Free Tasting of Italian Wines from Rosenthal: Monastero Suore Cistercensi "Coenobium", Pavese Ermes Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle, Grosjean Freres Torrette Superieur "Vigne Rovettaz" and "Montevertine"

Since the late 1970s, Neal Rosenthal has been seeking out and importing to our shores some of the most authentic, delicious, and noteworthy wines in the world. While his portfolio is, perhaps, most likely to conjure images of the Burgundy and the villages of the Cote d’Or, in fact, the first wines he imported to the US were Italian. Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 1st from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Clarke from Rosenthal Wine Merchant will be on hand pouring some of our favorite Italian wines from the Rosenthal portfolio – in reality, some of our favorite Italian wines, full-stop. These wines, whether for their singular uniqueness, or for their incredible “sense of place,” are not to be missed.

Monastero Suore Cistercensi
“Coenobium” 2010

At a monastery in Vitorchiano, a striking village perched on the side of a heavily wooded gorge in northern Lazio, about ninety minutes from Rome, a group of nuns tend organically farmed orchards, gardens, and vineyards. A blend of Trebbiano, Malvasia, and Verdicchio, this is a great introduction to “orange” wines (catchy name for white wines fermented and macerated on their skins) under the guidance of Giampiero Bea, the famous Umbrian winemaker.

Buy for $21.99

Pavese Ermes Blanc de Morgex et de la Salle 2010
Pavese Ermes
Blanc de Morgex et de la Salle 2010

About 10 miles southeast from the face of Mont Blanc in the Valle d’Aosta, the village of Morgex sits at an elevation of 3,000 feet above sea level. This Prié Blanc, a native variety, grows in vineyards farmed by Ermes Pavese perched even higher, around 4,000 feet (1,200 meters). The resulting wine is a racy, pure white with incredibly vivid flavors and a mineral character. These vineyards are the highest in continental Europe, right at the edge of practicable viticulture, and thanks to their isolation, have never been affected by phylloxera, so the vines are “own-rooted”.

Buy for $25.99

Grosjean Freres
Torrette Superieur “Vigne Rovettaz” 2008

Also in the Valle d’Aosta, the five sons of Dauphin Grosjean now run the estate that he built, farming seven hectares of vineyards using only organic fertilizer and never resorting to either pesticides or herbicides. The Rovettaz is a single vineyard situated in the town of Quart – thought to be the origin for the name of Fontina cheese, as a mountain pasture, Alpe Fontin, lies here – and is composed of Petit Rouge, Fumin, and Cornalin. This is a bright, juicy red, with plenty of nervy intensity that we’ll be drinking plenty of as the weather continues to warm.

Buy for $24.99

Az. Agr. Montevertine
“Montevertine” 2008

Montevertine is the name the wine, the estate where it is made, and the “hilltop hamlet” in the heart of the Chianti district where the domaine is situated. Montevertine’s first vintage was produced by Sergio Manetti in 1971 and little has changed now that the estate is under the administration of his son, Martino. While frequently referred to as a member of the “Super Tuscan” group, the wines of Montevertine are perhaps the philosophical opposite of those in that heterogenous “group.” While the Super Tuscans rely heavily on “international” grape varieties to craft wines that match their makers’ visions, Montevertine is dedicated to tradition – so much so that, rather than incorporate white grapes into the blend (as was once required for Chianti), in 1981 Sergio Manetti parted ways with the Chianti Classico Consortium and denomination, to produce one of the few, authentic examples of what Chianti Classico should be, based heavily on Sangiovese with Canaiolo and small amounts of Colorino – all traditional Tuscan varieties. This is a true benchmark Tuscan wine, miles above the oceans of poor-quality Chianti produced each year.

Buy for $41.99
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