Friday, August 31, 2018

Rose of the (Holiday) Week (end) by Philip S. Kampe


                                                 My favorite rose wine bottle design

One of the many things I love about Rose is its versatility.

Roses are getting a lot more complex these days, with winemakers using indigenous grapes, as well as those using classic, red grapes, like Sangiovese or Syrah, in this Casillero del Diablo (the devil's cellar) 2017 Reserva Rose.

The bottom line is what consumers look for is an easy drinking rose that pairs with the majority of foods, and a wine that could double as an apertif. The goal is to find a wine that doesn't break the bank-unless you love Tavel. the classic 'rose.'

Since the holiday weekend is approaching, in fact, its here.
Today is Friday and Labor Day is Monday.

The 'Rose Wine of the Week' that I have saved for the holiday weekend is a rose that is BBQ friendly, retails under ten dollars ($10) and in my mind is the perfect rose for the Labor Day Weekend.

Casillero del Diablo
2017 Reserva Rose
13% alcohol
100% Shiraz grapes
Fermented in stainless steel
Winemaker Marcello Papa
Producer: Concho y Toro (Chile)

Over one-hundred years ago, Concho y Toro owner, Don Melchor, spread a rumor, specifically, so, he could keep the best batches of his wines away from strangers. He wanted to keep the wines in his private reserve. He created a haunting rumor that the devil lived in his winery and named the devil, Casillero Del Diablo, 'The Devil's Cellar'.

Winemaker Marcello Papa explained that the wine is made by vinifying red Shiraz grapes, as if it were a white wine. The end result is a soft, refreshing, easy to drink wine that is closer to a red wine on your palate then a white, The aromas of cherry and raspberry are followed by classic red wine palate flavors of dark plums, spice and fresh blackberries lead to a crisp, fresh, food friendly flavor.

At under ten dollars per bottle, this versatile rose surpasses its price point in many ways. Its great with just about anything-pasta, BBQ, burgers, fresh cheeses and salads.

Rose can be made in so many styles with a multitude of grapes. This wine, as mentioned earlier is made with Shiraz, the other name for Syrah, the grape you probably know.

The holiday weekend is here.
Think rose.

Philip S. Kampe 

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Sustainable 'Rose of the Week' from Calabria by Philip S. Kampe


                                                            'Sustainable ' Rose of the Week'
Pescanera Rosato 2017

The ‘Rose of the Week’ is made from a rare grape, Greco Nero. Grown on the Ippolito estate in the heart of Calabria’s  (Italy) wine-growing region, in historic Ciro Marina, near the Ionian Sea.

Rolling hills mixed with plains filled with sun, this 950 foot vineyard, founded in 1845 by Vincenzo Ippolito, maintains sustainable farming practices. Besides Greco Nero, the  Ippolito winery grows an array of indigenous grapes, such as Pecorello, Calabrese and Gaglioppo.

The 2017 Pescanera Rose is terroir driven-just like the rest of the portfolio. The wine is fruity without being acidic. Nice structure, with a long, fresh finish.

My belief is that this Rose would make a great aperitif. It is lively and fresh, with a light minerality that comes from wines near the sea.

Salmon pink in color, the aromas seduce you immediately. An intense floral boutique hangs over citrus undertones, followed by a whim of white pepper.

The nose is a crowd pleaser.

The grapes are hand harvested, softly crushed without maceration.

At 13% alcohol and available for under $20, this 2017 Ippolito Pescanera Rose is an IGT worth looking into. It pairs favorably with shelled seafood and soft, fresh cheese. Even raspberries and strawberries melt into this luscious wine.

When was the last time you had a Rose from Calabria?

Philip S. Kampe

Monday, August 13, 2018

'Rose of the Week'-- a Pinot Grigio from Casata Monfort by Philip S. Kampe


Its not difficult to find a Rose with the grapes that you like.

Take the 2017 Casata Monfort Pinot Grigio as an example. Under $15 and considered a ‘good buy,’ this wine from the Dolomotes (northern Italy) has a lot of fresh, crisp, acidity that holds up on warm summer nights.

Salmon colored and pleasing on the eye, this high quality Trentiono DOC wine, with the Frencch clone, Pinot Gris, grows uninterrupted in the sandy soil near the foothills between Lavis and Trento, where winds dominate through harvest.

Casata Monfort began operations  after WW11, in 1945. Giovanni Simoni founded the vineyard. Today, his grandson, Lorenzo, runs the operation.

