Monte Volpe2002 Peppolino
Peppolino, which means “thyme” in Italian, is one of the symphonic triumphs that gives Greg Graziano the freedom to create a truly unique wine. He feels that creative blends like this are the most expressive form of winemaking. Incidentally, Greg is one of the founding pioneers of the Coro project: a totally unique to Mendocino Zinfandel-based blend that highlights the best of Mendocino’s prolific fruit, of which Zinfandel takes the crown, but is not alone on the throne. Although many of the Coro blends head in a decidedly Rhone direction, with Syrah and Petit Sirah chief in their DNA, Grazi has consistently leaned in a Mediterranean direction with a focus on Barbera, Dolcetto, Charbono and Sangiovese. And they’ve been quite remarkable. But, back to Peppolino.
Greg’s been fashioning this totally familial blend since 2001, with great results, winning the Best of Show at the 2004 Mendocino Wine Competition. To craft this gem, he takes specially selected lots of three classic central and southern Italian varietals: Sangiovese, Montepulciano and Negroamaro. All of the grapes used in this blend were grown in the Fox Mountain Vineyard (Monte Volpe means “Fox Mountain” in Italian) located in the eastern foothills of the Ukiah Valley. Here, the growing conditions of shallow rock laden soils, southwestern exposure, warm days and cool nights help produce grapes with superb balance, concentration and fruity aromas and flavors. The grapes were hand-harvested at an average of 25.5 degrees brix from October 5th to October 25th.
Aromas of dark chocolate, dried meats, cedar, licorice and coffee lead to spicy cherry and cranberry flavors, accented by spiced chorizo, leather, herbs and abundant tannins on the finish. This wine wants bottle age in order to be fully appreciated. But, don’t pass up the chance to enjoy it now with a spicy salami, pepperoni and basil pizza.
(Retail: $22, Alcohol: 14.5%)
Reviewed July 9, 2006 by Laura Ness.
Other reviewed wines from Monte Volpe
2005 Pinot Grigio
(Mendocino)Laura Ness 6/28/2006
A wine writer and wine judge for major publications and competitions around the country, Laura Ness likens wine to the experience of music. She is always looking for that ubiquitous marriage of rhythm, melody, and flawless execution. What is good music? You know it when you get lost in it. What is good wine? It is music in your mouth.