Cantine Volpetti ‘Le Piantante’ Cesanese 2013
Cantine Volpetti ‘Le Piantante’ Cesanese 2013 | Bottle Price: $15.99 | Case Price: $172.69
Both of our selections this month have ancient beginnings going back to pre-Roman times. Our first wine from Cantine Volpetti is made entirely from a grape called Cesanese (che-sah-NAE-say), which is grown almost exclusively in Lazio, Italy, about 30 miles Southeast of Rome. It is very possible, given their history and geographical origin, Cesanese wines were a staple of the ancient Roman dinner table. Since 1958 the Volpetti family has carried on the tradition of this ancient grape in their vineyards of gently sloping, volcanic soils.
This is one of those wines that offers something new every time you go back to the glass. Its complexity first shows itself in a rustic nose of red fruit, wet earth and plum. The palate is full of elegant tannins, blueberry and cranberry fruits, all balanced by a semi-tart acidity. Plates of duck ragu, sausages and polenta, and even sticky pork ribs would be well served by this wine, but we love a simple Italian classic, Pasta Carbonara.
Once used mainly for the production of sweet and sparkling wines, Cesanese is now mostly used for dry, still wines of notable complexity. Volpetti’s ‘Le Piantante’ is matured primarily in stainless steel with minimal passage through oak, and as a result, is full of bright, fresh fruit. Cesanese is a fickle grape to grow and ripens late in the season, which probably accounts for its dwindling production, but if you find good bottles like this one, it’s a grape worth searching for.