A few delicious randos to consider for the summer:
Move over Prosecco, Otrugo dei Colli Piacentini Frizzante is going to be the next big thing... well, probably not, but if you drop into Craft and Cru and ask for Prosecco, we might just get you to try a sparkling Ortrugo from La Tosa, a small organic estate in the hills south of Piacenza, in the Emilia region of Italy. Totally obscure to most American wine drinkers, you can find some amazing deals from Emilia. Case in point, this fabulous bubbly blend made from Ortrugo with a touch of Malvasia. Rather subtle on the nose, give it a swirl and sweet citrus, peach and white flowers emerge. On the palate it is full of fresh fruit flavors, with lively bubbles and a crisp citrusy finish featuring subtle pithy and herbal nuances. Again, move over Prosecco, please.
La Tosa Ortrugo dei Colli Piacentini 2018 - $15
We may be falling in love with Aphros, a new Portuguese import to Massachusetts. With our first taste of their dry Loureiro Vinho Verde, we knew we had a hit. When we saw that they make a couple pet-nats, we became very curious and determined to try them. Unfortunately, The New Yorks Times published a glowing review of their pink pet-nat and both the pink and white cuvées quickly disappeared from our local importer's warehouse. We snagged the last couple cases of the pink pet-nat and tried it over the weekend. If you like dry pink bubbles, you might make a point to try this little beauty asap. A blend of Alvarelhao and Vinhao, it is fresh and zippy, with notes of citrus and crunchy red fruits next to subtle smoke and flowers. Delicious and refreshing, it's perfect for sweltering August afternoons. Get it while you can!
Aphros Phaunus Pet Nat Rosé - $24
You will hear us talk about Fratelli Alessandria often. They are quite simply one of the best wineries in Barolo, and all of their wines are worthwhile. Based in Verduno, the only place in the world where the spicy Pelaverga Picollo grape grows, the Alessandria family stays true to local tradition, making a lithe and distinctly aromatic red wine from Pelaverga. Their 2019 Pelaverga is perhaps the best we've tasted (their 2016 would be a contender as well), with lots of lift and spice on the nose, a precise note of white pepper, and gorgeous flavors of raspberry and red cherry through the finish. Light and refreshing, you could serve it with a slight chill, and it will surely be versatile at the table. For pairings, you might consider grilled sausages and an arugula salad (no vinegar in the dressing please, try citrus), or pasta with a spicy red sauce.
Fratelli Alessandria Verduno Pelaverga 'Speziale' 2019 - $22
A new producer for us, Lectores Vini has made an auspicious debut in Milton with their fabulous 2019 Pomagrana, a rare red varietal Trepat. The Trepat cultivar is typically used for pink wines, and is often blended with white grapes to make pink Cava. This fabulous red version is made from two organically cultivated high elevation vineyards in the Conca de Barbera DO, in Catalonia, farmed by the Canella family. Freddi Torres is the winemaker and he makes Pomagrana in a style to be chilled. The grapes are destemmed gently and sit on the skins in stainless steel for a week before pressing. Minimal sulfur is used and the wine is bottled with a bit more CO2 than most reds, so it has some incidental spritz. We recommend chilling the wine, opening it, pouring a bit out, replacing the cork, and giving the bottle a hearty shake. This process releases CO2 more quickly and emphasizes Pomograna's intense fruitiness. If you're down with chillable reds, you're gonna love this one.
Lectores Vini Conca de Barbera 'Pomagrana' 2019 - $23