Welcome back wine lovers!
I’m back at my office and ready to show you my journey in Vinitaly 2016. For those of you who are not acquainted with Italian wine fairs, Vinitaly was held in Verona from Sunday April 10th through Wednesday April 13th.
Vinitaly is very important as it is one of the biggest wine fairs in the world and it showcases the variety of Italian grapes from every region in Italy (and some international exhibitors as well).
So, Why Should You Attend Vinitaly?
The answer is very simple. For every kind of wine consumer, but especially for serious young consumers and collectors, Vinitaly doesn’t just provide the opportunity of introducing you to new wineries, but most importantly it exposes you to a one on one experience with the wine producers themselves resulting in an authentic understanding of the wine and the message behind each brand.
Therefore, whether you are starting out your cellar or you are an avid collector, Italian wine acts as a unifier since it serves of great purpose for both consumers. Great Italian wine stands out from other wines around the world through its ability to be ready to drink as well as have great potential to age.
Young consumers can presently familiarize themselves with the variety of Italian grapes and long-time wine collectors can enjoy the aging process of the wine a bit more by being able to compare their notes while enjoying the cases of wine year after year.
There are so many wine labels out on the market that I realize it can be very confusing and even overwhelming to go out of your confort zone as consumers to invest your time in wineries you don’t know much about. This is why I have provided you with the following interviews of some of the top Italian wine producers and also some small unique wineries to give you a broader perspective on labels you should keep an eye on for your cellar; but most importantly, to give you some insight on the faces behind the brand and how their view on wine making and unique distinct personalities are reflected on their wines.
Having an interview with Maurizio Zanella, founder of Ca’ del Bosco as well as President of Franciacorta region, was very special because I have been consuming his sparkling wine for years. In my cellar I always have different labels from Ca’ del Bosco including Annamaria Clementi, which in the interview Maurizio recommends for collectors. With this interview you will get to know Maurizio Zanella better and find out how a series of unplanned events led to the wonderful creation of Ca’ del Bosco.
 Cuvée Annamaria Clementi Riserva 2005
Grapes: 55% Chardonnay – 25% Pinot Bianco – 20% Pinot Nero
Only the finest grapes are used and it is only made in the best years. The name of this special cuvée is in honor of Maurizio Zanella’s mother. The maturation sur lies has an average of 7 years. The dosage and disgorgement is equivalent to 1.5 grams of sugar per liter.
Notes: Masterpiece! It has a great body with remarkable bubbles. The bouquet is complex and rich expressing white apricot, honey, golden apple, exotic spices, white flowers, and a touch of candied lemon. The mouthfeel is delicious, golden apple, honey, white spices, almond, biscuit / brioche, and nut. It has perfect fresh acidity with a long elegant finish.
This special cuvée, Annamaria Clementi riserva 2005, has more aging potential so my special recommendation is to add it to your private collection.
Giacomo Neri is one of the top wine producers in Montalcino. His Brunello di Montalcino always has perfect structure, balance, and has huge potential to age.
Giacomo was greatly influenced by his father, Giovanni Neri, who began making wines 50 years ago. Giacomo mentions in the interview that his father taught him the importance of the land and the respect of the tradition, “I’m lucky because my father gave me the estate, the passion, and the culture for producing unique wine.”
Since 1991 Giacomo has been in charge of the production of Casanova di Neri.
In the interview you will get to know about his opinion on the 2011 vintage and also get to know him better as a wine producer.
Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto 2010
Grape: 100% Sangiovese
Notes: Such a powerful Brunello! This unique Brunello expresses the land of Casanova di Neri. It has an incredible bouquet of plum, violet, sweet spices, licorice, red roses, herbs, and blackberries.
Full body with great acidity and spectacular finish. This is a very well-balanced Brunello. This wine will have a very long life in the cellar.
I recommend it to wine collectors or serious young consumers that want to have a jewel in their cellar.
My interview with Dott. Sandro Boscaini was fascinating. He explained in great detail his journey that ultimately led him to work in the family business. His knowledge and passion for wine deeply contributes to Masi Agricola’s success in becoming one of the top wine brands in the world. Masi makes spectacular Amarone della Valpolicella that’s great for aging.
