Wine Reviews

Donnas 2009, Caves Cooperatives de Donnas

Dear readers,

Today I propose a review of an Aosta Valley native wine, the Donnas produced by Caves Cooperatives de Donnas.

We are in Donnas, in Aosta Valley, and the vine is Nebbiolo (from which Barolo and Barbaresco): here Nebbiolo “gets” the nickname “Nebbiolo of the mountain”, given by the proximity of the Aosta Valley to Piedmont and by the vineyards placed at the foot of the mountains.

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The Donnas by Caves Cooperatives de Donnas is an austere wine, with an elegant character, dry, with a good body and structure. This wine is aged in large oak casks at least for 12 months, giving the tannin roundness and pleasure at every sip!

I tried the Donnas 2009.
At the nose, perfumes of small red berries, cranberries, currants, raspberry, black cherry, cloves and black pepper.

On the palate the Donnas is dry, quite rounded, quite tannic, with a good freshness.

I recommend it in pairing with medium-aged cheese and hard cheese, red meat preferably not grilled, stews and, according to local tradition, the Carbonada (link here).

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Wine Reviews

Rossese di Dolceacqua 2010, Tenuta Anfosso

Happy weekend dear readers!
Today we’re talking about a native Ligurian wine, the Rossese di Dolceacqua.

In these weeks, I took a short break from the blog, in order to prepare the exams of the Sommelier course! Now that I’ve finished them and finally and officially I become a Sommelier, I can dedicate myself more to what I love: wine!

Now let’s come back to the Rossese di Dolceacqua.
Produced by Tenuta Anfosso, from the same Rossese grape, this 2010 Ligurian red wine is really soft, quite fresh, quite tannic and with a good alcohol structure.

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At the nose, perfumes of ripe red fruits, olives and a hint of white pepper.

On the palate is very soft with a good persistence. It is a full-bodied wine, even if with a delicate tannin .

Due its characteristics, I recommend it in pairing with medium aged cheese (e.g. Pecorino Toscano, young Parmesan cheese and washed-rind cheeses, like Taleggio) and grilled meat. I tried it with a roast duck and it was not bad!

And now, let’s celebrate the weekend to begin!

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Recipes and wine pairing

Duck white Ragù

Weekend time, dear readers!
For this one, I thought about a particular and sophisticated recipe, the Duck white Ragù.

Ingredients (serves 6):

2 duck legs
4 thigh duck (you can replace the thigh with chest, easier to find)
1 shallot
2 onions
2 celery stalks
2 carrots
2 cloves of garlic
3 sage leaves
2 liters of water for the broth
1 laurel leaf for the broth
1 glass of Sherry (white wine or port are fine the same)
1 knob of butter
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt

 

Preparation

Wash the duck, dry it and debone it.
Put the deboned meat in the meat grinder; if you don’t have it, you can cut the meat by knife, working it until you get small pieces of meat. In any case, keep a little of skin duck in the meat, in such a way as to make softer the white Ragù. Once ground, stir the meat with your hands.

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Meanwhile, prepare the broth with the duck bones, the celery, carrot, onion and the laurel leave. Savory the broth and cover the pan with a lid, making sure to leave the heat to the minimum.

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Chop the shallots, sage, onion and celery and sauté it in a pan, adding a spoon of broth to avoid burning the sauté: turn off the heat once the sauce will have acquired a golden color.3_Ragù_Bianco_Anatra_Thewinelifestyle

 

In another pan, sauté the ground meat of duck with extra virgin olive oil and butter: brown the meat over high heat, in a way which does not make it “boil” in its juices.
When the meat has acquired a golden color (see figure below) and has dried the liquids in the pan, blend it with a glass of Sherry (or white wine): later, add the sauce and reduce heat to a minimum.
Add salt and pepper and then the broth, in quantities of three ladles (see figure below).

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During the cooking process (about 2 hours), remember to add broth whenever the Ragù is too dry: check it about every 15-20 minutes.

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You can serve the Duck white Ragù on a plate of pasta, preferably a “short” one: the best match would be with Garganelli, a fresh Emilian short egg rifled pasta which captures the Ragù very well.

Conservation

You can store the Duck white Ragù in glass or plastic sealed jars for about three days, in the refrigerator. You can keep for a week, if stored in the freezer. Before serving, thaw and heat quickly in the microwave.

And the wine?

For the Duck white Ragù, I chose “Capo di Terra” 2007 by Conti Sertoli Salis, a small Italian producer located in Valtellina.

It is a “Valtellina Superiore”, made from Nebbiolo grapes (the same for Pedimont Barolo and Barbaresco), Chiavennasca in the local dialect.

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Clear and quite transparent, garnet red in color with orange highlights, “Capo di Terra” is a quite rounded wine, elegant and quite tannic.
On the nose, aromas of blueberries, currants, raspberries and other small red and black berry and violet leaves flower.

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It pairs very well with the Duck white Ragù, without prevailing, but drying very well the oiliness of Ragù.

So, have a nice weekend and a good preparation!

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Wine Reviews

Vin de la Sabla, Les Crétes

Good Morning!

Today we talk about a very interesting Italian wine from Aosta Valley, the “Vin de Sabla” by “Les Crétes”.
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This wine is produced mainly from local vine varieties, which are grown in the same area of their historical origin: it is therefore not a vine transplanted from other areas.
The native vines at the base of the Vin de Sabla are Petit Rouge (in percentage to 30%), Fumin (30%) and Mayolet (10%). The remaining 30% it’s Barbera grape.
Petit Rouge is one of the most used and valuable Aosta Valley native grape: it gives the wine a purplish red color, tending to garnet, intense and fruity perfumes and a good softness on the palate.
Fumin is the last native grape enhanced recently in the Aosta Valley: it gives the wine purple hues, slightly herbaceous aromas and, if aged, hints of earth and leather.
The Mayolet is a native Aosta Valley vine mainly used to “blend” other varieties: it brings finesse, smoothness and alcohol to the wine. (editor’s note: The “blend” is a mixture of different wines by grape variety, provenance or age)

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The Vin de Sabla by Les Crétes, purplish in color, comes with a good consistency and structure.
It’s a young wine with intense aromas of fresh fruits, strawberry, cherry and red and black berries.
On the palate this wine is rounded and fruity, pleasant in pairing with meats, medium-aged cheeses and meat dishes.

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