Hello everyone, we’re pleased to introduce June’s edition of All-Red Vine Arts Wine Club! Warm weather is here at last, and we have all the wines for kicking back in the sunshine and lighting up the barbecue.

For people picking up their wine bags, they will be ready to go Wednesday, June 1st. For those that have signed up for delivery, your wine bags will be delivered via courier on Thursday, June 2nd.

2020 Pandolfa Federico Sangiovese Superiore Romagna

Emilia-Romagna, Italy

$24.48

Where

Wealthy and fertile, the Italian wine region of Emilia-Romagna was blessed by the gods. Grand cities like Bologna, Ferrara and Modena pull in international sightseers who come to devour the region’s lavish culture. Stunning romanesque and renaissance architecture are a feast for the eyes. Gastronomic delights include some of Italy’s finest cuisine. Emilia-Romagna is after all the home of prosciutto crudo di parma, parmigiano reggiano, mortadella, aceto balsamico, and lasagne alla bolognese. Much of the region’s landscape is composed of the broad Padan Plain, which is heavily planted to vine. To the south and west, the Apennine Mountains separate the region from neighboring Tuscany. In the east the topography transitions to low-lying coastal plains which meet the Adriatic Sea. With 58,000 hectares under vine, Emilia-Romagna is a viticultural powerhouse.

What

Although joined politically, Emilia and Romagna lay claim to distinct wine cultures. The larger of the two, Emilia is located in the west. The overriding influences here originate in northern Italy. Romagna, which lies in the east, is closely linked to central and southern Italy. A testament to this fact is that Sangiovese accounts for nearly half of all plantings in Romagna. Interestingly, Sangiovese is thought to have originated in Romagna.

The Pandolfa Federico is made from 100% Sangiovese harvested from estate grown vineyards. The wine is labeled under the Romagna DOC designation, which was created in 2011, amalgamating the areas of five separate subregions. Made without any oak influence, the wine was fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks.

Who

Located near Predappio, the Pandolfo estate is steeped in history. Dating back to the 1300’s, it was purchased by Giuseppe Ricci in 1941. The name of the estate comes from the Lord of Fano, Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, who based himself here in the mid 1400’s. A daring military leader, Malatesta was also a poet and patron of the arts. When Ricci obtained the estate he set himself to renovating the villa and replanting the land to vine. During the 1970’s his daughter Noelia continued her fathers work, expanding the vineyards and building a new winery. Today Pandolfo is managed by Noelia’s grandson, Marco Cirese. The sprawling 140 hectare estate is planted to vineyards, olive trees, and fruit trees. Oenologist of Montevertine fame, and protegé of Giulio Gambelli, Paolo Salvi consults in the cellar.

What’s in the bottle comes first, but throw in a great label and we’re really happy. Colorful and eye-catching, Pandolfa’s thematic wine labels feature reimagined renaissance portraits. The label for this wine features the likeness of Federico da Montefeltro, Malatesta’s bitter enemy. The added beak is a tip of the hat to famed Italian artist Gino De Dominicis.

Taste

The fresh-faced Federico is Sangiovese at its most charming. Highly aromatic and pure, it’s a red wine for all occasions. Bright ruby red in color, on the nose there are riotous notes of licorice nibs, lambert cherries, red raspberries, tomato leaf and fresh picked basil. Silky tannins and fine acidity balance effortlessly with red fruit flavors on the medium bodied palate. The finish is fruity and dry. Whether enjoyed with thinly sliced prosciutto or with heaping portions of spaghetti bolognese, you will not be disappointed with this terrific wine.

2019 Tenuta del Portale Starsa Aglianico

Basilicata, Italy

$22.60

Where

Located in the arch of the foot of the Italian ‘boot’, Basilicata is one of the smallest and poorest wine growing regions in Italy. Ever since the time of the Romans, this area has been considered a hinterland resistant to change. You don’t just pass through Basilicata – if you’re here, it’s for a purpose. What Basilicata lacks in modern conveniences though it more than makes up for in raw natural beauty. Only 8 percent of the region is flat and almost half of it is mountainous. Difficult terrain and harsh weather make grape growing an arduous task. Fortunately for growers, the region receives generous amounts of sunshine, and cool breezes from the Balkans help temper hot summer temperatures.

