The charming Nick is visiting and opening up an exciting line-up of Cantine Valenti from the south of Italy as well as a sparkling Lambrusco from the north.
Cantine Valenti - Sicily
Giovanni Valenti and his son Alessandro started their vineyard sites in 2004. Cantine Valenti focuses mainly on Nerello Mascalese for the reds, and Carricante for the whites. The vineyards are some of the highest on Mt. Etna; the reds can be found at 700-800 meters above sea level within the famous Guardiola Cru. This section of the volcano marks the highest vineyard sites on Etna, some of which can be found at about 1,000 meters. Higher than that and you’ll be taking a dip in lava at the summit! The Valenti family is adamant about organic practices in the vineyard, using only natural products to prevent disease and treat the vines. They are also music lovers; their two reds, Norma and Puritani, are named for Italian operas by Vincenzo Bellini. Enrico IV is an Italian play by Luigi Pirandello. The orange wine, Ciuri di Lava, ‘flowers of lava’, may not have a music reference but it sure is harmonious; it’s made from all Grecanico grapes with notes of spices, cooked pears and honeysuckle.
Cantina Della Volta - Emilia-Romagna
Fourth generation winemaker Christian Bellei is the closest thing to a rock star when it comes to sparkling wines in Italy. He is known for taking the Lambrusco di Sorbara grape and turning it into something magical – a Champagne-style red wine that undergoes a secondary fermentation in bottle. Sorbara (one of several dozen Lambrusco clones found in Emilia-Romagna) has similar characteristics to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, particularly the acidity, which is crucial for sparkling wine production.
- 2013 Cantine Valenti Enrico IV, $26
- 2015 Cantine Valenti Ciuri di Lava, $26
- 2012 Cantine Valenti Norma, $24
- 2012 Cantine Valenti Puritani, $42
- 2009 Cantina Della Volta, Lambrusco di Modena Spumante, $22