Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Umbria III

On our last day in Umbria, we had to (of course) visit some of the local wineries. Our first stop was a vineyard we hadn't heard of before called Adanti. Set on a picturesque landscape, we entered the villa antisipating the wine within. One white, five reds and an out of this world desert Sagrantino later, we were in love with this place. Our 'host' was intellegent and informative, explaining to us all about the Sagrantino grape and the differences between the Doc, Docg and the marriages they created with is and other grapes. We were also amazed by the passito and how well sagrantino does as a desert wine (later finding out that the origins of the grape wine started as a sweet wine) After we bought a few of our favorites we thought the since we were in the area we should visit Assisi, home of the Franciscan monk and his church. The city, now a mecca to Christians, was full of tourists and medalions dedicated to the holy man. The church is set high on a hill and is visible from many surrounding towns. It was destroyed during an earthquake in 09/26/1997 and restored to its original state a few years ago. Beautiful and open, but the insane amount of people really keeps you from enjoying the experience fully. Once we'd had enough, we set of to find a Cipolloni or a place where olive oil is made. Umbria is also home to some of the best oil in Italy more olive trees the vineyards can be seen from the small roads. The Cipolloni we went to was recommended to us by our friend Andrea and is considered a great oil for the price. We tasted their regular oil and the reserva, taking home with us a couple of bottles. Back the B&B to rest and pack, sad to see the day coming to an end. We had been invited for dinner by our new friends and were interested in seeing their much talked about home. Set in the middle of fields, the ranch style home was full of ceramics and homey in an artists way. We helped set the table for the 10 expected guests and opened a few bottles of wine made by small local producers. Once everyone arrived we laughed and dined on local food, slightly enhanced by the brazilian ideas of cooking. With dogs running around us, we spoke of future plans and past experiences, all the time thinking to myself, what a simple easy life, could I live like this? Away from the hustle of city life? Maybe.

And on our drive back to Venice, I thought about it more and more. The simple life in a beautiful place full of amazing people, food and wine. Why not after all? Being happy is whats most important isn't it. And now, back in NY, I still think about Umbria and the friends we met and the places we visited. Who knows, maybe we will end there one day. It wouldn't be half bad, thats for sure.

Nell'ultimo giorno in Umbria non poteva mancare una visita ad una cantina. La scelta è caduta sull' Azienda vinicola Adanti situata tra Bevagna e Foligno in un bellissimo panorama di colline arricchite da vigneti ed ulivi. I vini in degustazione presentati erano un biano e precisamente il Grechetto dei Colli Martani e cinque rossi tutti degni di nota ma due in particolare caratterizzati da un ottima qualità prezzo sono il Montefalco Rosso Arquata DOC e il Rosso dell'Umbria IGT. Non potrei dimenticare fra quete righe il meraviglioso Sagrantino di Montefalco e il persinstentissimo Sagrantino di Montefalco Passito tutti prodotti di ottimo livello gustativo targati DOCG. Dopo averne comprate alcune bottiglie ci siamo avviati per una breve vista verso la Basilica di San Francesco d'Assisi per poi virare appena fuori Foligno esattamente a San Giovanni Profiamma per immergere i nostri sensi nel frantoio Cipolloni. Questo frantoio raccomandatoci da una amica artista Andrea è veramente un passaggio obbligato tra i molti offferti da questa grande terra. Tornando al B&B per una rinfrescatina siamo stati invitati poi da Andrea e Nicola per la cena in una cascina tra le colline umbre. Persone incredibili e affascinanti l'Umbria non finirà mai di stupirmi.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tokay Pinot Gris W.Gisselbrecht 2004