What

Home to 4 official DOC wine designations, the vast majority of Basilicata’s wines are sold as IGT’s. The most prestigious appellation in the region is Aglianico del Vulture. As the name suggests, this designation is for wines made from Aglianico grapes harvested from vineyards planted around Monte Vulture. Aglianico (pronounced “alli-yawn-nico”) is the great grape of southern Italy. Planted mostly in Campania and Basilicata, it was brought to Italy by Greek settlers. It rose to fame in ancient Rome as the main varietal in the world’s first “Grand Cru” wine, Falernian. While no longer grown in Greece, it has come to be considered one of the top three red grapes in Italy. It is particularly known for its firm tannins and long ageability.

The grapes for the ‘Starsa’ Aglianico were harvested from vineyards planted to mixed volcanic soils. Hand picked during the 2nd and 3rd weeks of October, the grapes were macerated for 4-5 days and then fermented. Following vinification the wine spent a short period of time in oak barrels before bottling.

Who

Tenuta del Portale is located in the heart of the Aglianico del Vulture appellation. The winery was founded by the D’Angelo family in 1990. Winemakers since the early 1900’s, the D’Angelo’s created the winery to capture the unique character of Basilicata’s finest grape growing region. The name of the estate derives from a defunct portal wall that used to sit amongst the vines. The business today is managed by Erminia D’Angelo and her brother Rocco, who also manage the nearby D’Angelo winery. Thanks to their efforts, Tenuta del Portale is one of Basilicata’s finest flagbearers.

Taste

Aglianico can be as unruly as it can be delicious. Rustic examples can have rock hard tannins that require decades for aging to soften and integrate. In contrast, the ‘Starsa’ is a more youthful and friendly expression of Aglianco. Garnet red in appearance, on the nose it shows intense aromas of sun ripened black cherries, pomegranates, dusty plums, leather, espresso and game meats. The full bodied palate is defined by broad shouldered tannins and vigorous fruit flavors. We highly recommend allowing this wine to breath in a decanter prior to enjoying. Serve it with Flintstone sized steaks or venison.

2020 Tempore Generación 76 Tempranillo

Bajo Aragón, Spain

$30.58

Where

Bodegas Tempore is located in Aragón, an autonomous region which lies south of the Pyrenees mountain range at the crossroads between Catalonia and La Rioja. Thanks to its northeastern location, Aragón has historically served as a bridge between the rest of Spain and the Mediterranean Sea. Ideas from France and the rest of Europe came to Aragón much sooner than other parts of Spain. Its most famous son, Ferdinand II (who was married to Queen Isabella I) achieved the Spanish Reconquista and financed the explorations of Columbus. Broad and expansive, Aragón is diverse in topography and climate. Mountainous in the north, in the south the landscape gives to sweeping hot plains. The Ebro River, the second largest river in the Mediterranean basin after the Nile, cuts the region in two. To the west lie the Iberian mountains, which help moderate the region’s overall continental climate. In most years, hot summers are punctuated by frigid cold winters.

What

Aragón is a land where tradition and modernity meet. Traditional Spanish grape varieties like Tempranillo are planted side-by-side with international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon. The local industry has long been dominated by cooperatives. Selling their wines in bulk, these large producers are geared towards making fruity, accessible wines. In contrast to the cooperatives, there are a handful of family run wineries, like Bodegas Tempore, which are driven to create wines of greater complexity and authenticity.

The Generación 76 is made from Tempranillo grapes harvested from the organically farmed Finca La Merla vineyard in Bajo Aragón. It is part of a line of wines which pay homage to members of the Yago Anzar family; the owners of the winery. The wine’s label portrays Víctor Yago Aznar, who was born in 1976. Vinified with modern techniques, the wine was aged 2 months in 500L American oak barrels.

Who

The Yago Anzar family have been making wine around the town of Lécera for 4 generations. Previously grape growers who sold their fruit to the local wine cooperative, the family decided to create Bodegas Tempore in 2002. The name of the winery, which means “in their time”, was chosen as an ode to this momentous new direction the family were taking. Today the business is run by Paula Yago Aznar, who farms her 75 hectares of vineyards according to organic and biodynamic principles, without the use of herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers. Although more difficult than conventional farming, Paula believes the decision to farm this way was crucial for the winery. In her words – “It is a philosophy of life, a way of understanding things that we had clear from the beginning. If you don’t believe it, you won’t sell it”.

Taste

This 100% Tempranillo is the product of Bajo Aragón’s particular climate. Hot enough to assure ideal ripeness, the cool ‘cierzo’ wind assures that the grapes retained their acidity and balance. As such, the Generación 76 Tempranillo is a beautifully concentrated wine with complex texture and freshness. Dark ruby red in the glass, the nose presents tender aromas of blackberry, dried fig, tobacco, and vanilla bean. The full bodied palate offers up round, mouth filling flavors, saten tannins, and balanced barrel spice on the finish. It’s generously structured and lip smackingly delicious! As barbecue season ramps up, you’ll find yourself reaching for a bottle of this wine again and again.

