What does one do on a stormy Sunday in February? Head over to the Boston Wine Expo of course! Yes, 3 of Bauer’s own braved the snow storm like many others and headed down to the Seaport World Trade Center this past Sunday. We spent the day sipping and spitting our way through France, Italy and the US. Not to mention a lovely visit to the Grand Cru Lounge courtesy of our friend Carla Morey.
After checking in Colin, Tom and I set off in search of wines that we haven’t had before. We wanted to discover wines that could be brought into Bauer and be easy for us to sell. Seemed like a simple task. Well, maybe not so simple but fun at least. We headed on over to the Chateauneuf du Pape table and our eyes lit up in delight as we saw a wonderful representation of the Southern Rhone region of France. We tasted the likes of Le Vieux Donjon, Mas de Boislauzon, Domaine Lafond , Domaine Tour Saint-Michel and others.
Although we could have spent all day there, we remembered our mission. We spied this small group of tables towards the middle of the room with an Italian flag on the sign above. Jackpot! We headed straight over. It was at this table manned by charming and kind Italian representatives where we tasted the showstoppers of the Expo. There were three standouts at this table full of finely crafted wines. First, the Solerea Cerasuolo Rosato from Montepulciano D’Abruzzo. Rose season is heading our way and we love to find some new ones to add to the ranks. This delightful rose had more weight than a rose from Provence making it ideal for any time of the year. Intense fruity aromas and flavors meld with delicate floral notes and banana nuances, beeswax and custard cream. It was well-structured with a long finish.
The second standout wine of the day was the Cantine Cipressi Macchiarossa Tintilia (Molise D.O.C). Made from the indigenous Italian grape Tintilia that has strong depth, deep color with evident but soft tannins. It was highly aromatic (think plums, sour cherry, licorice and black pepper). Since none of us have ever had this varietal before we were very interested in it. Turns out Tintilia wines are fairly rare because of its notoriously low-yielding vines. After a quick swirl I stuck my nose in the glass. Spicy, with lots of fruit and lots of intensity. Various spices, blueberry, plum, cherry, raspberry, maybe a bit of herb, a little earth, all shifting and swirling around. This wine had a great depth of sweet fruit flavors, with some vanilla, accompanied by a moderate level of tannin, and just the right amount of acidity to even out the structure of the wine. It was exciting because it seemed to offer something new every sip.
And now for the wine that stopped me in my tracks. From Sicily came Tenuta di Casterllaro Nero Ossidiana made from a blend of 60% Corinto, 20% Nero d’Avola, and 20% other varietals located on deep sandy and volcanic soils (pumice and obsidian). The fruit was fermented without stems and without temperature control. Then it underwent malolactic fermentation in barrel followed by eight months of aging after which it was drawn into stainless steel vat for settling. The wine exhibited light berries and wood box on the nose. Inky black and medium-bodied with depth and flavors of red fruit, earth with a good amount of acidity.
After being wowed and awed with all the wines at the table we finally get the bad news. These wines are NOT available in Massachusetts yet! What?? No! So why am I sitting here and writing about them for you? Because they were that good. Because now I want more of them. Because we are hoping that one of our distributors will head our cry to bring these spectacular wines in.
Yeah…you…you know I am looking at you. Get these wines on your portfolio. Please.