Kinky Sex Drinking, And “Educative” Viticulture (Back Through Time With Romanelli Montefalco Sagrantino)

Vinted on April 4, 2018 binned in kick-ass wines, sexy wines, wine review

Romanelli vines

Drinking Montefalco Sagrantino is kind of like having kinky sex.

I mean, there’s the juicy anticipation phase when you smell all of that ripe red fruit and spice on the nose; then there’s the sexy, feel-good phase when the wine enters your palate like silk; and then… WHACK! The tannins smack/bite/spank you.

Devis Romanelli

Devis Romanelli instructs us visitors on the proper use of cell phones in Montefalco. Or not.

This is not to say that you should assume that abyone drinking Montefalco Sagrantino is into kinky sex, it’s just to give you degenerately progressive and tolerant 1WD readers a frame of reference, and show you where my own head was during my recent media visit to the region.

During that trip, I decided to have a visit to the relatively small (eight hectares, about 45,000 bottles/year) and decidedly non-kinky (family-run) producer Romanelli, who’s vineyards sit in the northeastern corner of the region, and who I strongly suspect will not exactly be totally thrilled that I opened their feature here with a reference to kinky sex. Anyway… with the high winds there, it’s a great spot for passito style dessert wines (FTR, theirs is spicy, racy, and pure, and well-worth seeking out), but also (as is common in Montefalco) for several types of farming.

Devis Romanelli, who took over the winemaking reins in 2007, has been making a push to certify Romanelli’s olive oil and vines as organic, which isn’t easy in the sunny-but-continental Montefalco climate. “2013 was very… educative for me for organic viticulture” he quipped.

Devis’ grandfather purchased the farm in the late 1970s, during which it was also producing wheat, olives, and supporting cattle; grapes were sold to the once-ubiquitous Montefalco co-ops. Their Sagrantino comes mostly from their San Clemente vines, which grow on a limestone/clay mixture. It’s these that are in the 1WD review focus today, as Devis walked me through a tasting of their Sagrantinos going back to his first vintage… so buckle up, and get your safe words ready…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For April 2, 2018

Vinted on April 2, 2018 binned in wine mini-reviews

So, like, what is this stuff, anyway? I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine reviews (mostly from samples) and tasting notes with you via twitter (limited to 140-ish characters). They are meant to be quirky, fun, and easily-digestible reviews of currently available wines. Below is a wrap-up of those twitter wine reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find these wines, so that you can try them for yourself. Cheers!

  • 15 Brooks Methode Traditionelle Sparkling Riesling (Willamette Valley): Lemon, lime, grapefruit, and zest; it's pure, and even the perkiness is perky. $40 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Sanford Pinot Noir (Sta. Rita Hills): Marries plummy richness with vibrant energy; just like pretty much every other year with these guys, come to think of it… $35 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Murrieta's Well Small Lot Merlot (Livermore Valley): Dark-chocolate-covered blueberries, and more than enough contemplative elements to keep your wine ADD well occupied. $44 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 15 CK Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon (California): Capable and correct enough to justify going for the 1.5L on a regular basis when holding outdoor BBQ parties. $7 C+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Dutton Goldfield Redwood Ridge Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast): Maybe the biggest, richest DG PN you'll encounter for quite some time; and neither it nor you are none the worse for it. $62 A >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Cornerstone Cellars Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley): Big, burly, boastful; you'll need some sizeable steak action to approach this one. $100 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 16 Gamble Family Vineyards Gamble Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Yountville): Meyer lemon, lemongrass, zesty, alive… your faith in balanced Napa whites just might get restored. $26 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 16 Prosper Maufoux Macon-Villages (Burgundy): Floral, pretty, and pretty darn drinkable, even if it probably won't leave too much of a lasting impression. $18 B >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Domaine Dupeuble Pere et Fils Beaujolais (Beaujolais): Punching way, way above its weight class with earthy, peppery, bright-fruity uppercuts. $15 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 Kellerei Nals Margreid Lyra Gewurztraminer (Sudtirol – Alto Adige): Talk about spicy; all of the Gewurz you want, with hardly any of the fat. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
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High Tension Wires, Low Tension Views (Mas de l’Abundancia Montsant Recent Releases)

Mas de l'Abundància view

Jesús del Rio Mateu, proprietor of the Masroig-area Mas de l’Abundància – doesn’t just have an enviable name; he’s also got an enviably amazing vineyard view, enviably old vines, and sits enviably close to one of Spain’s critical-darling DOs, Priorat.

