20 November 2012

From the Palate of a Non-Wine Connoisseur (Part One) - Rosso Piceno, Italian Wine

While this may not be the best thing to confess to, often times when I’m writing a first draft, I can only seem to get relaxed and write without constrictions and self doubt after I have had a glass of wine. Often times this means I write after 9:30 or 10 o’clock at night. Luckily, I have naturally neat handwriting, so my need for self interpretation is significantly lower than most. So, when I had the chance to review a few select wines, I jumped my internal muse jumped at the chance.

And while I’m definitely not a wine connoisseur, and I can’t tell you what type of wood or cheese I think the wine has aged in, I can tell you what I’ve liked (or not liked) about the wine and whether I would buy it again.

The first bottle I am introducing to you is Rosso Piceno, an Italian wine made by Saladine Pilastri. They are located in the town of Spinetoli, which is in the Central Italian Region of Le Marche. I love a wine with a history, because somehow it enhances the romance behind each bottle, so I wanted to share with you the background and history I received about this particular winemaker:

The history of the Count Saladini Pilastri family dates back to the year 1000. A noble family from Ascoli Piceno, the family boasts a rich and fascinating past with ancestors including clergy and political leaders. The agricultural activities at Count Saladini Pilastri's farm began three centuries ago. Located on a gently rolling hill that slopes down to the Adriatic Sea, the Pilastri farm has always produced wine. The area around the Pilastri estate is blessed with several natural factors that provide the optimal growing conditions for vines and olive groves. The rolling limestone hills of Spinetoli and the sunny hills of Monte Prandone and Porto d'Ascoli - where Saladini Pilastri’s 320 hectares extend to - combine to produce very high quality grapes, which equate to high quality wine.

And just in case organic wine is of high importance to you, the winemaker Saladine Pilastri continues to abide by the rules of organic farming and complies with the international control system by the IMC (Mediterranean Institute of Certificate), which issues organic farming certificates to Europe, United States, Japan and Canada.

So, let’s crack open this bottle, shall we? (And of course, I shared this bottle with my mom and brother, so they gave me their opinions as well).

What I love the most about certain wines, is the first sip. When you take the first sip of some of the stronger flavored wines you get that burst right around your jaw line (I’m sure that’s called something), that tells you, yes, this is quality, flavorful wine. This is the reaction I received when I started to enjoy my glass.

The details of the wine are described as having a “berry scented bouquet with hints of almond extract, mint, and earth” with a “fresh and fruity palate.” Not only can you expect this berry and fruitful flavor, but I didn’t find the wine to be very dry and neither did my mom. We appreciated this factor very much.

Overall, I would buy this wine again. Wine Advocate gave this wine 88 points in 2008 and 2009, as well as 87 points in 2010. This high rank is well deserved in my opinion. The cost of the wine usually runs about $10.99, which in my opinion, is a little higher than what I usually spend, but it’s worth the few extra dollars.

And in case you are interested in trying out the other wine varieties of this Vineyard, please go to their website. While your local grocery store may not carry this particular wine (it seems it might only be purchasable in the store at NY, NJ, CT, RI, MA, MD, DC), please check out www.totalwine.com to find out whether you can purchase a bottle of your own online.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary bottle of this wine in exchange for this honest review.
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