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Argillae Grechetto 2011

Grechetto from Italy
  • W&S90
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Winemaker Notes

Grechetto is a white grape variety (presumably of Greek origin) that is widely planted in central Italy, but especially in Umbria. Mostly used as an ingredient in Orvieto, it is now also very often made as a varietal wine full of character.

Dark straw yellow color.Intense and forward nose with almond and mineral notes Sense-warming and harmonious tasting experience dovetails perfectly into the aftertaste sensations released by the terroir

Critical Acclaim

W&S 90
Wine & Spirits

This wine's fresh floral nectarine flavors do exactly what grechetto should, presenting light fleshiness in a brisk white. A touch of fruit-skin bitterness in the end will match with a calamari steak

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Argillae

Argillae

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Argillae, , Italy
Argillae
Umbria is Italy's only region that is entirely surrounded by Italy. Tuscany is Umbria's neighbor to the northwest, and Rome is a 2-hour drive southwest from Umbria's southern border. The region's eastern border is entirely occupied by Abruzzo. Winewise Umbria shares many of its grape varieties with Tuscany (Sangiovese, for example). Umbria’s main acclaim to wine fame is that it is the home of the historic hilltop town, Orvieto, and the white wine of the same name. Umbria is blessed with a similar climate to Tuscany's: warm and dry, but cool enough, thanks to the Tiber River and its tributaries flowing through the region. The soil is mainly calcareous clay and sand, with plenty of limestone, always good for vines.

And it is from these particular soils that this winery takes its name, ARGILLAE. Argilla is the Italian word for clay. Azienda Agricola Argillae is set on the hills between Allerona and Ficulle, northwest of Orvieto, and boasts some 640 hectares of land, of which 170 are planted with vine (the rest is devoted to olive groves, corn and woods). The vineyards are located on the slopes of the hills, at approx 1000 to 1380 feet of altitude and enjoy good exposure to the east and west and ideal microclimate. This territory is characterized by rock formations called "calanchi", a type of badland formed by erosion in clayey bedrock, particularly along the river valleys, some 2 millions years ago. As a proof that this area was once under water, the land is rich in fossilized seashells and turtle shells. With the expertise of renowned oenologist Lorenzo Landi, Argillae winery offers three interpretations of Umbria, its land and its history: Orvieto, Grechetto and a red blend called Sinuoso.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

VIY58154172_2011 Item# 123831

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