Archive for the ‘Ronco dei Tassi’ Category

How sweet it is…

October 10, 2008

Presenting four passito dessert wines

Straw mats like this are used in the grape-drying process.

Straw mats like this are used in the grape-drying process.

Originating with the Greek passum, a wine made from partially dried grapes as early as 800BCE, comes one of the world’s finest wine traditions. The drying of grapes after harvest results in added aromatic complexity and naturally concentrated sugars that produce sweetness in the wines. In Italy, this style is most commonly referred to as passito, but can be found under a number of names more specific to the traditions of a particular region.


Vin Santo Chianti Rufina 1999 Travignoli
Although it is perhaps Italy’s most famous passito, there is some debate as to the origin of the name Vin Santo, or “Holy Wine”: some say that a 16th-century Greek humanist compared it to the wines of Xantos when he tasted it on a visit to Florence; others believe the name derives from the wine’s “miraculous” second fermentation in the spring, just coinciding just the resurrection of Christ. One thing is certain: Vin Santo represents an entirely distinct tradition of winemaking unique to Tuscany.

Picolit 2005 Ronco dei Tassi
Picolit is one of Italy’s rarest and most coveted dessert wines. Unfortunately, the wine due to the difficulty of cultivating the Picolit grape variety, and many producers have abandoned it in favor of more profitable international varieties. Ever true to tradition and great believers in their Friulan terroir, Enrico Coser and his father Fabio continue to produce this excellent, sweet wine.

Sulé Caluso Passito 2001 Orsolani
Often compared to the Greco variety of Central and Southern Italy, Erbaluce is a white grape grown exclusively in the Canavese district of Northern Piemonte. For his flagship wine, of which he is the fourth-generation winemaker, Gian Luigi Orsolani uses late harvest grapes, some affected by botrytis, dried on mats through winter. Slow fermentation in oak casks lasts up to a few months, followed by three years in casks.

Ambrato Le Muraglie 2000 Ezio Voyat
The name of late winemaker Ezio Voyat‘s Ambrato Le Muraglie refers both to the wine’s rich “amber” color, and to the ancient cloister walls (“le mura“, in contemporary Italian). Partly due to technique and partly a result of this narrow valley’s extreme conditions, the wine has a unique flavor and aromatic character. Ezio’s daughter, Marilena, tells us that she recently enjoyed bottles of the Ambrato from the 1950s: this dessert wine is ready to drink but also offers remarkable aging potential.

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Northern Whites, New Vintages

August 29, 2008

Introducing new vintages of two of our favorite northern whites

Domenico Valentino is excited to announce the arrival of new vintages of two of our finest white wines from Northern Italy. From Conti Sertoli Salis in Lombardy comes the 2007 Chiavennasca, an opulent wine made from a clone of Nebbiolo, while Friulan producer Ronco dei Tassi presents the latest vintage of the award-winning Fosarin.

Both of these wines will be available for tasting by appointment next week. If you wish to arrange a tasting, please call 718-902-1140 or email info@domenicovalentino.

Our full portfolio is available at DomenicoValentino.com. And don’t forget our Fall Portfolio Tasting on September 15th! Scroll down for more details.

Chiavennasca 2007 Conti Sertoli Salis

Chiavennasca is the local name for a clone of Nebbiolo grown almost exclusively in the northern Italian region of Lombardia. The winemaker at Conti Sertoli Salis creates this opulent white wine by vinifying the grapes without skin contact during maceration, thus preventing color from being imparted to the wine. The resulting wine retains the nobility of the Nebbiolo grape but is fresh and clean on the palate.

Wines vinified “in bianco” or “in white” have been made in Lombardia for as long as anyone can remember and represent a connection to ancient winemaking techniques Indeed, in antiquity, all wines were vinified “in bianco” in order to avoid bacteria present on the skins of the grapes after harvest.

Fosarin 2007 Ronco dei Tassi

Ronco dei Tassi is an artisanal producer located in the heart of the Collio Goriziano appellation of Friuli in north-eastern Italy. Here, just a few kilometers from the Slovenian border, the sandy subsoil is ideal for the cultivation of both indigenous and international grape varieties. The estate was founded in 1989 by Fabio Coser, who has since gained recognition as one of the area’s leading winemakers. His award-winning wines are characterized by their balance. The name Ronco dei Tassi means “hilltop of the badgers”, as pictured on the wines’ labels.

The company’s flagship wine blends barrel-fermented Pinot Bianco with stainless steel-vinified Friulano and Malvasia Istriana to produce a medium-to-full-bodied white with a creamy palate and luscious acidity. Fosarin is a three-time Tre Bicchieri winner at Gambero Rosso‘s annual Guide to Italian Wines and won “White Wine of the Year” in 2006.

Ronco dei Tassi’s award-winning whites

August 1, 2008

Try five diverse whites from artisanal Friulan producer Ronco dei Tassi

Summertime, and the living is easy. It’s a great time of year for drinking refreshing whites, but there’s no reason such wines should be any inferior to the meatier reds consumed during cooler months. Friulan producer Fabio Coser has won multiple awards for his Ronco dei Tassi whites, and his mono-varietals are among the best we’ve tasted. This week we feature five of the best, designed to be enjoyed all year round.