Mr. Sandro Boscaini is president of Masi Agricola, as well as president of FEDERVINI (which is the Italian association of industrial producers, exporters and importers of wines). He is an ambassador of Amarone della Valpolicella around the world.

Masi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Mazzano 2007
Grapes: Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara
Notes: This wine is a perfect example of an Amarone della Valpoliclla classico.
It has beautiful deep ruby color. It expresses aromas of black cherry, violet, plum, black spices, vanilla, and a hint of cocoa. It is full-bodied with an impressive mouthfeel. Such an elegant wine!
This is a wine that collectors should have due to its potential to age beautifully.
Talking with Bibi was so much fun! In the video you will get to see that he has a charismatic personality that shines throughout the interview. I consider him to be one of Italy’s most ingenious winemakers due to the quality of his wine and the fact that he started making it without any formal training. Click play on the interview to get the full story on what pushed him to get to follow his passion and turn it into a business. Today his wines are rated among the top collectable Tuscan wines. Such an accomplishment!
Colore Toscana 2008
Grapes: 1/3 Sangiovese  –  1/3 Canaiolo  –  1/3 Colorino
Notes: When I tasted the wine I was impressed for the structure and balance that it has. Delicious wine that express unique bouquet and palate. It has notes of cherry, floral, toast, spices, chocolate and hint of tobacco. Very elegant wine that has perfect acidity silky tanning and long finish.
It has a small production. This wine is perfect for wine collectors that will be totally satisfied with the evolution of the wine in the cellar since it has huge potential to age longer.
Massimo Ferragamo owns Castiglion del Bosco. He always dreamed of having his own vineyard, as he mentions in the interview, “My biggest inspiration came from the land where I was born, which is Tuscany. I always had a desire to one day not only drink wine from my region but also produce wine in Tuscany.” I had the pleasure of visiting Castiglion del Bosco and I can truly say that he owns an spectacular property.
Massimo produces several labels and recently he changed the design of some of them. Press play on the interview to get the full story!
PS: If you are an avid wine collector, look into the Millecento Wine Club that Castiglion del Bosco offers.

I tasted a variety of his wines but for this review I want to focus on the new release Brunello di Montalcino 2011, and the special Brunello di Montalcino Millecento 2010 Riserva

Brunello di Montalcino 2011 
Grapes: 100% Sangiovese
Notes: This is a blend from different vineyards that have different attitudes. This Brunello expresses aromas of dried fruit, plum, earth, cassis, and some violet. On the palate , hint of coffee, spices, and dark fruit. Its full body with silky tannin make this elegant Brunello ready to enjoy now.
Brunello di Montalcino Millecento Riserva 2010
Grapes: 100 % Sangiovese
This wine has a new label. What makes this wine so special is that it is only produced in exceptional years. The maturation is 36 months in French Oak barriques. 35% new – 65% once or twice used. Bottle aging: 36 months
Notes: Complex and elegant wine. The bouquet expresses beautiful aromas of red fruit, cherry, plum, blackberry, cassis, licorice, crunched flowers, vanilla, cinnamon, a hint of mint and leather. On the palate, structured and balanced expressing delicious dark fruit, licorice, and special spices. It has a full body with chewy tannin and perfect acidity giving a very long elegant finish.
I recommend enjoying it now, but it definitely has potential to age longer.
Fanastic job by Castiglion del Bosco! Collectors should keep a close eye on this wine!
My interview with Camilla Lunelli was delightful. Her personality is very charismatic and she is a smart business woman. Camilla is the PR and Communication Director of Ferrari Trento. In the interview she explains why Ferrari is such a unique sparkling wine and should not just be asked for special occasions but thought of as a lifestyle. The philosophy of the Lunelli family is to respect tradition, which is what the terroir reflects when you taste Farrari Trento. Its characteristics is what separates it from its competition and slowly making it an international household name. If you have not heard of Ferrari Trento keep an eye on the brand because you are going to want to fill your cellar with it after you take your first sip.
