The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2015

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Page 131 of 140

october 2015  /  the tasting panel  /  131 appeal to both established wine lovers and an emerging generation of adven- turous wine drinkers. He found the attendees were also eager to learn about the nuances that set the wineries apart from one another. "We cover five of Italy's most important wine growing regions, and feature eight unique brands," Marzotto continues. "Some of them are part of the new catalog that we're presenting to American buyers. Another reason why we organized the dinner series was to present this book of our most exciting offerings." These include Kettmeir from Alto Adige; their Chianti Classico property in the heart of Tuscany; Lamole di Lamole in Greve Chianti Classico; Tenuta Sassoregale in rustic Maremma; their partnership with Fattoria Sardi in northwestern Tuscany; Torresella, which captures the soul of the eastern Veneto; and Sicily's Feudo Zirtari. While Marzotto acknowledges that wines coming from Italy's many production regions enjoy a strong and stalwart following, he insists that what makes the Santa Margherita portfolio stand out is the winemakers' embrace of new tech- niques and technologies to take Italian winemaking into the 21st century. "There's been a lot of research conducted over the years that have allowed our producers to get the best expressions out of the grapes from their terroir and territory," says Marzotto. "Every wine we [represent] offers an assurance of a quality wine drinking experience, when it is paired with different foods." A Taste of the Good Life During the dinner, Marzotto detailed how, from the 1990s to the last decade, carefully crafted Tuscan wines from the Lamole di Lamole label in Chianti Classico came from 40 different Sangiovese clones selected from high elevations, which in turn led to two site- specific Lamole clones of Sangiovese Grosso that give these releases their earthy, vivacious, food-friendly charac- ter. The 2010 Lamole di Lamole Chianti Classic Gran Selezione DOCG (85% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon) represents Chianti Classico's new, highest-tier classification with savory flavors that mirror aromas of black tea, roses, red cherries and dried herbs and a ferrous minerality. "All of the wines we import into the U.S. are [of the highest] quality, and this is the DNA that connects our family of wineries," Marzotto says. "We want to introduce professionals and consumers to different expressions of the grapes grown in different locations, with their own unique flavors and character. This is what young, modern consumers are looking for today. In addition to our Chiantis being unique, the Pinot Grigio used at Kettmeir comes from the mid-elevations and not the bottom part of the valley. Their wines show why it is important to diversify the expressions to highlight the quality of the fruit." The sommeliers tasted through decades of the Lamole di Lamole wines from Chianti Classico. Joel Caruso, Wine Director for Pizzeria Ortica, was a guest at the wine dinner. "All these wines open up so many possibilities for stellar food pairing." The Kettmeir 2014 Pinot Bianco from the Alto Adige was grown in high-elevation terrain. The aromatics are high (summer pear and orange peel) as is the mineral- ity (rich limestone soils bring about a flinty nose). The palate is unctuous, with herbs and earthy spices. The dinner table at Répubique showcased an array of food pairing possibilities with the wines from Santa Margherita S.P.A Italy Group.

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