Arezzo Wine Sideways 2009 Part 4
Marino Marini, marketing consultant of Tenuta Ca' Boffenisio, located in the Oltrepς Pavese wine zone, picks me up the next morning for a visit to the estate, located on the hilly range in the surroundings of the small town of Borgo Priolo, in the province of Pavia. We arrive at the estate on a gray, cold, rainy day, with misty low clouds hanging over the naked vines rolling along the brown hills. We park in front of the main house and, stepping out of the car, we are welcomed by Mozart's music echoing among the hills to nurture the vines, spreading in all directions from around the small compound including the cellar, the wine tasting building, and a gazebo used for open air parties from spring to fall, when the weather is much mellower.
Dottoressa Maria Adele Galanti, or the Signora del Pinot Nero (Lady of the Pinot Noir) according to the December 2008 - March 2009 issue of the Italian quarterly 'Stile Italiano' ('Italian Style'), is the visionary entrepreneur who, back in 1992, fell in love with this wonderful terroir and it's fabulous wine potential, and purchased the estate. LauraBernareggi, her valuable assistant in this venture, leads us to the cellar to taste the 2008 vintage Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling Italico, in addition to the 2008 and 2007 Pinot Noir. Later, as we visit the now deserted, off season, tasting room, we are reached by Guido Giuseppe Quadri of Swiss-based Company of Industrial Development Limited, and two associates of his who manage the Northern and Eastern European markets. Back at the main house we are joined by Signora Galanti, who kindly drove from Milan to meet me here at the estate.
While everybody else seems to help setting the table for a light lunch to help us taste the rest of the wines produced on the estate, I sit in front of the fireplace sipping a glass of Pretesto, a white blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling Italico, and listen to Signora Maria Adele introducing her wines as if she were talking of beloved sons. We continue tasting sitting around the wide inviting table filled with a variety of local, homemade cold cuts, cheeses, and a delicious Risotto con Bonarda e Salsiccia di Ca Boffenisio prepared from scratch at the moment. The wines are all excellent, and I totally understand the pride of Ms. Galanti. We start the meal with the white blend of 50% Riesling Italico and 50% Sauvignon Blanc, Ghiaia di Monte (Mountain Gravel), then proceed to enjoy the Bonarda Oltrepo' Pavese DOC, made with 100% Croatina native grapes; the red Triangolo (Triangle) IGT Pavia, made with 40% Barbera/Uva Rara, 40% Bonarda and 30% Pinot Nero; the Pinot Nero IGT Pavia Iperbole (hyperbole); the Tacabrighe (Quarrelsome) IGT Pavia, made with 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 40% Merlot. We close with the Pregolato dessert wine which, in addition to pairing well with the cake served for dessert, I found excellent paired with the aged Fiore Sardo cheese as well.
Thursday, March 5, I run errands in and around Castelfranco Emilia, I interview a possible new associate, and am interviewed by Miria Burani, a journalist with the local daily Gazzetta di Modena about the WineCountry.IT, L.L.C. and the current state of Italian wine imports in the US. In the evening I have dinner at my mom's with my brother and sister and their families. Friday and Saturday are dedicated to more business appointments, including among others Mauro Zini, owner of ZiniVini and producer of the sparkling Lambrusco and Rosato Emiliano IGT.
My priceless good friends, Gastone and Rita, pick me up at dark o'clock Sunday and take me to the Bologna airport, where we arrive before dawn. I board the Air France flight that takes me back to Paris and my connection to San Francisco. Brigit, my lovely wife, who was missed a lot on this solo sideways trip, picks me up and takes me home to our new young, fun cat, Teo.