The wines will be available for tasting by appointment next week. If you are interested in tasting the featured wines and wish to arrange a meeting, please email info@domenicovalentino.com or call 718 902-1140. Our full portfolio is available at domenicovalentino.com.

Ronco dei Tassi
Ronco dei Tassi is an artisanal producer located in the heart of the Collio Goriziano appellation of Friuli in north-eastern Italy. Here, just a few kilometers from the Slovenian border, the sandy subsoil is ideal for the cultivation of both indigenous and international grape varieties. The estate was founded in 1989 by Fabio Coser, who has since gained recognition as one of the area’s leading winemakers. His award-winning wines are characterized by their balance. The name Ronco dei Tassi means “hilltop of the badgers”, as pictured on the wines’ labels.

Fosarin 2006
Ronco dei Tassi’s flagship wine blends barrel-fermented Pinot Bianco with stainless steel-vinified Friulano and Malvasia Istriana to produce a medium-to-full-bodied white with a creamy palate and luscious acidity. Fosarin is a three-time Tre Bicchieri winner at Gambero Rosso’s annual Guide to Italian Wines and even won “White Wine of the Year” in 2006.

Sauvignon 2007
Fabio Coser coaxes as much as he can out of his Sauvignon Blanc without wounding the wine with excessive gooseberry or tropical fruit character. This fabulously expressive wine possesses great aromatic character, a lively acidity and is a cocktail-hour favorite.

Pinot Grigio 2006
When you taste this excellent expression of Pinot Grigio, you experience what this grape variety really tastes like. Fabio Coser uses only top fruit for the monovarietal bottling. The resulting wine shows beautiful fruit and nice acidity — an excellent food wine.

Malvasia 2007
The family of grapes known as Malvasia show up in various varieties throughout Italy. Friuli’s Malvasia Istriana is traditionally vinified as a dry wine in the region, and Fabio Coser’s careful selection of fruit results in a superior expression of the grape.

Friulano 2007
Friuli’s Tocai grape was controversially renamed (to avoid confusion with the Hungarian Tokaji) last year, so Ronco dei Tassi’s 2007 Tocai is known simply as “Friulano”. We’re pleased to report that the wine itself remains unchanged in its exceptional distinction.

All these wines will be available for tasting by appointment next week. If you are interested in tasting the featured wines and wish to arrange a meeting, please email info@domenicovalentino.com or call 718-902-1140.

Our full portfolio is available at domenicovalentino.com.

Indigenous varieties from Northern Italy

June 6, 2008

This week, we’re excited to introduce three diverse wines from three regions in Northern Italy. Each wine is made from 100% indigenous varieties, and perfect to be enjoyed during these warm summer months.

All three wines will be available for tasting by appointment next week. If you are interested in tasting the featured wines and wish to arrange a meeting, please email michele@domenicovalentino.com or call 718 902-1140.

Our full portfolio and pricing is available at domenicovalentino.com.

Friulano 2007 Ronco dei Tassi

Ronco dei Tassi owner and winemaker Fabio Coser may have won Gambero Rosso’s “White Wine of the Year” in 2005 for his blend “Fosarin”, but he also makes award-winning mono-varietal or single-grape wines. Using the Tocai Friulano grape found in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region and neighboring Slovenia, this wine is a classic expression of both the variety and the Collio appellation.

After Hungary’s accession to the E.U., in 2007 European law stated that Tocai Friulano exported from Italy be renamed, in order to protect the Hungarian Tokaji. Some Italian Tocai producers have been reluctant to accept this new ruling, and there is still no official verdict on what the appellation should now be called. Ronco dei Tassi seems more concerned with continuing the job of winemaking, and its 2007 Tocai is known simply as “Friulano”.

Pelaverga Basadone 2007 Castello di Verduno

Used in blended wines since the 18th Century, and bottled as a single-grape wine since the 1920s, Verduno Pelaverga finally achieved DOC status in 1995. Today the appellation is one of Italy’s smallest: the wine is made from the rare pelaverga piccolo variety, found exclusively in the piemontese hamlet of Verduno, in the Barolo zone.

The wine’s label depicts one of the many poppy flowers which bloom among Castello di Verduno‘s Pelaverga vines. Local’s believe both the flower and the grape possess aphrodisiacal properties, hence the name Basadone or baciadonne in Italian, the “lady kisser.” Fruity, spicy and aromatic, the medium-bodied Pelaverga Basadone 2006 is excellent paired with lighter dishes.

Schiava Bischofsleiten 2007 Castel Sallegg

In the village of Caldaro it is custom to have your first slightly chilled glass of Schiava at noon (Pinot Bianco is appropriate before noon). Schiava is perhaps the grape most associated with red wine production in Alto Adige. While Schiava was by far the most widely planted variety in Alto Adige for many years, it was often seen as only having local interest (with the only major exports going to Germany). As international varieties entered the scene, many Schiava vineyards were ripped up to make space for the more “exportable” varieties.

The Lago di Caldaro DOC is a small zone on the western side of Lake Caldaro, recognized as the premier Schiava site in Alto Adige. The Castel Sallegg vineyard was originally planted by the Bishop of Trento, hence the name Bischofsleiten, or “Bishop’s Slope”.