A Evening of Morellino di Scansano: Energy, Freshness, and Style

An Evening of Morellino di Scansano: Energy, Freshness, and Style

I am ruminating about how I might sufficiently relate to you the energy, freshness, and style I am experiencing during this evening of tasting Morellino di Scansano wines in NYC with members of Consorzio Morellino. Finally, it comes to me – I shall entrust you briefly to the care of Macklemore for an “energy-freshness-style” level-set by way of their performance of “Can’t Hold Us”:

I trust you are now well enough prepared to proceed with our discussion 😉

Morellino di Scansano does share a similar aromatic profile to Chianti Classico wines – not surprising as both are born of Sangiovese – but in the mouth, Morellino drinks with fresher, less aggressive tannins. The fresher-style Morellino wine is meant to be drunk younger, finding its peak in, say, 2-3 years, while the Morellino selection-level wines that spend some time in wood, will likely find their peak drinking time in 4-5 years. Riserva versions of Morellino, though, as they are richer in tannin, and having spent a year or so in wood, may extend 10 years or thereabouts to full maturity. In any case, Morellino di Scansano is inhabited by a youthful enthusiasm, juiciness, really, that differentiates it from other Sangiovese wines and their drier tannins.

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What I really love about this tasting night is that the evening’s wine selections offer typical Morellino roundness and softness, yet each wine shows unique character and nuance among its peers and, again, exhibits a differentiating contrast that extends to Italy’s other Sangiovese wines found in the market. I could attribute this only to the fact that the Morellino di Scansano production area has quite different climatic, soil and growing conditions than most or all of Italy’s other important Sangiovese growing areas.

In confirmation of the appellation’s constant evolution in quality and practices, the Morellino di Scansano DOC (granted 1978) was awarded an upgrade to Italy’s highest wine designation of DOCG in 2007.

At an impressive table put on by restaurant Del Posto, thoughtfully paired Morellino wines play a perfect partner to the protagonist of each delicious Del Posto food course. That these Morellino wines are so incredibly harmonious with dishes ranging from truffled beef cruda to garganelli with ragu Bolognese to Neapolitan lamb rack with smoked neck, to cheeses, affirms that Morellino di Scansano wines are fundamental to good eating, whether such good eating be fine dining courses or favorite dishes prepared at home.

Tasting Highlights:

Tenuta Pietramora di Colle Fagiano “Brumaio” 2010 Tasted during the reception with hors d’oeuvres, this wine extended an elegant greeting to all comers. Easy to sip alone or with tasty small bites, this wine is stylish and easy to drink with especially tasty cherry fruit.

Poggio Nibbiale 2010 Produced without synthetic pesticides, fertilizers or yeasts. Earthy, forest berries, violets, lush vitality in the mouth, soft tannins.

Az. Santa Lucia “Tore del More” 2010 Sophisticated and stylish, black cherries, herbs, hint of scrub pine, wonderful texture on the palate.

Poggio Argentiera “Capatosta” 2010
Spectacular expression of Scansano Sangiovese with a ripe cherry core, saddle leather, fallen leaves, silky tannins and enough energy to go for a decade or more.

Provveditore “Primo” Riserva 2009 Impressions of red and black fruits, good depth, intense with magnificent inner mouth aromas and a satisfying, long finish.

Fattoria Le Pupille “Poggio Valente” Riserva 2009 Massively expressive nose of fruit, herbs and spice, full of life and lusty energy, supple tannins and a tireless finish.

Conte Ferdinando Guicciardini – Massi di Mandorlaia “I Massi” 2010 Laser-focused core of red and dark fruits, notes of spice, pine. Kinetic power on the palate and an untiring finish.

Fattoria Mantellassi “Le Sentinelle” Riserva 2008 Good complexity showing red and black cherries, notes of baker’s chocolate, anisette and spice. Soft and rich on the palate, tapering nicely to dry on the finish.

Event presented by Susannah Gold, founder of Vigneto Communications

You can learn more about Morellino di Scansano wines at the Consorzio Morellino website . Italian and English.

Bottle Roundup, Two Nebbiolo-based Wines with Varietal Character and Complexity, Reco’s at a Glance

bottle-round-up-fay-caves-de-donnas-may-2013Left to Right:

Caves de Donnas DONNAS – 90% Nebbiolo grapes (Picotendro), 10% Freisa and Neyret. Valle D’Aosta. $$

Sandro Fay Rosso di Valtellina – 90% Nebbiolo (Chiavennasca), 10% Merlot, Brugnola, Rossola, Pignola. Lombardia Valtellina. $

Marcarini Dolcetto D’Alba Fontanazza 2010

Marcarini Dolcetto D’Alba Fontanazza 2010

We can disagree about if it is the Beatles or the Rolling Stones who made the better music. And feel free to cheer against my team when the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees do baseball battle.

But, if you don’t find something to love about Marcarini Dolcetto D’Alba Fontanazza … well, I don’t think we can be friends 😉

marcarini-dolcetto-dalba-fontanazza-2010Marcarini Fontanzza 2010 is simply an outstanding representative of everything great about Italian wine – massively food friendly, traditional, terroir-expressive, honest, and above all, delicious.

The wine is produced from Dolcetto grapes grown among the Langhe Hills of Italy’s Piedmont in the area of La Morra – a locale famous for its Barolo wines – at 320m above sea level in a calcareous soil of high magnesium content.

The producer has decided against ageing in wood in order to preserve the wine’s character, aroma, and freshness.

Tasting Notes:

Scents of fresh cherries and violets with delicate notes of brown spice that transfer nicely to the palate. Warm in the mouth, sensations of marzipan, cinnamon, and a persistent finish with the most delicately bitter grace note. An affordable, delicious wine that brings a bit of class to everyday life at table.

Food Pairing Suggestions:

Incredibly versatile and food friendly at table, it will exalt leftovers and better meals both for almost any cuisine. Use with confidence 🙂