wine tasting

A Simply Perfect Tasting

Our senses and a great curiosity are the essential tools to start discovering wine and its secrets. When we prepare to taste a wine, there are however a series of precautions that it is always good to take in consideration in order to guarantee that our experience will take place in optimal conditions.

First of all it is necessary to provide our senses with a perfect working environment, that is to avoid anything that could interfere with our perceptions, to alter or diminish them: but let’s take one step at a time.

We could say that sight is the most immediate sense with which we know the reality that surrounds us: "the first glance", you know, is fundamental when you meet someone for the first time, and the same also applies when it comes to getting to know a wine. We will be able to see in detail how and why visual analysis is able to provide us with essential elements for judging a wine, but first of all it is necessary to make sure that we can collect our data correctly.

The environment in which we perform our tasting must first of all be well lit, preferably by natural white light (sunlight). Therefore we should avoid dark or dim places, as well as neon or coloured lights that can significantly alter our perception of colours.

Another essential element is the glass, that is the glass through which we will observe the wine: the glass must be perfectly clean, transparent (so, not coloured) and smooth, without any decoration that may impede a clear and correct view of the content.

If we can count on such small, simple precautions to ensure correct visual analysis, ensuring an optimal environment for the nose requires much more attention. 

The general criterion obviously remains that of carrying out our tasting in the absence of environmental interferences, regardless of whether they are pleasant or not. Whether we taste a wine on the edge of a road, in the presence of smog, or engage in tasting near perfumed flowers or aromatic herbs it can equally jeopardize a good result.

By the same principle, it is advisable to taste the wine before approaching the meal, but also to watch out for less visible details!

When we have a tasting we advise our clients not to wear any perfumes or cosmetic products that could, even without our realizing it, interfere with our perception of the bouquet. What could interfere with our tasting abilities should therefore be sought not only in the environment, but also in the way we prepare for tasting. In fact, we ourselves are able to alter our perceptions, and this is most evident when it comes to taste.

Just as for the sense of smell, smoking is certainly one of the factors that can disturb the optimal functionality of our sense of taste, equally important can be the repercussions of some daily activities, from simply brushing our teeth or eating a candy (some components such as menthol cause a temporary alteration of our sense of taste) to having just swallowed very hot or very cold foods or drinks.

Still on the subject of temperature, even that of the wine itself is a crucial element in being able to fully appreciate its characteristics both on the nose and on the palate, capable of enhancing it but also of compromising - almost to the point of eliminating - the aromas.

To accompany our tasting, it is important to choose the most neutral accompaniments possible - like simple plain bread - while if we want to taste the wine we are going to serve at the table it will again be advisable to make a first taste before the meal - leaving the pairing evaluation until later.

What we have illustrated are all precautions through which, very simply, we can prepare ourselves to gain knowledge of a wine in the best possible way. Though numerous, all the elements we mentioned are linked by the relative ease with which it is possible to manage them, thus making it possible for everyone to be able to perform a simply perfect tasting.

How and Why Learn to Taste a Wine

In the previous article we introduced the topic of tasting by explaining how an organized approach to our glass can enrich and enhance our experience as wine consumers.

Gathering information and making the connections is in fact the key to learning to understand the language with which wine speaks, gradually revealing within us an ever increasing ability to decode the numerous messages enclosed in every sip.

Acquiring a good tasting technique clearly takes time, and to a certain extent it can even be said that on this topic we never really stop learning!The possibilities offered by the world of wine offer almost infinite possibilities for developing this special learning process, guaranteeing both professionals and wine lovers ever new opportunities to increase their knowledge … and discover new treasures!

But the path of construction and refinement of our qualities as tasters also has other very important characteristics. First of all, we must always remember that there are no suitable or unsuitable wines for tasting: in other words, we should not consider tasting an exercise reserved for expensive vintage wines, but rather a method applicable to any wine regardless of price or provenance.

This brings us to highlight a second, and perhaps even more important, point: every wine offers an opportunity to learn.

The economic aspect influences our training process to the extent that it can either facilitate or prevent our access to certain products, possibly making it a part of the elements that we use to make our overall opinion at the end of a tasting, but we must always keep in mind that it does not define - nor jeopardize - the didactic potential of any wine.

Learning to taste means developing a universal method, applicable to any wine we find in our glass: for this reason, it represents one of the most formidable tools we can equip ourselves with during our journey of discovery in the world of wine.

Do you want to know what the other tools are? Easy! Your five senses, which have to be trained to refine them more and more, but above all great passion and curiosity.

Let’s get started!

Let's Talk About Wine Tasting

The first topic that we would like to deal with within this blog relates to wine tasting. Before venturing into the details of this vast topic we want, first of all, to explain what has motivated us to choose it as the starting point for this new form of communication, this blog, which we intend to use as a tool for all wine lovers.

As so often happens, the inspiration comes from our technical experience in the wine sector… but in this case outside the professional sphere.

Gathered around the table with friends and relatives, it often happens that we are consulted because of our profession to choose which wine to serve or even to make an actual judgment on the one offered on the table, as if to irrefutably confirm or deny the opinion of our fellow diners

Although the technique of tasting benefits greatly from the experience and in-depth knowledge of the specific production and aging techniques, the sensory assessment of a wine represents an exercise so connected to the subjectivity of the taster that whichever opinion is expressed is absolutely valid and worthy of note in this regard, without distinction of rank or any hierarchy.

