From: Vallee d’Aoste, Italy
Blend: Petit Rouge, Cornalin, Nebbiolo
Taste: This is a wine full of contrasts, and any adventurer looking for interesting, food-friendly Alpine red wines will immediately love this wine. Concentrated, brambly, rustic aromas of cherry and leather, pepper, and dried red fruit meet piquant blackberries and boysenberry. Floral and peppery throughout, most of the aromas found in the glass translate to the palate, but the fruit registers as being lighter in body than its nose indicates. Subtle tannins and a saline finish bring everything together quite nicely.
Pairing: We recommend snacking on charcuterie and Alpine cheeses if this is your first time trying this wine; the experience of the wine with and without food is fantastic and shouldn’t be missed (this wine should also be served slightly chilled). Some other great pairing ideas include roasts with potatoes and winter vegetables, veal, roasted pork, creamy pasta, and any combination of polenta (or pasta) with butternut squash, mushrooms, and sausage (check out an example of this below).
Creamy Polenta With Mushrooms
Recipe from Chris Jaeckle
Adapted by Sam Sifton
About. The farm Le vieux Joseph is located in Aosta and was born from the personal passion of the owner, Ilaria Bavastro, for the vineyards and wine. After finishing her classical studies, Ilaria decides, absolutely unpublished and the first in her family (in fact, there are no farmers among her ancestors) to try to make wine.
Her love for wine dates back to her time in university when, to support herself, she found employment in a cooperative that followed some winemakers. Following that, she gained experience in several companies in Piedmont, Switzerland, and Valle d'Aosta, and then rented 2 hectares of old vineyards. These vineyards rest partly on the hill of Aosta and partly in Chétoz, between Quart and Nus, and sit on the mountains ridge, still supported by wooden poles.
As one might imagine, such mountainous vineyard work is HARD; the marks on her body tell their tale, but it’s all worth the effort. These glorious old vines hold their own spirituality in nature, with the earth beneath and the sky above— they speak to old traditions and the love of the earth, transcending what humans or the earth could do alone: the act of turning its fruit to wine.
The small amounts of vineyards she farms include some of the following grape varietals: Pinot Gris, Muscat in Petit Grain, Cornalin, Vien de Nus, and Pinot Noir. These are treated naturally, with all the processes done manually, without machinery; the treatments are given with the atomizer in the shoulder, only by force on the will and love for the earth. In the cellar, Ilaria vinifies naturally without ever forcing time or using oenological products. She uses minimum quantities of sulfites but much lower than the limits allowed by law. The wines are ready after an aging of at least twelve months, sometimes eighteen. Today, Ilaria produces three different wines: a white, Le Petit Prince, made from Pinot Gris grapes with a small percentage of Muscat Petit Grain; the Mariadzo, which is an assemblage of Cornalin, Vien de Nus, and Pinot Noir; and the Clos de Cartésan is a cru of older vines. Beautiful labels represent each wine and express the Valle d'Aosta territory. A curiosity: the company bears the name of Ilaria's grandfather, Le Vieux Joseph.
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