Tokay or Tocai is a wine type made from the Furmint grape which grows in Hungary and produces the famed Tokay Aszu. However, the people who thought they were bring back this traditionally sweet grapeback to Alsace, France 500 years ago, it turned out that is wasnt Tokay at all, but Pinot Grigio (or Gris in French), and the named later changed to a mix of the two- Tokay Pinot Grigio. This white is normally a robust, strong smelling wine made to be had with dinner. And, in fact this bottle by Vitners W. Gisselbrecht has intense and complex aromas, in particular floreal, honey, roasted almonds and spices. It can almost seem fatty or oily in the glass and when drunk, but it does give you a warm feeling almost christmas like. Because of this and its great persistance it can be served with heavy dishes like fois gras of poultry roasts. I would really recommend this delicious wine to go with your holiday dinner or party.
Vote 85/100

Tokay è un vino fatto con l'uva Furmint proveninte dall'Ungheria durante un assedio francese alla fortezza Tokaj da parte del generale Lazare de Schwendi uscendo vincitore si portò con se oltre quattromila barili di vino per l'appunto Tokay; piacendogli tanto si portò via anche le talee in modo da coltivarlo in patria . Purtroppo si sbagliò e portò con se quelle del Pinot Grigio invece di quelle del Furmint. Questa bottiglia infatti riporta sull'etichetta la specifica Tokay Pinot Gris. Il vino si presenta con un giallo paglierino pieno e consistente; la sua complessità si esprime nel floreale variando poi nel miele d'acacia e nelle mandorle tostate. Grasso in bocca, cremoso ma ben equilibrato dalla freschezza e dalla sapidità. Ottimo per le feste di Natale da abbinare magari ad uno fois gras. Bene il rapporto qualità prezzo!!
Voto 85/100

Thursday, December 11, 2008

La Chablisienne, Chablis Premier Cru, 2003 Mont de Milieu

Although I personally am not particular to Chardonnay, I am a fan however of Chablis. A Chardonnay from Bourgogne France, the Chablis is slightly fresher and definately lighter than the typical heavy, buttery and vanilla flavored style. This vineyard, La Chablisienne puts out a few types of Chablis from Petit to Grand Cru. The bottle I am talking about today is Premier Cru from Mont de Milieu (remember each Cru must come from a specific land area to be called a Cru) 2003. A light, clear yellow with golden highlights, perfumes are somewhat typical to a chardonnay- peachy, apricoty, floreal, the light wood or maybe a forest smell shows secondary. The taste was elegant and well balanced. Intense, fresh, slightly mineral and it didnt have the barriqued flavor which I was thanksful for. Overall it was a nice wine, great with a fish dinner.
Vote 85/100
Sebbene personalmente non mi piaccia lo Chardonnay, quello vinificato in Borgogna lo ritengo fantastico: fresco e minerale non coperto dal legno quindi non sproporzionato e vanigliato. Questa Azienda La Chablisienne è nata come cooperativa nel 1923 infatti durante la crisi di quei tempi (guarda caso) i viticoltori si son messi assieme a produrre vino con a capo Abbe' Balitrand. Oggi la cooperativa ha raggiunto il numero di 300. La bottiglia in visione è lo Chablis Premier Cru Mont de Milieu: Colore giallo paglierino con riflessi leggermente dorati ( è una vendemmia del 2003) si apre con eleganza nella pesca, albicocca, fiori gialli, vaniglia e del fieno bagnato. Al palato la sua qualità è confermata appieno con una buona freschezza e mineralità senza imbrodarsi di legno. Buona l'intensità e la sua persistenza.
Ottimo liquido francese; bene se abbinato con un bel piatto di pesce!!

