Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cantine Volpetti Cesanese Lazio (2008)

My affinity for little known grapes is, unlike those grapes, well known (at least among followers of this blog).  I firmly believe that the wines produced with those grapes can be just as good, if not better, than wines made with more common and/or more well known grapes.  I previously posted a review about a wine produced using the Falanghina grape, as well as the wine produced by Feudi San Gregorio, which was excellent.  Now, I have found another relatively unknown grape, and, a wine to try.  The grape is the Cesanese, and, the wine is produced by Cantine Volpetti.

Perhaps the most notable thing about the Cesanese grape is where it is grown.  The grape is not grown in Italy's more reknown regions, such as Tuscany or Piedmant.  Instead, the Cesanese grape is native to and grown in the hills outside of Rome, in the Lazio region. There are two varieties of Cesanese grapes: Cesanese Comune and Cesanese di Affile.  The Cesanese Comune is the more widely grown of the two varieties.  The di Affile grape is generally considered to be a better grape, even though the Comune produces larger berries. 

Since 1958, the Volpetti family have produced wines from their small, family owned vineyard.  As Cantine Volpetti, the family produces its wines only for Siema Wines.  I could not find much about the winemaker, other than, for its Cesanese wine, Volpetti produces this wine using only Cesanese grapes, presumably of the comune variety. 

The wine is a ruby red, which becomes a lighter shade when you look into the glass.  The aromatics of this wine are a little earthy and musty.  This does not bother me too much because I can get the presence of some fruit in the aromas.   That fruit is clearly present in the taste.  This is the first wine where I could taste fruit like blueberries and maybe even a little strawberry. There is some spice around the edges, but the fruitiness of this wine is what sets this wine apart from other reds.  This is definitely a dry red wine, although it has a light body. 

The winemaker suggests that this wine can be enjoyed with roasted and grilled meats, as well as strong cheeses. While the fruitiness of this wine may make it a possible candidate for spicy foods, I think that there are enough tannins lurking in the wine to make it a recommendation only for those who truly love the heat provided by peppers and chiles. 

This wine is available at Whole Foods and sells for $9.99 a bottle.

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