Does this mean that we are all sommeliers? No, the sommelier is a professional figure capable of expressing a complex judgment, placing each wine in its own geographical, technical and cultural production context. This requires a great deal of study and updating, as well as constant practice for an increasingly perfect refinement of one's skills, both in recognizing the characteristics of a wine and, not least, in describing them.

May I taste a wine even if I’m not a sommelier? Absolutely yes! Tasting is nothing more than a procedure to know the wine, arranged according to a precise plan which enables one to take into consideration all the main characteristics. The process requires a gradual involvement of all our senses, so that the profile of our wine gradually becomes ever more complete. Finally, the assessment of each element will allow for a conclusive opinion on the said product in its entirety.

On completion of the tasting can we therefore say whether a wine isgood orbad? Not exactly. Amongst the aspects that are to be taken into consideration during the course of the tasting certainly includes any defects that the wine may present, but in general one tasting does not provide an accurate and true assessment of the quality of the product as to whether it is good or bad.

Why taste the wine then? Each time we taste a wine we create a unique experience, in a certain sense truly unrepeatable, that we live and fix in our memory through our senses. Developing a tasting technique endows us with an important tool that allows us to live this experience in a more organized, a more informed, and consequently a more useful way of learning, not only about the wine but also about ourselves. Learning to put together an articulate judgement can in fact allow us to find the interconnection between our preferences, stimulate our curiosity … and guide us to the next tasting!

Tasting Notes: a Valuable Good Habit

Acquiring a tasting technique means adopting a method that allows us to regulate not only the actual development of our tasting, but also - not to say above all - the impressions and thoughts to which it leads us.

If it is true that each wine offers us an opportunity to learn something new, then we will have to experience each tasting as the addition of a tiny tile to the great mosaic of our experience, and we should not be discouraged by the fact that at the start of our journey all these little fragments may seem very few and far between.

Little by little, as we widen our experience we will in fact notice how it becomes increasingly simple, almost natural, to create ever stronger connections between each wine of our personal repertoire, from which we will be able to take excellent ideas to guide us in drawing up the future itineraries of our journey.

The possibilities are endless: we can decide to start with the discovery of a particular grape variety, discovering the different variations according to the traditional styles and characteristics of each territory, or concentrate on the wines of a specific region to grasp its style, or even explore the numerous characteristics of a particular style of winemaking.

Among the small, simple precautions that we can take to make each stage of our journey even more useful certainly includes the compilation of a veritable travel diary, on which to fix our experience by summarizing the main data. There are many reasons that make tasting notes a valuable good habit for every taster.

Taking notes allows us first of all to give order to our thoughts, helping us to focus our sensations, become increasingly aware of them and thus allow the free flourishing, in all its nuances, of a judgment that goes far beyond the good or bad. We can even experience how these categories end up literally disappearing in the face of our ability to identify the specific characteristics of each wine, or the details that make up its personality and that make it unique and special.

One of the main characteristics of the wine product is the impossibility of replicating it perfectly and constantly. Even companies that carry out very large-scale production have to deal with the absolute singularity of each season and, consequently, with a raw material that is consistent, yes, but never truly identical in its organoleptic characteristics.

Gradually, as we focus more and more on the perspective of craftsmanship, it becomes easy to understand how the imprint of nature and above all the style of each individual producer become even more fundamental elements in defining the identity of a wine.

Our notes will be essential in helping us to reveal both the elements of continuity and the differences that exist between the different wines depending on the criterion according to which we decide to order them (grape variety, vintage, producer, etc.)

One of the experiences which is certainly more educational in this respect may be to taste very similar wines, that is, which present important points in common, but also specific variables. For example, we could taste different vintages of the same product (vertical tasting), or wines made with the same technique by different producers.

Another advantage in putting pen to paper about our tasting experiences is regarding one of the most important arguments in the whole universe of wine, dialogue.

When we taste wine we install a dialogue with it; the wine speaks to us, it tells us a story in which the protagonists are the men and the nature that produced it, and our way of paying tribute to it is to listen to it, picking up the story, and in some way, entering to play our part in it. If learning to taste a wine means learning to listen to it and understand it, with our experience we are not just the recipients but also the bearers of its message.

The English king, Edward VII said “One not only drinks the wine, one smells it, observes it, tastes it, sips it and - one talks about it

The best part of our journey in discovery of wine is certainly that of dialogue and comparison with other travellers: each one being the bearer of an absolutely personal point of view, the result of their own specific experience and therefore as legitimate as useful to enrich the point of view of the whole community.

Taking notes stimulates us to refine our ability to translate our feelings into words, making us able to share our experience, our point of view, but above all the special subjectivity that, just like a wine, renders us absolutely unique.

The Art of Observation - Part 1

“You see but you do not observe. The distinction is clear” says Sherlock Holmes to Watson in the famous story A Scandal in Bohemia.

What does this have to do with tasting wine? It is easily explained.

