November Oconee Wine Club Selections
Behind the name of Albino Armani there is a dynamic reality, which has always grown and evolved. The name represents a widespread family estate, which now includes three large wineries in the excellent wine-growing regions of Veneto, Trentino and Friuli Venezia Giulia. The wine cellars preside over umptuous
extensions of wine-growing cultivation.
Since 1962 the heart of this project has been in Dolcè, in the Adige Valley of Verona, which is the birthplace of the product line called Albino Armani. The
central winery headquarters, at Dolcè, is very spacious, and has a barricaia, grape-drying area, tasting room and laboratory, which manifests the company’s
commitment to research and innovation.
Further north, in the region of Trentino, where 400 years ago the Armani family were winegrowers, we find the area producing the grapes for the Io Domenico Armani product line. Now, let us move to Magredi friulani, where we discover the vineyards for the Claps product line, and a beautiful wine cellar made of copper in 1998. And, back to Veneto, in the hills of the Valpolicella, we discover the birthplace of Egle, Albino Armani’s most recent product line.
IO Pinot Nero 2010 $ 14.99
This red is extremely difficult to produce, requiring great professional attention, as well as the winegrowers strong will to discover how to bring out its roundness and balance. Sensory profile: Garnet red in color, this Pinot Nero offers a complexity of sensations. It’s warm and silky texture offers aromas of
strawberry, blueberry and black cherry fruits. It evolves into a complex masterpiece with vegetal tones of truffles and liquorice. Elegant and well balanced in the mouth.
Food pairings: Red and white roasted meat.
Production zone: Vallagarina, in Trentino South Tyrol
Grape varieties: 100% Pinot Noir, with the best Italian and French clones.
Soil composition: Autochthonous, very complex, mainly composed of marly and calcareous stones.
Vinification: Maceration in stainless steel tanks, in contact with the skins for 7-10 days. Reassembly and “delestage”- the complete remixing through the emptying and refilling of the tanks – are only done during the first few days of fermentation, without damaging skins and seeds. The maturation occurs in stainless steel and large wooden barrels.
IO Pinot Grigio 2010 $ 13.99
At Chizzola, in the part of Val d’Adige towards Trento, we cultivate this grape variety. However, its origin derives from a mutation of Pinot Nero. The direction that the hill faces and the constant wind make this area ideal for growing Pinot Grigio.
Sensory profile: Straw yellow in color with light ash-grey flecks typical of Pinot Grigio. The scent has traces of white flowers and mature pear. In the mouth it has great structure and balance, and is long and complex.
Food pairings: Goes well with hearty soups, risotto, light white meats and fried or baked fish. It is also a pleasant aperitif.
Production zone: Valle dell’Adige in Trentino – Chizzola
Grape varieties: 100% Pinot Grigio – Vineyard age from 15 to 40 years.
Soil composition: Morainic soil, light and warm.
Vinification: Whole grape pressing at low pressure with a long fermentation at 20°C in stainless steel tanks. Maturation in contact with its own yeasts and partial malolactic fermentation is allowed.
November Connoisseurs Club Selections
Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin Premier Cru Chablis 2009 “Vaillons” $ 32.99
The Droin family has been in Chablis since at least 1547, when the first records indicate that one Jehan Droin owned one parcel of vines in the Clos.
Since then, the family has always owned property in the village and is among the oldest land owners in the area. Since the year of 1620, fourteen generations of vignerons have transmitted their “savoir-faire” down from father to son. Jean-Paul Droin took over the property in 1983 and helped to establish the property as among the best of the AOC. In 1999, his son Benoit joined the property and is now the principal winemaker at the estate.
Chablis is a village of 2,600 inhabitants situated 160 kms southeast of Paris and 150 kms northwest of Dijon. The village gave its name to the surrounding vineyards which stretch west for about 15 kms on both banks of the river Serein. The area under vines is about 4.300 ha and encompasses about twenty villages.
93 Points Robert Parker!
The 2009 Chablis Vaillons is wonderfully alive in the glass. A gorgeous, well-articulated bouquet resonates on the palate, where layers of crystalline fruit emerge with notable pedigree. The Vaillons shows terrific energy and focus all the way through to the finish. Hints of lemon peel, grapefruit and jasmine linger on the pointed finish. This is a gorgeous wine from Droin. The Vaillons was aged 20% in wood.
Seven Hills Columbia Valley Cabernet 2007 $ 26.99
Established in 1988, Seven Hills Winery is one of Walla Walla Valley’s oldest and most respected wineries. Guided by founder, winemaker and fourth generation farmer, Casey McClellan, Seven Hills Winery crafts an
acclaimed portfolio of vineyard-designate and appellation-inspired wines. Focusing on benchmark Cabernet Sauvignons and Bordeaux-varietal reds, the wines at Seven Hills have played an important role in establishing the region’s reputation for world-class wine-making, and are recognized as some of the finest wines in the Northwest.
They work with grapes from a diverse, complimentary set of sites within the Columbia Valley. This is a finely balanced, medium-bodied Cabernet of strong red-purple color. The nose shows ripe plum and raspberry, with sweet oak spice and vanillin. The palate opens with ripe fruit and berry over balanced tannins. Lengthy ripe fruit, with hints of dried herb and pepper completes the finish. Pair beautifully with medium-bodied meat dishes. This wine should age well for 3-5 years from release if properly cellared.
90 rating Wine Spectator!
Bright and lively, focusing its pomegranate and cherry flavors in a beam of flavor, hinting at
cedar and bay leaf as the finish lingers harmoniously. Tannins slide in easily. Drink now through 2014. 2,100 cases made. –HS