As is our custom, we began with the Tulipano superlative “Antipasti Hour”. Fried Calamari, Baby Meatballs; Mini Bacon Cheeseburgers; Tuna Tartare; various cheeses, salamis and canapés were but a few of the highlights.
With the Antipasti we selected a white and a red from two cooperatives in the Vallée d’Aoste region of Northern Italy.
Morgex et de la Salle Vini Estremi 2013
La Cave du Vin Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle is a cooperative started by the state government of Vallée d’Aoste in 1983. It is located at the very foot of Mont Blanc. The Vini Estremi, the estate's flagship wine, is made from 100% Prié Blanc from the oldest, ungrafted vines (40-100 years old) grown on the rocky mountain hillsides near Morgex. The grapes are fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks and aged in stainless steel tanks for 6 months. Reminiscent of un-oaked Chardonnay, the wine possessed excellent depth, complexity and a lovely minerality on the palate. At $19 a bottle, this represents great value.
La Crotta di Vegneron Chambave Rosso 2013
Our sit down dinner began with Shrimp Scampi with Spinach Mashed Potatoes, paired with a delicious Italian Chardonnay and Italian Rosé from Cantina Terlano.
Cantina Terlano Lagrein Rosé 2013
This spectacular deep pink-hued Rosé is crafted from the indigenous Lagrein grape. The crafting of the wine includes manual harvest and selection of the grapes; gentle whole cluster pressing and clarification of the must by natural sedimentation; slow fermentation at a controlled temperature in stainless steel tanks, aging on the lees in steel tanks for 5-7 months. The resulting wine is a full-bodied Rosé with aromas of raspberries and strawberries and a harmonious fruity palate marked by splendid acidity. $18.
Produttori dei Carema Reserve 2009
This producer of top quality Nebbiolo is located in Torino in the utmost northwestern region of Piedmont. Created in 1960, they are a small cooperative divided amongst 45 growers in this small, remote region. Each grower rarely owns more than 1 hectare, most having only ½ hectare. The D.O.C. Carema, established in 1967, sits on an incredibly mountainous swath of land bordering the Valle d’Aosta. The climate is cold and quite windy here, resulting in grapes that are slow to ripen, and wines that are light garnet in color. The wines are 100% Nebbiolo from the local clones nebbiolo spanna, picutener, meaning “tender stem” and pugnet, meaning “fist-like,” a reference to the compact shape of the bunches. The minimum aging requirement for these wines is 4 years, of which two years have to pass in large oak or chestnut botti. The 2009 is reminiscent of a young Villages Burgundy in color, femininity, freshness and elegance. The wine exhibited terrific balance, perfume and complexity on the palate, and will drink well for another 10 years at least. The reserve is subjected to an aging period of not less than 4 years of which at least 30 months in large oak barrels and one year in bottle. An absolutely stunning value at $27.
Ar.Pe.Pe Valtellina Superiore Grumello Riserva “Rocca de Piro” DOCG 2006
Ar.Pe.Pe. (short for Arturo Pelizzatti Perego, founder of the estate) is an historic and well-regarded traditional cooperative estate in the Valtellina, a mountainous region of northwestern Italy that borders Switzerland. These steep, south facing mountain vineyards produce beautifully restrained styles of Nebbiolo that are aged in old chestnut barrels and released when the wines are ready to drink. Tonight’s wine needed a bit more breathing time, but provided a wonderful example of the finesse and precision the Nebbiolo grape is capable of attaining. A delicious medium-bodied Nebbiolo with a delicate and graceful palate and lengthy, elegant finish. The wine is aged for a number of years in large, old oak followed by a number of years in bottle before release. It displayed good acidity that should allow it to age and improve for at least another 5 – 6 years. $50.
|Fr. Anthony Randazzo|
|Wine Committee Members Angelos, Fiores, Loffredos, Perinis, Violas, Wilcomes|
|Arlene Catanzano (standing at left)|