It's starting to feel like fall out there and we're thirsty for red, so we figured it was time for another round of obscure native grapes from Italy.
This time aromatic reds, specifically Lacrima di Morro d'Alba from Marche and Brachetto from Piedmont. Both of these wines are great with a slight chill, but not too cold, and there is really nothing to compare either of these grapes to. Both are totally unique, addictively delicious and naturally made. Here's the lineup:
Brachetto "Mate", Sottimano 2019 $19 (Piedmont)This is a longtime shop favorite that you've probably seen on our shelves before. Sottimano is an old school Barbaresco producer run by the father and son team of Rino and Andrea Sottimano. They farm organically, only ferment with native yeast and everything is bottled unfiltered. This is 100% Brachetto, a grape that’s usually used to make sweet sparkling wine, but Sottimano is one of only a handful of producers that makes a still, dry version. This is from a single 40 year old plot in Treiso, macerated for 20 days on the skins and aged for 8 months in steel. It's on the lighter side of medium bodied and smells like a basket of fresh red flowers, roasted strawberries and dried herbs.
Lacrima di Morro d'Alba "Bastaro", Tenuta San Marcello 2018 $24 (Marche)Tenuta San Marcello is not a multi-generational powerhouse. It's a passion project of husband wife team Massimo and Pascale Palmieri who quit their jobs in Milan to raise their kids in the country, run a little Agriturismo and make a small amount of wine (18,000 bottles a year) as naturally as possible. This is 100% Lacrima di Morro d'Alba (not to be confused with Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio from Campania, which is a wine for another time) from organic vineyards in the hills near Ancona, not far from the Adriatic. Lacrima translates to tear and when this grape is ripe, the skin splits and it "cries" (more evidence of the poetic whimsy of old Italian farmers). This is made all in steel with native yeast and bottled unfiltered with just a drop of sulfur added. Super aromatic with geranium and grapefruit notes, but inky dark plum fruit and a cardoon-like herbal note with silky tannins and a juicy finish. Really great with spicy, strongly flavored food.
Get both for $35 and save just over 15%! Both of these wines are stunners and will raise eyebrows and send people googling everywhere you open them.
Even though it feels different this year, the holiday season is here! Among other things, that means Beaujolais in every flavor and today we'll start with a Cru that doesn't make the rounds as much as its famous neighbors like Moulin-a-Vent and Fleurie, but produces a really distinct and delicious expression of Gamay: Chenas.