When it came to selecting wines on Monday night at the amazing Marea in New York, my dining companions — an Italian winemaker and one of the top wine writers working in the U.S. today — and I joked about what a tall order it would be. Between the three of us, we surmised, it would be difficult to come up with a wine that none of us had ever tasted.
Having been told that we wanted to start with something white with healthy acidity and minerality, sommelier Francesco Grosso, who is one of the leading Italocentric wine professionals in the country right now, delivered the Lambruschi 2012 Vermentino Colli di Luni Il Maggiore from Liguria — a wine that none of us had ever tasted.
The wine was pure and focused, with that “nervy backbone” that Italian writers look for in wines like this. Thanks to its freshness and brightness, you could tell it had been vinified in stainless-steel but it also had remarkable depth and nuance reminiscent of white wines that are fermented in cask. I’d ascribe its complexity to the materia prima: I don’t know much about the grower but would hazard to guess that the vines are older and that selection massale has played a role in the vineyard’s life, delivering richer clones and richer wines.
Chapeau bas, Francesco! I love what you are doing with and for Italian wines.
O and what did we eat? I posted the food shots yesterday over on Paolo’s blog.
Our “eating ’til we drop” tour of the U.S. continues: Monday we were at Marea, last night at Vetri in Philadelphia (posts forthcoming, an amazing experience), tonight at Tony’s in Houston.