Thursday, September 25, 2008

Four Wines from Monte Delle Vigne

One of the nice things about working on the Web is that people can contact you, and a few weeks ago a package with four bottles appeared from Monte Delle Vigne, a winery located in Collecchio, not far from Parma.

I confess that I was unfamiliar with Monte Delle Vigne, but very much enjoyed the wines. In particular their Brut Rosé; while I am familiar with (and like) Barbera Vivace, this fully sparkling wine reveals a facet of the Barbera varietal I had never before encountered. Nabucco, an IGT Emilia Rosso, is also interesting, showing that Barbera blends as well with Merlot as it does with other North Italian varietals. In short, I thank them for allowing me to make a pleasant discovery.

The wines:

Callas Malvasia Emilia IGT 2007
Lot 50 08
Pale brassy yellow with brassy reflections. The bouquet has all the richness one expects of a Malvasia, with powerful honey-laced floral accents mingled with some heather and sage, and some underlying gooseberry as well, while definition comes from slightly brambly acidity. Quite nice. On the palate it's rich, with bright lemony fruit that gains direction from brisk acidity with tart loquat-tangerine accents, and flows into a long warm tart finish that continues at length. It's a powerful, direct wine that will drink quite well with foods, and I would in particular be tempted to serve it lightly chilled with a platter of mixed fried meats and vegetables, including artichokes, which clash with the tannins of a red wine. It will also work nicely with robust oriental dishes, including those that contain Sichuan pepper and like spices that again clash with reds. In short, enjoyable in a smiling sunny key, and you may want a second bottle.
2 stars

Monte Delle Vigne Rubina Brut Rosé
Lot 08 08
As I said above, this is made from Barbera. It's pale salmon pink with fine, persistent slightly pink perlage. The bouquet is rich, with slightly brambly forest berry fruit laced with hints of wet breadcrumbs and some savory overtones. Interesting. On the palate it's ample, with clean slightly bitter red berry fruit that gains direction from slightly bitter red currant acidity, and peppery fullness from the sparkle, while the finish is long and fruit laced with savory bitter overtones. It's different with respect to most rosés, with the fruit more towards currants and a hint of blackberry, but quite pleasant and will drink nicely as an aperitif or with cheese or egg based antipasti, and could also be nice with mildly flavored fish, or delicate risotti.
2 stars

Monte Delle Vigne Lambrusco Emilia IGT 2007
Lot 136 08
Rich, inky purple with an abundance of deep red perlage that gradually settles -- it look sumptuous. The bouquet is powerful, with sandalwood and brambly red berry fruit that bring the Grasparossa Lambrusco varietal to mind (though the varietal used is Lambrusco Maestri), laced with airy spice. Quite nice, and invites repeated sniffs. On the palate it's medium bodied, with moderately intense berry fruit supported by brambly acidity and peppery notes from the sparkle, while the tannins have some sandalwood accents to them, and it flows into a clean fresh sandalwood finish with blackberry overtones that keep it from settling. I would have expected a little more richness of fruit on the palate from the nose, but this is a stylistic observation, not a comment on the quality of the wine, which is quite nice, and will drink very well with cold cuts, hearty pasta dishes of the Emilian tradition (in particular meat-based stuffed pasta, perhaps with the drippings from a roast), and quickly grilled meats. It will go quickly with the proper foods.
2 stars

Monte Delle Vigne Nabucco IGT Emilia Rosso 2006
Lot 57 08
This is a blend of Barnbera and Merlot, and is Deep cherry ruby with cherry rim, and has a powerful, fruit driven vinous bouquet with elegant currant and forest berry fruit supported by dusky graphite shaving bitterness and bright, slightly brambly acidity -- the different varietals work together well, contributing to make a sum greater than the parts. On the palate it's medium bodied tending towards full, with rich black currant fruit that gains support from bright, almost cheeky acidity, and is supported by ample smooth bitter tannins that run a trail of graphite dust down the tongue, and flow into a clean rather brooding bitter finish. It's elegant, in a broad shouldered, clean fruit driven key, and will drink quite well with succulent, not too fatty red meats, and while the classic example would be thickly sliced medium-rare roast beef, I'd also be tempted to serve this with leg of lamb, or perhaps even with a hearty stew made from lean meats. Red, again; I think it would overpower most white meats. Though I tend to prefer traditional wines and blends, I found myself enjoying it, and think that in the proper setting it will go very fast.
2 stars

Bottom Line: Interesting wines from Collecchio! For more information, check Monte delle Vigne's Site

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