Michael’s off gallivanting in Italy, on my dime! So, I’m feeling a bit pinched in the wallet. Hey, it’s all worth it to make sure he’s up to date on all the latest and greatest wines floating around out there! But I am feeling a bit “value-oriented” this week. With that in mind, I asked Michael to source some super values from his “second” home…
(white) Aia Vecchia Vermentino “Maremma” 2011 - reg. $12.49 – Vermentino could become Tuscany’s signature white varietal, more classically “Mediterrean” than the neutral whites we usually see from the region. It’s full of citrus oil and wild fennel aromas, minerality, and all in all smells like a freshing seabreeze should, at least a Mediterrean one. It’s unoaked and juicy, yet has the stuffing to hold up to a rustic fish stew, grilled whole fishes, as well as a more humble pesto sauce. Maremma is on the sun-kissed Tuscan coast, where Aia Vecchia also makes the killer Super Tuscan we featured last week, and is one of the most exciting spots in the wine-world.
(white) Riff Pinot Grigio 2011 – reg. $10.99 - What separates this from the ocean of simple and fruity Pinots we see is the Riff’s minerality and creaminess. The mineral flavors come from the fossilized sea creatures (Riff is German for “Reef,” and, yes, they speak German in this part of Italy…) in the Dolomite’s limestone soil. And the richness from sur lies aging, adding body and depth to the crisp green apple, white peach, and zesty citrus fruit.
(red) Coltibuono Chianti “Cetamura” 2010 – reg. $11.49 - A new wine from one of Tuscany’s most historic estates, this struck me as the freshest, prettiest, most classy Chianti I’ve come across in some time. Fermented and aged all in stainless steel, this preserves the bright, juicy red cherry and red raspberry fruit that defines this wine. Tons of lifted aromas coming out of the glass as well, lots of violets, cola, and white pepper notes. Only medium in body, this is super-food friendly, ideal with lighter pastas and a fantastic red to have with fish dishes, or other fare high in acidity that might normally call for a white.
(red) Li Veli Primonero 2009 – reg. $10.99 – Li Veli is an exciting new winery, owned by the Tuscan family behind Avignonesi, with winemaking by rockstar Stefano Chioccioli. A blend of Primitivo (Italian Zin!) and Puglia’s Negroamaro grape, this has the dark, juicy, brambly raspberry and blackberry fruit of the former, plus the rustic, spicy, earthiness of the latter. This sees a touch of French oak, adding a layer of sweet richness to the ripe fruit profile. Only medium-plus in body yet powerfully flavored, this will hold up great to spicy sausages, fresh pasta with homemade meatballs, or some barbequed chicken.
The Deal – Mix a case (3 each) and I’ll knock 22% off the regular price, making this a value-licious $107.55 – less than $9 per bottle!
You can also choose all red or all white – same 22% discount. I’ll let you do the math on the total… (ain’t too much difference…)