Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Top 6 Italian wines at Cru Artisan of Banfi

Lately I've been finding myself immersed in lots of wonderful wines. Such wine problems in the life of a wine blogger. The more the merrier and the more great wines to share with you. I was invited to an all Italian wine tasting hosted by Cru Artisan wines in downtown Boston and I was there with bells on. A tasting of over 25 Italian wines with many that were enjoyable, but I tried to pick some of the highlights for myself to share with you. Here were my favorites for all different reasons that I'll explain:
  • 2012 Maschio dei Cavalieri Rive di Colbertaldo Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG
  • 2011 Fontana Candida Luna Mater Frascati Superiore DOCG
  • 2011 Banfi Cuvee Aurora Rose Alta Langhe DOC
  • 2008 Sartori Corte Bra Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG
  • 2009 Palari Faro DOC
  • 2009 Cantine Florio Malvasia delle Lipari DOC

Cru Artisan wines are the luxury selections of the Banfi portfolio of wines. The wines I selected to share with you today I chose because they were some firsts for me and I appreciated their quality and characteristics from the areas of Italy that they represent. I think it's always important to share different wines throughout Italy and to get folks to think outside the box and realize the variety and potential of different Italian wine offerings throughout Italy.

2012 Cantine Maschio: Maschio dei Cavalieri “Rive de
Colbertaldo” Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG
Yes that's a mouthful for one wine. I've never been a big fan of sparkling, but I have found certain ones that have pleasing to drink and this one in particular was very satisfying. This wine originates from the DOCG of the Veneto in the areas of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene. Known for producing some of the top quality prosecco of Italy. It's made of 100% of the glera grape, aka prosecco. This is considered the “Grand Cru” of Cantina Maschio. My favorite aspect of this wine was the elegance and creaminess of the bubbles. Very soft with nice citrus fruit.

2011 Fontana Candida Luna Mater Frascati Superiore DOCG
I've discussed frascati in the past when discussing the wines of the Lazio wine region. It's typically known as a more simple, white wine, but this particular Frascati, Luna Mater, is not your average frascati. Meaning “mother moon”, this wine was very aromatic with lush fruit and a smooth, balanced medium bodied wine. It's a blend of 50% malvasia di candia, 30% malvadia del lazio, 10 %greco and 10% bombino. The vineyards where these grapes grow are 50 yaers old and it's within the Frascati Superiore DOCG designation in the areaa of Frascati and Monteporzio Catone.

2011 Banfi “Vigne Regali” Cuvee Aurora Rose Alta Langa DOC
Alright not a fan of sparkling, but 2 favorite sparklings at the same tasting? This is why you never judge wines until you've had a variety as quality can change so much from producer to producer. The Alta Langa is located in southern Piedmont and known as the sparkling wine area of Piedmont. This wine is made of 100% pinot noir grapes that are produced using the classic method. This wine is 90% from the current vintage and 10% of the previous vintage that is also aged in French oak and is in contact with the yeast for 2 years. Pale pink in color it had a silkiness with notes of apple and vanilla. A fun and different sparkling rose to try.

2008 Sartori Corte Bra Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG
Reminiscing back to my trip over to Italy earlier this year to visit the Valpolicella region of the Veneto it was nice to revisit an Amarone and this single vineyard was definitely pleasing to my palate. This wine is produced with 50% corvina veronese, 30% corvinone, 15% rondinella and 5% oseleta. These grapes were dried for about 3-4 months, further fermented in stainless for 30 days and finished in Slavonian and French tonneaux for 4 years and 6 months in the bottle. As you can imagine with the appasimento, drying of the grapes, it produces concentrated fruit and this was a full bodied, powerful wine that is well structured, velvety with loads of ripe red fruit. This is Sartori's crown jewel of their wines and it's no wonder why after having tasting it.

2009 Palari Faro DOC 
I just shared this wine in a recent article hosted by Snooth sharing summer fall transitional wines under $20. I was more excited to talk about the wines I was excited to switch over to from summer to fall that I forgot it must be under $20. None-the-less you can read about wine that is grown at Mt. Etna in Sicily with the nerello mascalese and nerello cappuccio grapes combined with nocera.

2009 Florio Malvasia delle Lipari DOC 
This was my first time having a Malvasia delle Lipari and it was a unique experience. This wine is part of the Aeolian Islands just off the coast of Sicily. Lipari is largest of the Aeolian Islands and the terrain here made of volcanic soil and sand. The grapes that make up this wine are Malvasia delle Lipari and Corinto Nero are dried on mats after being harvested for about 15-20 days. Golden in color with notes of honey and dried apricots, this is a full bodied, high alcohol but smooth, sweet way to end your meal. A unique dessert wine indeed.

I hope you enjoyed my unique selections of wines. There were others that were notable and I'm happy to share those with you also if you're interested. Drop a comment and I'll provide the others. If you've had any of these I'd love to hear your thoughts or if you've tried others of the same variety that you prefer more. I'm always open to hearing about other producers that I maybe haven't had exposure to yet.