Zoppi Cristina Grignolino D’Asti 2018
Cristina Zoppi and her husband Ezio are doing it differently, both in love and winemaking. They fell in love over Fiats, both working at a car factory in Piedmont. However, it wasn’t long before they went on to pursue the romantic side of their story, moving out to the hillsides of Monferrato to a family farmhouse where they started their winemaking journey. Cristina became pregnant and worked on the farm’s vineyards with her newborn. Her path was to steward both the common grape to Monferrato, Barbera, as well as the less acknowledged grapes, in the case of this bottling, Grignolino. Cristina farms 100% organically, making exclusively small production wines with a lot of heart and soul. The beauty of Cristina’s work in winemaking is how little she intervenes in both the vineyard and the cellar. Her intention is to allow the diversity of her terrain and the preservation of otherwise forgotten characteristics of the land to impart their magic into her grapes, ensuring the animals, plants and other life natural to her terrior are supported and maintained.
Cristina’s vineyards are made up of a unique marine sand and limestone soil composition that she believes bestows beautiful aromatic complexity and tension on the palate in this 100% Grignolino bottling, making it a deeply though-provoking wine by nature. Her Grignolino D’Asti shows just the right amount of tannic grip on the palate, begging to be paired with anything from Osso Bucco to fried chicken. It manages to simultaneously maintain a lightness in quality that allows it to take well to a slight chill, offering a refreshing presence of acidity and an herbaceous quality lending itself to an innate food friendliness.
Bulli Colli Piacentini Julius Macerato Frizzante NV
Emilia-Romagna is known for its incredible wine-making, gorgeous parmigiano cheese, and some of the best balsamic vinegar in the world. Medieval gothic architecture comprises most of its small towns but if you were to venture into the surrounding rolling hillsides, you might come across Leonardo Bulli and his small wine-making estate just outside of Piacenza. Bulli is just about as traditional as it gets when it comes to producing wine, known for his quaffable ‘Bolle Macerato’, as his grandparents always called it. Bolle is the slang abbreviation of Bollincine, which translates, quite literally, to ‘bubbles’. Leonardo is a master of the ancestral method style of sparkling wine, pouring his honest, hard-work and intention into his organic farming and thoughtful wine making, living by the motto of “Semplice ma non banale”, meaning “Simple but not boring”. His Piacentini Juliuls Macerato Frizzante ferments in bottle after seeing five days of maceration on the grape skins, giving it a light orange hue. He refuses to add sulphur in his winemaking process, keeping the wine as transparent as possible—and with only 1,000 cases produced a year, it’s mind-blowing we’re able to receive such a substantial allocation to include this in a wine club.
This wine is comprised of 100% Malvasia di Candia, a naturally aromatic, bright grape variety. While the vines Leonardo is farming are still relatively young, his immaculate farming on limestone soils give this wine heaps of energy and at only 12% alcohol, it can be consumed with ease and in excess. Opening this bottle, you’ll find it’s dry by nature with an immensely refreshing quality to it, shouting notes of citrus and light floral aromatics. This is a wine to open in the sunshine, amongst friends and a beautiful picnic spread. Fill your basket with triple cream styles of cheese, marcona almonds, and a few different salami’s to enjoy alongside this playful bottle. It would also drink beautifully next to any butter-based shellfish dish, light vegetarian fare, and more.