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We are following up the successful Spanish wine tasting of last week with a trip to Italy, Europe’s vineyard land for the last two thousand plus years. This accounts for the fact that more varietals exist in Italy than in any other country in the world. Each and every army marching through Italy stopped long enough to plant cuttings from the last campaign. The Zinfandel vine, for instance, probably came from Croatia. While in Italy last summer, Zola and I were treated to some of the best examples of Primitivo we’ve ever had. This Saturday we will be sampling 3 whites and 3 reds (2 are Primitivos).
Santa Margherita Prosecco, Brut, Valdobbiadene
14.99 Discounted from 17.99
Nestled in the Valdobbiadene hills of the eastern Veneto is one of the most wonderful wine growing regions. Besides Soave and Valpolicella there is the native grape, Prosecco. It is used to make a highly flavored dry and delicate sparkling wine. With peach and apple aromas, this fresh and balanced sparkling wine has fine perlage with a refreshing nutty finish. It is pleasantly dry with a well-balanced acidity, which makes the wine fresh and lively. Prosecco di Valdobbiadene is excellent as an aperitif, ideal with seafood dishes and after meals with light desserts.
2007 A-Mano Pinot Grigio, Venezie
9.99 Discounted from 10.99
Besides a very nice Soave, A-Mano produces this charming Pinot Grigio that is a clean and fresh aperitif wine. Of course, its refreshingly crisp acid makes it a delightful food wine, as well. It shows a fruit focus towards apples and peaches and is all too easy to quaff.
2006 Teruzzi & Puthod Terre di tufi, Tuscany
Magnum 25.00 Discounted from 30.00
This Bianco from Tuscany is a blend of Vernaccia (80%), Chardonnay (7%), Malvasia (7%) and Vermentino (6%). The color is straw tending toward gold. The bouquet is intense and fruity with light notes of vanilla cream, tangerine, citrus and pineapple. It is full-bodied and rich yet with firm acidity. It is fresh and flavorful showing notes of citrus zest, walnuts and a pleasant touch of toast on the finish. Enjoy with hors d’oeuvres, first courses, all types of seafood, white meats with sauce, delicate red meats, roast veal and carpaccio.
2005 Barba Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
9.99 Discounted from 12.95
The vineyards of Fratelli Barba are but a short distance from the Adriatic Sea. Normally, the Montepulciano varietal from the Abruzzo region is less than perfect. The alcohol levels can be bothersome or the wine can be too weak due to overharvesting. With the Barba brothers, we get one of the best day-to-day wines in all of South Italy. It has good viscosity, with a muscular structure and offers full cherry and plum fruit on the nose and palate with notes of almond on the finish. The wine is full-bodied and elegant throughout. It is perfect with hearty seafood, pizza and olive tapenade.
2006 A-Mano Primitivo, Puglia
9.99 Discounted from 10.99
Primitivo is the Italian Zinfandel and A-Mano is a stunning example of the varietal: concentrated, elegant, deep and rich. The raspberries jump out of the glass to herald the aromas to follow, blueberry, tar, leather, anise and cedar. The complexity evolves and the soft, velvety tannins linger on the long finish.
2006 Layer Cake Primitivo, Puglia
14.99 Discounted from 16.95
This Zinfandel, ala Puglia, is opaque and purple-colored with a nose of jammy black cherry and blackberry fruit, truffles, tar, and spice. It is warm and rich in the mouth; the ripe fruit is well supported by the depth of the structure. Most notable are the mocha-chocolaty notes that serve to enrich the wine.