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From the Alps and Apennines, to Sicily.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I am trying to gather as much imformation on the wines of Italy as I can.

A friend of mine has an extensive collection of wines from all over Italy.

She has the greatest vintages from Tuscany and Piedmont (all the heavy hitters).

My friend has asked me to research her wines, and study the lineage (sp) of the vineyards.

I asked her if she wants to be the next Jancis Robinson, a little smile is all the response I got.

Any thoughts off the top of your heads would be a great place to start, before I ask for more detailed info.

TIA
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #2 of 15
My dearest Cape Chef,

Dear Abby may currently be living in isolation, but news arrives even to the most remote of ranches. She has heard many stories about your vast knowledge of wine, but your inquiry about Italian Wines struck her like a hurricane!

My dear Cape Chef, Dear Abby is pleased to see that not only are you an ingenious cook, but you do not forget our younger generation. You wish to share your knowledge of the grape with them, do you not? Dear Abby cannot otherwise explain this sudden interest, which coincides with La Luna di Marzio...The Moon of March when in Italy the wines are bottled.

Zut alors!

So, my pets. Put aside those average books, such as the Oxford Companion to Wine. M. Cchiu, do not torture Google, my dear. Dear Abby will share her precious life experience from the not-so-remote days of her youth, in an attempt to help Sir Cape Chef with his educational duties.

From the region of Piemonte, Dear Abby would suggest you, Cape Chef to look for the following varieties:

Barbera
Gavi
Dolcetto d'Alba
Griniglino del Monferrato Casalese

Of course there are many more but these varieties may be represented by some very powerful vintages.

Dear Abby would choose to introduce someone to the Barbera variety with a Rosignano Monferato (of her amico Carlo Cassini who used to be in love with Dear Abby, but she does not kiss and tell). Very inviting, well balanced with a fruity bouquet! Your client, Cape Chef, will no doubt enjoy this wine.

Dear Abby would choose the Gavi variety to explain to the children that the Italians make the distinctions between white and "yellowish" wines. There are many vineyards for Gavi, none related to Dear Abby.

A Prunnote (Dolcetto d'Alba), with its distinctive harmony in acidity in a perfect comparison with a flowery bouquet, will inevitably bring to Dear Abby's memory a night under the stars of the Piemontese sky, the music of the violins of Paganini burning in her ears. Ah, but Dear Abby digresses.

Lastly, my love, Dear Abby would propose to a chef of your calibre to try to cook even once with Tortona. Facing the danger of the slippery path of melodrama, Dear Abby would declare from the bottom of her wounded heart that the old Latin quote: "Sine vinum, nulla Venus" (without wine the Goddess of Love won't visit you) was inspired by this nectar.

Dear Abby feels tired. The memories of Italy inspired by these wines both touches and breaks Abby's heart. She must rest.

She will come back with her adventures in the land of Tuscany, where she went to pick up flowers so as to create her personal parfum.

Au revoir. Or perhaps she should say, arrivederci.


Abby
What my mother believed about cooking is that if you worked hard and prospered, someone else would do it for you.
~Nora Ephron
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What my mother believed about cooking is that if you worked hard and prospered, someone else would do it for you.
~Nora Ephron
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post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

WOW

My, My, My…Dear Abby, I had no idea that you had such a wonderful knowelage of wines.
I want to thank you for taking the time to respond to me, this imformation will not go to waste.

My client will be thrilled!!!!

You are right Dear Abby; Piedmont is not only about Barolas or about Barbarescos (although they are so good)
In addition, my client is one who has invested heavely in them. They are often eulogized as the “wine of kings, and the king of wines”.

Dear Abby, also of interest to my client is the history is the history behind these regions. I have debated a few that say that the Greeks were responsible for introducing vitaculture to Piedmont. I disagree; I feel it was the Etruscans, why? Because Dear Abby, there is a long established tradition of allowing the vines to grow up trees and tall posts. This practice is called (Etrusco).

