Pairings for August 19 at Aspen Moon Farm:
2012 Murgo, Brut Rose, Sicily $47
For more than 100 years, the Scammacca del Murgo family has cared for olive and fruit trees from which they crafted fine olive oils and jams, and nurtured native Sicilian grapes under the looming shadow of the still active volcano, Mount Etna. Yet it’s only been since 1980 that the baron Emanuele Scammacca del Murgo transformed the farm into a modern agricultural estate. After a long and illustrious career as a diplomat with important postings as Italy’s ambassador to the Vatican, Brussels and Moscow as well as Assistant Secretary of State in Italy’s Foreign office, the baron came home to focus on his ancestral lands with the help of his eight sons, who are all involved in the family business. With 30 hectares of vineyards, located on three farms, Murgo saw its first bottling of Etna Rosso in 1982, and their first vintage of Brut sparkling in 1990.
Fresh and refined, this sparkling has aromas of small red berry, yellow wild flower, tangerine and baking spice. The creamy, thirst quenching palate doles out strawberry, red cherry and orange zest framed in crisp acidity and a lively, elegant finish.
2016 Sesti, Rosato 'Castello di Argiano, Montalcino, Italy $39
Although Giuseppe Maria “Giugi” Sesti always enjoyed visiting vineyards and attending tastings, he did not initially choose a career in wine. Instead, his Venetian upbringing inspired him to study music, art, and astronomy, the last of which became his profession. While writing a book on astronomy in North Wales, Giugi met his future wife, Sarah, and in 1975 they moved their family to Tuscany, where they bought and created the breathtaking estate seen today. Giugi was now a father of four, vice-director of a local Baroque opera festival, and actively writing books on astronomy, but he miraculously found spare time to visit local wineries and help his neighbors in the vineyards and cellar. His passion for wine grew along with his experience, and in 1991 he planted his own vineyards on the slopes around the castle. In 1999 the couple’s only daughter, Elisa, joined the estate full time, and today she is an active partner in all aspects of the vineyard management and winemaking.
Sesti Rosato was born out of the family’s desire to have something light and fresh to drink under the hot summer sun. Crafted from a 3 ha vineyard of Sangiovese vines, averaging 15 years of age, grown on oceanic sedimentary soil, this wine is elegant and refreshing with scented flowers on the nose and delicate berry fruit coupled with earthy flavors on the palate. It has a mouth filling texture perfect for a hot day or cool summer night.
2015 Petrussa, Sauvignon Blanc, Friuli, Italy $30
Gianni and Paolo Petrussa, 4th generation of the Petrussa family, both had the opportunity to work jobs with salaried positions upon coming of age. Throwing caution to the wind, the brothers declined these jobs and instead followed in their parents’ footsteps. A decision initially not supported by their parents as they remembered the hard life spent in the fields and the economic difficulties they faced, the brothers set out to prove to their parents that they too had perseverance. With passion, determination and investment, the brothers updated the winery equipment, replanted the vineyards and added the use of French oak barrels. Today Petrussa is a leading producer in Friuli.
Petrussa Sauvignon Blanc delivers a great drinking experience thanks to its lively aromatics and natural freshness. This luminous wine is redolent of exotic fruit, white almond and dried herbs and it leaves a zesty and refreshing feel overall.
2015 Laura Lorenzo, 'Gavela de Vila' Palomino, Ribeira Sacra, Spain $47
Perhaps only once every few generations, a pioneering new winegrower completely redefines how their region is understood and appreciated by the global wine world. Laura Lorenzo is that winegrower. Her fascination with wine began when she was but a child and at the age of 16 she left high school and enrolled in a local enology school. Upon graduation she worked locally and abroad and after her various apprenticeships, Laura took over the reins at Dominio do Bibei, a pioneering producer of fine wine in the Quiroga-Bibei subzone of Ribeira Sacra. Laura worked there for 10 years developing a style of winemaking that was fine-tuned to the hillsides of the region. In 2014, she struck out on her own, and with the help of her chef/artist partner Alvaro Dominguez formed Daterra Viticultores.
Daterra Viticultores is comprised of 4.5 hectares of rented and owned vineyards, the majority of which are 80-120 years old. The most southeast of the 5 Ribeira Sacra subzones, the Quiroga-Bibei terroir is also one of the most diverse. The landscape is rugged and sparse, with steep terraced and un-terraced vineyards overlooking the Bibei, Jares, and Navea rivers. Here the climate of the Atlantic intertwines with warm continental influences. In the lowest elevation vineyards, the vegetation and climate seems almost Mediterranean, with olive trees and herbs such as lavender and thyme growing wild. Granite is the dominant soil type, complimented by slate, clay, gneiss and sand.
Gavela de Vila is comprised of 100% old vine organically farmed Palomino grapes. 90% of the grapes were destemmed, with the must seeing just a few hours of skin contact before pressing. The wine was fermented with wild yeast in used 225 liter French oak barrels, and then raised on the lees in the same barrels for 6 months. The wine was not clarified, cold stabilized or filtered. Wild and exotic aromas and flavors of green and yellow melon, peach, and tangerine are supported by firm acids and deep minerality.