Click play on the interview so you get a better insight look on what has made Ferrari win so many awards. Also, Camilla speaks about the new release Ferrari Riserva Lunelli 2007, and the importance of Ferrari Trento’s location.
Ferrari Riserva Lunelli 2007
Grapes: 100% Chardonnay
Notes: I’m impressed with the aromas and the mouthfeel of this elegant sparkling wine. This vintage has extraordinary structure. Great balance, full body with perfect acidity and a very long finish. I personally think this unique sparkling wine greatly pairs with food, and Camilla actually touches on this  point during the interview.
Congratulations to the Lunelli family on this new release.
I truly recommend you to try it!
Barolo Sarmassa 2011
Grapes: 100% Nebbiolo that came from a single vineyard.
Beautiful aromas of licorice, black fruit, plum, spices, and a touch of leather. On the palate, full body with a structured tannin and perfect acidity. Very powerful Barolo.
Special for Barolo lovers because it has a lot of character that will age beautifully in the cellar. Needs time to fully develop.
Barolo 1990
Grapes: 100% Nebbiolo
Notes: I’m impressed with the bouquet and the mouthfeel. Beautiful garnet color, perfect balance, everything is integrated in the right proportion. Delicious aromas of dried red roses, licorice, black spices, plum, tobacco, clove, and chocolate. On the mouth, full-bodied with great acidity, and silky tannin that has a delicious unique long finish. This Barolo has more years to develop in the cellar.
Bravo to the Abbona family!
A must-have in your cellar
New label release: Bric Amel, Langhe 2015

Fresh white wine that has a special character due to the combination of the three grapes Arneis, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc.
You should try it! It will be one of your go-to white wines this summer.
Salute!

I tasted with him his new releases, Rosso di Montalcino 2014 and Brunello di Montalcino 2011.
In my opinion his Rosso di Montalcino and Brunello di Montalcino have unique aromas and palate that express his land.
For all serious wine consumers try his several labels and start to build your private cellar with Paolo’s wines.
Video summary translation: I ask Paolo two questions. One was to know what he thinks of the 2011 vintage compared to 2010, and the other one was to know how he would introduce his wines to serious wine consumers. Paolo goes on to say that he considers 2011 to be a good vintage. He explains that it is totally different than the 2010 vintage. Paolo describes the 2010 vintage detailing that it has very good concentration of fruit , great structure, and great potential to age. He highlights again that the 2011 is completely different vintage, but that he considers it great as well because you can enjoy it now and it has some potential to age. I agreed with him that one of the positive things about the 2011 vintage is that it is ready to drink. Furthermore, to answer the second question, Paolo goes on to say that Azienda Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona respects tradition and its land and that he is very involved throughout the whole wine making process.
Rosso di Montalcino 2014
Grapes: 100% Sangiovese
Notes: Delicious bouquet that express red currant, cherries, red roses, spices, and a hint of leather. On the palate, great fruit expression that has a good acidity with delicious finish. Amazing Rosso!
Brunello di Montalcino 2011
Grapes: 100% Sangiovese
Notes: Beautiful Brunello that has aromas of dark and red fruit, touch of licorice and balsamic, red roses, violet, special spices, clove and a hint of mint. Great mouthfeel that expresses plum, sour cherry, blackberry, spices and a hint of mocha. Full-bodied with great acidity and smooth tannin. It has a delicious finish. It’s ready to drink with potential to age more years. Cheers!

Freccianera Nature 2011
Grapes: 85% Chardonnay  –  15% Pinot Nero
45 months on yeast. They produce 10,000 bottles and use traditional method.
Notes: The bouquet expresses honey, pear, white peaches, spices, and white flowers. The vibrant palate expresses yellow apple, ginger, white flowers, and citrus candid. It’s dry with a very nice long finish.
Casa delle Colonne Brut Riserva 2008
Grapes: 80% Chardonnay  –  20% Pinot Nero
This delicious sparkling wine has more than 80 months in contact with the yeast, as Tilli mentioned during our tasting, and it has a small production of only 3,500 bottles.
