DSCN0921 Claudio Ancarani is the latest addition to our small portfolio. His winery is in Santa Lucia, a little town next to Faenza in the Romagna zone. He is a true Vignaiolo and spends most of his time in the vineyards that he inherited from his grandfather who taught him how to make wine. He is a non-interventionist: indigenous varietals, organic grapes manually picked, native yeast,no manipulation of any kind, no oak barrels but vitrified cement instead. Claudio’s wines are intense, full of nuances and shades of freshness, with good body and agility. This intensity comes from the soils that are a combination of clay mainly with smaller percentages of lime and sand. Claudio doesn’t believe in the use of any type of oak because he only wants the pure flavor of his grapes to shine. Using oak would mask nuances and add spices that don’t belong. I can’t blame him. All of his wines are truly terroir driven with a perfect equilibrium of drinkability, structure, and elegance.

ALBANA SANTALUSA 2011 Golden and rich, it’s powerful and warm like a great Albana should be. Full of aromas of yellow peaches, nectarines, honey, and mineral notes. It is deep and creamy thanks to the late harvest of 1/3 of the grapes. On the palate it’s a game between softness and firmness kept in check by the good acidity. A happy wine that doesn’t hide. It will easily stand up to white meats or an intense cheese and will age beautifully.

SANGIOVESE BIAGIO ANTICO 2011 A Sangiovese that you can drink every day. Agile and full of nuances. Blackberries and cherries but the word that comes to mind is freshness. Light and drinkable and extremely food friendly. It was the winner at my last meal at Central Kitchen with my friend Gene Tomko.

SANGIOVESE ORIOLO 2011 A single vineyard Sangiovese with more power and structure than the Biagio Antico. It’s darker and full of dark and red fruit. On the palate it’s earthy, deep, and warm. Still elegant and drinkable but in need of a rich pasta or red meat.

CENTESIMINO 2011 A graceful wine where the aromatics of the Centesimino grapes are jumping out of the glass: violets, rose petals, more flowers (I am not the best at describing which kind), blueberries and raspberries. Warm and clean on the palate with a beautiful salinity with soft tannins and an almond finish. Perfect wine to have with Asian food or aromatic cheeses.

CENTESIMINO PASSITO 500 ml The iconic wine of the winery. A passito (dessert wine)…the grapes were left to raisinate on the vines. Crazy nose of blueberry, red currant, prunes, cocoa, and amarene cherries. Simple but captivating and not overly sweet. The acidity is high and keeps the palate fresh. The perfect pairing would be a cheese cake or a blue cheese.

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