The first phase of tasting is generally referred to as visual analysis, and it goes without saying, concerns the wine as it appears to our eyes inside the glass. In its development, we can further distiguish sub-phases, during which we will focus our attention on specific characteristics of the appearance of our wine:

1.The evaluation of the clarity and transparency of our wine (and, conversely, the detection of defects such as opacity or presence of residues)

2.The definition of the colour and of its qualities (the hue, the intensity and liveliness)

3.The observation of the body of the wine, or rather, the analysis of its consistency by rotating the glass

If we were to taste a fine frizzante (semi-sparkling) or spumante (fully sparkling) we would need to add a fourth point, the observation of the so-called “perlage” (or bubbles) in terms of quantity and finesse.

Each part of this list will be the object of further investigation, but for now we would like to draw your attention to the main purpose of this specific phase of analysis. The visual analysis certainly doesn’t prompt the poetic eloquence that makes descriptions of the olfactory and gustatory profiles of a wine so captivating. In fact, these last usually dominate the scene during a tasting, but that is no reason to consider the visual profile less interesting. It can, in a certain sense, be just as fascinating.

Just think: one single solitary glance can be enough to condition all our successive perceptions, to the point that some experts speak of visual flavour to define the influence that the appearance of a product can have on our perception of its flavour. In fact , numerous experiments have been conducted to demonstrate a similar correlation also at the olfactory level. 

But not only that: visual analysis is a rather compelling exercise as it stimulates our logical and judgemental abilities to the maximum. In fact the same identical quality can represent an absolute quality or a serious defect, depending on the type of wine we are analysing. 

In this sense, effervescence is one of the most typical examples – though it falls within the standard parameters of a sparkling wine, in a still wine it represents a serious imperfection. Think too of how our judgement on the clarity and transparency of a wine must equally take into consideration the type of wine we are evaluating. If in a red wine, it is acceptable to find clarity but not transparency, due to the deep intensity of colour, in a white wine the presence of both characteristics is essential to define it as correct.

Observing a wine makes it possible for us to set up that logical structure within which to pigeonhole all subsequent data, creating the framework on which we can finally formulate our judgement

[TO BE CONTINUED IN THE NEXT INSTALMENT]

The Art of Observation - Part 2

[READ THE PREVIOUS ARTICLE - The Art of Observation part 1]

Just as that celebrated English detective was able to deduce precise information of the lives of his interlocutors by gathering – and connecting together – all the small details of their person, carefully observing our glass we can formulate accurate hypotheses on the organoleptic qualities of our wine

A bright straw yellow, with greenish reflections, may in fact suggest that we are dealing with a young, fresh wine, in which hints of flowers, fruit and herbaceous notes will probably be dominant, while an intense ruby ​​red, with garnet reflections throws the valid prerequisites for a vintage wine, with a good alcohol content and possible tertiary notes of aging in wood.

The same hue of the color and its intensity can provide us with important clues on the grape variety or on the winemaking techniques, the fluidity with which the wine rotates in the glass can reveal its body, while an important clue on the alcohol content can be drawn from the famous arches that they form on the walls of the glass as the wine passes.

In short, a simple glance, provided that it is attentive, is able to provide us with an incredibly large amount of very useful information to prepare our judgment, and the greater our ability to find (or exclude) connections between them, the more we will be able to express judgments that are accurate and in keeping with the true nature of our wine

We end with two brief but necessary considerations.

The first concerns the close correlation that links the knowledge - practical and theoretical - that a taster has and the power of his observational ability: between the two terms there is an indissoluble bond that reveals the importance of always cultivating and nurturing one's curiosity, making the most of and enhancing every opportunity for study, practice and comparison.

The second, although (or precisely because?) it comes at the end of this article dedicated to logic and reasoning, should really be viewed as an invitation … to always pursue the acquisition of ever new notions, but cultivating at the same time, with equal dedication, our ability to be surprised and enchanted by that special, almost ineffable charm that only wine can express.

Cheers Watson!

The Colour of the Wine

One of the main elements of visual analysis is the definition - and description - of the colour: it is certainly one of the fundamental characteristics of the wine, so much so that the most common classification of this product is based on it (white, red and rosé).

But where does the color of a wine come from? This question allows us to start our journey to discover the fascinating process of creating wine. In addressing the theme of winemaking we won’t limit ourselves to illustrating the various technical steps that allow the transformation of grapes into wine. Rather, we will try to highlight the importance that the choices of the producer have, at every single stage, with regard to the characteristics and the personality of the final product.

That brings us to our first topic, namely the difference that underlies the main characteristic of a wine: the colour.

The answer seems obvious: from white grapes we get white wine , and from red grapes, red wine.

What about rose wines? The idea that they are created by mixing the other two is resolutely denied. In any case, this is permitted only in extremely rare cases, and even then only at the level of the musts, so in a pre-fermentative phase. However, their particularity may not be enough to question the efficacy of our equation.

When some friends visited our company, walking through the vineyards we showed them the bunches of grapes soon to be harvested to produce the new vintages of the wines we had just tasted. Almost by chance we asked them a question that roused great wonder: have you noticed that, if you crush a red grape, the must that comes out is clear?

The relationship between the colour of the grape and that of the wine, therefore, exists, and it is equally true that it resides (literally!) in the skin of the grapes: however, this correlation is not automatic, but derives from a straight forward production choice.

In other words, the colour of the wine is defined by the vinification technique adopted: the so-called white vinification involves the immediate separation of the skins from the must; whilst the vinification of red wines requires that we take advantageof the colouring power of the pomace (the term used to define what remains of the grape once its pulp has been extracted).

