The SOMM Journal

August / September 2018

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Page 33 of 124

{ } 33 At an altitude of 200–315 meters above sea level and with a prevalently southwest-facing aspect, MGA Fon - tanafredda comprises144 acres, with 37 adjacent acres planted to Nebbiolo for the production of Barolo. The MGA straddles a border between soils of Helvetian and Tortonian origin, resulting in transitional characteristics with clayey marls and layers of clayey sand. Italian producers cannot legally use the term "monopole," but MGA Fontanafred - da is essentially a monopole by another name. (Monopoles are quite rare in Barolo: Bricco Boschis has been a mono - pole of Cavallotto since 1948; Pira has been a monopole of Roagna since 1989; and Brunella is a very recent monopole of Boroli.) The largest monopole in the Barolo appellation, MGA Fontanafredda is also the only cru in the Barolo appellation named after a single estate; having never changed hands, it's been a monopole of Fontanafredda for its entire history. Fontanafredda has taken advantage of these distinctions to release a special wine representing and celebrating its unique MGA: Barolo DOCG Proprietà in Fon - tanafredda. The majority of the Nebbiolo used for this new Barolo is from the clone called Rosé, which Fontanafredda prefers due to its soft, floral, and elegant nature. In adherence to tradition, the vinification process involves long maceration fol - lowed by fermentation in stainless-steel vats at controlled temperatures. The new wine stays in contact with the lees for about one month, followed by two years of aging in medium and large oak casks and an additional 12 months in bottle before release. The newest jewel in the crown, Barolo DOCG Proprietà in Fontanafredda joins the estate's three other Barolos—the appellation-designated Fontanafredda Barolo, the commune-designated Barolo Serralunga d'Alba, and the single-vineyard Barolo La Rosa—as the newest testa - ment to the qualities of this majestic Piedmont proper ty. Fontanafredda is imported by Taub Family Selections–Esprit du Vin. Game Plan: Fontanafredda at Kingsley in New York City Chef Roxanne Spruance is a natural-born champ. Her not-quite-three-year-old Manhattan restaurant, Kingsley, was voted Best New Restaurant and Best American Restaurant by Zagat in 2017 and earned a Michelin rating two years in a row, becom - ing one of the hottest tickets in a town brimming with buzzworthy new venues. The former Michigan State University field hockey recruit has sports in her blood, but her passion for food and wine is every bit as strong as her talent on the playing field. "My parents are crazy Francophiles," Spruance explains, "so I grew up smelling corks." As a kid, she tagged along to top-notch restaurants in her home - town of Chicago, befriending sommeliers and winding up with an unpaid appren- ticeship at esteemed restaurant Blackbird at age 15. Later, her first wine list, put together for a suburban Chicago restaurant when she was 23, garnered a Wine Spectator Grand Award. In 2010, Spruance hit the Big Apple running with a coveted chef-de-partie posi - tion at Wylie Dufresne's WD-50, followed by a sous-chef gig at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and the Executive Chef post at Alison Eighteen. Opening her own restaurant was as natural for her as lobbing a goal: "I wanted to succeed on my own terms, not somebody else's," the chef says of Kingsley, which is also her middle name. With her longstanding passion, the chef is also naturally the wine buyer for the restaurant, where she features Fontanafredda on the all–Northern Hemisphere list. "What I like about Fontanafredda is that it's very terroir-driven, and our food is very terroir-driven as well," she says. "I prefer wines that are unique and specific"— a natural fit for a chef who prefers locally sourced produce. When Spruance first tasted the new Barolo from the Fontanafredda MGA, it hit a sweet spot. "The MGA is super cool," she raves. "The wine is very different from the baseline Fontanafredda Nebbiolo. It's got a dark color in the glass and is earthy on the palate with pronounced minerality, herbaceousness, and an unbelievable anise note. The oak is super velvety but with enough acid balance to make it work with lighter dishes as well as heavier ones." Spruance may have a mantle full of trophies, but the chef shows no sign of slow - ing down. Is cooking a contact sport? "One hundred percent!" Spruance says. "And you have a game every night." Kingsley Chef Roxanne Spruance with the Fontanafredda Barolo DOCG Proprietà in Fontanafredda.

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