2016 Massican, 'Annia' White Blend, Napa Valley, California $56
Founded in 2009 by owner and winemaker Dan Petroski, Massican is an entirely white-wine-focused brand sourcing fruit from iconic Napa Valley vineyards and well as some fruit from the Russian River Valley in Sonoma. Although Massican relies on fruit from California’s North Coast, the inspiration for the brand rests in the fresh, aromatic whites of north-eastern Italy.
Attracted to magazines from an early age, Petroski worked for Sports Illustrated and Time Magazines, and from there went on to business school. Upon graduation, Petroski took a trip to Italy with a classmate and then returned a couple years later to make wine. It was this year spent making wine in Italy that Petroski fell in love with the high-acid whites of the country. In addition, Since 2006 Petroski has also served as the winemaker for Larkmead Vineyards, one of north Napa Valley’s heritage wineries.
Massican’s core blend, ‘Annia’, recalls the classic white wine blends of Friuli, bringing together the Italian grapes of that region, 60% Ribolla Gialla and 31% Tocai Friulano, with 9% Chardonnay. Almond blossom and citrus blossom aromatics with a light note of salted lemon pull you to the palate which is delicate and lacy in its flavour presentation displaying a savoury evergreen note and persistent mineral length. The creamy wax mouthfeel with a tactile oak-tannin spice and texture is also accompanied by lovely stone fruits of baked apple and pear skin.
2014 Domaine de la Janasse, Cotes du Rhone Reserve, Rhone Valley, France $28
Over the last quarter century, Domaine de la Janasse has become one of the most highly-regarded estates in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Led by siblings Christophe and Isabelle Sabon, the estate combines the best of both traditional and modern techniques to craft a collection of truly riveting wines from entry level, Vin de Pays to their benchmark Châteauneuf du Papes.
The estate was founded in 1976 by Aimé Sabon, the father of Christophe and Isabelle, who still oversees the vineyards. The property consists of 40 hectares, spread over as many as 70 different parcels throughout the appellation. The terroirs range from sand, as can be found in their well-known plots in the North of the appellation to lightly-colored clay limestone soils to gravel red clays and galets. While Aimé works in the vineyards organically, his children, Christophe and Isabelle, are in charge of wine production. Christophe is a self-proclaimed “great defender of Grenache,” which still represents 75% of their vines. With assistance from Aimé and Isabelle, he manages the common rusticity of Grenache-based wines through meticulous work in the vineyards and cellar. The result is a wide range of rich and flavorful Châteauneuf-du-Papes, Cotes-du-Rhônes and Vins de Pays that are complex and balanced often in contradiction to an region better known for sheer exuberance and power.
A blend of hand-harvested Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan and Cinsault, the Cotes du Rhone Reserve contains 20% whole cluster and spends 12 months in foudre. Loaded with kirsch liqueur, blackberry, toasted spice, and meaty notes, it flows onto the palate with a full-bodied, voluptuous texture, layers of fruit, and no hard edges. Despite its richness, the wine remains transparent, light, and elegant.
2015 Romeo del Castello, Etna Rosso 'Allegracore', Sicily $45
Proprietors Rosanna Romeo and her daughter Chiara Vigo are taking the historic Fattorie Romeo del Castello to a higher level. The estate is surrounded by a lava flow from an eruption in 1981 that threatened to take away the entire 30 hectares of the domaine. Luckily, their 100 year old vineyard of Nerello Mascalese was spared and with a few new plantings, the vineyards are now spread over 14 hectares by the Alcantara river at 700 meters on Mt. Etna. If more proof is needed that the land is special, they also have a thousand year old olive tree and some hundred year old oak trees. All of the vines are in albarello (goblet) training, the traditional cultivation method of the region. The grapes are hand-harvested, fermented in open wood vats without yeasts or enzymes and temperature controlled. The wines are aged in older oak casks for about 14 months then bottled without fining or filtration.
A blend of Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappucino, dark-skinned berry, new leather, aromatic herb and a whiff of cake spice lead the nose. Delicious and approachable, the smooth, full-bodied palate doles out juicy black cherry, crushed raspberry, cinnamon and clove alongside supple tannins and vibrant acidity.
2013 Domaine Francois Lumpp, 'Clos du Cras Long' Givry Premier Cru, Burgundy, France $59
In the late 1970s, François Lumpp and his brother inherited their family property, located in the Côte Chalonnaise. In 1991, he founded his own label with his wife, Isabelle. Using cuttings of older, selected bud wood, François developed his domaine around Givry's best premier cru sites, which, as in most of the Côte d’Or, are situated on the mid to upper level slopes of the rolling hillsides.
Givry, along with Mercurey, is one of the two predominantly red wine producing appellations of the Côte Chalonnaise. Givry is known for its refined and approachable reds and the best examples can have substantial structure, depth, and complexity which is certainly the case at this address.
A vibrant, powerful example of Givry, this 100% Pinot Noir has a spicy nose featuring notes of plum, black cherry, earth and a light note of menthol. The appealingly textured, velvety palate has flavors of bright berry and cherry fruit and very well integrated oak.
Catherine Walker of the Boulder Wine Merchant has chosen wines to accompany our menu. There is more than one wine available for each course to allow you to choose the wine or wines that best suit your taste and budget. These wines are available for purchase from the Boulder Wine Merchant, and will be delivered to you at the table. Wine purchases are limited to one bottle per guest in the party. A small delivery and handling fee has been added to the retail price of the bottle.
For insurance reasons, guests may not bring their own alcoholic beverages to a farm dinner.