Voto 85/100

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Paradou restaurant in NY

In times like these, stores and restaurants a like are doing anything possible to get or keep clients. Sales, deals, shows, discounts- you name it. So when we choose a little place called Paradou in the meatpacking district of New York City, we were shocked when we saw how hard it was to actually get the discount they promised.
We had originally decided to go there mainly because we had passed by, thought it different and we liked the slogan- 'We're not fancy, but our food is' or something like that, and they were right. At the end of the meal, I went to the bathroom seeing for the first time their list of 'deals' and 'specialty' nights. 'Dec 8th, free bottle of wine.' With that, it was written to make a reservation or tell you waiter and use this code. What are we in some brothel in the 1920's I thought? Needing a password? But still I thought that getting our half liter of wine free would be great (especially since it was so expensive and really not that good) but when I asked the waiter he said it was by reservation only. Well that wasn't what it said on the list- so I asked the manager and she said oh no you must be on the mailing list. Thats funny, never heard of the mailing list before and it definatly wasn't written on the sheet of discounts and deals. So really did they want to give anyone a free bottle of wine? I doubt it. They claim they want to help out the people until the DOW reaches 12000? Just a ploy to make you think that there are some decent people out there trying to help out the unemployed citizens of NY. One would think that if you want people to come back or share their happy thoughts about a restaurant with others they would have discounted the bottle either way, but they didnt. So here's our nasty thoughts on the place. Bland overpriced food, in a quasi dive looking atmosphere, without hardly any heat and they probably use cheap, crappy wine for their 'quarter' and 'half' bottles since they never showed or poured you the wine from the original bottle (something unheard of in Europe). But most of all, the fact that a place offers you one thing and doesnt give it to you is absoluty distasteful.

Di questi tempi di crisi negozi e ristoranti fanno il possibile per attirare e mantere i clienti con sconti, slogan 2 al prezzo di uno. Uno di questi il ristorante Paradou nel Meatpacking District di New York City ci ha shoccato veramnete.
Abbiamo deciso di cenare li in quanto essendo di passaggio siamo stati catturati dallo slogan' Non siamo fancy ma i nostri piatti lo sono' suonava più o meno così.
Alla fine della cena andando in bagno abbiamo notato per la prima volta la lista delle offerte del mese di dicembre e gennaio. Dicembre, Lunedi 8 gratis una bottiglia di vino. Indicava che bisognava prenotare o dire al cameriere una password!! Pazzesco siamo tornati al tempo del Proibizionismo. Comunque visto che avevamo ordinato mezza bottiglia di vino rosso di qualità scadente ad un prezzo di 28$ averla gratis sarebbe stato almeno un sollievo per le nostre tasche.
Bene il manager ci diceva che per avere lo sconto bisognava essere nella mail list. Strano non era scritto nella promo del loro sito. Davvero vogliono dare un bottiglia di vino gratis a tutti?? Non lo credo proprio!!! Beh il look non era tra i migliori: quattro muri bianchi, senza un adeguato riscaldamnto cibo quasi insipido e senza gusto e il vino ragazzi indicato nel menu come Chateau of ... venduto sia in bottiglia da mezzo litro che da litro, ordinando quella da mezzo ci è arrivata una caraffa di vino sfuso a 28$$$!!! Orrore !!! Ragazzi assolutamente da evitare questo locale.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Beaujolais Nouveau Domaine Dupeuble Pere et Fils 2008 12,5%

November is the month of Beaujolais and Novello. Two wonderfully unique and fresh wines produced in a manor to be drunk and enjoyed early while all other wines are maturing. This November we've been drinking a lot more beaujolais than novello's (which are different than the french version and which I miss) but we did have one interesting one by Domaine Dupeuble Pere et Fils. The purple color is typical to these extremely young wines as well as its purfumes- fresh red and purple fruits and flowers, especially strawberries and grapes. This bottle in particular was drier and softer than other rescent beaujolais Ive had (George Doeuff), with discrete amounts of tannins and heat. Ready to drink and unageable, the beaujolais is best drunk within the first year its born.
Vote 80/100

Eccoci qua passato novembre anche quì a New York la febbre del Beaujolais si fa sentire e numerosi eventi in questa cosmopolita città prendono forma. Soffro a non avere vicini i miei vini Novelli veneti invece di raccontare fluidi dei nostri cugini d'oltralpe, ma forse più avanti qualche fragola novellina italiana sarà raccontata in queste pagine virtuali. Subito il colore porpora e il profumo vinoso esprime il suo carattere fresco e forse oserei 'semplice' nella bevuta, consentitemi di dirlo. Fragoline, prugna, terriccio bagnato al naso; al palato secco abbastaza caldo, abbastanza morbido, con discreta tannicità esprime una buona frescezza e sapidità. Matura la beva. Ecco il Novello, excuse mua, il Beaujolais 2008 dell'Azienza Dupeuble Pere et Fils 2008.

