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 Editorial  Share this article     Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 202, January 2021   
Contrasts of Cerasuolo di Vittoria and Valtellina SuperioreContrasts of Cerasuolo di Vittoria and Valtellina Superiore Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
Issue 201, December 2020 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on Twitter 

Contrasts of Cerasuolo di Vittoria and Valtellina Superiore

Sicily and Lombardy are being compared in the glasses of this month's tasting with two clearly distant wines, both ranked as Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin

 Sicily and Lombardy are extremely distant wine-growing territories and not only for geographical reasons. Different grapes and of course different viticultural methods, not least, different climate and weather conditions. Even the ampelographic scenario of the two regions – with the exception of the so-called international varieties, which are widespread throughout Italy – is characterized by the presence of indigenous varieties which are decidedly different from a sensorial and enological point of view. This month we will pour in our glasses two significant and representative wines of Sicily and Lombardy, both belonging to the highest ranking of the Italian quality system: Denominazione d'Origine Controllata e Garantita (Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin, DOCG). The comparison by contrast of this month is very interesting, both for the effect of the soil and climate in the two wines, and – and above all – for the substantial differences of the grapes with which they are produced.

 The wines we will pour into our glasses are Cerasuolo di Vittoria – the only wine in Sicily ranked as DOCG – and Valtellina Superiore, the undisputed glory of the enology of Lombardy and of the province of Sondrio. The Sicilian wine is mainly produced with Nero d'Avola in addition to Frappato, while the Lombard wine – according to its production disciplinary – is mainly produced with Nebbiolo grape and the possible remaining small part can be represented by varieties allowed for cultivation in Lombardy. They are obviously three extremely different varieties, in particular for the gustatory profile of their wines. Nebbiolo is among the grapes having the highest content in polyphenolic substances – also known as “tannins” – and its wines are also characterized by an appreciable acidity. The wines produced with Nero d'Avola have an evidently different profile, with a decidedly more modest content of polyphenolic substances and an evidently rounder character. However, acidity is found in Frappato, a quality contributing to the good balance of Cerasuolo di Vittoria.

 

Cerasuolo di Vittoria


 

 Cerasuolo di Vittoria is the only wine in Sicily to belong to the classification of the Denominazione d'Origine Controllata e Garantita (Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin, DOCG). This interesting wine is produced with two indigenous varieties of the region: Nero d'Avola and Frappato. The first variety is among the most common and well-known ones in Sicily and is widely used in the wines of the entire region as well as in many Denomination of Controlled Origin (DOC) wines of the island, both alone and blended to other varieties. Frappato is decidedly less widespread than Nero d'Avola and is particularly common in the territory of Vittoria, a town in the province of Ragusa. According to the production disciplinary, Cerasuolo di Vittoria is produced with a minimum of 50% and a maximum of 70% of Nero d'Avola with the remaining part of Frappato. It should be noted that, although the wine takes the name of the town of Vittoria – in the province of Ragusa – its production is also allowed in some areas of the provinces of Caltanissetta and Catania.

 The two varieties making up this wine – Nero d'Avola and Frappato – have their own qualities and personalities, such as to balance, so to speak, the other with opposite sensorial characteristics. Nero d'Avola, in fact, makes wines with good roundness and alcohol by volume, as well as moderate astringency, while Frappato makes, among the other things, wines with an appreciable and pleasing crispness given by acidity, something allowing Cerasuolo di Vittoria to get an excellent balance. In this regard, it should be noted the individual qualities of Nero d'Avola and Frappato are perfectly recognizable and distinguishable in Cerasuolo di Vittoria, even when the wine is aged in cask or barrique. Even the olfactory personality of the two varieties have full expression in this wine, in particular the sensations of dark pulp fruits of Nero d'Avola and those reminiscent of flowers and red pulp fruits typical of Frappato, which – in some cases – can also express a pleasing spicy note of black pepper.

 

Valtellina Superiore

 In the suggestive mountain scenario of the Alps, in the province of Sondrio, is produced one of the most interesting wines of Lombardy: Valtellina Superiore. This wine, classified as Denominazione d'Origine Controllata e Garantita (Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin, DOCG), Nebbiolo variety is the indisputable protagonist of this wine, in the Valtellina area also known as Chiavennasca. According to its production disciplinary, Valtellina Superiore is produced with at least 90% Nebbiolo and the remaining part with non-aromatic red grapes allowed for cultivation in Lombardy. In this regard, it must be said that almost all producers of this wine prefer to make it with 100% Nebbiolo, a choice that obviously gives this wine a greater personality. Valtellina Superiore is strongly influenced by the environment and the mountain climate of the Alps, qualities giving this wine a marked elegance in which the typical acidity of Nebbiolo plays an important role, while expressing its characteristic and impressive structure.

