Monday, November 22, 2010

Report from ... Zonin North American Premier – November 2, 2010

At Mistura restaurant, where Chef Massimo practices his trade, Casa Vinicola Zonin launched their new line of wines.

Zonin has wineries in seven regions of Italy and one in the USA, Virginia to be exact – the winery on the Thomas Jefferson property – but this is not about the US wine holding (though those would have been interesting to try too), this is all about the 7 regions they hold property in within Italian borders.

Zonin started with a property in the north, Veneto, then moved onto Friuli (they have one property there); then into Tuscany, where they currently hold 3 properties.  Then it was off to Piedmont, where they picked up another, then still trolling the north they picked a spot in Lombardi.  Finally, moving south, they acquired places in Sicily and Puglia; in total Zonin owns 10 properties (11 if you include that U.S.-based Virginia vineyard).  Today we tasted through some of the new wines being introduced by Zonin and their head eonologist Dr. Franco Giacosa was on hand to speak and answer questions.  He spoke to us about canopy management, proper grape growing and how wine is made in the vineyard so that a winemaker does “the least amount of 'fixing' in the winery.”

There were some really good wines poured from a variety of properties and regions, like the Rocca di Montemassis 2009 Le Focale from Tuscany, a wine made from 100% Sangiovese.  This is a very modern interpretation of Sangio, with sweet fruit, supple undertones and a mocha finish. (****)

As a fan of Zinfandel I enjoyed the Puglia derived Masseria Altemura 2009 Sasseo, a primitivo wine that would pass for an American Zin quite easily.  A nose of plum, vanilla and cherry leading to sweet fruit on the palate: plum, juicy cherry and vanilla notes were also present.  Good length to the nice finish – this one is fruit forward and delicious. (****+)  A steal if it hits the Ontario market – it’s projected to be about $14.95.

Another Tuscan beauty was the other wine from Rocca di Montemassi, the 2008 red blend of Merlot (40%), Cabernet Sauvignon (35%), Petit Verdot (20%) and Syrah (5%), simple at first but then it developed spice and delicious black fruit notes – the backbone of the wine is its spicy nature, I also picked up a touch of balsamic here, but it was pleasant and welcoming. (****)

As for the lunch, the team at Mistura put on a nice spread:

Zuppa di Zucca e Mele
Roasted squash & apple soupd with dried apples almond and amaretti granola
Scaloppine di Vitello
Crusted in Parmigiano Reggiano with braised cabbage, chestnuts & seasonal vegetables
Mela & Zucca
Baked apple & Pumpkin crumble, cider caramel & calvados zabaglione

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