Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Nebbiolo And Montefalco Offer Italian Charm And Character

Nebbiolo from Langhe and Rosso from Montefalco provide a pleasant and flavorful surprise.

A Return To Montefalco

Several months ago I had the opportunity to write a feature article on the wines of Montefalco. We’ve loved Montefalco for a long time and had hoped the articles and photo might be a ticket to that Italian region in Umbria.

While that didn’t materialize, a bottle of Azienda Agricola Romanelli 2012 Montefalco Rosso did. Last week’s Italian wine dinner featured this red blend along with Germano Angelo Azienda 2010 Nebbiolo d’Alba “Visette” from the Langhe area of Italy’s Piedmont region.

It’s A Flashback To Rigatoni

To accompany our wines, Green Dragon fired up her special spicy spaghetti sauce. She has a special recipe that I really like in which the meat is cooked in the sauce, as opposed to being cooked separately and then added. It’s robust and awfully delicious.

We poured both wines to enjoy with our kale and super green salad along with rigatoni noodles slathered with red sauce. Although some might say this is “old school” we think the rigatoni noodles are better suited to hearty wines. Perhaps the hole in the middle helps you absorb wine better!

Italian Impressions

Montefalco Rosso is a blend of 60% to 80% Sangiovese and 10% to 25% Sagrantino. The remainder is rounded out by Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The Romanelli Rosso is aged 18 months in a combination of stainless steel and oak.

The Sangiovese contributed to a smooth, sleek wine, while the Sagrantino, which only grows in the Montefalco region, gives a bit of staccato firmness. From the start the Romanelli Montefalco was a luscious glass of wine that immediately added elegance to the meal.

Germano Angelo has been making Barolo since 1908. This Nebbiolo is really a “baby Barolo.” It can’t be called Barolo since the grapes don’t originate there, but you are getting the flavor and power of Barolo without the pricetag.

We decanted the Germano Nebbiolo for about 30 minutes. This is a 2010 vintage and the complexity versus the Montefalco was immediately evident.

This is a deep dark wine with riffles of raspberry and chocolate. In fact, after we finished our meal our friend Maria dropped by and we enjoyed a killer pairing of dark chocolate with sea salt and the Germano Nebbiolo. The Nebbiolo is priced at an insanely low $24 SRP.

Sartori Montamore cheese and some aged Gouda also made a stellar match. In particular the creamy and tangy Montamore and the Romanelli Montefalco were great partners.

When pursuing wine excellence sometimes it is necessary to zig when others zag. These two fine wines are exemplars of great taste and solid value.

Full Disclaimer: We received these wines as marketing samples.

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