Voto 80/100

Friday, December 5, 2008

Radikon Oslavje 2003 14%

At our apartment for dinner with a great group of friends, we opened and drank a cellarsworth of wine one bottle in particular was Radikon. A name well known amoungst wino's, Ive been waiting to try this particular juice. Like my husband said, it was like a child on christmas getting the toy he asked for. The vineyard, Stanko Radikon is located in the Friuli region of Italy in the province of Gorizia, which is near the Slovanian border. The 10 hectors of land they own produce a large quantity of grapes such as; Ribolla gialla, Chardonnay, Pinot grigio, Sauvignon, Tocai friulano e Merlot. Whats so special about this wine? Well there are a few things, the first being the absence of added yeast. Therefor maceration and fermentation happen naturally with the yeast found only the skins and stems of the grape. Because they are left in the fermentation tank they wine is darker in color (a white wine) then most. The wine is never filtered and sulfites are never added, leaving these yeasts in the liquid and the final product is thicker looking and has pieces of sediment. So why is this a good thing? well first, is all natural- but because there are no sulfites you won't get that 'wine headache' typical especially of whites. But more importantly, all this creates very individual and unique tastes and smells. The Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio used for this particular bottle produces an intense amber yellow wine, with smells of apricot, pinapple,candied fruits and stone. Soft, warm, fresh and mineral with even a touch of tannin (due to the time spent in barique). It wass well balanced and persistant, and unlike anything Ive had before. I must admit though that I was not as impressed as my friends, maybe because the slight hint of oxidation is not something I particularly enjoy. However, I must applaud them for their effort in production and the uniqueness of the wine. I recommened Radikon to everyone to try, but it does have a high price...
Vote 92/100

Con degli amici abbiamo aperto una bottiglia di Radikon. Avendone sentito parlare appena vista alla mia tavola mi sono sentito come un bambino difronte al regalo di Natale. Comincerei col dire che l'Azienda di Stanko Radikon è situata in Friuli Venezia Giulia esattamnete a Oslavia nel comune di Gorizia; possiedono circa 10 ettari di terreno con pendenze molto accentuate quindi difficili da coltivare, producono uve come la Ribolla gialla, Chardonnay, Pinot grigio, Sauvignon, Tocai friulano e Merlot. L'assoluta assenza di lieviti aggiunti al mosto quindi solo lieviti indigeni presenti nelle bucce, la totale macerazione delle uve con le sue bucce nel caso per i bianchi in tini di legno senza il controllo della temperatura assieme a lunghi affinamenti in grandi botti di rovere sono i punti di forza di Radikon. Passiamo alla bottiglia molto stretta dal contenuto di 0,5 l. Stappata emana subito profumi intensi. Versato nel bicchiere il vino si presenta color giallo ambrato con riflessi dorati, velato e consistente. Al naso sprigiona un arcobaleno di sensazioni meravigliose come l'albicocca, l'ananas, i canditi, minerale di pietra bianca con una grande intensità e complessità. In bocca è secco morbido abbastanza caldo, fresco e sapido con una vena di tannicità data dalla lunga macerazione delle bucce. Intenso equilibrato e persistente. Armonico. L'Oslavje è un uvaggio di Chardonnay per il 40%, Pinot grigio 30%, Sauvignon 30%. Una delizia per il palato, un gioiello da meditazione!!
Voto 94/100


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