Saturday, December 17, 2022

Grignolino varietal

 Fabio Gea 'Black Grin' Grignolino 2016 (Piedmont).


This bottle itself stands out visually and evokes curiosity. The wine comes in a Traveglini Gattinara bottle, an old school charm. Then there is the wax top with a string attached for easy removal; another step in the old school direction.

When next you are about to reach for the wine corkscrew opener, you realize they went the 'modern path' this time round with a glass closure. No TCA issue here from a cork.

This wine is made using organically grown, destemmed grapes which were fermented in procelain vessels. Its holds a pale ruby-red colour, is light-bodied, with lovely red fruits and spice appeal. Though of light body, you tend to find a notable presence of tannins within the body. Definitely a lively drink to start an evening with.

You can get this wine in Singapore via Arcodyn Company Pte Ltd.

Happy sips !

Grapes used in Chianti Classico sub-region


The Montesecondo Chianti Classico DOCG 2019 by Silvio Messana (Tuscany).

Youthful, fresh and vibrant. It's produced using only indigenous varietals: Sangiovese 80%, Canaiolo 10% and Colorino 10%.

The current appellation rule for Chianti Classico DOCG requires the use of a minimum of 80% Sangiovese in its red wine. Other varietals allowed are Colorino, Canaiolo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Since 2006, no white varietal (namely Malvasia)is allowed by appellation law for use in Chianti Classico DOCG reds.

The international varietals have their uses to contribute colour, body and flavours to the reds. However when used inappropriately, they tend to overpower the qualities of the Sangiovese varietal.

Here Silvio Messana relies exclusively on the indigenous varietals so as not to make the error. Rather than merely produce a Chianti Classico red, he strives to show the virtues of Sangiovese in this wine.

This wine is available in Singapore via Luigi's Wines Pte Ltd.

Happy sips!

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Grignolino varietal wine

Apart from the Freisa and Ruche varietal wines, the Grignolino varietal wine is one other red wine which shows itself as a light bodied, ruby red coloured wine coming from Piedmont. These 3 varietals give consumers an option to start an evening with something on the 'light bodied, fresh red fruits side' before progressing to medium and full bodied options for the later part of the evening. 

Local wine consumers tend to be more familiar with the Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetta varietals coming from Piedmont rather than the other 3 varietals mentioned above. But a country like Italy which is noted for having the largest number of native grape varietals has a treasure trove of wines to offer for the curious wine enthusiast who is willing to venture further afield to discover something different to try and taste.

Francesco Rinaldi & Figli Grignolino d'Asti 2019

This Francesco Rinaldi & Figli Grignolino d'Asti 2019 comes from the municipality of Montaldo Scarampi, Piedmont. Pale red-ruby colour greets the eye (one would almost think its a rose wine). Floral aromas are noticeable followed by sour red cherry and strawberry notes. Palate follows through with similar profile of red fruits backed by spice notes. Lively acidity keeps the wine fresh while noticeable tannins in the finish adds to the character. Tannins does not come as harsh, bold or overpowering though.

Wine trivia:

Grignolino in local Italian dialect refers to 'pips' (highlighting the fact that this varietal has a greater number of pips then other grape varietals). 

Apart from Grignolino d'Asti DOC, the other DOC appellation notable for this varietal is 'Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese DOC'. Some of the other DOCs it can be found are Colli Tortonesi, Gabiano and Monferrato.

In Singapore you can get this wine via Luigi's Wines Pte Ltd.

Happy Sips!

Friday, October 21, 2022

Wine from the Cesanese d' Affile varietal

Something new I came across this year; a red wine made from the Cesanese d'Affile varietal. It comes from the Lazio wine region (in central Italy). Production revolves around the town of Affile, which is located close to the Central Apennines.

This varietal is native to Lazio and production numbers are small. This could be one reason why this wine is not readily found in local wine outlets. The other reason could be that it takes a 'brave' wine merchant to import wines made from varietals that local wine consumers are less aware of. Not many will want to take the risk of carrying wines which local consumers may hesitate to buy due to lack of familiarity.

The usual Lazio wines one encounters locally tend to be white wines produced from Est! Est!! Est!!! di Montefiascone DOC & Frascati DOC appellations; and also possibly sweet wines from the Cannellino di Frascati DOCG appellation. A red wine from the Lazio wine region tends to be a rare exception.

Damiano Ciolli Silene Cesanese DOC Superiore 2019

The Damiano Ciolli Silene Cesanese DOC Superiore 2019 shows with a bright ruby red, lightly coloured appeal. There's the aromatic appeal with red berry, floral and spice notes which captivate one's attention. It's medium bodied with a pleasing silky texture and ample acidity to keep the body fresh and lively. It offers a pleasant sip.

The Cesanese di Affili DOC requires a minimum of 90% Cesanese d'Affile varietal in its wine. It can be made either in the dry or sweet style.

This particular wine (a dry red) is made from 100% Cesanese d'Affile varietal. Grapes are hand harvested and fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks.

You can find this wine locally via the Italian Wine Club.

Happy sips!

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Nebbiolo varietal produced in a fizzy, rose style

Something light and inviting to begin the evening with; and surprisingly it's made from the Nebbiolo varietal.

Most times in Singapore we see Nebbiolo sold as still, red wines; especially when they come from Piedmont's Barolo, Barbaresco, Gattinara or Gheme sub-regions. It's taken seriously with the need to age and at times decant awhile before serving. 

This particular wine caught my attention as it brings out the 'lighter' side of Nebbiolo. It's made in a fizzy, rose style, something not usually seen when you visit a local wine retail outlet. 

This 2015 Fabio Gea 'Falavosca' Rosato Frizzante comes from Barbaresco. The viticultural practice leans toward the organic way. Upon harvest,  destemmed grapes undergo a short maceration before fermentation begins. It is bottled unfined and unfiltered. A nifty wine label made from handmade paper further lends to this wine's appeal.

2015 Fabio Gea 'Falavosca' Rosato Frizzante

wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered

It's available in Singapore now via Arcodyn Pte Ltd.

Happy sips!

Thursday, October 13, 2022

The Ruche wine


Ruche, the aromatic, light bodied red varietal grape from Piedmont. It’s hardly known over here.

Sadly it gets lost in recognition and presence compared to the other well known reds from Piedmont made from the likes of Nebbiolo, Barbara, Dolcetta (and even Brachetto). Red wines from Piedmont made from varietals like Freisa, Grignolino and Ruche are by and large still a yet to be discovered endeavour among the local wine drinking population here. It is encouraging though to see local wine merchants making the effort to import and introduce these less familiar varietals to our wine drinking public.

2020 Crivelli Ruche di Castagnole Monferrato DOCG

This 2021 Crivelli Ruche di Castagnole Monferrato DOCG reveals a youthful bright ruby red colour with purple highlights in the glass.

Red rose aroma captures your attention first, followed by red berry and spice notes. The aromas does not come as bold (neither are they overwhelming), instead they offer a persistent and pleasant experience.

The body is light plus in weight with red fruits and spice being the prominent flavours. There’s ample acidity to keep the body alive and fresh. There’s a good presence of tannins in the body without the tannins being aggressive or harsh. A certain harmony in the body makes you want to finish the first pour quickly and happily reach for the second one. At 15% abv it’s certainly not a pushover sip.

I am happy to see this wine currently imported and sold in Singapore. You can find it via Luigi's Wines.

Wine bit:

This wine is produced in the Monferrato Astigiano area (located northeast of Asti). Among its communes,  Castagnole Monferrato and Scurzolengo stand out as important ones for Ruche wine production.

Happy sips!