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Folonari Cabernet Sauvignon 1999
BOUQUET: Fragrant and herbaceous. TASTE: Dry, and full bodied with good tannins.
GASTRONOMIC SUGGESTIONS: Red meat, game, pasta in meat sauce, ripe cheese.
The history of Folonari dates from 1825, when Francesco Folonari founded the firm in Valcamonica in the Veneto. In the latter half of the 19th century, he and his sons moved to Brescia, establishing one of Italy's first winemaking facilities. They pioneered the production and distribution of wine in bottle, thus making it possible for consumers to drink wines of good and constant quality on an everyday basis. This philosophy continues to guide the firm today as it offers a range of typical regional wines from the most popular viticultural areas.
Folonari Soave is the daily choice of many discriminating wine drinkers, an easy; gentle dry wine, which everyone will enjoy. Pinot Grigio is a fresh, dry varietal with a subtle touch of almonds, grown in the Veneto district, and the perfect step up from Folonari Soave. Compare Folonari Pinot Grigio to examples selling several times its modest price! Merlot, a soft, round red wine pleasing to all palates, is a terrific bargain in a variety, and still very fashionable. In keeping with their tradition of assuring value for money, Folonari also offers a delicious Cabernet Sauvignon at a fraction of the cost of comparable wines as well as other selections in keeping with their tradition of assuring value for money.
Named “Oenotria” by the ancient Greeks for its abundance of grapevines, Italy has always had a culture that is virtually inextricable from wine. Wine grapes are grown just about everywhere throughout the country—a long and narrow boot-shaped peninsula extending into the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas. The defining geographical feature of the country is the Apennine Mountain range, extending from Liguria in the north to Calabria in the south. The island of Sicily nearly grazes the toe of Italy’s boot, while Sardinia lies to the country’s west. Climate varies significantly throughout the country, with temperature being somewhat more dependent on elevation than latitude, though it is safe to generalize that the south is warmer. Much of the highest quality viticulture takes place on gently rolling, picturesque hillsides.
Italy boasts more indigenous varieties than any other country—between 500 and 800, depending on whom you ask—and most wine production relies upon these native grapes. In some regions, international varieties have worked their way in, but their use is declining in popularity, especially as younger growers begun to take interest in rediscovering forgotten local specialties. Sangiovese is the most widely planted variety in the country, reaching its greatest potential in parts of Tuscany. Nebbiolo is the prized grape of Piedmont in the northwest, producing singular, complex and age-worthy wines. Other important varieties include Montepulciano, Trebbiano, Barbera, Nero d’Avola and of course, Pinot Grigio.
A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon enjoys success all over the globe. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon from the Napa Valley is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious, age-worthy and sought-after “cult” wines.
In the Glass
High in color, tannin and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.
Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.
Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.