Notes From the Winemaker - April 9th, 2013


From left: Il Bosco winemaker Piernicola Olmo, Nicolas Seconde from Champagne, Domenico Zonin, and I with the Cuvée 1814 Brut Rosé.For those who might not have seen our annual Newsletter, I have the pleasure to introduce you to our new sparkling wines, which will take the place of our sparkling Brut when released at the winery, Saturday, April 20th; and to all I express the hope that you can join us, for a great Springtime occasion, as the wines are poured with fresh Rappahannock River oysters, and clam chowder and housebaked breads from Chef Melissa Close-Hart's kitchen at Palladio Restaurant. This "Oysters & Bubbles" celebration is likely to become an annual seasonal tradition, given the unrivaled excuse of this customary pairing in food-and-wine. 

To produce our new generation of sparkling wines we embarked to the terroir of Oltrepò Pavese, to a vineyard in north central Italy among our founder Gianni Zonin's estates throughout the country, to draw on their cultivation of Pinot Noir for a sparkling wine of great appeal, in the metodo classico of Champagne. The terroir at Tenuta Il Bosco allows us to craft a vivid, food-friendly, and elegant wine. While crafting these wines, I enjoyed the fine collaboration of the resident winemaker, a leading consultant from Champagne, and Domenico Zonin. 

There is no way around the metodo classico for creating a superior sparkling wine, and we are fortunate to possess access to the vines and infrastructure of Tenuta Il Bosco for crafting our wines. The cooler climate of Oltrepò Pavese is ideal for cultivating Pinot Noir for sparkling wine, which then gains concentration in 36 months or more of aging on the lees. My colleagues and I conducted many trials of the final dosage - the infusion of older wine and pure cane sugars into the fermented wine in bottle - before I was satisfied with our wines' quality of mouthfeel and balance of sweetness and acidity. We will release the wine as a classic Brut and as a Brut Rosé, under the appropriately celebratory name, Cuvée 1814, in honor of the year of Thomas Jefferson's design for Governor Barbour's mansion at our estate, whose bicentennial is next year.

A non-vintage wine, the new Cuvée 1814 happens to draw on the harvests of 2007 and 2008. Twice each year, we will import new shipments of the Cuvée 1814, to present it always at its freshest in bottle. This is our established custom, as the friends of Palladio Restaurant know, in importing fresh bottlings of distinguished olive oils from the Zonin family's award-winning Castello d'Albola and Principi di Butera estates in Tuscany and Sicily -- except of course, we are the winemakers of each bottling of Cuvée 1814. 

No reservations are necessary, to join us for Oysters & Bubbles on the 20th, from Noon to 4:00. For further information on the wines, please see page 6 of our Newsletter, online here; and plan to replenish the sparkling wine niche in your cellar, with the most gorgeous bottlings we have ever presented.