Friday, July 9, 2021

Italia Vino WBTG at Angeli's Trattoria

Italia Vino WBTG at Angeli's Trattoria

We dined at Angeli's Italian, our favorite neighborhood trattoria for a casual relaxing Friday night dinner. Typically I would take a bottle BYOB from our extensive cellar collection for such a meal. Tonight, I planned to try the Angeli's WBTG (Wines By The Glass) offerings to accompany our meal. With just two of us, and expecting light dinner and a simple glass of wine with dinner, coupled with the probability of Linda seeking a white and me selecting a red, we opted for the BTG offerings. 

Linda selected the Ahi Tuna and I had the Portabello Mushroom Raviol with its brown sauce as a pairing I enjoy with Red Wine. 

From the winelist Linda selected an Italian Chardonnary, Mezzacorona from Trentino, Italy.

Mezzacorona Chardonnay DOC 2018

This Chardonnay is from the Mezzacorona estate, located in the foothills of the Italian Dolomite mountains in the Italian Alps in the valley carved by the Adige River. 

Mezzacorona has been producing wine from the their vineyards since 1904. They planted varietals in the zones best tailored to the needs of each varietal, to nurture the aromas and flavour of their terroir. Today, with state-of-the-art facilities and modern winemaking techniques, Mezzacorona produces 100% single varietal wines that represent the elegance and crispiness typical of the Italian Dolomites.

Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay are most predominant in the Dolomites, well known for their floral tones, exotic fruit, ripe aromas and silky smoothness on the palate. Mezzacorona is the largest Italian estate producer of these two varietals.

Mezzacorona grows its vines using mainly the traditional "Trentina pergola" which has evolved from years of traditions and research and their vineyards are easily recognisable as the pergolas bestow a scenic ondulating "wave" pattern on the landscape. 

Mezzacorona Chardonnay is cultivated on the highest hillside vines of Trentino where the vines benefit from optimum sunlight and cool refreshing night air which enhance the crispness of the fruits.  

Straw colored, light medium bodied, this high QPR easy drinking Chardonnay shows subtle flavors of peach, nectarine, pear and spice. 
RM 87 points.

Throughout my dinner, I selected two Italian red wines by the glass - WBTG from the winelist. I was seeking Italian varietal wines to match the cuisine, the first 100% Sangiovese, the second Barbera.

Castelluccio Le More Sangiovese di Romagna 2019

This is produced by renowned oenologist Vittorio Fiore from the Castelluccio estate that dates back to the 1970s. Vittorio Fiore became the consulting winemaker in the 1980s and purchased the majority of shares in the property in 1999.

Castelluccio is nestled in the Modigliana Hills, between the two towns of Faenza and Forlì, at an altitude range of 750 - 1500 feet above sea level. The territory is known as Emilia Romagna and was part of Tuscany until the 1930s. 

The Castelluccio property represents the characteristics of “Romagna,” an ideal viticulture location near both the Adriatic Sea and the Apennine Mountains, recognized as a micro-zone best suited for Sangiovese di Romagna. It is the only DOC named after the ubiquitous grape. 

The wines compares with the Sangiovese grapes being grown in areas of Tuscany just on the other side of the Apennines Mountain. 

The total Castelluccio property covers approximately 150 acres, with 36 acres of vineyards and 6 acres with olive trees. The soil is compact layered marl and limestone, the location is composed of micro-areas called “ronchi”, referring to the rock formations that protrude from the mountain side, ideal for growing high quality of grapes. The property grows Sangiovese di Romagna, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc , the main grape varieties, the remainder in the native Sangiovese di Romagna,  indigenous and the best expression of the character of the terroir.

This is 100% Sangiovese from the estate vineyards Ronco Casone and Ronco del Vento planted from 1975-2003. The first vintage of this wine was in 1991. Total production of this wine is 60,000 bottles per year.

"Le More" refers to the blackberry character of this deep and lively Sangiovese di Romagna. The grapes are harvested from the end of September to mid-October, then fermented and aged in stainless steel in order to retain the fresh and fruity character of the wine.

Winemaker notes: "Deep ruby red with notes of blackberries, raspberries and other red fruits. The wine is well structured with good acidity and a pleasantly lingering finish."

Good QPR - Quality Price Ratio in this simple sipper that was a nice pairing with the brown sauce of my Portabella Mushroom Ravioli. 

RM 86 points.

 I then moved to a slightly 'bigger' wine in this progressive tasting.

Pertinace, Barbera D'Alba 2019

This is from the Pertinace winery in Piemonte, composed of 100% hand-harvested Barbera grapes grown in the Barbera d'Asti DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita). The warm, hilly region in the Piedmont region in Northern Italy is known for Barbera, the hardy staple grape  accounting for around 55% of the wine produced in that region. 

Barbera is the 3rd most widely planted grape in Italy. It is a tough, non-fussy grape, known to be flexible in its acclimation to different regions. It's typically a deep ruby color with low tannin and bracing, high acidity.

Barbera is the wine of the working people in the region that it grows. It is less “respected” than the more highly acclaimed Nebbiolo, and is therefore shunted into slightly less-desirable locations, though it has legions of dedicated patrons.

Unlike many of the other red grapes in the Piedmont, Barbera has a relatively long hang time on the vine and that imparts a lot of rich, dense flavors to the wine.

Pertinace Barbera  is rich, complex and superbly balanced with inviting notes of blackberry, plum and a hint of spice that builds to a long, elegant finish - Cesare Barbero, Winemaker. "A generous, dry red wine that is fruity and sapid, made with the best grapes from some of our oldest vineyards. A very well-structured wine with a wealth of aromas and flavors that make it versatile enough to be drunk throughout the meal, it goes very well with cold cuts, first courses, white meats and cheeses."   

Another nice QPR casual sipper, this was dark ruby colored, medium full bodied, dark and red berries accented by spice, vanilla and hints of red licorice with pronounced acidity turning to notes of oak and vanilla on the long, dry lingering finish. 

RM 87 points.



Roger Sabon Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservé 2007

Roger Sabon Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservé 2007

I finished of the remains of another Chateauneuf-Du-Pape from the cooler and enjoyed it so much, I opted to open another CDP with leftover beefsteak. My mood for this appellation was bolstered by memories of our trip to the region, stirred by having a limited release premium bottle Chateau La Nerthe at dinner the other evening, and the (very) late, delayed posting of one of our events during that trip. Just yesterday I finally posted a note about our lunch in Bedarrides Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

This wine was rated 92 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Spectator and Vinous - a rare occasion of absolute concensus amongst four leading wine critics.  

It is a blend of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah, and 10% Cinsault CDP varietals.

Consistent with my last tasting of this wine going on just two years ago, at fourteen years, this 2007 vintage release may be at the apex of its drinking profile and window. The fill level, label and cork were perfect.

Classic Châteauneuf-du-Pape profile and characteristics, minus the black pepper notes which are suppressed and replaced by notes of lavender and floral.

Deep, dark ruby/purple colored, medium to full-bodied, black berry and black currant fruits with licorice, black tea, notes of vanilla bean, roasted herb, forest floor and meaty aromas with smooth tangy black cherry notes, licorice and smoky minerals lingering on a moderate tannin laced finish. 

RM 91 points.