At the café, we like to find as many unique Italian wines as we possibly can so that you can have an experience like nowhere else in Iowa. We offer almost 100 wines on our reserve list and pour 14 by the glass. Every couple months or so, we like to add a few fresh bottles to our reserve list.
We know our Italian wines. We’re immensely proud of our by the glass selections, but our wine list won awards of distinction from Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast magazines for a reason. Take the time to ask your server for a good recommendation from our reserve list, and they’ll find something that can appeal to your palate or pair with your food. There are over 20,000 grape varietals in Italy… We’ve only just begun!!
Below is a look at some of the bottles that we added in February with some tasting notes. We hope to see you soon!
We have one new addition to the white wine reserve list and the rest are reds.
CHARDONNAY Umbria IGT – “Cervaro“ Castello della Sala 2009
Yellow gold color with medium forming legs and aromas of grapefruit and apple. It’s balanced and has flavours of grapefruit, pineapple, melon and lemon with a light/medium body. Bright texture with a long finish – I am not a great fan of whites but for every rule…..excellent, full flavored but subtle and bright. the Grechetto adds much diminution to the Chardonnay. Wonderful blend!
RIBOLLA GIALLA Colli Orientali DOC - “Rosazzo” – Le Vigne di Zamo – 2009
Zamò’s Ribolla Gialla (yellow ribolla) gives a definite textural impression, probably due to the skin contact involved in the wine’s vinification. Very complex notes of lemongrass and fennel with bracing acidity. Ribolla’s fame goes back to written documents in 1289, when even then the wine was celebrated for its quality. Now Ribolla Gialla accounts for only about 1% of vineyard area in Friuli and neighboring Slovenia. About 16,000 bottles produced.
AGLIANICO Taurasi DOCG “Terre del Vulcano” – Lava – 2003
From Aglianico grape variety. Really dark yet youthful color for a 6 year old wine. Blackberry, minerals, this wine tastes like a volcano with hints of cedar, smoke, leather, dust. In the mouth perfectly balanced with great depth and complexity. Very long, rich, subtle, textural finish.
GAGLIOPPO Ciro Rosso DOC – “Liber Pater” –Ippolito 1845 – 2009
The power and elegance of Gaglioppo, a native grape of Calabria, have found concrete expression in this wine. Characteristics: ruby red with purple hues, the nose is intense and persistent with hints of berry fruits supported by hints of spice. With very fine tannins, the palate is full bodied, velvety, well-structured. Tips: red body, it goes well with red meats, cheeses and pasta dishes well seasoned cheeses.
THREE NEW BAROLO’S!
Found this interesting piece of Piedmont wine history on CellarTracker.com:
The wines of Piemonte are noted as far back as Pliny’s Natural History. Due to geographic and political isolation, Piemonte was without a natural port for most of its history, which made exportation treacherous and expensive. This left the Piemontese with little incentive to expand production. Sixteenth-century records show a mere 14% of the Bassa Langa under vine — most of that low-lying and farmed polyculturally. In the nineteenth century the Marchesa Falletti, a frenchwoman by birth, brought eonologist Louis Oudart from Champagne to create the first dry wines in Piemonte. Along with work in experimental vineyards at Castello Grinzane conducted by Camilo Cavour — later Conte di Cavour, leader of the Risorgimento and first Prime Minister of Italy — this was the birth of modern wine in the Piemonte. At the heart of the region and her reputation are Alba and the Langhe Hills. This series of weathered outcroppings south of the Tanaro River is of maritime origin and composed mainly of limestone, sand and clay, known as terra bianca. In these soils -located mainly around the towns of Barolo and Barbaresco — the ancient allobrogica, now Nebbiolo, achieves its renowned fineness and power.
BAROLO DOCG – “Castiglione” – Vietti – 2007
The 2007 Barolo Castiglione deftly balances the open, radiant personality of the vintage with considerable underlying structure. Warm, dense and full-bodied, the 2007 Barolo Castiglione flows effortlessly across the palate with generous fruit and fabulous overall balance. It is another overachieving wine from Vietti and a bottle that is exceedingly fairly priced.
BAROLO DOCG “Cannubbio” – Francesco Rinaldi & Figli – 2005 and 2007
Nebbiolo Prima shows liquory red fruits, sweet but nor fruity, a bit floral some herbal notes, broad with a nice mineral freshness, acids are integrated but really help freshen the palate, nice wild amarena cherry fruit, rosehips, sandalwood, nicely fresh and aromatic in the mouth, nice ripe tannins, good length, nice fruit on finale.
BAROLO DOCG –“Brunate” - Andrea Oberto – 2007
Full garnet in color with delicate orange highlights. Wide, clean but complex aroma with scents of dried flowers and red berries. Well-integrated oak with toasty notes of coffee and leather linger in a perfect balance between elegant body and concentration.
FOUR NEW NERO D’AVOLA AND NERO D’AVOLA BLENDS
NERO D’AVOLA Sicilia IGT ”Rossojbleo” - Gulfi – 2010
Grapes: 100% Nero d’Avola. Young red, minor structure, which intends to propose a particularly approachable Nero d’Avola, Sicily’s south-east, while retaining the full expression of varietal and territorial identity. It also lends itself to the combination with appetizers and meats and fish dishes with a slightly aromatic seasoning. Finally, the intriguing pairing “Autumn” with chestnuts roasted on the grill. Recommended serving temperature between 14 and 16 degrees.
NERO D’AVOLA/FRAPPATO BLEND Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG – Gulfi – 2010
Tony’s Favorite!! Cerasuolo di Vittoria is an Italian wine DOCG of Sicily, covering the intensely colored red wines from the eastern end of the island’s south coast. Introduced in September 2005, it was the very first DOCG in Sicily, having also been one of the first DOCs on the island when it was granted that status back in 1973. The quality of Cerasuolo di Vittoria wine showed marked improvement during the 1980s and 1990s, hence the promotion in 2005, and it is now the most consistent showcase of modern Sicilian wine. 60% Nero D’Avola and 40% Frappato.
NERO D’AVOLA Etna Rosso DOC- Graci- 2009
From the heels of Mt. Etna, Graci’s Etna Rosso is a wine that is incredibly aromatic with scents of wild herbs and barley and an abundance of dried cranberries. The palate is as unique and expressive as the aroma. First you will find smoke with a flinty mineral quality followed immediately by layers of pomegranate, overripe cherry, and cranberry blended with subtle arid spices of paprika and white pepper. This is a gorgeous red with a split personality: on the one hand it’s very expressive, but it’s also refined and almost elegant at the same time. It may sound like such a simple thing for a wine to be enjoyable, but it’s much harder to accomplish than you might think.
NERO D’AVOLA AND FRAPPATO BLEND Sicilia IGT – Daino Azienda Agricola
100% organic/biodynamic Nero D’Avola. Herbal on the nose. The palate is flush, full and very rich. Balanced though. Sweet raisin on the nose. Named after cork oak, Nero d’Avola with a clone called Frappato, and a touch of something else that resembles Grenache. This could technically be DOCG but right now, with 800 cases being the total production, its not there…yet.
BRUNELLO: Sangiovese Grosso (Brunello) Brunello di Montalcino DOCG – Conti Costani – 2006
This pure Sangiovese is fermented in stainless steel with 3 weeks’ skin maceration, then aged 18 months in tonneaux of French oak and another 18 months in 30-hl. Slavonian oak barrels, previous to a year’s bottle age (totaling 3 years in wood, 1 in bottle). Brilliant ruby in color, intense, ripe aromas of berry fruit prelude a lush, full-bodied palate.