Wine Discoveries: Not Your Typical Italian Wines

Planet Wine, one of my neighborhood wine shops in Alexandria, Virginia, started Wednesday evening wine tastings, in addition to their usual Saturdays. I noticed on Twitter, Siema Wines, a local importer/distributor I like, was going to be featured on Wednesday so I stopped by for what turned out to be a tasting of fun and different Italian discoveries.

La Cappuccina San Brizio Soave

The Tessari family has been growing grapes at La Cappuccina, the site of an ancient chapel of Franciscan friars, for over a century. The vineyards, which surround the family villa, are locaed at Cosalunga, in the Soave DOC production area of Verona in northern Italy. La Cappuccina is a certified organic wine estate.

  • Grape Variety: 100% Garganega
  • Aroma: Sparkling lemon
  • Taste: Creamy lemon curd with touch of spice
  • Price: $12.99
  • My thoughts: Gorgeous golden color. Not your typical Soave wine…it is still lemony and grassy but also has a spice (due to 7-8 months in barrique barrels), richness and weight to it. As Timothy said at Planet Wine, “This is a good white for red wine lovers.” Bought a bottle of this and enjoying a glass now. :)
From the same winery as above. Madégo, the name of the vineyard from which this wine comes, is the word in the local dialect for the second harvest of the alfalfa that was once grown on this plot of land.
  • Grape Variety: 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc
  • Aroma: Herbal, berry
  • Taste: Raspberry, cedar, clove and cinnamon
  • Price: $11.99
  • My thoughts: This combination of grape varietals is a class Bordeaux combo wine yet this is from northern Italy. Extremely unique wine in Italy…French yet Italian!

The Kaltern estate sits in one of the most beautiful corners of the Dolomites, overlooking Caldaro Lake, in the Alto Adige region of northern Italy. There are 400 tiny growers who are the members of this winery and some of the parcels of land are as small as 1/4 acre. The patchwork of vineyards form a design that is breathtaking.

  • Grape Variety: 100% Pinot Nero (the name for Pinot Noir in Italian OR Blauburgunder, the name for Pinot Noir in Austrian)
  • Aroma: Berry
  • Taste: Strawberry and cranberry
  • Price: $15.99
  • My thoughts: It’s a light bodied Pinot Noir yet long on the finish. You don’t typically find a Pinot Noir grape in Italy. And this one is so far north in Italy, close to the Austrian border, they also use the Austrian grape name.
This is a UNIQUE wine!! Lacrima di Morro d’Alba is the smallest DOC (Italian designated wine region) in Italy. Name meaning “the tears of the Moors from Alba.” The story goes that this tear drop shaped grape starts to ‘tear’ from the top when its ripe…thus the name.
  • Grape Variety: 100% Lacrima
  • Aroma: Smells just like a Cru Beaujolais, the French wine, with strawberry and spice
  • Taste: Fragrant floral, strawberry, herbal, nice tannin/weight in the mouth feel of the wine
  • Price: $17.99
  • My thoughts: This is another extremely unique wine in Italy…French yet Italian! Brought home a bottle of this as I’m a Cru Beaujolais fan.

Cheers to new wine discoveries from Italy! Thank you Planet Wine & Siema Wines!

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