Sartarelli Verdicchio

Wine Of The Week – Sartarelli Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi

“Sartarelli is one of the premier, reference-point producers of fine Verdicchio. Readers should do whatever they can to taste these fabulous whites from the Marche.”  Wine Advocate, 6/30/2010

After sampling this wine out on Saturday and selling it to almost everyone who tasted it, I would have to agree with the above statement!  The wine hails from Italy’s Le Marche region, a zone east of Tuscany along the Adriatic Coast.  It is believed by most that Verdicchio originated in this region and has thrived here since the 14th century.  This region gets especially hot during the summer, and an ice cold glass of clean, fresh and zippy Verdicchio is the perfect way to beat the heat.

Sartarelli Vineyards

Sartarelli's Verdicchio Vineyards

Donatella and Patrizio Sartarelli craft some of the finest Verdicchio in the area.  They farm their vineyards sustainably, meaning they only use pesticides if absolutely necessary.  This pragmatic approach to farming is very common among smaller, family owned and operated wineries throughout Europe.  These folks farm and nurture their own vineyards, and often craft relatively small amounts of wine to sell.  In most vintages, the Sartarellis use 100% organic practices in their vineyards, but they reserve the right to do what they need to do to make sure they can produce their wines each and every year.  Make no mistake about it, they depend on the sale of their wine to make a living and thus reserve the right to do what they feel necessary to get their wine to market.  I can appreciate that.  Back to Verdicchio though, and this one in particular.

Sartarelli’s Verdicchio is served ice cold in restaurants and wine bars along the Adriatic Coast to cool off and/or to wash down fresh fish simply prepared and spritzed with lemon.  The wine is unoaked, super fresh and packed with white peach, lemon and green apple fruit notes along with complex mineral nuances.  It is the perfect wine for a sunny, Asheville spring day – try it ice cold on your back or front porch or try it with a simple, olive oil pan seared piece of flaky white fish spritzed with lemon and sprinkled with fresh herbs.  Yum!

$13.99/botttle

$11.89/bottle in a mixed case

Friday Winedown – A Vinous Tour Of Italy

Table Wine is happy to have Mike Tiano back to our South Asheville store for a sampling of 7 Italian wines from all over the country this Friday, April 6.   The fun gets started at 4:00 and goes until 7:00 and the cost is just $5/person or free if you’re a Grape Nut.  In Italy, wine is an important part of their culture and their daily lives, and the grape is grown in almost every corner of the country.  We’ll sample wines from north to south and east to west and light palate cleansers will be offered as well.  We hope to see you.

Maremma, Toscana

Moris Farm's Vineyards - Maremma, Toscana

1. Garofoli Guelfo Verde – This sparkling wine hails from Central Italy, Les Marches to be exact, just east of Tuscany.  It is a blend of Chardonnay and Verdicchio that shares a slight resemblance to Prosecco.  Dry, bright and fruit filled, it is a great everyday sparkling wine at a very affordable price.

2. Cantina Frentana Cococciola – This is one of the best co-operatives of Abruzzo, and this is one exotic little white wine. Cococciola is an obscure grape variety that produces light, fragrant white wines with notes of white peach, apple, citrus and gentle spice.  It is dry, fresh and you will love it!

3. Cantina Sant Evasio Gavi – We now head north on our journey of obscure Italian varietals to the village of Gavi, in Italy’s Piemonte zone.  The grape is Cortese and this one offers up nice weight and concentration with lovely notes of peach, pineapple, citrus and mild mineral nuances.

4. Tenuta Canale Sangiovese di Toscana – No, this grape isn’t obscure, but no Italian wine tasting would be complete without at least one Sangiovese.  Tenuta Canale is a tiny Chianti producer and this is the family’s “house wine” – bright, tangy and perfect for pizza or pasta with red sauce, it is a simple and delicious red wine.

5. Vecchia Torre Salice Salentino – We’re heading back into the “unknown”, although many of you know that this wine is delicious as we’ve stocked it for some time now.  We now head into the heel of Italy’s boot and the region of Salice Salentino, which is a part of greater Puglia.  A blend of Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera, this rustic red is packed with ripe berry fruit, spices, licorice and earth.

6. Paitin Nebbiolo d’Alba “Ca Vieja” – This family run estate got its start in 1796, and they’re still going really strong.  This will be for many of you your introduction to Nebbiolo, the same grape that makes the legendary wines of Barolo and Barbaresco.  This one is a touch softer and more accessible in its youth than the above mentioned and offers up lovely notes of sweet cherry and raspberry with underlying earth, spices and herbs.

7. Morisfarms Monteregio di Massa Marittima – This wine comes from Tuscany’s western coast and from one of the finest producers in the region.  A blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, it is a very impressive and full bodied red wine with layers of black cherry and black raspberry fruit along with nuances of mineral, smoke, spice and mocha.

545 Tasting This Friday – New Italian Arrivals

I’m really excited about some of the new Italian wines that have come into the store this year, and I’m even more excited to share them with you!

We’ll sample 5 newbies to the store that all come from importer Domenico Valentino Selections.  This New York based importer is bringing in some of the best Italian juice I’ve consumed in a long time, all from small family owned and operated, sustainably farmerd wineries. 

Bacchus drinking wine.

Bacchus/Dionysus - The Italian God of Wine.

 1. Orsolani Erbaluce di Caluso – The obscure Erbaluce grape produces an absolutely beautiful white wine – I’m currently in love with it!  Dry and beautifully aromatic, it offers up a notes of white peach and citrus and finishes with honey, mineral and spice notes.  It comes packaged in a liter bottle and is my pick for patio/deck drinking during this mild winter!

2. Luca Ferraris Monferrato Bianco “Sensazioni” – Who’s had Viognier from Italy?  Me neither, until I sampled and fell in love with this one from a famous Barolo producing zone. White peach, citrus oil, honeysuckle and all of the stuff you expect from Viognier, but this one has fierce acidity and minerality.  Yum-Yum!!!

3. Luca Ferraris Barbera d’Asti “Vigna del Martin” – Old vine, single vineyard Barbera for less than $20?  That’s hard to find these days, but here you go.  Lively, zesty and full of personality, this one will wow some of you with its berry fruit, herb and floral notes.  Lip-smackingly good!

4. Gaspare Vinci Nero d’Avola – Here’s another liter offering that I hope you will buy before I drink it all!  It is dry, fruit filled and more than interesting with a nice mix of black cherry and raspberry fruit intertwined with subtle clove and allspice notes.  Elegant, easy to drink and easy on the budget, this is the perfect all-occasions red wine.  Stock up on it for March Madness!

5. Pirro Varone “Vigne Rare di Grisola” – Like Erbaluce, Grisola was a grape I had never experienced until I tried this one.  The wine struck me as being Zinfandel-like, with a warm and spicy nose and flavors of jammy cherry, raspberry and blackberry.  I predict it will be the most popular wine of the day!