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February Wine Club Notes
2009 Vina Zanata Listan Blanco
Wine geeks rejoice! It will be no surprise that yet again, we are attempting to expand our horizons with this month’s white wine. The wine is from (oddly enough) Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and has a wine producing history that dates back to the 1700s (who knew?). “Why Tenerife?” you may ask. Well...because we have an obsession with volcano wine (ehhummm Mount Etna) and because this Island’s specific volcanic earth and steadily warm climate allow for an incredibly interesting wine producing region. This month’s wine comes from Vina Zanata (La Guancha) an estate that was founded in 1893, by Pedro Pérez González, and is now run by his grandson, Carlos Perez. This historic estate has just over 10 hectares of vines (with the highest being over a mile above sea level!) on the world’s third largest active volcano, Mount Teide. The wine is produced in the same place the winery was originally founded—a manor over 500 years old where they proudly claim, “Our wine is made slowly, under the thick and old walls.”
This month’s wine is made from organic Listan Blanco vines that are over 100 years old. Listan Blanco is a grape grown all throughout Spain, where it is better known as Palomino—the grape used in Sherry production. Although the grape is the same as Sherry, this wine has none of the characteristic oxidative nuttiness. On the contrary, this is bright with hints of citrus, crisp and rocky with a lingering minerality. This wine would be quite fantastic as an aperitif or with any type of shellfish or seafood.
2009 Sesti Monteleccio
This month’s red wine is just plain lovely. One look at the picturesque estate and you will yearn for the Tuscan hillsides. Out of their 250 acres, only about 23 are planted to vine—the rest are olive groves, grassy hillsides and woodland. Guiseppe Maria Sesti, the founder of the estate, did not originally plan a career in winemaking. Growing up in Venice, he studied music, art, and astronomy, the latter of which would greatly influence his winemaking. Somehow, amidst writing five books on astronomy, he found the time to help out in the vineyards of his neighboring estates. During this time, he realized that great wine was not made by manipulating the vines with harmful chemicals, but by paying careful attention to the land and the vines. Once he started to produce his own wine, his study of the moon and its effect on living things prompted him to incorporate his astronomy background into the winemaking. The result? Beautiful, precise, and pure wines. Terroiriste approved.
We love this expression of Sangiovese. It is lively with notes of red cherry and flowers and carries a perfect balance of richness and acidity. Though this house is better known for their more serious Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino, we apperciate that they make a wine that is approachable and enjoyable in the present. Resist your urge to only drink this wine with spaghetti and meatballs…we want this with so much more! Try it with seared steak and roasted potatoes topped with lots of savory herbs for a delightful pairing.