Franco Bernabei in Texas and a great Corvina

franco bernabei

I was really, really bummed to miss legendary Italian enologist Franco Bernabei (above) when he came through Texas in May (we would have met but I was in New York at the time).

Even if you don’t know his name, you probably know Franco’s work: some of Italy’s greatest expressions of Sangiovese have been crafted by him.

My friend Lars, who reps the Sartori brand (among others), did send me the above photo of Franco getting down on the keyboard.

He also sent the below photo of Franco getting his taco and Shiner on.

(Lars, you need to tell Franco that you eat tacos with your hands!)

franco bernabei sangiovese

And he also sent me some samples from Sartori, a historic Valpolicella producer with whom Franco has been consulting recently (returning to his Veneto roots, as Lars put it).

Last night, Rev. B and I cracked one over dinner (as our Baby P 2013 watch continues).

sartori regolo

The wine was super fresh, clean, and focused. And it was classic Corvina… all the way. Healthy acidity and a gentle richness (imparted apparently from short aging over Amarone lees, according to the Sartori site).

I really dug the wine (the first from the box of samples I received; I’ll open and report on more later). And being a certified Venetophile (and alumnus of the University of Padua), I loved it even more. (It retails for about $20 according to WineSearcher.)

Thanks again, Lars!

Now bring Franco back to Texas please!

Buon weekend, yall!

Word from the vineyard: Sangiovese harvest has begun in Montalcino

My friends in Montalcino just let me know that they have begun harvesting the 2008 Sangiovese Grosso. Alessandro’s been posting nearly every day over at Montalcino Report and he also posted his winery’s government-issued certification letters (translated into English but for the bureaucratically minded only). Ale, I’m really digging the Montalcino weather widget!