With the emerging Rose market, which has been exploding for the past three years, the wines from this vineyard seem to draw attention from those who are after a wine with a full profile, from first sip to last.

Last week, I touted a Sangiovese. This week, a Pinot Grigio.

It’s a lot of fun  to sample these wines bcause each wine has its own story that needs to be shared with our readers. Five years ago, no body drank Rose. Today, obviously, the story is different.

More men buy Rose then women.
That’s a true fact that you should know.
Are you surprised?

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Organic Rose of the Week-IGT Fattoria Sardi Rose 2017 by Philip S. Kampe

                             Organic Rose of the Week-Fattoria Sardi Rose 2017

We all love Tuscany. And many, like me, love the grape varietal that has helped put Tuscany on the map. Bet that you can guess the grape?

Sangiovese, of course.

Known as the pizza grape to many-think Chianti-this grape has been the cornerstone of wine production throughout the region.

What struck me in such a positive way was that the two-hundred year old winery, Fattoria Sardi, located between the sea and the mountains has been recognized as having a perfect climate for the grapes that they grow. You should recognize the winery, Fattoria Sardi. They produce the iconic brand,‘Santa Margherita’.

Santa Margherita took the world by storm and is onsidered by many, as a marketing miracle.

Well, be prepared to yearn for another wine in their portfolio. It’s an ‘organic’ rose made with organic grapes, specifically, Sangiovese, Cillegiolo and Merlot.

Fattoria Sardi Toscana Rosato 2017 is an organic wine that is made following organic farming and biodynamic agriculture. Winemakers, Matteo and wife, Mina Giustinini produce this crisp, salmon colored, clean wine full of minerality and acidity. It’s a very mineral driven wine with a nice balance of fruit and terroir.

The 2017 is a very bright wine with obvious aromas of summer raspberries, honey dew melon and morning red roses.

Overall, at under $20, this rose can be used as an aperitif, as well as for a light lunch or dinner.

This is my ‘Rose of the Week.’

Philip S. Kampe


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Amarone Loves Corvina by Philip S. Kampe

                                                   Amarone Loves Corvina

Why is Amarone della Valpolicella so special?
First of all, it’s sort of scarce. And it is difficult to make.

The Corvina and Corvinone grapes make up the majority of the blend used in making Amarone. Add Molinara for acidity and Rondinella for soft tannins. Aromas vary by grape variety-from tobacco to black pepper.

Together, these varietals, plus appropriate aging, by law, four years for Reserva and two years for Valpolicella DOCG and Recioto della Valpolicella DOCG, are some of the reasons why these wines are like none others.||

Verona is my favorite city in the whole world. Not sure why, but, that’s reality. Maybe it’s the pink marble or maybe it’s the wine. Or  maybe its Restaurant Greppia, my personal favorite. Who knows?

When you travel in pursuit of Valpolicella, there are three sub-regions in Veneto that accommodate the wine lover. Est (means east) and contains (4 ) four valleys and seven (7) destinations. Valpantena has three (3) designations and Classico has six (6) designations in three (3) valleys.

Having visited the region on several occasions, but, never during the harvest, I have learned that the grapes are hand-harvested and laid out on straw mats for a minimum of four months to turn into the prime grape (s) for Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG. Then, the grapes are pressed. Fermentation can last up to two months, thanks to low temperature fermentation.  The wine is then transferred to chestnut or oak barrels to age, following the laws of the region.

As I mentioned earlier, Amarone is scarce. There are only 12,000 acres that satisfy the region for Amarone. That is where the Corvina and Corvinone grapes thrive.

Interviewing several winemakers, the Corvina grape is their favorite varietal. It may be because the other grape they love is Corvinone. Unfortunately, the grape is rare, making Corvina their first choice.

The rule of thumb with Amarone is quite simple.
‘The older, the better.’

At a recent Anteprima Amarone tasting, I sampled a 1950 Amarone that was as fresh and acidic as a wine of that age could be. The true flavor profile of Amarone existed, sixty-eight (68) years later-fig, sweet chocolate and vanilla bean.

Amarone goes through a different process of aging versus other wines. The final palate flavor resonates with me.

Few wines are made the same way-grapes are dried for four months, then the grapes are slowly pressed and then fermented for sixty (60) days.

These are just a few reasons why I believe Valpolicella is like no other wine.

Philip S. Kampe


Barone Montalto Pinot Grigio and Baked Scallops with Shrimp by Philip S. Kampe

With the pandemic forcing us inside, there is little doubt that our cooking skills and wine drinking abilities should reach new...