Monday, April 4, 2011


Fata Morgana Greco 2009

This Italian wine proved to be a little hard to find in Los Angeles once it dropped off the restaurant wine list on which it was discovered.  My friend Marge found and fell in love with the '08 vintage of Fata Morgana Greco at an eastside eatery recently.  After putting in some diligent work tracking down the wine, she ended up finding the 2009 bottling.  She bought a case and is quite happy with her purchase.

From the Fattoria San Francesco Winery, the wine is made from 100% Greco di Bianco grapes sourced from a vineyard featuring 20-plus year-old vines in Calabria, in the toe of Italy's boot.  The loose, sandy soil over volcanic chalk and limestone in which they are grown makes its mark in the form of a nice minerality in the wine.  Fermented in stainless steel vats, the Greco undergoes malolactic fermentation - which tends to leave a creamy mouthfeel - and ages on lees for 8 months before bottling.  That means the wine is not removed from the dead yeast that drops to the bottom of the vat.  It gives a bit of a yeasty feel to the palate.

The nose is floral and tropical, and the wine feels full-bodied - not a surprise.  This white has a great acidity level making it very food-friendly.  It paired well with Sheryl's jambalaya and even with sauceless pulled pork.  I gave it big pairing points for its performance with sweet items, sweet-corn cornbread and pralines.  Fata Morgana has a 12.5% alcohol level and sells for around $15.

If you'd like to find it for yourself, here's how Marge did it.  "I bought mine through Susan Brink at Venokado, 7714 Fountain in West Hollywood.  She bought a case for the store when she bought mine."  You might want to hurry.

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