Notes: It captured my attention due to its perfume and elegance. Very complex aromas that express white flower, spices, almond, brioche, candied citrus, and golden apple. On the palate, elegant texture with notes of golden apple, nut, white spices, and bread. It is dry with an elegant long finish.
Four years ago I met Clara Monaci in an Italian wine event. Her wines quickly caught my attention, especially her Rosso di Montalcino, which is very structured with a nice balance.
What I find wonderful about Corte dei Venti wines is that each year Clara improves the structure of her Brunello di Montalcino.
In the interview you will get to know Clara Monaci, the wine producer that has a strong passion for making wines.
I did a full tasting of her new release, including Sant’ Antimo 2014, Rosso di Montalcino 2014, Brunello di Montalcino 2011, and Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2010.
In this review I will focus on the 2011 Vintage and her Riserva 2010.
Question #1: What do you think about the 2011 vintage?
Answer (Summary translation): Clara believes 2011 is a vintage that is ready to drink. She explains that it is not a vintage like the 2010, and that everybody talks about the 2010 but the 2011 has a very good personality.
Question #2: How would you introduce your brand to young wine consumers?
Answer (Summary translation): Clara starts by talking about the importance in having young wine consumers learn how to drink wine and taste it. She explains that to taste a wine means to take the time to appreciate the aromas and palate.
Brunello di Montalcino 2011
Grapes: 100% Sangiovese
Notes: Great quality with good harmony especially for the weather conditions of 2011.
It has delicious fruit aromas that express violet, red roses, spices, clove, mushroom, mint, grilled herb and a touch of leather. On the palate, black fruit, black cherry, blackberry, licorice, touch of mint and tobacco. It has a very good acidity with a silky tannin and delicious finish. You can enjoy now and keep some bottles in your cellar.
Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2010
Grapes: 100% Sangiovese
Notes: Great Riserva from Corte dei Venti. It’s spicy and full-bodied. Shows aromas of black cherry, violets, roses, spices, clove, licorice, earth, and mint. On the palate, it opens with truffle,dark fruit, leather, and spices. Good acidity with an elegant finish. You can drink it now or keep it in your cellar.
In the interview, I ask Roberto two questions regarding his message to American wine consumers about SassodiSole and his opinion on the 2011 vintage. He made sure to let us know that the main message that SassodiSole transmits through his wines is the importance of tradition and the representation of the land. Roberto also mentions that 2011 is a good vintage that evokes fruit and great color. He also highlights that one of the good things about the vintage 2011 is that it is ready to drink.
Rosso di Montalcino 2013
Grapes: 100% Sangiovese
I call this a “Baby Brunello.” Excellent Rosso that expresses violets, clove, with a hint of balsamic and spices. On the palate, fresh acidity with great body. Lots of red fruit, clove, red roses, a touch of leather and mushroom. Delicious long finish.
Brunello di Montalcino 2010
Grapes: 100% Sangiovese
I tasted this Brunello last year in Vinitaly 2015 and this year it is even better, which shows the evolution that it had in the bottle in just a year. Amazing!
Delicious concentrated fruit such as dark cherry, plum, licorice, mint, truffle, clove and olives. Full body with an integrated acidity and tannin that has a long elegant finish.
Brunello di Montalcino Madonna del Piano Riserva 2010
Grapes: 100% Sangiovese
It’s an amazing wine. It’s a classic Valdicava that expresses the special terroir of Madonna del Piano. It is powerful but elegant. It has aromas that express black cherry, licorice, truffle, mint, special and unique spices and touch of chocolate. Excellent balance that shows great acidity and tannin. The long, long finish is forever. It is still young so be patient to give it time to open up.
Collectors, keep an eye on this bottle!
San Polino is a small family farm in Montalcino. It produces certified organic-biodynamic Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino. Luigi Fabbro and Katia Nussbaum are the owners and it is always a pleasure to speak with them. I’m a big fan of their Brunellos, especially the Helichrysum that comes from a special part of the Vineyard.
I did a tasting of the Brunello di Montalcino 2011 and  Brunello di Montalcino 2011 Helichrysum
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