Viva Vino Italiano!
Small news flash about JuliaUncorked: I don’t normally drink Italian wines. I’m not even sure why that is. Sometimes I’m just more enthused by the idea of a spicier region, like Chile, Spain or bolder like those in New Zealand and Australia. I‘m not sure I appropriately appreciate the nuanced, refined balance of fine Italian and French wines. But perhaps that’s a good reason to try them more often! In this case, I can’t take credit for “boldly” trying to expand my palette; rather, a dear friend brought this to a party I threw a few weeks ago and *shocker* we DIDN’T drink it! So, lucky me! Enter: the 2007 Cantina Numa Tolenus Rosso Piceno. This wine was really subtle, not usually my favorite quality, but this was delicious! It’s the kind of wine that could pair really well with a large variety of foods, which made for a great selection for my crazy attempt at artichoke, tomato chicken. Some quick vineyard notes:
The 2005 Cantina Numa Tolenus Rosso Piceno is from the Marche region. The region is located in the central western area of Italy on the Adriatic Sea. The area is mountainous and has been inhabited for about six thousand years. We’re talking… old: ancient Greeks and Romans old. Because of its rough terrain and unproductive soil, the Marche is not one of the most agriculturally advanced regions of Italy– though wheat, olives, and corn are still grown. It’s also known for an excellent selection of fish and seafood, including lobster, which is otherwise relatively rare in Italy. The Marche devotes about 60,000 acres to grapevines, which ranks 12th among the 20 Italian regions. Its total annual wine production is about 48 million gallons, giving it a 10th place. 38% of the wine production is red- also a bit surprising. The region produces 13 DOC wines. Rosso Piceno is actually term given to blends of Sangiovese and Montepulciano. And this one– the Tolenus is 70% Montepulciano and 30% Sangiovese.
Tasting notes: Plum, vanilla, Purple– (sure some people might argue this is NOT a flavor… but let me tell you, it’s substantially different than red… which is all fruit, very little texture. Purple (to me) is a thicker, rounder, longer lasting flavor).
Smell: Rich, fruit nose. . A great everyday wine and a great value at this price.
Texture: Smooth, soft, balanced, warm, medium finish- nothing crazy, but not distracting either. But let it BREATHE for a few minutes! I used my new decanter for the first time- and it was wonderful!! (It actually deserves its own post :) )
Pairing: As I mentioned, I had this with a random chicken dish, but I’d HIGHLY recommend it with something you’re really enjoying as a dish itself– like a pizza you really like, pasta that has a great sauce, anything where the food itself is the important part, not the wine, but you’re looking for a subtle complement.
JuliaUncorked Says: 7/10– at $10 per bottle- it’s a great buy!