 Valtellina Superiore, according to its production disciplinary, provides for the definition of five sub-areas and, specifically, Sassella, Inferno, Grumello, Valgella and Maroggia. To these mentions is also added Valtellina Superiore Sforzato – or Sforzato della Valtellina – which is produced by using dried grapes. It should also be noted this wine also provides for the mention “Stägafässli” in case it is bottled in the Swiss Confederation. In this specific case – unlike the other mentions – the “riserva” style cannot be produced and in the label cannot be mentioned any sub-area. The production of Valtellina Superiore requires a minimum period of aging, before being marketed, for at least 24 months, 12 of which in cask. This period extends to 36 months for the “riserva” style. Viticulture in Valtellina, because of the specific conditions of the territory, is not always easy and the vineyards are often found in steep areas, a condition making cultivation and harvesting operations not exactly simple. For this reason, the viticulture of Valtellina is often defined as “heroic”.

 

The Tasting


The
color of Valtellina Superiore
The color of Valtellina Superiore

 Before starting this month's tasting by contrast, let's choose the two wines we will pour into the glasses. It must be said that, in both cases, the choice is not particularly difficult as they are well represented and available on the market. As for Cerasuolo di Vittoria, we will choose a bottle mainly produced with Nero d'Avola, ideally 60% and, therefore, the remaining 40% of Frappato. As for the aging, we will pay attention in choosing a wine aged in cask for a few months, in order to have an enological condition similar to the one of Valtellina Superiore. As for the Lombard wine, we will make sure it is produced with 100% Nebbiolo grape. A condition which can be defined as “normal” – although the disciplinary provides for the use of a small part of other grapes – as almost all the wine of this appellation is exclusively produced with Nebbiolo. Furthermore, we will choose a Valtellina Superiore with no other mention, therefore not belonging to any sub-aera or “riserva”, aged in cask. The two wines are poured into their respective tasting glasses at a temperature of 18 °C (65 °F).

 Let's pour Cerasuolo di Vittoria and Valtellina Superiore into their respective glasses and start this month's tasting by contrast. As usual, by following the logical sequence of sensorial analysis, we begin with the evaluation of the appearance of the wines, by examining Cerasuolo di Vittoria. Let's tilt its glass over a white surface and observe the base, in order to evaluate color and transparency. The Sicilian wine shows an intense and brilliant ruby red color, moreover, by placing an object between the glass and the white surface, we can see a moderate transparency. Let's now observe Cerasuolo di Vittoria towards the opening of the glass: the nuance confirms the ruby red hue. Let's now pass to the evaluation of the aspect of Valtellina Superiore and, as for the previous wine, let's tilt the glass over the white surface. The color of the Lombard wine shows a brilliant ruby red, lighter than Cerasuolo di Vittoria. Transparency is, also in this case, moderate, however higher than that of the Sicilian wine. The nuance of Valtellina Superiore – observed at the edge of the glass – reveals a ruby red hue tending to garnet.

 The olfactory profiles of Cerasuolo di Vittoria and Valtellina Superiore are distinguished by rather distant sensorial differences. The Sicilian wine, thanks to the contribution of Nero d'Avola and Frappato, reveals to the nose rather variegated aromas expressing sensations reminiscent of black and red pulp fruits, as well as aromas directly recalling floral fragrances. In fact, in this wine Nero d'Avola contributes mainly with aromas of dark pulp fruits, while Frappato with red pulp ones as well as aromas reminiscent of flowers. Furthermore, this latter grape can – in certain cases and depending on viticultural and enological practices – give Cerasuolo di Vittoria a pleasing spicy aroma in which can be recognized black pepper. The olfactory profile of Valtellina Superiore is characterized, of course, by the qualities of Nebbiolo, therefore in this wine are mainly perceived aromas of red pulp fruits and flowers.

