yellow with greenish reflections. The nose is delicate, with a slight fragrance of wild flowers. On the palate it is dry and smoothly with a slightly bitter aftertaste (This wine can be considered as one of the highest quality white wines). Food pairing suggestions include aperitifs, starters and fish." - Winery
"Fattoria Laila in Corinaldo lies in the rolling hills of the Marche, overlooking the Adriatic Sea on the east coast of Italy. Verdicchio and Montepulciano, indigenous varieties in our 'Il Libretto' project, are cultivated here under the guidance of Lorenzo Landi, enologist, who has helped to establish strict limits in the vineyard in order to craft excellent wines. Today, Laila is the leading vineyard project in all of the Marches, with densities that reach 8,000 plants per hectare, based on viticultural research not practiced anywhere else in this region."
"In 1990, Andrea Crocenzi took over the Fattoria Laila preserving many of the traditional methods of farming, but introducing new technology into the cellar and improved vineyard plantings to bring a centuries old estate up to date. His wines reflect the characteristics of his own charismatic and hard working personality: Elegance and Exuberance. An important momentum has been added with the arrival of Lorenzo Landi, winemaker with great experience, who has helped Andrea Croscenzi focus on a style unique to this winery."
This was rated 87 points in the Wine Enthusiast.


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The First Wine I Ever Hated: Lacrima di Morro d’Alba

The First Wine I Ever Hated: Lacrima di Morro d’Alba | 'Winebanter' | Scoop.it
I remember the first wine I actively DESPISED. This wine made me heartily want to puke. I could not get it away from me; the sticky-spicy scent of a closet littered with potpourri satchels hung in my nostrils, pervading my sinuses, clinging like your great aunt’s perfume after a lingering hug—strong and alarmingly persistent.
The wine was a red Lacrima di Morro d’Alba. [...]
Perhaps in 2005, my virgin palate was shallow, ignorant, and uncouth! Perhaps my uneducated tongue was simply too immature to recognize Lacrima di Morro d’Alba’s charm.
…Fast forward to right now: I open the 2009 Luigi Giusti Lacrima di Morro d’Alba. I swirl. I sniff. That piquant scent absolutely leaps out of the glass. It clings tenaciously to my nostrils and my tongue, just like auntie’s perfume, just like I remembered it. As the dear Sam, who sold me this bottle at Biondivino, said: “It’s a polarizing wine. You either love it or you hate it.”
I give it a chance to open up [...]
In Wine Grapes, Jancis explains, “the name Lacrima (English ‘teardrop’) was probably given to this variety because when the berries are fully ripe, they exude small drops of juice.”
To my taste, the grapes may as well have exuded thousands of tiny potpourri satchels, because the wine smells as if someone steeped these satchels in the fermenting juice: there’s dried roses, lilies, violets, lavender, juniper, what I think myrtle berries must smell like, plus cinnamon sticks and allspice—the whole shebang in there.
A wine this strong could get scary without a kick of acid to lift it up and carry it along, but once you get past the freaky-potent aromatics, the wine lights up with a great streak of acidity. The tannins are mellow but not absent, giving it a soft texture, cruising along in stride with black pepper, Red Hots, and star anise. The whole thing finishes with a slathering of blackberry jam bringing up the rear. As I sip, I have a sudden craving for lamb chops sprinkled with sea salt, rosemary, maybe a little balsamic reduction. Or, moussaka… or, hey… Maybe Linguine Mare Chiaro, bella.

2009 Luigi Giusti Lacrima di Morro d’Alba (Marche, Italy)
The Grape: Lacrima di Morro d’Alba
The Region: Marche, Italy
Retail price: $22
The Importer: Vinity Wine Company
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Mariano Pallottini's curator insight, December 11, 2012 8:07 AM

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Luigi Silvestri's curator insight, December 22, 2012 7:18 AM

Lacrima can only be found in Marche Region.

http://www.accantogroup.com/accantowine

luigi.silvestri@accantogroup.com

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Fattoria Laila Rosso Piceno '09

Fattoria Laila Rosso Piceno '09 | 'Winebanter' | Scoop.it

Rosso Piceno is a little known DOC in the Marche region on Italy's east coast. I've already written up Fattoria Laila's delicious Verdicchio dei Castello di Jesi, and the best reds from this region are dominated by the Montepulciano grape. Sangiovese is the other major varietal. Prior to 2005, Sangiovese was required in the blend to the tune of 60%. But now Montepulciano can presumably go as high as 70%, although the producer's website claims this wine is 80% Montepulciano. It's certainly confusing. But, what is not confusing is that this wine is an excellent $9.99 value. The almost opaque ruby color certainly looks more like Montepulciano than Sangiovese and initially reticent aromas gradually opened with airing to reveal dark cherry, cola, coffee and minty notes. Attractive dark berry flavors are buffeted with excellent acidity and a lightly tannic finish. This everyday winner has good concentration and lift and went well with grilled lamb burgers with grilled onions and raita.


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