Selections for December 2016

Learn to say it - They’ll think you’re cuter than you actually are

2015 VIGNAIOLI MORELLINO SCANSANO ‘Capoccia’ CILIEGIOLO – Maremma, Tuscany, Italy

Welcome to an Italian wine so seriously-flavored you’ll want to master the pronunciation of the grape variety – Ciliegiolo – and walk back into TWS throwing it around, fishing for compliments.

“Chilly-ay- jee- O- lo!”

(Nice try)

At any rate, like the Corvina offered this month to the Wine Adventurer Club, Ciliegiolo is an important Tuscan grape which rarely gets to go solo.  We thought this common Chianti additive should get the spotlight for once so here ya go!  Great color is the first attribute we recognize, but the nose is downright head-spinning with all kinds of botanical qualities.  Some would identify cassis or mulberries, while I’d say there’s also a grapefruit component, but there’s no denying the strength of character happening here;  one can understand how a little of this would wonderfully tweak a predominately Sangiovese wine.      

The palate feel is juicy and chewy.  We’re obviously in the presence of FOOD WINE here, and robustly-sauced pastas or pizza would easily accommodate this Ciliegiolo.  Enjoy this characterful rarity!

90 Point from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

Your first Bobal?

2015 ATANCE BOBAL – Valencia, Spain

It’s not your first Bobal if you’ve attended our Valkyrie Selections Spanish wine evenings!  We have shown you others from these folks – all from the same producer – but they sported different label designs.

What IS remarkable is that so many of you HAVE had this grape in your mouth.  Thank TWS and Valkyrie for that if you’d like, but the real hero is the producer Mustiguillo who is determined to make it right.  Historically, Bobal is one of Spain’s carelessly cultivated workhorse grapes, never aspiring to anything better than a reliable provider of big, meaninglessly-flavored crops ending up as nothing more than plonk.  These guys saw something better just waiting to happen in hapless Bobal, and gave it a more respectful setting (terroir) and treatment (viticulture and winemaking) to see what would happen.

What’s happened is terrific.  This winery now sells a $40 and $80 Bobal, remarkably, and Spanish wine lovers revere these.  THIS wine is more practically priced and more cheerfully portrayed with a very Cru Beaujolais-like set of scents and flavors.  Pour it into a Pinot Noir glass and pretend you’re at Thanksgiving Dinner (please don’t wait for the next real one to use this!) and you’ll totally “get” it. 

From somewhere east of Valencia, from a grape few wineries have bothered to honor with preferential treatment:  Transcendent Bobal!

By the way, this has not gone unnoticed by Robert Parker’s Spanish wine reviewer who awarded it 90 points and says, “The 2015 ATANCE is sourced from the Casa Segura estate vineyards, pure organically-farmed Bobal on limestone soils at 800 meters altitude. The wine fermented in stainless steel, and malolactic was in oak vat where the wine matured for four months before bottling. This is very expressive, clean and focused, nicely balanced, with no apparent oak, with vibrant fruit, nice focus, high pitched fruit and a thin layer of spices. It has a fine texture with some tannins and a mineral sensation, very tasty, balanced and with a clean finish. It opens up nicely with time in the glass, with some floral notes. This represents great value.”