 Let's continue our tasting by contrast and evaluate the olfactory profiles of Cerasuolo di Vittoria and Valtellina Superiore. The first wine of which we will examine its aromas is, as in the previous evaluation, Cerasuolo di Vittoria. Let's hold the glass of the Sicilian wine in vertical position and, without swirling, let's do the first smell in order to appreciate the opening, that is the initial and identifying sensations of the wine. From the glass we can appreciate intense and clean aromas of black cherry, blackberry and raspberry, as well as a pleasing aroma reminiscent of violet. After having swirled the glass, the olfactory profile of Cerasuolo di Vittoria is completed with strawberry, plum, blueberry, cyclamen, rose and, sometimes, the black pepper given by Frappato. Let's now pass to the olfactory evaluation of Valtellina Superiore and let's do the first smell: the Lombard wine is identified with cherry, plum and violet, a rather typical opening for wines produced with Nebbiolo grape. Let's swirl the glass of Valtellina Superiore and do the second smell: the Lombard wine is completed with strawberry, rose and raspberry. In both wines, of course, we can clearly perceive the olfactory sensations typical of the aging in wood, in particular vanilla.

 Let's now pass to the gustatory evaluation of the two wines, starting with Cerasuolo di Vittoria. Let's take a sip of the Sicilian wine and evaluate its attack, that is, the initial sensations perceived in the mouth. Cerasuolo di Vittoria is characterized by the pleasing roundness of Nero d'Avola and the aging in wood which is contrasted by the crispness given by Frappato. Roundness is further accentuated by the effect of alcohol, in a gustatory profile in which astringency – although perceptible – does not tend to dominate, despite having a good structure. In the mouth we can perceive the flavors of black cherry, blackberry and raspberry, confirming the good correspondence to the nose. Let's now take a sip of Valtellina Superiore and evaluate its attack. In the mouth, compared to the Sicilian wine, it is perceived a greater sensation of structure, decidedly full, in which the astringent effect of the tannins of Nebbiolo as well as of its typical and evident crispness given by acidity are immediately perceived. We also distinctly perceive in the mouth the flavors of cherry, plum and raspberry, confirming – also in this case – the good correspondence to the nose.

 We are at the end of this month's tasting by contrast, therefore let's evaluate the final sensations Cerasuolo di Vittoria and Valtellina Superiore leave in the mouth, in particular, the taste-olfactory persistence. The finish of Cerasuolo di Vittoria is persistent and in the mouth leaves a pleasing sensation of roundness and crispness, in which the effects of alcohol and the moderate astringency are still perceived. We can also perfectly distinguish in the mouth flavors of black cherry, blackberry and raspberry, with a decidedly pleasing sensation. The finish of Valtellina Superiore is characterized by a good persistence, leaving in the mouth a sensation of remarkable structure – much greater than Cerasuolo di Vittoria – as well as the effects of the astringency of tannins and the crispness of acidity, both more intense than in the Sicilian wine. In the mouth we can also perceive, clear and intense, the flavors of cherry, plum, raspberry and strawberry. Two wines which are evidently distant, in every respect, both from a geographical and a sensorial point of view, however both elegant and with evident personality.

 



 Editorial  Share this article     Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 202, January 2021   
Contrasts of Cerasuolo di Vittoria and Valtellina SuperioreContrasts of Cerasuolo di Vittoria and Valtellina Superiore Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
Issue 201, December 2020 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on Twitter 

Wines of the Month


 

Score legend

Fair    Pretty Good    Good
Very Good    Excellent
Wine that excels in its category Wine that excels in its category
Good value wine Good value wine
Prices are to be considered as indicative. Prices may vary according to the country
or the shop where wines are bought




Falanghina del Sannio Taburno Libero 2014, Fontanavecchia (Campania, Italy)
Falanghina del Sannio Taburno Libero 2014
Fontanavecchia (Campania, Italy)
Falanghina
Price: € 21.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Brilliant golden yellow and nuances of golden yellow, very transparent.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of apple, plum and hazelnut followed by aromas of citrus fruits, hawthorn, medlar, quince jam, pear jam, honey, linden, praline, mineral and hints of vanilla.
Crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Persistent finish with flavors of apple, plum and hazelnut.
Aged in steel tanks. A small part ages for 6 months in barrique. 12 months in bottle.
Stuffed pasta with mushrooms, Roasted fish, Stewed white meat, Broiled fish, Mushroom soups



