Friday, February 26, 2010

Palazzetto Ardi: Entusiasmo!

Some winemakers are shy,and others less so: Carlo Sitizia contacted me in the course of Vinitaly a few years ago and asked me if I would like to come visit his agriturismo and taste his wines.

During Vinitaly wasn't practical, but I drove over towards Vicenza and was very pleased I did. He and his wife, Michela, have taken over a 14th century farm complex that had become a granary/warehouse, and transformed it into Palazzetto Ardi, a beautiful and dynamic farm. They are completely biodynamic, and Michela somehow found time to become an accomplished chef while tending to crops and critters of all kinds. I have posted a number of her recipes on About.Com, and am very pleased to say that they recently held tastings and a dinner in New York, at the Yale Club.

But the object of this post is of course to talk about their wines.

Entusiasmo di Palazzetto Ardi Rosso IGT Veneto 2006
This is a Cabernet; it's pale ruby with white rim. The bouquet is bright, with lively brambly acidity mingled with greenish vegetal accents and savory notes, and underlain by chewy berry fruit. On the palate it's delicate, with fairly rich berry fruit supported by smooth berry fruit acidity,a nd by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a fairly long berry fruit finish that becomes bfambly as the fruit, cranberry mingled with cherry, fades. It's an extremely welcoming wine, one that you will set out, and people will drink. At which point you'll need another. What more can I say, other than that it will be perfect with simple grilled meats or light stews? Worth seeking out.

Entusiasmo di Palazzetto Ardi Rosso IGT Veneto 2007
This is a Cabernet Franc; it's deeper ruby with black reflections and white rim. The bouquet is powerful, with brambly bitterness and some vegetal accents, which gain depth from brisk acidity and sea salt. Quite harmonious, and pleasant to sniff. On the palate it's medium bodied, with fairly rich bitter vegetal accents and some minerality more than fruit; there's also brambly acidity and the tannins are deft and vigorous. In short, scrappy, and though it won't work for you if you look for the fruit driven smoothness of ripe New World wines, if you prefer a more aggressive style it will drink very well with foods, and go very quickly. A particular wine that's not for everyone, but if you like the style you will like it very much.

Note: Palazzetto Ardi is imported to the US by Green Grape

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