Azienda Vinicola Palamà, Cutrofiano, Puglia
Cosimo Palamà’s cantina has been a WINE EXPO-ista cult fave for approaching two decades. He is always striving to make better wines AND keep their prices reasonable. He also makes the best espresso at VinItaly…
Palamà Salento Rosato Metiusco 2011, Puglia
Domaine Whott??? This is our favorite Rosé from anywhere at any price: Intense color (red with bluish glints) and aroma of championship roses (the flower), crisp, food friendly flavors of cranberry, pomegranate and cherry, all leading to a BONE dry, minerally finish. If you could only have one wine this one might be the one to do the job: from seafood antipasti to spicy carne asada, it rules the table. This so impressed Squadra WINE EXPO at VinItaly that we had to go back and retaste it every day for a week. VERY limited (this is getting wicked famous in Europe and is allocated now).
Valle Martello, Villamagna Abruzzo
Four generations of the Masci family are active in the winemaking here (well, the little kids are mostly there for inspiration…) and the results are not only a direct line to the terroir of the rugged hills of the Abruzzo but are also very affordable. We just landed the full line of traditional varieties: Trebbiano, Montepulciano and Cerasuolo (Rosato Montepulciano) and will have a rare varietal bottling of the Cococciola grape later this year. Collect all three: when you line up the bottles the labels recreate the famous Sleeping Giant mountain range of the zona.
Valle Martello Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Cerasuolo Aprutium 2011
One of the most versatile wines in your quiver, the Cerasuolo Rosato is chock full of real red wine flavor but topped with bright, aromatic red fruit perfumes. Bone dry and refreshing, serve it ice cold with spicy foods or a tad warmer with bigger meals or on cool nights.
Azienda Agricola Giovanni Faraone, Giulianova Abruzzo
One of the oldest and most traditional producers in the zona as well as a big local favorite, Giovanni is overshadowed only by Valentini in the ranks of truly interesting Trebbiano producers, makes two rich and meaty yet truly elegant reds and THEN makes a late harvest vino di meditazione version of Montepulciano of which he often jokes, “Vin Santo is for the local priest, THIS is for the Cardinal!”. Enjoy…
Faraone Cerasuolo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Le Vigne 2011
Red Wine Flavors, Serve Ice Cold!!! Unabashedly Pink, BONE DRY, a thirst quencher without peer, this wine inhabits the netherworld ‘twixt really dark rosato and the lighter end of the Vino Rosso spectrum: zesty and flavorful, very food friendly and can take a chill on a hot day (or not, as the fancy strikes you). Fabulous with ANY summer fare but especially with Spicy Seafood Boils, Grilled Pork Chops or anything with Tuna or Ham in it.
Azienda Agricola Tabarrini Giampaolo, Montefalco Umbria
While running one of the top cantine in the inner sanctum of Sagrantino, Giampaolo gets a little thirsty and makes this delicious, spicy quaffer for himself but shares a little with the world…
Tabarrini Rosato Bocca di Rosa 2009, Umbria
Now we’re talking: a 100% Sagrantino Rosé! If ever a wine was created to deal with “difficult” plates like Curries, Mole, Thanksgiving Turkey with Cranberry Sauce and the like, this is it!
Terre da Vino, Barolo Piemonte
These guys were our find of the year at VinItaly 2009: a modern cooperative cantina in the heart of the Barolo zona with 2800 small growers tending 5096 hectares to chose from but dedicated to quality AND value for money!
Terre da Vino Grignolino d’Asti Paradis 2011, Piemonte
Our notes from VinItaly: “Yeah Baybeeeee! Fresh, fresh, fresh and so drinkable. Perfect color (it’s either a light red or a dark Rosato) and nice packaging, this will KILL with Asian / Mexican food….grab it!”. Serve chilled with spicy foods or fish dishes on warmer days, at cool room temp with pork, chicken or lighter meats on cooler days.
Azienda Agricola Cà Nova, Bogogno Piemonte
This is a young but fantastically dedicated estate in northeastern Piemonte not far from Lago Maggiore founded in 1996 by the lovely and very passionate Giada Codecasa with able assistance from famed Oenologist Gianluca Scaglione. This cantina is destined to be a major star with their Ghemme (the traditional Nebbiolo Serioso of this zona) but is also making a delicious white from Erbaluce which is already a hit here as well as an intensely flavored Rosato di Nebbiolo.
Cà Nova Colline Novarese Nebbiolo Rosato Aurora 2010, Piemonte
If you think of rosé as thin and wishy washy, try this one on for size: gorgeous color, deep berry flavors and violet perfumes backed by good acidity, it could easily take the place of a mid level Pinot at your table in a pinch. Ten cases only, get yours before it’s gone.
Istituto Sperimentale Laimburg, Vadena Alto Adige
The Gambero Rosso once noted that if Istituto Sperimentale Laimburg did not exist it would need to be invented as this full service agricultural research and development station is essential to the local apple, stone fruit, forestry and wine cultures. As a result it produces a broad range of wines (and also fruit and forestry products!) but miniscule amounts of any given one. A unique and surprising factoid: despite its northern location, this cantina has palm trees and even agave plants planted in front of its facilities to point out that, due to warm winds off the lakes to their south, it is actually considerably warmer there than in Trentino or most of the Veneto. We are still waiting for them to take a run at making some Tecchila out of some of that agave though…
Laimburg Lago di Caldaro
Schiava Scelto / Kalterersee Auslese Ölleiten 2010, Alto Adige
More color, body, fruit, tannin and aroma than any Schiava has a right to have, this is one of the most fun wines we have tasted in years. A total no brainer for your next big holiday meal but also try it served cold with spicy food, picnic fare, brunch or any shellfish preparation and see for yourself why we love it so much.