Located in the small and pretty village of Echevronne, Domaine Lucien Jacob produces this lovely Pinot Noir in the Savigny-lès-Beaune area, which is one of the Burgundy’s more prolific appellations. The Pinot Noirs from this region are similar in style to the reds of Beaune, being neither as elegant as Volnay nor as powerful as Pommard, yet generally reliable and good value for money . . 🍾 Domaine Lucien Jacob Sauvigny Vergelesses 1er Cru, 2016
🍇 💯 Pinot Noir 🍷 Elegant and restrainted, with aromas 👃🏻 of black cherries, clay, underwood. On the palate 💋 a medium (+) acidity balanced by a round and soft mouthfeel; again black cherries, strawberries jam, cedar wood and earthy notes as mushrooms and forest floor. A wine that’s showing beautifully now, but still has a few years ahead for ageing and getting even more complex.
When someone says Casanova di Neri your first thought is: “Brunello si Montalcino”. And it couldn’t be any different, obviously 🤤 But little did I know, when I visited them last year, that I would also discover a beautiful white wine that would make me smile at every sip!
🍇 50% Vermentino, 50% Grechetto 🥂 light bodied and refreshing, yet complex and elegant. Deep lemon 🍋 color, intense nose – of ripe peach 🍑, white melon, scotch broom flowers. The palate is consistent, adding flavors of juicy pineapple 🍍, acacia flowers, almonds, yellow apple, lemon juice . In my Riedel Sauvignon Blanc glass it tastes even better ❤️ .
As many of you already know, I have a bit (just a small tiny bit) of a thing for Riesling, especially for those coming from Mosel 🇩🇪 . Rieslings are capable of ageing for very long periods in time and when you’re lucky enough to get to taste them, it’s always a mind blowing experience! This 1989 @weingut_markusmolitor Trabener Kräuterhaus Auslese was no exception: amber color, intense nose 👃🏻 of lemon juice, candies zests, nuts, petroleum. The palate 💋 is consistent, adding beeswax, ginger, baking spices, caramel and hints of underwood and wet leaves. I loved every sip of this wine 🤩
Sunday Funday with a wine I loved from sip one! 🍾 Colline del Milanese Bianco 2021 di Banino di Antonio Panigada! 🍇 riesling 40%,sauvignon, 30%,chardonnay 30% 🥂 lemon 🍋 color, intense nose of lemon juice, green apple and flowers. On the palate is medium (+) bodied, with a high acidity and a great minerality, showing flavors of scotch brum, wisteria, lemon zest, grapefruit, pineapple, tomato leaf.
I had the pleasure to meet Antonio Panigada, the producer, at a wine tasting a few weeks ago: I told him straight away how much I liked this wine, and now I can only compliment his wine again! Cheers 🤩
A few days ago, I had the (once in a lifetime) opportunity to taste Chateau Margaux 1988. I can’t even describe the joy and the “dream coming true” feeling this bottle gave me, but I can definitely tell you 5 thing you might not know about this Estate:
🍷 Château Margaux is going (mostly) organic. Although it is not officially designated as such, much of Margaux’s vineyard uses organic farming methods. In 2017, 100 percent of the vines for the Grand Vin were farmed organically, according to the Wine Cellar Insider.
🍷 The estate produces four wines While the estate is best known for its highly rated (and very expensive) first growth Grand Vin, it also produces a second wine, Pavillon Rouge du Chateau Margaux, and a third named Margaux de Chateau Margaux. It also releases a dry white wine, Pavillon Blanc du Chateau Margaux, that does not conform to Margaux appellation directives.
🍷 It was Thomas Jefferson’s favourite wine Before he was President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson lived in Paris for a few years, during which he served as Minister to France. It was the time when he created his own hierarchy of wines, and placed Margaux at the top of this list: “There couldn’t be a better Bordeaux bottle,” he wrote.
🍷 It’s often mentioned in popular culture The Margaux name shows up in the works of Edgar Allen Poe, movies such as Withnail and I, Sherlock Holmes, Intolerable Cruelty, Thank You for Smoking, and Batman v Superman, as well as TV shows such as Downton Abbey and The Office. In the world of celebrity wines, few invoke class and sophistication quite like this one. That’s what makes it one of the most famous wines among cinephiles.
🍷 Château Margaux has been around for more than 300 years. As one of just five first-growth châteaux, Margaux has been classified as a top-tier wine since 1855 and it was the only given a 20/20 rating.
