A Little Italian Wine . . .
This whole crazy adventure started because I wanted to help a small family winery break into the American market. As the idea grew, so did my ideas about what La Belle Vie could be some day. At the very heart of all those ideas was always the small family winery. The idea being to help someone who was too small for the big importers to care about; some family that pours their heart into producing an excellent product. So, it should be no surprise that when I met Virginia from Colle Adimari, I could not resist.
Let me tell you a little about Virginia and Niccolo, a brother – sister team that decided to pursue their family’s passion for wine. Their vineyards, passed onto them from their grandfather and father, are located in the countryside of Cerreto Guidi, in the Tuscan region near Florence. They named their winery “Colle Adimari” after the first family of record that lived on their land over 800 years ago.
Their dedication to the terroir is seen in how they follow the traditional methods of vinification, hand harvesting the grapes and embracing biodynamic farming. Have I mentioned how delicious the wine is? It is so crazy good.
How it all began . . .
How did this all come about? I mean, I am a French Wine Importer – how did I end up deciding to import an Italian wine? Well, it was really just luck. I was invited to this “meet and greet” in San Francisco that I had been reluctant to attend. It’s just not my kind of scene. Wineries that are showing there are usually big production wines that just aren’t for me. But my schedule cleared up and I decided to go. I arrived at a very swanky hotel, to find myself in a room with about 20 wineries pouring from all over the world, like Chile, South Africa and Great Britain. It was definitely not the kind of place I would ever expect to find someone that I would be interested in importing. But, lo and behold, Virginia was at a station pouring Due Su Due and Gioverno. My very first impression was how surprised I was at the quality and freshness of her wines. They were really something special. But then she started telling me about how her dad and grandfather made wine, and that she and brother just decided to make a go of the family winery. Well, of course, I was completely hooked.
This wine is made in the traditional Tuscan (“Governo”) method. The grapes are hand harvested and vinified in the barrels in the traditional Tuscan method. Governo is an ancient wine making technique believed to be have been invented in the 14th century in Tuscany – Italy. It was designed to help insure a good fermentation and a consistent wine. The technique involves reserving a small parcel of harvested grapes and allowing them to partially dry out (slightly raisin). In this case, they add partially dried Cabernet Sauvigon (about 10%) to the fermenting Sangiovese. The result is a beautiful ruby-red wine, with lots of juicy red fruit, red plum and tart cherry. It is well balanced, with tannin for structure and acid, so that it pairs perfectly with food. It’s delightful.
This wine transports you to Chianti. It is so lively and fresh, with lots of red luscious fruit, that you just can’t stop drinking it. It is 100% Sangiovese and hand harvested at the peak of ripeness. The BAC is only 12.5%, so although it has lots of fruit on the palate it still has some acid, resulting in a well balanced wine. It is a light ruby red color with a nose of tart cherry and red berries. It’s impossible to resist. This wine I would not store for years to come. it is made to be enjoyed now. So, do yourself a favor, and order a bottle today. You won’t regret it.