Dear Abby, your point about Gavi and the distinctions the Italians make about white and yellowish wines is quite impressive. The wonderful wine produced by the Erbaluce grape is also a perfect example of this color. The grape is lightly acidic, and when fully ripened it produces wines of a beautiful straw-yellow color, yeast, bread and hay come to mind when I think of these wines, it’s finish is nice and spicy. They are excellent canadate for sparkling wines, although I prefere them as a dessert wine (Passito). Have your butler pick some up for you on his next trip to by caviar.

Also Dear Abby, do not forget the wonderful Gatinara’s and Ghemmes from the multi talented Nebbiolo, oh to be at the foothills of the Piedmontese Alps drinking a bottle of Travaglini (my favorite Gatinara).

My dear Abby, I also love Barbera, and yes Monferrato rules for the scent of a rose. In my experience however, I find them more flourel and peppery on the nose, with the scent of toasted almonds slicing through. (Just my opinion Dear Abby) but the wines of Ruche do offer red fruit on the nose. My client leans to the wines of Braida Di Giacoma Bologna of Rocchetta Tanaro. I must agree, this is the best iv’e ever tasted.

I must admit to you Dear Abby, that I have never cooked with wines from the Epochs of Tortonia, but I must tell you that the marl soil of tortonia produce some memorible Nebbiolos.

Thank you again for your help.
I look forward to reading about Tuscany.
cc



:)
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #4 of 15
Ciao mio Cape Chef!

Dear Abby thanks you for your kind response. She is a woman of her word so now she will give her humble input regarding the wines of Tuscany. Athenaeus, my dear, do not torture your eyes searching for answers to Cape Chef’s questions. Let those with more experience talk.

Trying to survive a heartache (before her dearest George, you understand), Dear Abby once joined an archaeological expedition to Tuscany, Italy. The expedition was a rather hopeless attempt to solve the mystery of Etruscans. Although the origins of the Etruscans may remain unsolved, archaeological excavations have provided us, the contemporary gossipers, with useful information regarding their everyday life.

The Etruscans, as you must know my dear Cape Chef, were an agricultural people. Their presence in Italy coincides with the arrival of the grape plant from Greece. So, the Etruscans learned from the Greeks how to make wine! But Dear Abby will share a detail which has not yet been published. Her source must remain anonymous though. As mentioned above, Dear Abby may kiss, but she does not tell. My dearest Chef Talk members, please understand that Dear Abby is allowing you to have access to information before an official announcement.

As you know, excavations in Etruscan cemeteries have provided us with most of the available information regarding this mysterious civilization. Recent excavations in an “urban” area have revealed their wineries. The Etruscans were pressing the grape and the grape juice was placed into large clay pots that they were buried to the soil. A good fermentation, of course, requires stable conditions. The soil provides those conditions.

I hope that this nearly secret information will have satisfied dearest Cape Chef’s uncontrollable appetite for History.

Dear Abby, wouldn’t want to be in Sir Cape Chef’s shoes while he chooses between the wines from Toscana, the Land of Divine Chianti to propose to his clients.
- Chianti
- Rosso di Moltalcino
- Chianti Colli Senese
- Vernaccia di San Gimignano

Cape Chef is a certified connoisseur of Italian Wines do he doesn’t need Dear Abby to comment on the misadventures of Chianti Wines during the last years. It is well known that the excessive demand of those wines from our country resulted in a dramatic fall in their quality.

Dear Abby though, after a visit to beloved and Bella Italia, is happy to inform you that the Chianti producers have made a delightful recovery. At last! The days of yellowish liquids of high acidity that were sold as Chianti wines seem to belong to the past.

Try this little gem, the Conte Zandotti of her dear friend, Marco Ciarla, who had quite a presence in the Grand Prix du Lyon last year. Quite a harmonious bouquet, the high for Dear Abby’s palate alcoholic degrees (12,5) play respectfully with the distinctive flower bouquet of Toscana.

Arrivederci e la Fortuna Buona,

Abby
What my mother believed about cooking is that if you worked hard and prospered, someone else would do it for you.
~Nora Ephron
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What my mother believed about cooking is that if you worked hard and prospered, someone else would do it for you.
~Nora Ephron
Reply
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Bravo Abby

My dear Abby,

Excellent imformation again, This really will help .

