Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Rosso Alto Mincio Gemei 2011
I know it's a mouthful ... both in words and palate, but I've unearthed what I believe to be a gem of a wine in the midst of this winter freeze!  Obscure and/or unfamiliar doesn't have to be scary however, especially when you get down to tasting and exploring a bit as to it's origins.  

Rosso Alto Mincio Gemei 2011
Peschiera del Garda
Verona Veneto, Italia

40% Merlot. 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. 40% Corvina, Molinara, Rondinella & Lagrein

One first notices a depth of color, deep dark crimson red, luscious like a regal robe.  Immediately on the nose, dusty earthy fruit, spice box, brambleberry along with red and black fruits.  Rich, bright cherry dances on the palate and later anise, eucalyptus and herbaceous brush.  With a beautifully soft mouth feel this gets more unctuous with time.  The color seems to intensify, along with a pronounced funkiness on the nose, spiced fig on the palate with flashes of tartness from deep cerise fruit.  Finish is uber smooth with herbaceous residuals and fine balance.  Delicious!  Enjoy with a hearty antipasti plate of meats, roasted vegetables and cheeses and imagine enjoying in your garden, while inside your dining room!  $17/bottle at Browne Trading Co., Portland

OTTELLA is the producer.  Azienda Agricola Ottella is the actual name of this agricultural estate located in the town of Peschiera del Garda in the DOC (designated growing area) of San Benedetto di Lugana.  Located at the southern end of Lake Garda in northern Italy, the vineyard is owned and run by the Montresor family, winegrowers for many generations - Franceso, his father Lodovico, his wife Elena and brother Michele.  They vinify all grapes from their own 25 hectares of vineyards and all are completely harvested by hand.  Terroir has glacial origins, composed of layers and layers of calcerous sediment, clay and red clay, called "leopard spot" configuration.  Surrounded by beautiful countryside, lakes and olive groves, the adjacent vineyards exude these influences.  The Montresors aim to create wines that are exceptionally modern yet are intrinsically expressive of the earth and vines from which they come and all of the history that holds.  

Brought to us by Easterly Wines, Belfast, ME and the Importer, Ideal Wine & Spirits, Medford, MA.  May be found at the following venues:  Browne Trading Co., Aurora Provisions and Bresca, Portland; Tess's Market and Trattoria Athena, Brunswick; The Lighthouse, Manchester; Blue Hill Wine Shop, Blue Hill; Uncorked Wine & Cheese, Augusta; Burby & Bates, Orono.

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