DCMark

Italian Wines

18 posts in this topic

Ok, on honeymoon in Italy 2003 (Positano) we had a bottle recommended by the owner of a great local family place. Vestini Campagnano Pallagrellio Nero 2001. LOVED IT. Picked up a bottle a a local wine store.

Does anyone know about this wine? Its from Campania which think is a really under-valued region in Italy. I know the Pallagrellio is the grape variety, perhaps originally from Greece. A nice strong, deep and complex wine (its been a while since I tried it).

Ok, back in the US, I can find almost no mention of this on the net. Finally found online at Sam's Wine in Chicago and Italian Wine Merchant in NYC. The price shocked me $60 a bottle. I am not one to judge wine on its price, but $60 is not a cheap bottle. Ended up ordering 4 bottles for nostalgia sake.

Anyone have this wine or know anything about it?

From the NYT:

Another producer, Vestini Campagnano, specializes in little-known indigenous grapes like casavecchia and pallagrello, which in its bianco form makes soft, supple white, and in its nero form makes powerhouse reds. By many estimates the older vineyards of Campania and Basilicata hold dozens of grape varieties waiting to be rediscovered

Vestini_Pallagrello_Nero.jpg

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Anyone have this wine or know anything about it?

From the NYT:

Vestini_Pallagrello_Nero.jpg

Well, you've obviously found their U.S. importers website: www.Montecastelli.com

I'd give them a call or drop them an email:

MONTECASTELLI SELECTIONS

41 Commerce Street

New York, NY 10014

TEL: +1-212-414-4998

FAX: +1-212-243-7790

office@montecastelli.com

They can tell you which markets they sell to, and if they sell to D.C./Maryland or Virginia then you're in luck.

Barring that, I'd call Tom Hanna at Bassins - he's the dean of Italian wine merchants in Washington, and if anyone has it, he would.

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For anyone looking to enjoy Italian wines while watching the Winter Olympics (held this year in Turino, Italy) from the comfort of your own home, today's article in the DC Examiner is for you.

Cindy Greenberg, AKA "The Vine Gal" does a great job giving a quick overview of the Piedmont region as well as a few prime wine picks under $20. Of course, I am just a little biased - but, after all, being Mr. Vine Gal does have its advantages.

The article features wines currently on sale at The Curious Grape in Arlington, VA. I hope that, in honor of the Olympics, other wine retailers clue in and hold "Italian Wine" sales over the next couple of weeks.

If anyone knows where good Italian juice can be had at a reasonable price, please chime in!

Meanwhile, here's the article.

Italian Wines 101 - Secondo Parte

Ciao,

Scott

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When I was looking for a dry Lambrusco for New Year's Eve, I was steered to The Italian Store on Lee Hwy. Their selection was different from what I usually see in NW DC - there were some nice selections at around $10 and they give a discount for buying only 6 bottles. :lol: I also like Rodman's on upper Wisconsin Ave.

Edited by MMM

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When I was looking for a dry Lambrusco for New Year's Eve, I was steered to The Italian Store on Lee Hwy. Their selection was different from what I usually see in NW DC - there were some nice selections at around $10 and they give a discount for buying only 6 bottles. :lol:   I also like Rodman's on upper Wisconsin Ave.

Grazi!

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I've been a fan of this wine for a very long time. As noted on the label, the vintage is considered of “excellent” quality but production was severely reduced with the harvest yields at 35% less than normal. The Montefalco Rosso 2003, as usual, is produced from grapes harvested from the San Valentino vineyard which sits near the crest of the town of Montefalco at 400 meters above sea level. The vineyard straddles this hill of clay composition so the vines are positioned to face both east and southwest. Manual harvest occurred during the first 10 days of October. The grapes were destemmed. The fermentation and maceration extended for 42 days. Bottling occurred January 2007, forty months after the harvest. The Bea wines are never filtered. The Montefalco Rosso 2003 carries 13.5% alcohol. 4,533 bottles were produced of which 2400 are imported into the USA. That's only 200 cases, folks.

beant6.jpg

If you go to forward-thinking Italian restaurants such as Dino and Obelisk, you will find Paolo Bea's wines. This one is his most-affordable. It's "bigger brothers" are even more sublime (the Piparello and Pagliaro). More technical information about Bea can be found HERE.

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I'm heading to Sicily in a few days, with a couple of days in Rome at the end of the trip. Do the Italian wine experts here have any tips for wines I should be on the lookout for in Sicily? The Post did a story last month on Nero d'Avola. We're also interested in trying some local whites.

For wines from other regions (at least for when we're in Rome), are there any particular types or vintages we should be looking for -- that is, that might break the bank here but might be more affordable there? The last time I went (in 2001) we had a 1997 Brunello di Montalcino that I can still taste in my memory.

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The go-to Sicilian red these days is Primitivo, which I think is overrated give the cost here in the U.S., but which would probably make an excellent quaffing wine at the kind of small cafe where Michael Corleone asked permission to court his first wife....

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My favorite producer in Sicilia is the lovely and talented Arianna Occhipinti. Nero d'Avola, Frappato, plus a blend. Piercing, lip-smacking wines.

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Cos makes wines using amphorae, which is what the Greeks were using 3000 years ago. Try their cerusuolo di Vittoria and their riserva styled Pithos Cerusuolo di Vittoria. Wonderful!

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What shops in the area have solid italian selections?

I'd love to find the La Giaretta Quadretti that is my go to at Dino (I bought a case of their regular Valpocella when Arrowine had it), but haven't been able to track it down in the DC Metro area.

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Cork Market has a tight, very well-curated selection. Arrowine always has a bunch of awesome Italians. McArthur usually has a good set, though mostly Toscana and Piemonte.

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What shops in the area have solid italian selections?

I'd love to find the La Giaretta Quadretti that is my go to at Dino (I bought a case of their regular Valpocella when Arrowine had it), but haven't been able to track it down in the DC Metro area.

It comes from Country Vintner so anyone should be able to get it for you special order. Tony at Cleveland Park does business with CV regularly.

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I buy most of my Italian wine at Au Domaine these days in Old Town. Not a huge selection, but very nice wines.

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