A glass of champagne to relax: Sunday at its best! . 🍾 L’inettendu from Champagne Lagille 2016 🍇 💯 Pinot Meunier 🥂 gold color, fine perlage, on the nose 👃🏻quince, plum, dried white flowers. On the palate 💋 it’s dry, with high acidity and a structured texture. Mineral, savory, with a lingering finish
July tickled us with a super sunny weekend last week and finally summer has arrived. And it is just perfect, especially when I mean to write an article about those gorgeous rosè wines that would flood our glasses as soon as the first rays of spring weather start showing u! I know what you’re thinking right now: “oh no, not another wines-to-drink list please!” Nope. Today you’ll travel with me to Lake Garda – a place I love and in which I have made some of the best memories ever. This is the biggest fresh water lake in Italy, 50km long and in some points over 300mt deep. Its influence on this region’s climate conditions is evident: the water temperature is colder than the air’s in summer and warmer in winter, therefore mitigating both the summer heat and the harsh winter days. There are two main winds that blow here: “Peler”, from north to south in the morning, and “Ora”, in the afternoon. As you can easily imagin, these are are very good conditions for viticulture and that is why I want in fact to introduce you to a wine region of this area: please meet the Valténesi. An off the beaten path region, which is slowly emerging and, in my humble opinion, should finally get the attention it deserves. Valténesi is a hilly territory on the western side of the Garda Lake where viticulture is known since the pre-Romans times. The indigenous grape variety here is called Groppello, a thin skin grape with a blue-purplish color – it’s pretty much the equivalent of what Sangiovese is in the Chianti area: a true reflection if its terroir. The DOC allows the production of a red wine (Valtenesi DOC) and a rosè wine (Valténesi Chiaretto DOC), which is made with a very special method called “Molmenti”. Basically, the skin contact period is very short, in some cases not even an hour, and then the wine is racked off during the night to help maintaining the typical freshness of this rosè. That’s why this wine is also called “the one night wine”. Thanks this short maceration the color of the wine is very pale, in that Provence fashion that is now so dear and appreciated by the public. That’s not the only thing they have in common though, because the Valténesi Chiaretto has also a unique style: it’s refreshing, fragrant, vibrant – thanks to the maritime climate and a well timed harvest that allow acidities to stay high – but also sapid and saline. It’s an elegant wine that shows the strength of this territory through aromas of roses and red wild fruits and a round and balanced sip. There’s a constellation of producers in this area and some of them are getting a pretty good reputation: some of the most famous are Ca’ dei Frati and Ca’ Maiol, but also smaller producers like Olivini make interesting wines. Mattia Vezzola, chief oenologist of Bellavista, here runs “Costaripa”, the family winery in which they also produce some very good traditional methods sold under his own name – that I was lucky enough to visit a few weeks ago. And then one of my favorites in the area, Cascina Belmonte: a small sustainable winery with a modern approach to viticulture and agriculture, where biodiversity reigns soverain and every detail is studied and reasoned to impact as little as possible on the environment. And all of this without compromising on the quality of the wines. What would you want more? Can you you already picture yourself sipping Rosé on the shore of the Lake at sunset? I totally do!
Need any touristic tip? Here you go: Vittoriale degli Italiani: definitely the place I love the most, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been there! This Villa used to be the poet D’Annunzio’s retreat on the shores of Lake Garda, near Gardone Riviera – just a little north of Salò. Art deco, eclectic tastes, beduin tents, fountains, waterfalls and even a real, entire, military ship lying on a hill… you can’t miss a visit!
Riva del Garda: the largest town in the northern part of the lake and the ideal base for GardaTrek, three loop trails between lake and mountains. It is close to some mountain bike trails and it is also possible to do some pretty cool lake dives. Salò: the second-largest town on the Lombardia side. It is famous for having been the headquarters of the Repubblica di Salò, the seat of the Fascist government at the end of World War II. This charming town has the longest lakeside promenade
Sirmione: an ancient town that sits on a peninsula, home to Grotte di Catullo (the ruins of a vast Roman villa), the Scaligero Castle, that stretches into the lake, and its thermal baths. In summer, Sirmione swarms with tourists so to enjoy it at its best the perfect moment would be off-season.
It’s harvest time and summer is gone leaving the pace to autumn. No, I’m not excited about autumn arriving at all with its cold temperatures and the following winter, but about harvest… yes I am! It reminds me a lot of when I was a child and grandpa used to harvest his vines of “uva fragola” (Concord or Fox grape in english) to make his “home-wine” and dad was bring home some bunches every day: they were so good I still get my mouth watering just thinking about it. But the best day of all was when the must was ready and grandpa was bringing it home for us to taste it: it was delicious and a feast of pleasure for the whole family, us kids included! One day I asked him: – “Granpa, why is this must so red?”