In the first case, the colour of the wine will be determined by the type and concentration of the pigments present in the grape pulp only, but in general it will be possible to obtain white musts (and, therefore, white wines), characterized by pale hues (straw yellow).

The red vinification process exploits the maceration technique, specifically the longer or shorter periods of contact between the must and the pomace, to extract the colour from the skins. In this case, the decisive determining factor is not only the concentration of the colouring substances in the grape used. It also depends on the duration of the procedure (which can vary from a few days to more than a month) and the temperature at which it is effected. 

In fact, it’s sufficient to consider the simple preparation of a cup of tea to understand how much the heat can favour (and accelerate) the process of transferring colour and aroma into a liquid. 

So is there an unequivocal correlation between the colour of the grape and the type of vinification?Absolutely not! The definition used to distinguish the two methods (white vinification and red vinification) could actually be misleading. Actually, either method can be applied to any type of wine depending on the type of wine you want to obtain.

Think for example of the increasingly widespread tendency to macerate for white wines too, to enrich both their colouration and their aromatic properties. Conversely, with Pinot Noir, for example, the white vinification method is used for the production of numerous types of spumante wines.

There is a really interesting phrase that sums up precisely this type of product and is absolutely perfect for our topic: blanc de noirs (literally “white from black”).

This is precisely how the sparkling wines obtained exclusively from black berried grapes (usually Pinot Noir) are defined. Produced, as they are, with white vinification.

To complete the argument, we must point out that the phrase blanc de blancs will, on the contrary, indicate the use of only white grapes.In fact, both phrases mark a particular interpretation of what we might call the most classic sparkling wine recipe (more precisely that of Champagne) which involves the use of both types of grape.

The Most Valid Opinion of a Wine? Yours!

As we have already mentioned, the tasting of a wine is a gradual operation, articulated in several, precise steps that allow us to neatly analyse all the characteristics.

Then, we will first focus on each one singly, then gradually correlate them, systematically, to outline the overall profile of the wine and allow us to formulate our judgment in a reasoned way and as objectively as possible.

When we prepare to taste a wine we are duty bound to approach it from a detached, non-partisan standpoint, as objectively as possible … although this principle of objectivity can never really be guaranteed in such a deeply sunjective process!

It must be said that there are many factors that can influence our judgment, and not only at a strictly sensory level. Our tasting can also be strongly influenced by factors that we could, in a very general way, define psychological.

Our mood, for example, can incline us to look on a wine favourably or unfavourably. This could be due to the memories it may evoke, (we might associate it with a particularly joyful or unpleasant event) or it could be that, at the moment of tasting, we have received good (or bad) news. Or we could be going through a particularly stressful (or rewarding) period at work or in our studies.Even sharing the wine in pleasant (or less pleasant!) company can certainly affect the judgement that we will formulate at the end of the tasting.

But not only that.

We have already mentioned the influence that the economic factor could have in the process of familiarisation with the world of wine. We concluded that this factor doesn’t in any way compromise the educational potential of each product.While fully confirming this point, it is undeniable that we will certainly be more inclined to make a positive assessment of a wine that represents a greater economical investment, whereas we will feel more comfortable in finding defects in a glass with less expensive content.

Another factor that may incline our judgement in a particular direction could also be our knowing the producer of the wine that we are tasting. That can put us in the (almost obvious) position of matching the degree of our interpersonal relationship with that of our judgement, or the real comparison between our judgement and that of others.

Beyond being able to declare ourselves in agreement or disagreement with the arguments put forward by the opinion leaders on the public stage, the way we are far more likely to be faced with this issue is certainly when confronting all those who play the same role in our private spheres.

They could be relatives or friends in whom we recognise a certain competence in the matter, and in whose judgements we have confidence. Or it could be that they have somehow self-assigned themselves to the role of wine experts and, as such, excel in discussions on the subject. Being able to detach ourselves from an “authoritative” opinion is not always easy: we could end up completely questioning our own dissonant perceptions and relying completely on the judgement of someone else. Or we could even give up the debate altogether, losing, one way or the other, a good opportunity for a comparison of ideas.

Reading this article we’re pretty sure that everyone will be able to identify with one or other of the scenarios presented and, perhaps, will now have their curiosity aroused to repeat the tasting of some wines to check their impressions again.

So here is our advice: every time you prepare to taste a wine, be true to your senses, to your perceptions. This honesty, which we must demonstrate first and foremost towards ourselves, is the best quality of a taster, the ingredient that makes every opinion truly legitimate and valuable.

Wine reveals all its social power precisely because of its ability to create dialogue, and those who limit the potential of this magnificent sharing of ideas are not showing respect respect to the wine itself.

So, if our approach to tasting needs to be profoundly honest, there are even more measures that we can take to ensure an even greater degree of neutrality. For example, we can perform a blind tasting, that is to taste one or more wines without reading the label, formulating our judgments, making comparisons, delighting in a real game of recognition... and finally enjoying the surprise of seeing the true identity revealed!

White Wine...or Yellow? - Part 1

We have seen how the colour of a wine is not a characteristic necessarily connected to the type of grape processed but derives from a precise choice that the producer makes between the white or red vinification method. If the first involves the prompt separation of the must from the pomace, the second makes use the colouring substances concentrated precisely in the pomace, which are transferred to the must through more or less prolonged contact.

