Wine of the Month: ISTRIONE

With these hot summers would you like to taste a fresh, dazzling wine, with an aromatic, intense and intriguing profile?

Then Istrione is the right wine for you.

Istrione its taster an interesting leaning to a still version of the  Romagnolo Pignoletto

What is the origin of this variety of grape which is also known as Grechetto Gentile?

Mentioned in the ancient writing “Naturalis Historia” of Pliny the Elder, Pignoletto was well known by the ancient Romans.

The name of this variety is thought to come from the shape of the bunch resembling a pine comb. It is thought that the origin of this variety is linked to Greek terrain.

In fact, laboratory tests have shown that the DNA of the Pignoletto is linked with Grechetto di Todi. Early writings dated around ‘600, refer to this grape, as a white ‘Pignole’ .

Despite the traditions that attribute the origins of such to the area of the Colli Bolognesi (the hills of Bologna)  – from which derives  the homonymous DOCG –  it is becoming more and more possible to trace excellent examples of this vine also in Romagna, thanks to ever greater attention directed to the search of high standards of productivity, from the plant to the cellar.


The extraordinary potential shown by the Pignoletto grape (grechetto gentile) produced by our vines has inspired the oenological team heading the Santerno Wines project in their turn to rise to the challenge to maximize the characteristics of a truly extraordinary vine.

And so Istrione is born, a straw yellow colour, ample floral bouquet, intriguing because of its balance between its vivacity and softness, pairing well with fish dishes (Cod with olives and capers, Sea Bass baked in foil, Lobster) and risotto; thanks to its marked freshness it is also suitable for tasty Italian aperitives.


Pignoletto DOC Spumante Santerno: the perfect wine for a sultry summer

Wine of the month: LARONE – Rosso Rubicone IGP

This month we would like to introduce to you one of our wines that is finding great success on the national and international scene.

Il Larone, Rosso Rubicone IGP of Tenute del Principe, is born of the desire to pay homage to the Romagnola enological tradition, ennobling and developing it by the use of new wine making techniques.

In fact, this wine comes from an unprecedented blend in which Sangiovese (50%) is enhanced by combination with two impetuous native vines (Malbo Gentile 25%, Centesimino 15%) and the spicy touch of Syrah (10%).

The grapes are over-ripened in the field leaving them on the plant for 30-40 days beyond the normal harvesting date.

This partial drying only enhances the individual characteristics of each vine, giving more intense and evolved aromas.

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The fermentation of this wine, first in maceration on the skins at a controlled temperature of around 22 degrees for a period of around 20 days and subsequently subjected to malolactic fermentation, allows this wine to develop a rich aroma, redolent with ripe woodland fruits, blackberry jam and notes of tobacco and leather. On the palate it is broad, soft and persistent, with a finish of brandied fruits.

Even the refinement process has been carefully studied by our oenologists to allow an unprecedented and indistinguishable result. In fact, wooden barrels of different volumes are used, the essences are both American and French oak with rather particular toasting.

It is a wine that lends itself to pairing with red meats, game and mature cheeses, but it is also a contemplative wine to be enjoyed with friends and relatives on special occasions.

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.

Wine tasting: let's start...from the end!

We have long thought about how to make the subject of tasting accessible to our public, who we imagine are comprised of wine lovers, curious to be able to expand their consumer experience. Our discussion may be considered rather simple, perhaps even banal for an expert in the sector, but we wish to hold firm to our goal of dedicating our work to all wine lovers, starting with those who are taking their very first steps in this wonderful - and very complex!! - world.

As we said, we have reflected a lot on how we should go about dealing with the subject of tasting in order to be able to transmit, in a simple way, its profound complexity.

In short, our starting point was a real contradiction in terms. Not in the least discouraged, we - on the contrary - drew inspiration precisely from the contradiction contained in our assertion, and we therefore decided to… start from the end!

The first subject we will deal with will in fact be the final phase of the tasting, that is the formulation of the overall opinion on the wine.

We are convinced that clarifying the goal we set ourselves every time we prepare to taste a wine, fully understanding what we are aiming for, can throw more - and better - light on the understanding of the different stages of sensory analysis.

Let's start by saying that the final judgement we are going to formulate is not actually just one, but will be composed of three distinct evaluations of the whole.


2. THE QUALITY, in terms of finesse and the complexity of aromas that we were able to detect during the sensory analysis

3. THE CONGRUITY, that is to say how much the organoleptic characteristics harmonise with one other and are consistent with the type of wine tasted. In future articles we will see precisely how the theme of congruity calls into question another key concept of tasting, that of typicality, understood as adherence to the criteria - categorically typical - both of the vine and of the territory from which the wine originates.

Although they come at the end of a sensory analysis, and consequently draw their impetus from subjectiveperceptions, we can still see how the sense of each of these judgements aspires to assume an objective character.

It is precisely in this element that lies the incredible charm and at the same time the fabulous complexity of tasting: on the same path that we tread to refine our personaltaste, we confidently search for an increasingly perfectobjectivity. It is a delicate interplay of cross-referencing in which the one can never overwhelm or be overwhelmed by the other.

Wine tasting: the rules of bon ton

Enjoying a good wine while sitting at the table with your friends or in sweet company, is always a good habit.

Although it is a sweet pleasure, however, wine also has its rules, which must be respected and followed: who should be served first? Does the wine you chose match that particular menu? Is the glass you selected the right one? Tasting a good wine and sharing it with whoever we decide, therefore, becomes a well-defined path, an engaging experience capable of integrating culture, habits and love for one's own land.

How to pour wine: the importance of first impressions

The etiquette suggests to take care of the combinations between dishes and wines, as well as of the choice of the glasses for the diners. The rules of bon ton are very clear in this regard: women first, then the men and finally the hosts. But how is wine poured and how is it served to the diners?

Wine should always be served by placing ourselves behind the diner and pouring it from the right side: this behavior seems to come from the times of the Medici in Florence, when poisonings were particularly widespread. In fact, at the time, rings often contained substantial doses of poison which, when the wine was poured from the left, garnished the victim's drink by letting the poison fall into the glass.

Although times have changed, it is always better not to take risks: pouring the wine from the left could still bring bad luck!

How to hold the glass of wine: elegance and respect

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Holding a glass of wine in your hand is not too daring a task, but there is still a right way – and a wrong one. The general rule is to always hold the stem of the glass and not the belly: only the first three fingers of the hand must come into contact with the glass, while the ring and little fingers should simply remain resting on the base of the glass, in the way as natural as possible.

Finally, what about the famous whirling rotation of the glass of wine during tastings? Does it really bring some benefit or is it just a splendid and famous scenic effect?

In fact, the main reason why we proceed with this practice is the oxygenation of the wine: during the tasting phase, the rotation of the wine serves to aerate the liquid and to combine oxygen with its aromatic particles, favoring its propagation.

It can therefore be deduced that rotation is necessary, above all for some types of wines, like for example all structured reds subjected to a long aging process, where only aromas imprisoned for a long time in the bottle can express themselves.

Wine tasting is therefore a careful and meticulous process, with peculiar characteristics and rules to be followed: a splendid journey into the wine culture, to be sipped slowly, with great respect and curiosity.

Tenute D'Italia is a trade mark of Morini s.r.l.
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Tel +39 0542 641194 - Imola (BO) Italy