The Tre Bicchieri Web Show was presented by Gambero Rosso, a Rome-based Italian wine and food magazine that was founded in 1986. It was their first-ever Master Class, which indicates that there are more planned.
The interactive event was hosted by Lorenzo Ruggeri, the wine guide's international editor, with comments along the two-hour journey from each winery's representative. This is the final of three articles on Now And Zin Wine which feature the wines that were tasted.
The Baratta family owns Tuscany's Tenuta Monteti in Capalbio, in the southern part of Maremma, very close to the sea. The winery was founded in 1998 and it deals exclusively with international varieties like Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Alicante-Bouschet. All the Monteti wines are aged in small wood barrels.
The 2015 Caburnio was made from 50% estate Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 25% Alicante Bouschet. The individual grapes were vinified and aged separately, then blended, then aged a year in the bottle.
Ruggeri says the area is in the wildest part of Tuscany, where the forests are populated mostly by wild animals. The region, he says, is too warm for Sangiovese or white wine grapes, but great for the Bordeaux varieties. Caburnio has alcohol at 14% abv and a retail price of $21.
This wine is dark enough, that's for sure. It is a blend of Cab, Merlot and Alicante Bouschet. No light gets through it when I hold it to the light. It smells dark, too. Cassis and tar fight for first place, while blackberry and oak spice aromas jostle from behind. The palate is stately, with a muscular elegance structured by firm tannins, flinty minerals and a lively acidity. Bring on the steaks, as big as you like.
Now we come to Puglia - the heel of the boot, the land of Primitivo. The winery which is now Cantine Coppi was founded in 1882 and taken over by the Coppi family in 1976. It sits between Turi and Gioia del Colle, where the vineyards feature. traditional varieties like Primitivo, Aleatico, Negroamaro, Malvasia Nera, Malvasia Bianca, Falanghina and Verdeca. On the label, you'll see an artistic representation of an elevation map of the property.
The 2015 Coppi Senatore was named after Senator Antonio Michele Coppi, who founded the company and makes the wine. It was made completely from Primitivo grapes which were grown on their chalky, clay hillsides. The de-stemmed fruit was crushed and put into fermenters before being transferred to steel tanks after separating the juice from the skins. Aging took place in barrels of Slavonian oak for about a year. Alcohol hits only 13.5% abv and the price is $30.
This Primitivo shows a medium-dark tint in the glass and a nose that is all fruit, all the time. Cherry aromas are joined by notes of plum and cassis, with just a hint of oak. After it sits for a bit, a whiff of smoke gathers at the top of the glass. The palate shows a lot of earthiness and a chalky quality, which we can chalk up to minerality. There is a lengthy finish that turns slightly tart on the fade. I would love to have this wine with some nice Italian sausages and pasta, or a meatball sub.
Còlpetrone is in Montefalco, right in the middle of Umbria, which is right in the middle of Italy. Under the umbrella of Tenute del Cerro, they are known for producing wines of note from the ancient Sagrantino grape and the white Grechetto. The winery was founded in 1995 in the hilly region of clay loam soil.
The 2012 Còlpetrone Montefalco Sagrantino is a full varietal wine, 100% Sagrantino, which was racked into French oak barrels after fermentation for a full malolactic fermentation. It was aged in the wood for a year and another six months in the bottle. The winery rep noted the big spiciness in the wine, adding that it is unusual to think of Sagrantino as elegant, but that this one earns the description. Ruggeri said, it is "not showing off, the wine speaks in a low voice." One of the participants commented that it is like meat in a glass. Alcohol sits at 14% abv and the list price is $30.
This 2012 wine is extremely dark in the glass - inky - and bears a nose of beautiful blackberry and black plum. There is a savory ride-along for good measure. The sip reveals a wine with a tingling acidity and very firm tannins - eight years old and it still has plenty of fight left in it. Bring on the rib eye, bring on the porterhouse… this wine will tame all of them.
The Castagnedi brothers' estate extends along a ridge in Veneto that separates the Mezzane and Marcellise valleys. They also have vineyards to the east, towards the Illasi valley. Tenuta Sant’Antonio was represented on the virtual event by Armando Castagnedi, who said the property's marly limestone soil is so deprived of nutrients that it is white. Accordingly, the vines have to work to stretch their roots deep to find the richer dirt.
The 2015 Amarone della Valpolicella was made from a mix of Italian grape varieties: 70% Corvina and Corvinone, 20% Rondinella, 5% Croatina and 5% Oseleta. The grapes were dried for three months for raisining before being pressed late in the year. The wine was vinified in new 500-litre French oak casks. Afterward, the aging process took place in new casks for three years. Tasters mentioned barbecue notes, cinnamon and fruits. The alcohol content is 16% abv and the retail price is $73.
This wine speaks loudly through its minerals, but does not need to shout. The dark liquid gives off aromas of meat, fine cigars, dried fruit and a slight raisiny note. It is a complete joy to smell, let alone to drink. The palate is silky smooth, with tannins on the back end. Dark fruit dominates the flavor profile, but there is a hefty chunk of savory minerality that elbows through - ever so elegantly. Pair it with pasta, marinara, Bolognese, or just sip it and make dinner wait.