Dear Abby,

I quick reply for you.

While I was nibbling on some antipasto, last evening, and sipping my last bottle of 85 Sassicaia
With my wife and sister in law, my mind started drifting to Tuscany.

Most will think of Chianti when they think of Tuscany, but for me, the hills between Siena and Florence, Arezza and Pisa is where my thoughts land.

My Brunello di montalcino, Vina Nobiledi, Montepuliano and of course Vernaccio de san Gimignano (like you mentianed) This is the region where my Sassicaia resides (folks, This for me is the finest of all the Italian wines.. bar none)

Ok, Back on track,

Please dear Abby, don’t get me wrong,
I do not frown upon Chianti; in fact, I am grateful for the little hamlet of Monti, where the best conditions for Chianti thrives.

In 1977, the Enologist (Marco Pallanti) was hired by a number of wealthy families to reinvent Chianti to the highest levels of Viticulture.

Tonight, Maybe a bottle of Frattoria san Gusto A rentennano or, Isole E Olena.
We will see, regardless mty dear Abby, you would love these wines.

Abby, again.. I thank you for your help; I will come back with more details later, after wine and lamb
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

FYI, Dear Abby

You say for Athenaeus to keep quit as the ones with the knowelage step to the plate.

You know that it was indeed Athenaeus who wrote the works on the Etruscan dining habits.

Just thought you may be interested :)
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #7 of 15
Oh, dearest Cape Chef.

Dear Abby has made one of those dreadful faux pas so common to the internet forum. Athenaeus, will you ever forgive Dear Abby? Of course you have probably studied many books on the subject of the Etruscans. You and Dear Abby should share thoughts in more detail one day, my pet.

The truth is, of course, that Dear Abby did not want to share the attention of one Cape Chef.

She is devastated to have to admit this.

Avec l'honte.

Abby
What my mother believed about cooking is that if you worked hard and prospered, someone else would do it for you.
~Nora Ephron
Reply
What my mother believed about cooking is that if you worked hard and prospered, someone else would do it for you.
~Nora Ephron
Reply
post #8 of 15
I see Dear Abby that the forum is facing the risk of you commiting harakiri.
So let's forget about the whole issue :)

I have some objections regarding your posts but it's terribly late for my Internet persona and me to explain how they were fermeting wines on Santorini Greece in clay pots burried under the soil in the year 3000 BC.

Judging by the syntax of the sentence typed above, I must go to bed :)
"Muabet de Turko,kama de Grego i komer de Djidio", old sefardic proverb ( Three things worth in life: the gossip of the Turk , the bed of the Greek and the food of the Jew)
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"Muabet de Turko,kama de Grego i komer de Djidio", old sefardic proverb ( Three things worth in life: the gossip of the Turk , the bed of the Greek and the food of the Jew)
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post #9 of 15
My dear, forgiving, Athenaeus,

Dear Abby thanks you so kindly for your forbearance. One day, my love, Athenaeus and Dear Abby will sit down over a nice glass of wine and discuss all!

Kiss!

Abby
What my mother believed about cooking is that if you worked hard and prospered, someone else would do it for you.
~Nora Ephron
Reply
What my mother believed about cooking is that if you worked hard and prospered, someone else would do it for you.
~Nora Ephron
Reply
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Dear Abby, I very much appreciate your kind words and sentiments.

I would however, like to keep this thread on it's original mission.

Thanks
cc
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #11 of 15
Of course, Mr. Cape Chef,

Dear Abby meant no harm. She looks forward to reading more of your interesting thoughts on the wines of Tuscany.

Abby
What my mother believed about cooking is that if you worked hard and prospered, someone else would do it for you.
~Nora Ephron
Reply
What my mother believed about cooking is that if you worked hard and prospered, someone else would do it for you.
~Nora Ephron
Reply
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Dear Abby, I had a funny day, one that made me think about the wars between Siena and Florence.

Abby, in this region lies Montepulciano, one of my true favorites of Tuscany.
Even thought Montepulciano is closer to Siena, it allied itself with the Medicis in Florence.