He also has an enviably-close relationship to a good importer, Folio Wine Partners, owned by the Michael Mondavi clan, who, Jesús is quick to point out, love to visit his hilly, llicorella-heavy eight hectares of aging vines.

Jesús del Rio Mateu

Jesús del Rio Mateu

“‘Can you fell the energy?’ That’s what they said when they were here,” he told me during a media tour visit to his Montsant DO estate. And while Jesús’ “house of plenty” certainly has its own energetic charm, my guess is that the tingling vibes felt by the Mondavis on their visit had more to do with the overhead high-tension power lines. Either that, or it was the pent-up tension in their shoulder-blades being released after taking in the glory of the scenery.

Anyway… the dramatic views of Priorat and the encapsulating Montsant mountain ranges from Jesús’ vines seem to have imbued him with senses of both literal and figurative perspective about the place; after all, this region of Spain has belonged to monks, aristocrats, Romans, and Arabs. Jesús puts it this way: “this doesn’t belong to me; I belong to it.”

The “it” in this case, coupled with ample sunlight, elevation, slope, and a continental climate, have combined to produce Montsant wines that are nearly as compelling, dramatic energetic, and “deep” as Mas de l’Abundància’s location…

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Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up For March 26, 2018

Vinted on March 26, 2018 binned in wine mini-reviews

So, like, what is this stuff, anyway? I taste a bunch-o-wine (technical term for more than most people). So each week, I share some of my wine reviews (mostly from samples) and tasting notes with you via twitter (limited to 140-ish characters). They are meant to be quirky, fun, and easily-digestible reviews of currently available wines. Below is a wrap-up of those twitter wine reviews from the past week (click here for the skinny on how to read them), along with links to help you find these wines, so that you can try them for yourself. Cheers!

  • 14 Briziarelli Montefalco Sagrantino (Umbria): Powerful, and sizeable, but there's enough tobacco, leather, graphite & dried herbs to match. $NA B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 10 Briziarelli Vitruvio Montefalco Sagrantino (Umbria): Ripe, dark, spicy, long, and just utterly and completely pleased with itself for being all three of things. $NA A- >>find this wine<<
  • 12 Briziarelli Rosso Mattone Montefalco (Umbria): Peppery, cherry-fruited goodness served up with at least an entire day's recommended dosage of iron. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 16 Kellerei Kurtatsch Gewurztraminer (Trentino-Alto Adige): Talk about textbook; an encyclopedic-worthy Gewurz entry, replete with the requisite rose petals and lychee. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Tascante Ghiaia Nera Nerello Mascalese (Sicily): It would have been sexy even if it hadn't have shown up with all of those flowers. $20 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 07 Oddero Barolo Riserva Vigna Rionda (Barolo): This wants you to go away for about a8 years, after which it will be mellow enough to receive you… & to probably blow your mind. $160 A >>find this wine<<
  • NV Laurent Perrier Cuvee Rose Brut (Champagne): Red berry preserves on brioche, as prepared by angelic cherubs or their modern equivalents. $80 A- >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Famille Perrin Les Cornuds (Vinsobres): Impeccably crafted, spicily characterful, amenably versatile, and basically affordable. $17 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 14 Schild Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Barossa Valley): Don't let the not-so-aesthetically-pleasling label deter you, this is a classically supple, minty-tinged bargain. $18 B+ >>find this wine<<
  • 15 MacMurray Estate Vineyards Select Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley): That's a crap-ton of fruit purity for a decidedly not-a-crap-ton of cash outlay. $38 A- >>find this wine<<
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