It has also been highlighted how the chromatic reference contained in the names of these two different procedures (white and red) can easily be misleading, as it could suggest an unequivocal correlation between the type of grape being processed and the vinification method. On the contrary, it is possible to make red vinifications of white grapes as well as obtain white wines from red grapes.

As you may have noticed, wine is a topic that has its own specific language, and precisely in this regard we offer you a reflection on one of its most singular characteristics, namely the use of the adjective white to refer to things that are actually a completely different colour!

The term white is in fact used to refer to elements, that is the grapes and the wines themselves, the hues of which actually belong to shades of yellow and sometimes green.

It is no coincidence that precisely in the description of the colour of a white wine, the vocabulary used in tasting provides for the use of the term yellow (straw yellow, golden yellow, amber yellow).

So why don't we distinguish the wines as red and … yellow?

[TO BE CONTINUED IN THE NEXT INSTALMENT]

White Wine...or Yellow? - Part 2

[READ THE PREVIOUS ARTICLE - White Wine...or Yellow? Part 1]

Let us start by admitting that we don’t have a definitive answer to this question, but it was certainly interesting to carry out a little bit of research on this small curiosity, rather widespread among wine lovers around the world.

The most popular solutions to our conundrum are basically these two. The first refers to our general tendency, in language, to simplify reality: just as we call black a tea with a more reddish tint, the term white will define all the grapes and wines that have light hues or, to put it better, non-red.

In this sense, it’s also possible to explain the further, recent development of the winemaking language that has assigned the colour orange to that particular type of wine produced with white berried grapes through red vinification and, in this case, according to biological and biodynamic methods. Although the production process involves a particularly intense colouring of these wines, which often take on really orange hues, we can see how in this case the colour reference is used more than anything else to identify a production philosophy, thus defining a category (orange wines) which in turn simplifies the colour spectrum of the wines it groups together.

Another possible explanation of the choice to define as white grapes and wines, that are anything but clear, could provide a psychological reasoning on our language: the term white suggests, in fact, a powerful reference to cleanliness and purity, essential characteristics for a wine of any kind type, but absolutely essential for a white, in which clarity and brilliance are, by definition, key elements.

Last but not least, it should also be noted that the yellow colour related to a drink could potentially inspire unpleasant analogies, and we do not exclude that this factor was also decisive in consolidating the preference for the term white.

However, all these considerations, in particular the last one, disintegrate when we prepare to actually describe the colour of our wine: the tasting lexicon in fact provides for the reference to a chromatic scale based on the different modulations of hue and intensity of its own yellow colour... a perfect demonstration that this is the true colour of white wine!

Wine of The Month: "Il Fascinoso"

On a warm summer evening, under the stars made even more brilliant by the joy of being able to find the company of your closest friends: what better occasion to taste the new vintage of one of our most successful white wines? 

In our latest articles we talked a lot about the production of white wines of Tenute d'Italia, in particular how it is based on two types of vines: the native ones, destined for processes deeply faithful to the production tradition of our territory, Romagna, and the so-called international ones, used to create products suitable for meeting the taste of different markets all over the world. 

With "Il Fascinoso", Chardonnay Trebbiano Rubicone I.G.P., Tenute d'Italia achieves the perfect synthesis of these two orientations, offering its customers a genuine wine, a faithful spokesperson for the wine tradition of the Santerno Valley but, at the same time, an excellent candidate for a leading role on the international scene.

As its name reveals, which includes the mention of two vines, Il Fascinoso is in fact the result of the union of what could be well defined as the principal representatives of the two categories of vines mentioned above: Trebbiano, undisputed king of viticulture from Romagna, and Chardonnay, perhaps the most widespread white grape variety in the world. 

The mention of both types in the denomination on the label tells us that the contribution of each type is also quite significant. That allows us to anticipate an eloquent presence of their typical fragrances also in our glass

The name of this wine literally means "full of charm, which attracts with its own charm", and perhaps no name was more suitable: by pouring Il Fascinoso into the glass, the gaze is immediately enraptured by its intense, brilliant colour, like a rare and precious yellow sapphire. Perfectly clear, it reveals graceful golden reflections and an intriguing consistency: if the first citrus scents that we already perceive on the nose suggest a marked freshness, the impression is certainly that of being in the presence of a wine from which we can expect an interesting structure.

At the first scent, the fruity hints dominate clearly: yellow, fresh, from juicy citrus fruits - grapefruit, blonde orange - to tasty tropical fruits, among which pineapple and passion fruit stand out. We then rotateIl Fascinoso in the glass and let its bouquet fully open, which is enriched with floral hints, aromatic herbs, but above all with a sweet spicy summit - soft, fully pleasant - conferred by the short aging in wood that perfectly harmonises the entire olfactory profile.

We come then to the tasting and letIl Fascinoso complete its game of seduction with elegant charm. On the palate it is full, resolute: if freshness is the characteristic that first strikes our attention, the exquisite tertiary note that clearly defines the prodigious body of this Chardonnay Trebbiano will be what remains etched in our memory.

For these characteristics,Il Fascinoso undoubtedly lends itself as an excellent aperitif wine, accompanied by some inviting appetizers, but it can be equally successful on the table to accompany our meal.

