WEEKLY FLIGHT 5/13 through 5/15/2021 - A taste of the Mediterranean islands...

  • Posted on
  • By Mark Meissner
WEEKLY FLIGHT 5/13 through 5/15/2021 - A taste of the Mediterranean islands...

Happy Thursday!
Hard to believe school is winding down for the year and hopefully we'll finally be past the pandemic soon. That means it's time (at least figuratively) to HIT-THE-ISLANDS! And this week, we've carefully curated four brilliant wines from Sardinia, Ischia Sicily and the Canary Island of Tenerife. Last year, this weekend's focus sold-out in 24 hours, so don't delay your next wine moment and check out this year's picks! It's a beautiful Mediterranean lineup of expressive whites for sipping as a $20 flight or take the 4-pack home for $123.
  • STRINGER CELLARS (Thurs, May 22st): Details coming this week - We will have 5 wines to taste with boutique estate and winemaker Casey Stringer! $49/tasting IN-STORE! OR $49/ZOOM kit. Pick the in-store or Zoom option, for your own comfort. We will be taking online reservations soon, so keep an eye out for the EventBrite link!
Make it a great weekend and enjoy the virtual wine trip to the Mediterranean.
With much gratitude,
This Weekend's Mediterranean Island showcase
Flight $20-
Thursday 5-7:30pm
Friday 1-7:30pm
Saturday 12-7:30pm
Or order/pick-up your $123 / 4-pack full bottle set!
Antonio Mazzella Biancolella
Ischia Bianco DOC 2019 ($27)
Three generations, a past full of sacrifices and commitment, this is the history of the Antonio Mazzella winery. Founded by Nicola in 1940, then expanded and perfected by his son, Antonio, the winery is located on the southern side of the island of Ischia at about 150 meters above sea level where the roads and the conditions of the land are not the most 'easy' for growing vines. The vineyards can only be reached on foot, by means of ancient paths! Access makes the care of vines even more difficult and makes these products even more rare & unique. But with the commitment of the Mazzella family, these arid and abandoned areas today are flourishing and prolific.
It may seem that no grape varietal can thrive in such a dramatic landscape, but the indigenous grape Biancolella doesn't seem to be bothered a bit. Grapes are cultivated on the hard and stark slopes of the island where the strong ocean winds and poor volcanic soil make this a survival of the fittest. Aromas of fresh apricot, lemon juice and hints of white flowers can be found on the nose while on the palate, you'll find more of the citrus flavors with lemon and lime juice, thanks to the sustained acidity. Just a hint of grapefruit zest rounds out the lovely finish. This is the perfect companion for seafood either grilled or seared - think tuna rillette and swordfish carpaccio. This is the only island repeat from last year because we kept depleting our inventory - don't miss this vintage!
Suertes del Marques
‘Trenzado’ Blanco 2019 ($33)
Suertes del Marques is located in the Valle de la Orotava DO on the island of Tenerife, right off the coast of Morocco, but technically still a part of Spain (part of the Canary Islands). The vineyards are on very steep hillsides rising up from the sea, between 400 and 700 meters of elevation. This part of the island is often 15-20 degrees cooler than the much hotter and sunnier south side of the island. This area is reminiscent of the Sonoma Coast in California, where the vines are sometimes under cloud cover, which protects the grapes throughout the day from the sun's harsh rays.
Owner Jonatan Garcia Lima has divided up the slope into parcels to achieve a hierarchy (much like the golden slope of parcels in Burgundy). The name Trenzado refers to an ancient trellising system called Cordon Trenzado, where the vines spread out in long braids of wood that can be up to 15-20 feet in length. The grapes are farmed organically, with indigenous yeasts fermentations, large neutral barrels, minimal filtration, and low SO2. The nose is very reminiscent of a flinty Puligny-Montrachet, with wild notes of lemons, peaches, flowers, smoke and salty almonds. Sounds brilliant doesn't it? It is an amazing expression of the volcanic soils of Tenerife. The grapes are farmed organically and come from many different plots of ancient vines - many un-grafted from non-native rootstock and over 100 years old! Pair with literally anything on the grill that's seasonal and you'll be delighted.
Is Argiolas
Vermentino 2019 ($24)
Argiolas is the foremost wine estate on the island of Sardinia producing archetypal wines from native varietals. Antonio Argiolas, who died in 2009 at the age of 102, yes, no kidding 102. He inherited seven acres of vines from his father in 1938 and was the first on the island to convert to modern viticulture to pursue quality over quantity. His sons, Franco and Giuseppe, replanted the vineyards in the '80s with the goal of reducing yields and focusing exclusively on Sardinian grapes. Joined by enologist Mariano Murru, the Argiolas family is today recognized as Sardinia’s leading wine producer and they have worked diligently to become the leader in Sardinian enology and insist on using native Sardinian vines.
The 2019 Is Argiolas Vermentino shows a ripe, almost tropical-fruit profile that reflects longer ripening on the vine. Aromas and flavors of fully ripe apricots and peaches are accented by notes of melon, almond, and honey. Bright acidity provides succulence on the palate to an otherwise richer expression of Vermentino. The richness of this wine calls for richer flavors on the table. Antipasti of steamed artichokes or ricotta filled squash blossoms would be ideal pairings. The ample weight and texture of Is Argiolas also makes for an easy match with pasta - here think seafood risotto or ravioli. Love.
I Custodi delle Vigne dell'Etna
"Ante" Etna Bianco 2017 ($39)
Nope, the image is not viewable in a mirror! Think ANTE is reverse for ETNA - the volcano of Sicily.
Following his instinct and his innate passion for the wine world, Mario Paoluzi began developing his cellar on Etna in 2007. With the help of the staff at the local wine consortium, he worked actively to conserve the know-how and traditions typical of the rural world. Judging by the results, it was a gamble he won hands down!
Today, the winery is a reference ppint on the Etna wine scene in Sicily. The vineyards are in Contrada Moganazzi at Castiglione di Sicilia, where the modern cellar is also situated. Recent vineyards acquisitions have been made and added 100-year-old vines to the already impressively old vine property
Apple and pear flesh with grapefruit notes prevail in this delicious white. The mouthfeel has lively acidity and alternates delicately salty notes with an almond-edged finish. It's an extremely enjoyable wine, which succeeds in combining quaffability with complexity and that fine terroir the Italians bring to the bottle. Pick up your Sicilian cookbook and run wild. Enjoy!