Aglianico del Taburno Riserva Grave Mora 2012, Fontanavecchia (Campania, Italy)
Aglianico del Taburno Riserva Grave Mora 2012
Fontanavecchia (Campania, Italy)
Aglianico
Price: € 33.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Deep ruby red and nuances of garnet red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of plum, blackberry and dried violet followed by aromas of black cherry, blueberry, cocoa, tobacco, cinchona, leather, licorice, mace, graphite, menthol and vanilla.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness.
Persistent finish with flavors of plum, blackberry and black cherry.
18 months in barrique, 12 months in bottle.
Game, Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese



Verdicchio di Matelica Egos 2019, Provima - Produttori Vitivinicoli Matelica (Marches, Italy)
Verdicchio di Matelica Egos 2019
Provima - Produttori Vitivinicoli Matelica (Marches, Italy)
Verdicchio
Price: € 8.00 Score:   Good value wine

Brilliant straw yellow and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of apple, peach and pear followed by aromas of broom, hawthorn, plum, chamomile, citrus fruits, almond and mineral.
Crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of apple, peach and pear.
Aged in steel tanks.
Fish appetizers, Risotto with fish, Fried fish, Sauteed fish, Dairy products



Verdicchio di Matelica Riserva Materga 2017, Provima - Produttori Vitivinicoli Matelica (Marches, Italy)
Verdicchio di Matelica Riserva Materga 2017
Provima - Produttori Vitivinicoli Matelica (Marches, Italy)
Verdicchio
Price: € 14.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Intense straw yellow and nuances of golden yellow, very transparent.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of apple, plum and hawthorn followed by aromas of pear, grapefruit, peach, broom, chamomile, pineapple, mineral and almond.
Crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of apple, plum and grapefruit.
12 months in steel tanks, at least 6 months in bottle.
Stuffed pasta, Roasted white meat, Roasted fish, Stewed fish with mushrooms



Taurasi Renonno 2014, Salvatore Molettieri (Campania, Italy)
Taurasi Renonno 2014
Salvatore Molettieri (Campania, Italy)
Aglianico
Price: € 30.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Intense ruby red and nuances of garnet red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of plum, blackberry and black cherry followed by aromas of dried violet, tobacco, cocoa, cinnamon, leather, licorice, rhubarb, graphite, vanilla and menthol.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness.
Persistent finish with flavors of plum, blackberry and black cherry.
36 months in cask and barrique, at least 6 months in bottle.
Game, Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese



Taurasi Riserva Vigna Cinque Querce 2012, Salvatore Molettieri (Campania, Italy)
Taurasi Riserva Vigna Cinque Querce 2012
Salvatore Molettieri (Campania, Italy)
Aglianico
Price: € 49.00 Score:

Deep ruby red and nuances of garnet red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of blackberry, plum and dried violet followed by aromas of black cherry, blueberry, cocoa, tobacco, carob, cinnamon, licorice, leather, mace, rhubarb, graphite, menthol and vanilla.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness.
Very persistent finish with long flavors of blackberry, plum and black cherry.
60 months in barrique, at least 6 months in bottle.
Game, Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese



Costa d'Amalfi Ravello Bianco 2019, Marisa Cuomo (Campania, Italy)
Costa d'Amalfi Ravello Bianco 2019
Marisa Cuomo (Campania, Italy)
Falanghina (60%), Biancolella (40%)
Price: € 15.00 Score:

Intense straw yellow and nuances of straw yellow, very transparent.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of apple, peach and plum followed by aromas of pear, hawthorn, jasmine, lily, broom, citrus fruits, hazelnut and mineral.
Crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of apple, peach and plum.
4 months in steel tanks.
Pasta with fish, Fried fish, Sauteed white meat, Sauteed fish, Dairy products



Costa d'Amalfi Furore Rosso 2019, Marisa Cuomo (Campania, Italy)
Costa d'Amalfi Furore Rosso 2019
Marisa Cuomo (Campania, Italy)
Piedirosso (50%), Aglianico (50%)
Price: € 16.00 Score:

Intense ruby red and nuances of purple red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of black cherry, plum and blueberry followed by aromas of violet, pomegranate, blackberry, rose, carob, black pepper and hints of vanilla.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness.
Persistent finish with flavors of black cherry, plum and pomegranate.
6 months in barrique.
Pasta with meat and mushrooms, Stewed meat with mushrooms, Cheese






 Editorial  Share this article     Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 202, January 2021   
Contrasts of Cerasuolo di Vittoria and Valtellina SuperioreContrasts of Cerasuolo di Vittoria and Valtellina Superiore Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
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