The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2017

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ITALIAN WINE L amole is a tiny village high in the hills above Chianti Classico's Greve Valley, with vistas toward the distant Tyrrhenian Sea to the west. The Romans began mak- ing wine here some 700 years ago, and its production has never ceased through the centuries. In more modern times, the red wine produced in Lamole grew to be known as Chianti, and when the Chianti Classico region was formed in 1980s, Lamole, long recognized as one of the cradles of the great wine, was located near its center. A few years later, in 1993, the Santa Margherita Wine Group purchased one of Lamole's most promising estates, but one that was also quite neglected. The restoration of that property was a viticultural renaissance, beginning with the rebuilding of the vineyard terrac- ing, which had fallen into ruins, and the restoration of its natural environment of native plants, including the reintro- duction of the famed Florentine iris that once flourished here. And thus, Lamole di Lamole Chianti Classico, was reborn. "The winemaking at Lamole di Lamole has its roots in tradition, but the facility is modern, including the use of optical scanners to choose only the best-quality grapes," says Kristina Sazama, Marketing Manager for Santa Margherita USA, which imports the wine. During mid-fermentation, the winery adds back the grape skins earlier separated to provide added flavors and richness, and Lamole's barrel-aging program features the unusual 2,000-liter Taransaud Ovum, an egg-shaped wooden—not concrete—barrel. "Regardless of the vintage, Lamole strives to have a consistency of excellent quality," Sazama points out. Lamole di Lamole has a range of three Chiantis in the U.S.: Chianti Classico "Blue Label," Chianti Classico Riserva "Gray Label" and Chianti Classico Gran Selezione "Vigneto di Campolungo," produced from a single vineyard. On-Premise with Lamole di Lamole Rachael Lowe is Sommelier and Beverage Director at Chicago's venerable Spiaggia restaurant, which through the years has garnered many awards not only for its food, but also for its wine list. "Spiaggia has been around for more than 30 years, so I inherited a lot of that reputation," Lowe explains as she prepares for a weekday dinner crowd. "But I've added my own touches in the three years I've been here." That includes putting Lamole di Lamole on her wine menu. "I love the Campolungo Gran Selezione," she says, "and fortunately our custom- ers love it too. It fills a needed role—a great red wine for $95 a bottle." Lowe says she consistently recommends it pair with Chef/Partner Tony Mantuano's bistecca alla fiorentino, "although, really, it goes with most foods of our menu." Meanwhile, Lamole di Lamole continues to evolve. "Lamole is converting to being organic," Sazama notes, "and we have our own olive trees to produce our own olive oil." Renaissance in Chianti Classico LAMOLE DI LAMOLE IS RESTORED TO ITS ORIGINAL GLORY by Roger Morris / photos by Rebecca Peplinkski Rachael Lowe is Sommelier and Beverage Director at Chicago's venerable Spiaggia restaurant. Lamole di Lamole Chianti Classico.

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