The Medicis where so grateful, dear Abby, that they transformed this isolated hilltown into a center for the arts.

In the 16th century, both Pope Paul III and Sixtus V praised Nobile as Italy’s “most perfect wine”

Dear Abby, in your travels throught Tuscany, have you had the oppurtunity to drink on the island of Elba? Not great wine, but oh what a view.

Further north on the Tuscan coast at the foot of the Alpi Apuane lie the Colli di luna.
This dear abby is an area where a white wine named Candia dei colli apuani is produced.
It is almost unknown out of its region.

I am trying to secure a few cases for my client, have you tasted this wine Abby?
In addition, I am looking for some whites from Montecarlo (not in Monaco)

This is where the humble Trebbiano.

Dear Abby, once again, thank you for your interest and help
cc
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #13 of 15
Dear Cape Chef.

Our dear friend, Kyle's agony to find an appropriate dessert for his friends touched Dear Abby's heart. She has been busy providing him with Henri's lovely torte recipe. You understand that she must often copy these recipes in the dead of night! So, she has had to place her memories of Tuscany on temporary hold, but she is now back at your service Monsieur Chef of the Cape.

Oh The Isle of Elba. Dear Abby, of course, makes it a point to visit the island every year (when at all possible) on the 5th of May. She feels obliged to participate in the Memorial Service of un Grand Homme: Napoleon.

Maybe the wines of Elba are not so good, Monsieur Chef of the Cape, because of the tears that fall in them. Tears of mourning for glorious days of a country that used to be great.

Have you ever considered that?

Dear Abby had the privilege to taste Candia dei colli Apuani in Lyon's Grad Prix last year.

You, Cape Chef, know better than Dear Abby, those wines are exceptional indeed. Be certain, however, that you can provide your client with this wine on a regular basis as distribution is often difficult.

You mentioned Trebbiano. Dear Abby is not persuaded that the definition of an exceptional wine coincides with Trebbiano. Since you insist, she suggests Trebbiano d'Abbruzo. Yellowish, with a bouquet of vanilla that you enjoy may very much.

Voilà!


Abby
What my mother believed about cooking is that if you worked hard and prospered, someone else would do it for you.
~Nora Ephron
Reply
What my mother believed about cooking is that if you worked hard and prospered, someone else would do it for you.
~Nora Ephron
Reply
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Dear Abby,

I do respect your feelings about the trebbiano grape not being linked to quility wines.

I must respectfully disagree, you see Dear Abby, and the wines produced in the region of Montecarlo like said in my prevoius post are considered the best from Colli di Luna. Althought the Trebbiano grape is enhanced by other some other variaties of grapes, it is the Trebbiano that gives the structure and Terroir to the wine.

Just ask the true Connoisseurs of them, and of course Bianco Pisano, di San Torpe may want to add a word or two.

Dear Abby,
As for the island of Elba, that was a interesting analogy about the tears in the wine, (very cutsy to), but I would say that it is the sea breezes that in dry years that damage the grapes, and hence a fair and inconsistent wine. I will admit though that the sweet red Aleatica is a nice wine.

My client has a great deal of super Tuscan wines Abby, so I am going to consentrate a bit on them.
I am very much interested on the meeting of Marchese Mario Incisa and Piero Antinoro met, and how Giacoma Tachis worked with them to produce Sassicia (my personal favorite). In addition, I want to find out how Piero’s brother Lodovico met Andre Tchelistcheff and developed Ornellaia and Massato.

I think Bolgheri will uncover many answers for me and my client.

Thanks again Abby
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #15 of 15
My dear friend,

You raise some intriguing points, M. Cape Chef. Dear Abby will need to ponder these thoughts most closely.

Cutesy you say? Dear Abby declaims, no, merely overly sentimental. You understand, of course?

Abby
What my mother believed about cooking is that if you worked hard and prospered, someone else would do it for you.
~Nora Ephron
Reply
What my mother believed about cooking is that if you worked hard and prospered, someone else would do it for you.
~Nora Ephron
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