2019 Gota Wine Mesa Vinho Tinto

Tejo, Portugal

$20.03

Where

Occupying a section of central Portugal, not far from the city of Lisbon, lies the wine region of Tejo. Largely dominated by co-operative wineries, up until 2009 Tejo was known as Ribatejo. Holding the distinction of being Portugal’s only fully landlocked wine region, Tejo gets its name from the Tejo river. Known in Spain as the Tajo, this waterway is the longest in the Iberian Peninsula. The river meanders from the Atlantic Ocean to the Montes Universales in eastern Spain, moderating the climates of the areas it crosses. Overall the Tejo region’s climate is warm and dry.

What

In the past the Tejo river served as an important artery between Lisbon and Madrid, bringing considerable wealth to this part of Portugal. Naturally, Spain was a strong market for Tejo’s wines. Production is to this day significant. Low elevation vineyards, which benefit from natural irrigation, produce ample yields, which leads to higher wine production. In overall wine volume, Tejo is second only to Estremadura.

The cépage for the Mesa Vinho Tinto includes Castelão (aka Periquita), Trincadeira Preta, Aragonez (aka Tempranillo), and other local grape varieties. The grapes were harvested from 15 to 30 year old vines planted within the Tejo subregion of Bairro. The fruit was fully destemmed before being macerated and fermented in stainless steel tanks. Élevage took place without any oak influence.

Who

Gota (meaning “Drop” in Portuguese) Wine is the creation of former Tesco wine buyer Natalia Jessa. Originally from Poland, Jessa found her way to Portugal by way of England and Ireland. Upon relocating to Oporto, she was able to leverage her experience with distribution to collaborate with some of the country’s best wine growers. Her ethos, to offer authentic Portuguese wines from indegenous grape varieties at an affordable price. In her words – “Drink it, don’t overthink it.” Having established a foothold in multiple wine regions, Jessa orchestrates everything in partnership with a “winemaker on the ground.” This collaborative approach allows her to obtain the best organically farmed grapes possible.

Taste

The Gota Wine Mesa Vinho Tinto is our idea of a great luncheon wine. It’s fruity, friendly, and fresh. In the glass the wine is vibrant ruby red in color with medium depth. On the nose affable aromas of fresh red plums and ripe strawberries are complemented by hints of spice. The palate offers up generous red fruit flavors and silky tannins that melt into the soft finish. At only 12.48%, you can breeze through a bottle guilt free and headache free. Enjoy it on its own with a slight chill, or serve it with savory Frango no Churrasco (barbecued chicken).

2018 J. Denuziere ‘Les Sérines’ Côtes du Rhône

Rhône Valley, France

$23.34

Where

The home of J. Denuziere, the Rhône Valley is a vast region in southern France. The area is centered around the noble Rhône river, which rises in the Alps of Switzerland. The river’s source is the Rhône Glacier. This large body of ice is also the source of three other major rivers – the Reuss, Rhine and Ticino. Altogether there are around 44,000 hectares of vines in the Rhône Valley. The majority, about 90%, are located in the regions south where the climate is benevolently Mediterranean in character. In the regions north, vineyards experience a slightly cooler climate which verges on continental. Both the north and south are heavily influenced by the strong Mistral, which can bring winds exceeding 90 km/h.

What

The Côtes du Rhône AOC is the most productive wine designation in the Rhône Valley. The appellation accounts for around 50% of the region’s wine production. Most of these wines are red and made from three key grape varieties – Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre. This three grape combination, which has spread across the winemaking world, is often referred to as the ‘holy trinity’. Outside of these grape varieties, 18 others are sanctioned to be used as well.

The J. Denuziere ‘Les Sérines Côtes du Rhône is made from Syrah blended with a small percentage of Grenache. The special thing about this particular cuvee is that the grapes were harvested from vines in Côte-Rôtie. Located in the Northern Rhône, this tiny appellation whose name means “roasted slope”, is known for producing some of the worlds finest Syrah based wines.

