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Holiday Wine: Italian Style

Italy is where my heart is, and there's no one better than Jackson from MISE Wines to make you fall in love with Italy too (if you aren't in love with it already!). Check out the fantastic wines Jackson's opening up. We kept the upcoming holidays feasts in mind picking these beauties out for you. 

NV Valle Unite Allegretto - Piedmont ($20)
I love-love-love pét-nats around the holidays. Okay, fine, I love pét-nats ANY time of the year. This Cortese and Malvasia pét-nat is new to the shop and kicks some major donkey butt. (Two of Valle Unite’s farm animals are their donkeys, Birba and Filippo.) It’s fizzy on entry, with a slight bit of funky-cheesenote, and the finish is light, dry, and refreshing, which I find is a characteristic of all Valli Unite’s glorious natural wines. Plus, it’s also the favorite cuveé of Filippo and Birba!

2011 Sergio Mottura, Latour a Civitella - Lazio ($34)
A big and beautiful Grechetto from one of Lazio’s best organic winemakers: Sergio Mottura. You know Sergio's wines - they're the ones with the adorable porcupine on the label! When Sergio revitalized his land with all organic farming, the once-retreated native porcupines all returned. Made with the best Grechetto grapes at Poggio della Costa and fermented in French oak barriques, this wine is rich golden in color, with a complex nose of subtle hay and leaves. In the mouth you get white fruits and citrus up front, melting into warm buttery vanilla notes and hazelnuts. This is a fantastic pairing with your Feast of the Seven Fishes, or even the ham with pineapple glaze on Christmas Day. 

2015 Casa Belfi Colfondo Raboso IGT - Venezia-Giulia ($20)
This is Maurizio Donadi’s biodynamic expression of the Raboso grape. We hadn’t heard of this grape either until trying this divine creation from Casa Belfi. This slightly sparkling wine (woo hoo, another pét-nat!) is a gorgeous velvety, dark ruby red, and the unfiltered and unfined process leaves lingering grape skins and lees in bottle (extra magic!). Fermentation is completed in stainless steel tanks and anfora vats. Think plum decadence, violets, clove spice, blackberry punch and a slight funk from the Amphora. Che buono!

2013 Monte Bernardi, Chianti Classico Riserva - Tuscany ($34)
Led by agronomist and enologist Michael Schmelzer, the Schmelzer family purchased Monte Bernardi in 2003 and have been certified organic ever since. The vineyards extend over 53 hecatares situated in the hilly, southern-most region of Panzano, an area that has been recognized as one of the Grad Cru of Chianti Classico. Its unique micro-climate is situated at 350 meters above sea level, is surrounded by forests, with southern exposure and lays on the bank of the Pesa River. Vines are planted on shale, sandstone and limestone. This is your go-to Sangiovese for your holiday dinner. It’s plump, lush, and elegant. It has a rustic note of bramble berry and cinnamon in the nose, with plush and fresh tannins perfect for lamb, steak, pasta or a cheese plate. Here's an interview with Michael Schmeltzer with Levi Dalton, on his podcast "I'll Drink to That." 

2014 Azienda Agricola La Distesa, Nocenzio - Marche ($32)
This is the only red wine that La Distesa produces. The grapes hail from Crus of Cupramontana in Le Marche region and the cuvée includes Montepulciano and Sangiovese, the traditional blend of this region in Italy. I think it may even have a tiny bit of Cabernet Sauvignon in it, which adds to its robustness. Each type of grape is harvested at different times in the year to ensure that each is properly ripe. The grapes are then macerated in their own juice in small wooden barrels for 9-15 days. Fermentation takes place with only natural yeasts and the wines are then blended in French oak barrels for a year until bottling. This wine is dry and full-bodied with powerful tannins. Despite it's young age, the wine has good structure. Small red fruits, plums, black cherry, hints of cocoa, mint and juniper berries can be found in the wine's nose. This elegant wine increases in austerity with age.

2013 Cascina Corte, Dolcetto di Dogliani - Piedmont ($24)
Dolcetto di Dogliani some say is the best Dolcetto in Piedmont. Dogliani is the town where this Dolcetto is grown and is only a short drive to the village of Barolo. Sandro Barosi runs Cascina Corte’s vineyard sites using all organic methods, and picks his Doletto grapes from 60 year old vines grown on ripe limestone and blue schist. This is a rustic, rich, and definitely a food pairing Dolcetto, aged solely in stainless steel. With an eye of bright ruby red and violet rim, the nose is fresh with hints of red cherry and woodsiness. The palate is pleasant with medium tannins. An easy to drink 'little sweet one,’ the literal translation of Dolcetto - but it's not sweet, don’t let the name fool you!

Earlier Event: December 3
Giannoni Selections with Andrea
Later Event: December 9
Chocolate Therapy