Saturday, 27 September 2014

Belissimo Cassiano

Today is my last day in Italy. I have spent the past three and a bit weeks exploring this bella country, from Sicily to the Amalfi Coast, Tuscany, Venice, Rome, and a handful of smaller treasure troves in between.

There has been much to see, taste and absorb. Among the better are the wine, pasta, seafood, scenery and shopping - I bought a smashing vintage leather bag in Florence. It's very sexy and I'm pretty sure it knows it.

I have tasted a bunch of great wines, from Sicilian Nero d'Avola, to Campanian Aglianico to some stunning Chianti from, well, Chianti. A big favourite, however, was this bad boy: San Cassiano - Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso 2009.

So, what is this wine and what does it look like in words? If you can imagine a mini Morrissey dancing and jovially singing 'The last of the famous international playboys' on your tongue - mic, band and all - I'd say you're probably onto something.

This drop is made by San Cassiano - a wine and olive oil producer based in the Mezzano Valley, near Verona, Italy. The Valpolicella Ripasso is made up of 70% Corvina, 15% Molinara and 15% Rondinella and is grown south west of Monte Paradiso.

With white pepper and delicate aromatics on the nose, and a medium body that bursts red fruit with a kick of spice on the front palate, this wine is an explosion of all good Christmases at once. 

I enjoyed this wine with linguine with lobster, cherry tomatoes and basil at a great little restaurant in Venice along the canal. As Larry David would say: pretty, pretty, pretty good.

After a quick Google search, I couldn't find any Australian distributors, but I do hope I am wrong because this wine is a knockout.

"We seek harmony with nature, balance between tradition and modernity: 'cultivation' and 'culture' in wine and olive growing" - Mirko Seller, winemaker.

Find out more about the history and offerings of San Cassiano here.

The green Mezzano Valley vineyards of San Cassiano.

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