Who

J. Denuziere is a historic domaine that has been producing wines in the Rhône Valley since 1876. The business was founded in the village of Condrieu by Joanny Paret, who had the desire to elevate the reputation of the area’s wines. Joanny distributed wagon loads of wines to cafés and bistros in surrounding towns. At this time the business was known as Vins Paret. He was eventually succeeded by his son Joseph, who did much to expand the family’s business. The name of the winery was changed in the 1940’s to J. Denuziere when Joseph’s son-in-law, Pierre Denuzière, became the manager. In the 2000’s the business pivoted from producing wine solely from purchased fruit, to also producing some wines from estate grown grapes. Today this full fledged domaine owns vineyards in the areas of Condrieu and Cornas. The winery’s other bottlings are produced from grapes purchased from like minded growers in the regions of Saint Peray, Saint Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage, and Côte-Rôtie. The family sold the business to Michel Picard in 2003, who hired winemakers Samuel Montgermont and Caroline Moro in 2013.

Taste

The chameleon of French wine, Côtes du Rhône rouge comes in a myriad of styles. Sometimes light and fresh, in other instances it is bold and spicy. The predominance of Syrah in the blend and the distinguished origin of the grapes, assures that the ‘Les Sérines’ is a complex and concentrated wine. Intense violet red in appearance, the nose provides compelling aromas of blueberries, blackberries, black plums, Rosette de Lyon sausage, bacon fat, and rosemary. The full-bodied palate is packed with concentrated flavors, earthy spice, and mouth filling tannins. Robust with a protracted finish, this wine begs to be served with large servings of grilled meats. We suggest serving it with a grilled rack of lamb prepared with a mixture of garlic, thyme, and rosemary.

2020 Rectoral de Amandi Matilda Nieves

Ribeira Sacra, Spain

$24.27

Where

There is a special allure to the wild wine regions of the world. In an era where seemingly everything has been ground down to minimalist efficiencies, these areas are compelling in their obstinate refusal to knuckle under. Ribeira Sacra is just such a place. Located in eastern Galicia, this Spanish wine region was first planted to vine by the Romans 2,000 years ago. The astonishing terraced vineyards are carved into steep slopes which rise from the Mino and Sil rivers. The visual is reminiscent of other great wine regions, such as France’s Côte-Rôtie or Germany’s Mosel Valley. The precipitous terrain prohibits mechanical means of cultivation. Farmers are required to tend their vines by hand. Backbreaking work when you’re subjected to hot Iberian sun. Given the difficult conditions, it’s not a shock that during the middle 20th century many of the vineyards in Ribeira Sacra were abandoned. It was until the last few decades that growers began reclaiming many of the region’s sites. Of the allowed 2,500 hectares of land for viticulture within the appellation, today around 1,250 hectares are given to vineyards.

What

The red wine’s of Ribeira Sacra are largely made from the Mencía grape variety. Violet-blue in color with high levels of terpenoids (which lend flowery, red-fruit aromas), Mencía was long pigeonholed by Spanish winemakers. The predominant style, fruity and simple, garnered little respect from the wine world’s intelligentsia. The seismic shift came with the discovery of older Mencía vines, which yielded higher quality grapes. When combined with attentive winemaking, a more serious picture of Mencía emerged. Today it is the epitome of a fresher type of Spanish wine.

Rectoral de Amandi’s ‘Matilda Nieves’ cuvée is made from Mencía grapes which were macerated and fermented with natural yeasts for 15-20 days. Both vinification and élevage took place in stainless steel tanks.

Who

Owned by Bodegas Gallegas, Rectoral de Amandi is located in the heart of the Ribeira Sacra wine appellation. Lying in a privileged position where a 17th century clergy house once stood, the estate has around 180 hectares of vineyards. To supplement its holding , the winery collaborates with around 400 local grape growers. The business was started by Manuel Vázquez, who created his first winery 50 years ago. The most significant producer of wine in Galicia, Bodegas Gallegas manages four additional wineries – Rectoral de Umia (Rías Baixas), Alanís (Ribeiro), Milenium and Arnoya.

Taste

Wine writer Tamlyn Currin, a contributor for jancisrobinson.com and a person who doesn’t pass out accolades undeservedly, describes the Rectoral de Amandi Matilda Nieves as “impishly delicious”. We wholeheartedly agree. Deep violet red in color, this playful wine exudes charismatic aromas of wild blackberry, purple pomegranate, sour cherry, anise, rosemary, and menthol. Mouthwatering acidity is complemented by fine tannins and echoes of crushed rock and saccharin red fruits. Culminating in a lingering finish, this wine is very versatile with food pairings. Well matched with robust meat dishes, we like it with the deli classic Reuben sandwich.