Ca' La Bionda, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 'Vigneti di Ravazzol' 2017Regular price $80.00 Save $-80.00
Variety: Corvina, Corvinone, and Rondinella
I was introduced to this wine by Christoph Kuenzli, from the famed Le Piane winery in northern Piemonte. Finding a great producer in the hills of Valpolicella can be tough so leaning on friends always helps. There are many regions in Italy that show the detrimental hand of western trends. Ca’La Bionda is located in the historic “classic” zone of the Valpolicella region. Founded in 1902, the family’s focus has always been on the grapes and the vineyard work. They presently cultivate 25 hectares. Alessandro Castellani is the current, fourth-generation winemaker. His wines are held in six-foot-tall oak casks until ready to drink. Certain wines are aged longer than others. But at every step of the way, attention is given to tradition, as opposed to modern, quick winemaking. Alessandro’s wines rarely receive much mainstream press, which is fine by him.
The Ravazzol Amarone is a blend of 70% Corvina, 20% Corvinone and 10% Rondinella from 50-70 year old vines grown on the hillside vineyard of Ravazzol. Immediately after harvest in September and October, the bunches of grapes are placed on cane drying racks until January or February in order to dry out the grapes, concentrating flavors and helping to delivering the unique aromas and structure of Amarone.
Frank Cornelissen, Munjebel Terre Siciliane 'MC' 2018Regular price $84.00 Save $-84.00
Variety: Nerello Mascalese
Like many before him, Frank Cornelissen fell in love with wine in a romantic fashion. After getting his hands on the coveted DRC, he was naturally committed. After tasting and talking with others in the industry for about 20 years, he began to question the side of wine in a philosophical way. His quest led him to Sicily, where he began to farm in the northern slopes of Mt. Etna, the active volcano. He began to make wine of culture with an approach natural in character. His vines are unlike others in the area as they aren’t planted to high density; instead he has interplanted several forms of vegetation, including fruit trees and buckwheat, allowing the vines to thrive in a polycultural way. The expanse of his love for Etna is reflected in his estate wines, the single vineyard wines, and olive oils. The wines are extremely difficult to come by as they’re allocated; everyone wants these!
This fruit is from the Cornelissen cru in the contrada of Monte Colla. The vines were planted in 1946 and they call this site the “Hermitage” of Etna. The site makes a wine that’s concentrated, but rich and elegant. Only 2500 bottles of this wine were made. Cornelissen uses cement tanks lined with an epoxy sealant that not only allows for easy cleanup, but also keeps the juice from coming into contact with the cement. The juice spends 18 months in these tanks, then another 18 in bottle.
Radikon, Pignoli 2009 - 1LRegular price $110.00 Save $-110.00
Radikon is so famous that he had to take the sign down from his winery to keep the swarms of tourists at bay. His name is also synonymous with the Friulean wine culture of northern Italy, or you might consider it Slovenian wine culture as his town of Oslavia is right on the border of Slovenia. The name Radikon also brings up the topic of orange wine, also known as skin contact or amber wines. His production process is a slow and careful one though natural to the core and hands off. His approach is so revolutionary that he even incorporated his own bottle sizes, which were his 500ml and 1 liter bottlings. He passed away in 2016, though his family still lives on his dreams for the classics of the region, like Pinot Grigio, Ribolla Gailla and Tocai Friulano.
Pignolo is a variety indigenous to Friuli. Even more special is that this is bottled as a 500ml or a one liter, this one is a one liter. This is aged in barrels for six years and then another two years in bottle before release. No chemicals are added to the wine.