From: Piedmont, Italy
Blend: 50% Favorita, 25% Moscato, 20% Arneis, 5% Chardonnay
Taste: If you ever need a white wine for a wedding, reunion, or any large gathering, look no further than this Piemontese white blend from Marco Tintero, a specialist of festive, unpretentious, and hedonistic bottlings from the gorgeous hills of Piedmont. Not only does it deliver flat-out deliciousness and exceptional value, but more importantly—and more fun—it bears a slight effervescence that dials its “festive factor” up to 10. With pure, bright, and fresh notes of citrus and orchard fruit, this bianco proves once again that Piedmont is not just about lofty Barolo and Barbaresco, but is home also to some of the country’s great weeknight table—and weekend celebration—wines. —Tom Wolf, KLWM
Pairing: An extremely versatile white, perfect for weeknights, weekend brunches, and get togethers. Pair alongside anything from popcorn to fried chicken, with all the fresh sides: veggies, salads, and fruits. Great for a picnic with sandwiches and potato salad, and also fantastic alongside many dishes from Asia. Japanese, Thai, American-Chinese takeout, dim sum, Vietnamese and Filipino fare (see recipe below for an idea!) all work wonderfully with this wine.
Pancit Palabok (Rice Noodles With Chicken Ragout and Shrimp)
By Angela Dimayuga
Pure, unadulterated sunshine in a bottle, this blend of Favorita (controversially either Vermentino or not, depending on the most recent DNA mapping), Arneis, and Moscato synergistically creates arguably the most easy-drinking white wine we import. It may be all things to all people: dry, yet with a succulent summer orchard fruitiness; smooth and creamy, yet bouncing with a sprightly petillance; aromatically complex and thought-provoking, yet entirely gulpable.
In 1900 a Frenchman named Pierre Tintero set out for Piedmont in search of work. He found an opportunity to do odd jobs at a small estate where widow Rosina Cortese was struggling to handle all the work herself. Pierre, called “Pietrin” by the locals, quickly became a vital part of the estate and also fell in love with the widow, whom he married two years later. The couple continued to work the vines together and bottled their own Dolcetto for the first time just as war fell in 1914. Years later their grandson would find a stash of this vintage hidden within the walls of the cellar, certainly a precaution against ransacking troops who passed through the area.
Pietrin and Rosina’s two sons, Giovanni and Carlo, eventually took over the estate and expanded it by purchasing adjacent vineyard plots. Moscato was just a tiny part of their production since it is only practical to produce it in large quantities, but after the Second World War giants Cinzano and Martini began producing the wine, so the brothers planted more of the variety to sell to these negociants while they continued bottling their still wines themselves. It was not until the 1980s that Carlo’s son Elvio began experimenting with the challenging process of frizzante wine production, allowing the family to take advantage of the grape’s special affinity to the local terroir. Elvio has now handed the reins over to the next generation, but he continues to help his son Marco and daughter-in-law Cinzia run the estate.
The commune of Mango is the heart of Moscato country, and 20 of the Tinteros’ 30 hectares are planted to this grape. Their largest parcel is in the Sorì Gramella vineyard, whose full southern exposure and gradient of more than 20% pamper the grapes with many long hours of sunshine, without even casting shadows from one row to the next as is the case in most vineyards. The resulting wine is delightfully fizzy and slightly sweet, an irresistible combination that makes it a universal favorite. Marco also maintains that same spirit in his other wines, which are all fresh, easy, and fun to drink with friends.
• The Favorita, Arneis, and Chardonnay are fermented separately and stocked at a low temperature; vinification is continued only when an order is received in order to provide the freshest wine possible
• The fermented Favorita, Arneis, and Chardonnay are blended with unfermented Moscato, and the sugar in the Moscato must sets off the second fermentation
• Just before the bottling a small dose (2-3%) of finished (frizzante) Moscato is added
• No malolactic fermentation
• This wine is produced and bottled by vintage but due to the fact that Tintero sources his grapes from different parts of Piedmont there is no specific DOC and it is currently not permitted to display vintage on table wines of this type
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