“It’s the skin contact that makes it so”
“Skin contact? Like you put all the grapes together close to each other and they become a color?”
“Mmm… Something like that, yes”.
Ok, that was maybe a bit naïve, but I was just 5 years old!
Thinking about it now, though, I really like that image of grapes becoming the red color in the process as a metaphor. Skin contact is the way the must became so red back then, but it is also the way we understand we like someone, isn’t it? A caress on our body of the one we like makes us shiver and even an accidental touch can give you chills; it is the smell of that special person on you for the whole day; it is desire; it makes you crave for more. It is red, it is passion and it all relates to that: skin contact. When you like someone, what’s the thing you want the most? You want them close; you want them next to you, holding your hand; you love feeling their body near when they snuggle up to you and you just don’t care if that’s the most uncomfortable thing in the world; you want the touch of their hand on your face when you’re falling asleep. I know for a fact that grandpa use to love it at least as much as I do nowadays: the thing I remember the most of my grandparents is that they were always – and I really mean always – holding each other’s hand when they were together. And I totally get that: when you’re physically close to someone you tend to feel happier because your body releases dopamine, serotonin – both of which boost your mood – and oxytocin, which is also known to be the chemical that creates bonds and grows affection and intimacy. And as far as I’m concerned, cuddling makes me sleep better. All of this from something so apparently simple as skin contact.
Bottom line? Red wine will be your perfect cuddle!
Cheers to that!
Wine of the day:
It can only be my grandpa’s Fragolino: I really wish I could literally take it out of my good memories to taste it again, but I guess that won’t be possible.
To me, it tastes of childhood memories, strawberries and a fireplace.
There comes a time in everyone’s life when you need to make choices. Regardless of how important they are or what they are about, they always take you out of your comfort zone. Sometimes we indulge in situations – even when we don’t like them too much – just because we’re too afraid (or lazy, or scared, or uncertain, you choose) of the changes that making a choice would involve – because they always happen and the worst part is that we can’t foresee what’s going to happen next. But: is this really the worst part? I’m not that sure… the worst part, to me, is actually making your call, or taking a position, or speaking up for yourself with a clear mind, and all what comes next – in the end – is only the result of your decisional process. So, the next question is: does right and wrong exist when it comes to choices? If I think of all the decisions I have made in my life, from the easiest ones to the most difficult, I belive I can identify the golden rules that worked for me:
don’t overthink (which sounds quite like a joke said from me, a natural overthinker!): take your time, sleep on it, talk about it with your closest ones, go dancing, go walking, see your friends, you can even try crying a few tears if it helps releasing the stress, but don’t focus all your energies and attention on that issue, it would only make you see things worse or bigger than they are;
no fear: of any kind. No wrong decisions can be made and no panic on the consequences. Only you know what’s inside of you and what led you to that specific choice you’re about to make, so don’t fear other people’s judgment (easy to say, not always so easy to cope with though)
a glass of wine always helps (just one!!)… better if red! And here, my choice is easy: Dolcetto d’Alba is what I find really comforting when I need to make a decision!
Ok, I must admit this looks very simplicistic and that it takes a bit of effort to face some situations. But we still have one last option, which I was told a few years ago by someone wise: “If you’re uncertain and you can’t decide just pick a side and flip a coin: when it will be about to fall on the ground you will know for sure what you’re hoping for”…and that is just so true! Have you ever tried?
So, now: guess what I’m gonna drink tonight??
Wine of the day:
Dolcetto d’Alba DOC 2015, Roagna
Ruby red with purplish reflections, on the nose is fruity, black cherry and black currant mingle with forest floor and hints of oak. Medium bodied, with chewy tannins: I find incredibly soft for a Dolcetto, with a nice acidity in the finish.
Here you’ll find the tech sheet of this beautiful wine!
July has arrived and these long, warm, sunny days are a real energy boost: summer has always been my favourite season among all, even when temperatures rise up to sticky 40°. I love the feeling of the burning sand under your feet and the salty aftertaste of the sea when you go swim, or walking through the vines and see all those beautiful bunches growing day by day, that from veraison turn slowly to their final colour: a beautiful reminder of how things in life change naturally. It is so fascinating to me, I find it a perfect metaphor. Nature moves at its own pace, follows its seasons and its rithm and so does life. Veraison could be seen as our teens: the moment in which we start showing our colours, even though we still need the “nutrients” from the vines – our adults and support – in order to ripen fully and become (hopefully!) grown-ups. I must admit I know “aged” grown-ups who are still in their veraison and would need a futher ripening period, though… but let’s leave that for another post! Cheers!