A Gift Through Generations

Fattoria San Lorenzo
…di Gino… 2018
Le Marche Region
Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC
Montecarotto, Ancona, Italy
100% Verdicchio
Organic and biodynamic, and 6 months on the lees
Winemaker and owner: Natalino Crognaletti

Put a ring on it golden with an orange tinge. Crisp pops of tangerine, a little salt, pears, and dried apricots; all on the tip of my nose. It tastes a lot like it smells with the pear, citrus and smokey salt with addition of crisp apples; and as it warms up peaches and honey. Oh this is so lovely. It’s like when you get a new book from your favorite author (mine is Martin Walker), and as you turn the pages and get further in it just keeps getting better and better.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: makes all the flavors more bold

Natalino Crognaletti has a wonderful way of choosing names for his wines. “…di Gino…” is named in honor of his father who passed down the farm/winery to him. Others are for a dog, hares, the sun, and what I thought was maybe another word than “gattina” for kitten due to the image on the bottle, but as I searched, I discovered “La Gattara” pretty much means “cat lady”. Ah, “cat lady” a moniker I know well. Maybe this should be the next one I try. I digress. Back to “…di Gino…” which is made from the local Verdicchio clones that Gino selected for the vineyard after it was handed down to him from his father Enrico. This beautiful land is in the province of Ancona which is known for their towns of medieval fortresses. The town Montecarotto is one of these romantic medieval towns but it also has other more modern cultural interests. Their MAM Museo d’arte Moderna e Mail Art appears to be the only public mail art museum in Italy. A recent exhibition called “Le Disobbedienti” which is a tribute to Artemisia Gentileschi, Frida Kahlo, Charlotte Salomon, Berthe Morisot, Suzanne Valadon and Elisabeth Vigèe Le Brun; that included work from 150 artists from all over the world. Would have loved to have seen it in person.

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Here Kitty, Kitty

Vinos Ambiz
La Gatta Mormigliana 2016
100% Tempranillo
El Tiemblo, Ávila, Sierra de Gredos, Spain
Winemaker: Fabio Bartolomei
Organic (just not certified, you’ll see why below)

This is the deepest dark goth purple which fits the label. Starts out with dark funk and grass scents. Very quickly that all turns into deep cherry, dark plum, oddly coriander that become cloves, and then licorice. This wine keeps evolving like crazy. First sip is deep sweet cherry, raisin, prune and plum. Something toasty emerges. There’s a touch of bitter bit at end, like pecan hulls that get left in after you shell them and think it’s all just meat. Here it goes changing again and it’s all fruit. I had been cautioned about this wine because I was told it might be too funky for me. Nope! It has funk but not to the extent I been told. In the end it is smooth and romantic. Not what you would expect from a giant monster cat nightmare.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: super sweet fruit with just a hint of the funk

Fabio Bartolomei is the outsider artist of wine. He has no training in winemaking, and during his start he worked out of garages, stables, etc. If La Gatta Mormigliana is any example of the rest of his wines, he’s freaking brilliant. The name comes from a story his father recounted to him of a fearsome cat with iron teeth and steel whiskers, that would say “Chi vien giù lo mangio” (If you come in, I’ll eat you…). If anyone knows where to find more on this tale, please do reach out to me. Sounds like a good scare. Fabio is also very adamant about making natural and organic wine, but bucks the certification. Here it is in his own words, “I refuse to certify because I believe that the polluters should pay for the damage they are doing to the environment, not the clean farmers”. Because of this, the bottle has a back label with a lengthy list of what it doesn’t contain, what processes it went through and what he didn’t do to it.

Would also like to give credit to the two label artists: Francesco de Aguilar and José Perico. That is one scary cat!

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Vinyes Singulars
Minipuça 2016
Xarel.lo 100%
Penedès, Spain
Ancestral Method
Organic, biodynamic, native yeasts, vegan friendly, and from what I read…aged in a Spanish Civil War air raid shelter
Winemaker Ignasi Segui

A glass of pale lemony gold. Let it breathe a short bit and then inhale. There’s salt, a touch of smoke, then lemon, apples, pears, and slate. First sip is vibrant with lots of tiny bubbles, at first some hay, lemon, and apple. It’s crisp with a smidge of spice which may be cinnamon. As time passes it melts into grassy light sweetness.

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Le Pianate
Un Paio 2016
Umbria Italy
Sagrantino 50%, Sangiovese 30%, Merlot 20%
Winemaker Andrea Trulli
Biodynamic and organic

Pour and it’s a shining ruby star. Inhale and there’s cherries, plums, apple blossoms (just like the ones from the orchard I grew up in), orange, and some earth/smoke. Take a sip and here’s the tart cherries, raspberries, strawberries, a touch of orange, some white pepper and a mix of earth, spice, and butter. Fits like a glove and makes me want more. I have to watch myself because I could totally drink this whole bottle.

Pairs with Cheez-Its: smooth sweetness with a touch of orange peel and flowers

Full disclosure: I stuck to my usual rules, and did not google the winery before the tasting post was finished because I want to write with no outside influence. Afterward, I always like to find out who the winemaker is, what the area looks like, etc. Oh man, was I surprised. I have known Andrea for years. He always mentioned his grapes, but never ever told me the name of his wine. What a kind, sweet, unassuming, and extremely talented guy. Andrea keep up the good work!

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