The singular combination of structure and freshness that we find inIl Fascinoso allows us to give our imagination a wide margin, pursuing numerous pairing possibilities, even with dishes with rather complex flavours. 

Il Fascinoso has in fact all the credentials to shine in combination with spicy dishes, I think in particular of Indian cuisine and its excellent curry dishes, but also of great classics (simply timeless) such as poached eggs served with asparagus, Parmesan cheese and some truffle flakes.

Wine of The Month: "Il Sapiente - Limited Edition 2"

As our more attentive readers will certainly have noticed, in September we skipped our usual appointment with the Wine of the Month, the column that we dedicate to the presentation of the rich selection on offer in the Tenute d’Italia catalogue.

The start of the harvest took all our attention, and we hope you are enjoying the little information project we are carrying out to tell you in detail the fascinating process of winemaking.

In recent weeks, our team's work has not been limited to the production of the new vintage, but has also involved the creation of a new, important product to enrich Tenute d’Italia’s proposals. In fact, right at the start of September, the Rosso Rubicone I.G.P. “Il Sapiente - Limited Edition 2” came to light.

Following the great success of the first Limited Edition, born from a proudly Romagnolan blend of Barbera and Sangiovese but with explicit international aspirations, for the new wine of the Conte Zardi line our team of oenologists opted for an even more intense look at the panorama of international taste, focusing on the magic of the encounter between Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

A real Bordeaux-style blend, which openly pays homage to the extraordinary wine tradition from the other side of the Alps without however, losing the link with its own land, whose imprint is jealousy preserved in the complex aromatic profile.

From the very beginning, everything speaks of the great body of this wine: we are bewitched by the substantial fluidity with which it fills our glass, and we still linger to admire the vigorous elegance of its rotational movements. The ruby ​​red colour is intense, brilliant, alluring in its gift of seductive violet reflections that allude to the fullness and maturity of the aromas of our wine.

The aromatic picture is a wonderful example of integration between the principal characteristics of the vines that make up the blend: the enchanting fruity hints of cherry and plum of theMerlot are combined with the elegant herbaceous notes typical of Cabernet Sauvignon, giving to Il Sapiente - Edition 2  a complex and captivating olfactory profile, a perfect prelude to tasting. Opening up on the palate is an ode to softness: full and round, the warmth of this magnificent wine pervades and conquers the taste, suggesting the final details that complete the portrait of our wine.

The strong point of the tasting is undoubtedly the perception of the ability with which the balance of the imposing body is pursued, masterfully supported by the marked freshness and the dense weave of tannins, characteristics capable of suggesting, among other things, a considerable evolutionary potential of this Rosso Rubicone I.G.P. “Il Sapiente - Limited Edition 2.

On the table there are endless pairing possibilities, above all we would undoubtedly recommend meat main courses, from the most classic roasts to more structured dishes, preferably enriched with aromatic herbs - sage, rosemary, juniper - or noble ingredients such as porcini mushrooms or black truffle.

Wine of The Month: "Potente"

Veronica Casella, our sommelier, graduated from the international academy of food and wine and sommeliers (AIES), takes us this month to discover one of the wines that have stood out for the longest time among those presented by Tenute d’Italia.

From the Santerno Wines line, the Cabernet Sauvignon Rubicone I.G.P. “Potente”, meaning "powerful", is in fact one of the real pillars of the Tenute d’Italia catalogue, which year after year, or rather, vintage after vintage, has consistently been able to confirm its success, receiving excellent reviews both on the Italian market and abroad.

Reviewing the latest results received for our wines in the context of competitions and sector guides, I noticed with great pleasure that one name above all was constantly repeated among all the best evaluations: I’m talking about ‘Potente’, Cabernet Sauvignon Rubicone I.G.P. of the Santerno Wines line, which in recent months has been able to collect more than one important token of success.

Awarding it 95 points in his ‘Yearbook of the Best Italian wines 2021’, Luca Maroni recognized in this wine “viticultural and oenological qualities of rare tenor” which give it “a combination of fantastic density, harmonious softness and limpid, spicy, even grandiose clarity”. In addition to this, Potente distinguished itself at the last ‘AWC Vienna – International Wine Challenge’ by winning a brilliant silver medal.

When I was updating the academy awards in the technical data sheet for this labelI was even more gratified to note the many awards to which these latter were added.

Potente is without doubt proving to be a winner, able to win over the national and international public with solid consistency, which, without doubt, ranks it among the top wines produced since the founding of Tenute d’italia.

The key to this success must certainly be attributed to the complex research work that led to its creation, inspired by the most ancient winemaking traditions of Romagna but with an eye to the international scene.

A factor binding Potente to the land of its birth is without doubt its blend: if the Cabernet Sauvignon grown in the Santerno Valley contributes 85% to the blend, the remaining 15% consists of the very rare Uva del Tundé, an indigenous variety with simply unique characteristics recently rediscovered in RomagnaThe wealth of its offering is evident from our first glance at the glass: the dense ruby red, typical of Cabernet Sauvignon, turns in our glass to an intensely purple, voluptuous hue which builds anticipation for the full, fresh taste the interplay between juicy fruity notes and appetizing spices.

During the development of production procedures, the team of Tenute d’ Italia oenologists leading the Potente project decided on a variety solutions aimed at enriching the body of this Cabernet Sauvignon Rubicone I.G.P. making it simply unique.

