Maremma, part 2: bistecca panzanese at Osteria Magona in Bolgheri

Above: Omar Barsacchi and Gionata d’Alessi, chefs at Osteria Magona, the coolest joint in Bolgheri.

Osteria Magona
57022 Bolgheri (LI)
Piazza Ugo, 2/3
tel. 0565 762173

Whey they hear the toponym Bolgheri (pronounced BOHL-geh-ree), many think immediately of the Maremma coastline where Italy’s famed Super Tuscans are produced. But the appellation gets its name from Bolgheri the beautiful borgo medievale (medieval township), a village with delightful summertime nightlife, music, wine bars, and a handful of family-run osterie.

I had the good fortune to visit Bolgheri at the tail end of the summer this year to have dinner with Cinzia during my stay in the Maremma.

She, my buddy Ben Shapiro, and I met up at the Osteria Magona, run by Omar and Gionata, above, two young chefs who show great verve in their traditional Tuscan cooking (Gionata’s name is pronounced JOH-nah-tah and is a calque of the English Jonathan). Both young men consider themselves quasi-disciples of celebrity Tuscan butcher and poet Dario Cecchini of Panzano in Chianti Classico (I liked this profile of Cecchini.) Cecchini gained notoriety a few years back when he composed an ode to the bistecca alla fiorentina, bemoaning its ban by the European Union during the mad cow scare.

During that period, he developed a cut of beef, which he called the bistecca alla panzanese, named after his natio loco, Panzano, carved from the thigh (pictured above at Osteria Magona). It resembles the fiorentina but has no contact with bone and, thus, was acceptable under EU rules.

That night, we paired a gorgeous panzanese with Cinzia’s 2001 Messorio, a bottling with great emotional significance for her. I was honored that she shared it with me. Her Messorio is her most famous wine and has received high marks from U.S. wine writers in recent years. But sometimes a great wine isn’t about its fame, rarity, or even the physical pleasure derived from it. Sometimes it’s more about the people who made it and the people with whom you share it. Thanks, Cinzia. It’s a bottle I’ll never forget.

On deck: tasting at Ornellaia and Sassicaia… stay tuned…

6 thoughts on “Maremma, part 2: bistecca panzanese at Osteria Magona in Bolgheri

  1. I had plenty of Bolgheri in wine bars throughout Italy, and they were all big fat chewy oaky international wines. I need to re-visit Bolgheri, since I take as a given if you’re writing about it, it’s quality juice. I always visit the Maremma when I’m in Italy, as a good friend lives in Castagneto Carducci practically next door to Bolgheri.

    Btw, I gave a brief shout out in passing to Do Bianchi on my Piccolo Gastronomo blog. I did a post about Matricianella in Rome and mentioned their version of Rigatoni alla Pajata and your unforgettable photo of an intestinal forkful.

  2. Last night’s tasting at the Austin Wine Merchant, so many folks came up to the table and were chattering about Panzano and Dario. It didnt hurt that we were sipping on Rampolla.

    Wonder if we could find some Bistecca Austinello or Dallasone soon. might have to make a stop on the way back up north tomorrow and secure some provisions…

  3. Pingback: Vinograf » Reverzně vítězné hrabičky 48/52

  4. I don’t find any weakly in their menu….from the starters to the desserts….everything self made….the quality is superb….I can’t do without it everytime we go close to Bolgheri…
    Ciao Gionata e Omar!!

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