This is the wine to carry in your rucksack on a fall hike when the warm days are starting to chill and a walk up a mountain trail needs a light coat. You stop to soak up some sun, not because of a need to rest. Instead, you’re ready for refreshment. Like a vivid Burmese ruby in the glass, this Schiava from the Dolomite mountains in Alto Adige is bursting with raspberries and Montmorency cherries and sports a subtle floral quality. Low tannins, low alcohol, and high deliciousness make it the perfect foil for the country ham sandwich or spicy peanut noodles you also tucked in your pack. It’s downhill from here!
The winemaking at Masseria del Pino is old-school. Modern technology is eschewed, farming is organic and incorporates biodynamic practices, and all the grapes are hand-harvested and crushed by foot before being fermented in tanks made from the volcanic rocks of Mount Etna. The resulting wine is undeniably terroir-driven—rich with smokiness from the volcanic soil, dense, sappy red fruit and spices from the southern climate, and a grippy yet fine tannin balanced by bright minerality from 120-year-old vines—Etna Rosso at its boldest and best.
I was looking for a substantial red the other night and grabbed Geggiano’s newly released Chianti Classico Riserva to pair with lamb kofta. The 2012 Riserva is brimming with the black-cherry notes I love so much in Sangiovese, and each sip was full and expansive, with a sumptuous texture. A slight chill really upped its juiciness. Geggiano’s Riserva is usually about two vintages behind our other Chianti Riservas, and the extra time in bottle gives chewy tannins time to soften and mellow. Imagine running your hand over corduroy, then velvet. Geggiano is the velvet.
My tasting notes about this wine are glowing, and I’ll include them here: “2013 was a great vintage for extended cellaring. Beautiful, classic Barolo nose. Intense depth. Fresh and complex in the mouth. Wonderful finish. Great wine!” Massimo Benevelli has created a masterpiece of Nebbiolo from the distinctive Ravera cru of Barolo in Monforte d’Alba. With a good decanting, this wine is enjoyable now, but the wise bet would be to stick a case of this in the deepest, darkest part of your cellar.
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