As well as deciding on a slightly later harvest of the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, Potente is subjected to a further notable refinement in tonneaux resulting in a highly aromatic profile of the wine, both on the nose and on the palate

But if we find the complexity and delicacy of an almost chewable wine in our glass, we are, at the same time able to appreciate the sensational freshness of Potente.

These characteristics, together with the bold tannin, support the framework of a perfectly balanced, persuasively convincing product - be it at the table or as a contemplative wine.

Wine of the Month: Ilione

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As we recount this great story and offer it to you through our blog, we can’t ignore what may be described as the children of our passion: our wines.

Each month we are going to offer you a contribution from our colleague, Master Oenogastronomist Sommelier AIES Veronica Casella, dedicated to one of the products in the Tenute d’Italia catalogue, to give you a close up view of our philosophy and our work. It may just excite your curiosity!

So we’ll immediately clear the field for the first article/tasting that Veronica has dedicated to a really special wine, not just for its quality but above all for what it represents in our personal history: the Romagna D.O.C Sangiovese Superiore"Ilione” is in fact the first organic wine produced by Tenute d’Italia, the fruit of intense research that our team hopes to be able extend to the entire “Canale dei Molini” line.

The truly exceptional situation we are experiencing in recent months is profoundly affecting both our daily lives and the real traditions that mark our lives.
For the first time I have in fact had to renounce the traditional Easter lunch in the home of my maternal grandmother, a fixed appointment not only in its regularity in the family calendar but also in the menu.
Strictly circumscribed in every one of its courses, it has always represented a kind of security in terms of quality (and abundance!) for the whole family.

Despite the impossibility of being able to share personally, I have however decided to carry on the tradition to the best extent possible by consulting my grandmother over the phone to get her recipes and precious advice on the preparations and thus honouring (even at a distance) that special moment of sharing.

One of the most crucial moments of the preparations was certainly the choice of wine to be served at table and to be paired with the fruit of all my (quite unremarkable!) efforts in the kitchen. I was looking for a full-bodied wine, with character, able to deal with the rich preparations of the family culinary repertoire, but at the same time I had the desire to include in the logic of my pairing that small, but fundamental element of innovation that lies at the basis of every step through which an ancient tradition is handed down, facing a new future.

And that’s when I thought of Ilione; a wine that renders homage to one of the oldest wine making traditions of Romagna, that has as a protagonist the vigorous Sangiovese, combining it with the most modern wine making and aging techniques.

Taking advantage of this opportunity to appreciate also its most recent evolution in the bottle, I opted for the 2017 - the second, and so far, the latest production since its debut in 2016.

The thing that strikes one immediately is the exquisite ruby red that immediately reveals the complete fidelity with which this wine depicts the Sangiovese grape: brilliant and profound, Ilione enchants the eye, as only a great classic, a true timeless beauty is able to do.

A gentle rotation of the glass reveals the first features of Ilione's magnificent body and exudes the first scents, tantalising our sense of smell.

Approaching the glass, the great typicality of this Sangiovese is expressed in all its detail: a luxurious prelude of blackberries and cherries introduces the concert of floral scents in which the notes of violet excel, finely articulated on a crescendo of spicy tones, most prevalent of which are vanilla and black pepper.

Intense, fragrant, surprising for the wide persistence of its charm but above all for the cleanness of the scents; clearer and more recognizable than ever, they give us a faithful, even masterly, portrait of the Sangiovese in it’s purest form.

Now we’ve finally arrived at the tasting, where we realize that the slow, gradual preparation up to this point has made it even more special: if the desire to taste Ilione was already awoken at the first glance, the gradual unveiling of each characteristic has in fact the power to render the last act of our tasting a real triumph of pleasure.

The full, fragrant body harmonises with the extraordinary freshness on which the scents are already perceived by the nose: we pick up the dense juiciness of the blackberries, the crunchiness of the cherries, to finally catch the provocative spicy hints typical of the vine, harmonized with the soft tannins that wrap gently around the palate.

In short, what we perceive on the palate is not just the unfolding of a fine, elegant, masterfully balanced wine: Ilione’s excellence is revealed in the profound coherence that binds each of its characteristics and makes its tasting an indispensable experience for every wine lover.

This Organic Romagna D.O.C Sangiovese Superiore 2017 has proved to be an excellent pairing for almost all of my lunch courses, from the aubergine parmigiana to the roast kid, to the inevitable fried lamb ribs.

To our next tasting!

Wine of The Month: Manzoni Bianco Rubicone I.G.P. "Cheilante"

Lately we have had the opportunity to speak quite frequently about our production of white wines, especially in relationship to our network joining the "Club dei Bianchi in Romagna" (“White Wines Club of Romagna”) project.

As specified in one of our latest articles, in addition to some of the most famous native white varieties from Romagna (Pignoletto and Albana), our production also involves other varieties, such as Chardonnay - the international white grape par excellence - Pinot Grigio and... the Incrocio Manzoni 6.0.13!

It is decidedly impossible not to be intrigued by the name of this grape variety - we invite you to discover its history and characteristics on our website by clicking here - but equally surprising will be the discovery of its potential in our glass.

