Monday, October 11, 2010

Walk softly, and carry a little stick...

Zaccagnini Il Vino Dal Tralcetto
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2007

I love this wine, and - I love this bottle!  It's a new wine for us at World Market -  brought in for our annual red wine sale - and when I opened the case I was immediately captivated by the presentation of the bottle. I'm not usually a "label" buyer, but this is really an intriguingly beautiful piece of marketing magic.
The bottle, as you can see, has a little stick tied around the neck with a piece of raffia that runs down and under the label. It's not really a "stick" per se (it's more like a twig), it's a piece of grapevine from the vineyard where the grapes were sourced. Besides being a great marketing ploy, it's a terrific recycling effort using the (usually trashed or burned) vines that are pruned during the course of a normal year.
The use of vine cuttings on wine bottles isn't new, and a few other producers adorn their bottles in this manner. (And yes, I bought those wines, too! Okay, I'm a sucker for anything "wine" and the idea of having a bit of the vine that produced the bottle that I happen to be drinking... Well, that just heightens my enjoyment of the wine itself!)
Ahhh, but what of the wine itself? Deep pomegranate in color, with a magenta rim, the wine smells a bit gamey, with black raspberries and a whisper of black licorice or anisette. The game notes blow off with a bit of glass swirling, but are replaced by a smoky flavor, soft tannins and dry, sour cherries with a bit of chalk-dust minerality. There is a nice amount of acidity, making food pairings quite easy. The Cantina Zaccagnini is medium-bodied - not too many legs or tears on the glass, and weighs in at 13% ABV. Fermented in steel, followed by 4 months in Slavonic oak.

All in all, a wine that you can buy for yourself, or give as a gift... If you loved the beautiful bottle and presentation, so will everyone else. After all, who doesn't want to own a piece of a vineyard?
Find it ~ Buy it ~ Try it ~ Love it!
Salud! KathyD
 PS ~ I opened a bottle of Zaccagnini while doing this review, afterward I sat down to some cheese ravioli with marinara sauce and parmesean cheese - OMGosh, suddenly the wine became fuller, bigger and richer. As I said, a wine that is perfect with food! You gotta try this wine.

PPS ~ I had a half bottle of the wine left, so I corked it and left it on the counter. The next night, prepared dinner of pasta florentine and poured a glass of the left-over Zaccagnini to accompany it, as I raised the glass for the sniffy-sniff I was struck by the powerful aromatics of the wine. It was much more open than the first night and fruit-forward in its nose. Had the flavor changed as well?
I sipped and discovered that the acidity and tannins had greatly softened. It was like drinking silk ~ truly lovely. The pairing with spinach was NOT a good one; I'd recommend sticking with a traditional red sauce. Salud! KathyD

$15.99 Sale @ World Market - Reg. $23.99
Not widely available... Check a fine wine store if there isn't a World Market in your area.
The Wine Advocate likes it, too! 90 Points
"Deep garnet-purple colour. Ripe cherry and tobacco leaf aromas with a touch of game. Medium-full body with good concentration of fruit and a medium to high level of balancing acidity. Medium+ level of grainy tannins. Long finish. Tasted July 2009."

Zaccagnini Il Vino Dal Tralcetto Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2007

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