Manzoni Bianco Rubicone I.G.P. "Cheilante" of the Santerno Wines line is certainly one of the white wines with the greatest personality in the Tenute d'Italia catalogue. A real terroir wine, Cheilante perfectly combines the qualities of the grape with which it is produced and the special characteristics of the specific territory in which it is born, for a simply unrepeatable combination.

Its straw yellow colour with delicate greenish reflections immediately suggests that we find ourselves in front of an intensely fresh wine, but right from the first rotations in our glass we can also glimpse its sumptuous body.

The first movement of the wine in the glass releases the first intriguing notes of its bouquet to the nose: at the beginning fruity hints dominate, from juicy citrus fruits - grapefruit and orange peel - to ripe pear, immediately embraced and refined by fresh notes of white flowers - jasmine - and delicate herbaceous suggestions, like a fresh meadow beaded with dew on a summer morning.

Now we proceed with the tasting, and here the Cheilante personality unfolds in all its enchanting complexity.

The exceptional freshness is supported by a special savory note - a distinctive brand of the territory of origin, the Santerno Valley - but the overall sensation is anything but hard: the surprising alcoholic support gives Cheilante a warmth, a softness, that perfectly balance the sensations on the palate, providing an excellent example of what is called well balanced wine.

Its characteristics undoubtedly make Cheilante a wine that is suitable for accompanying our whole meal, from the first courses - for which I recommend (from experience!) a good risotto with asparagus - to the main courses, especially fish, which we can grill , garnished with a few, simple aromatic herbs, or serve raw, like a tartare or, dreaming of the East, in a sushi version.

Whatever your choice, I recommend paying particular attention to the temperature: although it is absolutely necessary to serve it cool, it should nevertheless not be excessively so. In other words, too low a temperature will not allow Cheilante to fully express its characteristics: to guarantee the maximum pleasure to our tasting it will therefore be necessary to maintain the serving temperature around 10°C-12°C.

Wine of the Month: Pignoletto D.O.C. Spumante Extra Dry 2019

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Those of you who regularly visit our social pages certainly already know that during the month of April, despite all the difficulties of this period, Tenute d'Italia was able to complete the production of the new vintage of one of its most popular products: the Pignoletto D.O.C. Extra Dry sparkling wine from the Santerno Wines line.

Produced entirely with grapes from our Linaro vineyards, this wine has come not only to reaffirm the strong connection that Tenute d'Italia maintains with its territory and its traditions, but in this precise historical moment it stands as a real example of the tenacity with which life, despite the difficulties, manages to go on and blossom like a flower in the concrete. Some of the most delicate phases of its realization, first of all the refermentation, took place in the midst of the crisis that has hit our country, demonstrating how, against the background of history, nature retains its rhythms, its times, unstoppable and imperturbable, sometimes ruthless, but always able to show us how, after all, life goes on.

So, in tasting this wine we are experiencing a small miracle, and not just for the simple fact that its production reached completion, but above all for the incredible quality that it has been able to guarantee throughout the entire production process and, consequently, to the final product.

The Pignoletto D.O.C. Extra Dry Sparkling Wine 2019 "Santerno" presents itself to our eyes with a magnificent bright straw yellow colour, with soft green reflections that make us foretaste a joyfully fresh and jaunty wine.

The perlage is fine and elegant, the sign of an excellent refermentation technique - performed in an autoclave (Charmat method) to preserve intact the typical fragrance of the grape.

We approach the still glass for the first time, to appreciate the principle aromas of our sparkling wine, and we are immediately struck by the intensity of the fruity notes, in a delightful game of tag between citrus and tropical sensations. Moving the glass gently, however, our sparkling wine reveals itself in all its complexity, combining fine floral notes of jasmine and a slight herbaceous counterpoint.

It is now clear how each phase of our tasting, each new step we take to draw closer to our wine, to get to know it better, surprises us: it literally fills us with curiosity to taste, ready - and eager - to be surprised again.
Our expectations are in no way unfulfilled: tasting is perhaps the most exciting moment of our journey to discover this Pignoletto D.O.C. Sparkling wine, the one in which we can fully grasp its personality.

If our olfactory senses have been charmed by the intense fruity notes, the palate is pervaded by an elegant, clean, solemn taste. The finesse of the so-called hard parts of our wine - freshness, flavour and effervescence - is perfectly appreciable both in their singularity and in the entirety, in the interaction they create to outline the clear contours of the vigorous body of this sparkling wine. Just as on the nose, the intensity engages with an excellent aromatic persistence, guaranteed on the palate by that hint of a bitter note at the end which is the true distinctive signature of the grape.

I believe that anyone who has the opportunity to carefully appreciate this Pignoletto D.O.C. Extra Dry Sparkling Wine 2019 will agree that it really is worth imagining occasions for consumption well beyond the simple aperitif: personally I have always found the pairing of Pignoletto in the "mossa" version (sparkling and fizzy) with some of the best, most typical dishes of Bolognese cuisine. A prime example would be tortellini in broth for which I believe that this specific sparkling wine can be guaranteed as an almost perfect accompaniment, precisely by virtue of that slightly bitter final note.

On the thresholdof the summer season, I can’t help but dream of being able to soon accompany this Pignoletto Spumante with a tasty fried fish, perhaps enjoyed right on the seashore in the company of all those friends that I can't wait to embrace again.

Tenute D'Italia is a trade mark of Morini s.r.l.
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