Saturday, October 31, 2015

Trip to Italy (Marche - October 2015)...Dinner at L"Enoteca at Le Case

In the evening, we arrived at Le Case in Macerata in Marche region. It's a hotel in a deep countryside.

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This is a beautiful property. We were going to stay here for 2 nights.

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For dinner, we had a reservation at L'Enoteca, which is a Michelin 1-star restaurant and located in the property. We had a table in a beautiful private room.

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Homemade bread and freshly pressed house olive oil with a glass of spumante made a nice start.

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The restaurant grows a lot of different kinds of vegetables in their garden. I loved their first plate, which was a fennel and leek soup with different kinds of herbs, flowers, and vegetables. Mashed potato with green peas gelato was a unique dish.

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Tortello stuffed with casserole hen, was followed by beef shin with sun choke puree.

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Yogurt panna cotta with mint pesto and coconut granita was really fresh and nice.

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Their wine list is so huge. It was like a telephone book. Aldo from La Monacesca said their wine list is the best in Italy. We tasted...
2000 Ubardo Rosi, Riserva (metode classico, verdicchio)
1997 Villa Bucci, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Riserva
1977 Emidio Pepe, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo
2003 Fattoria Coroncino, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, "Bambule" (passito)

Trip to Italy (Marche - October 2015)...La Monacesca

In the afternoon, we drove the inland of Marche.

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We visited La Monacesca in Matelica, which is situated about 60 km from the Adriatic Sea and the altitude is about 500 m. They are the leading producer of DOCG Verdicchio di Matelica. The cantina is in a historic site with an old church, originally built in 900s.

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Aldo, the owner of La Monacesca is such a stylish gentleman. He welcomed us to give us a tour and tasting.

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He showed us his vineyards. It's a cold climate zone and it snows in the wintertime. They have about 27 ha of vineyards and some are more than 35 years old. They grow Verdicchio, Merlot, and Chardonnay.

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For white wine, only stainless steel tanks are used. For red, barriques are used for aging.

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In the beautiful guest house, we had a tasting. It was such a great learning experience about how wines can express so much of the terroir. Also, by tasting different vintages of Verdicchio, I was so impressed by how this grape can age so gracefully for a long time. Really beautiful wines.
Here are what we tasted...
2013 Verdicchio di Matelica
2012 Verdicchio di Matelica Reserva "Mirum"
2012 Chardonnay "Ecclesia"
2o13 Verdicchio di Matelica Reserva "Mirum"
1997 Verdicchio di Matelica Reserva "Mirum"
2011 Camerte (70/30 Sangiovese/ Merlot)

Trip to Italy (Marche - October 2015)...Oasi degli Angeli

The second morning to wake up in Emidio Pepe's agriturismo.

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We said good-by to Emidio and his property in the morning.

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Then, we drove to Supra Marittima in Marche to visit Oasi degli Angeli. The owners, husband and wife team of Marco and Eleonora welcomed us at their estate.

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Marco first walked us to their vineyards. These are only 5 km from the sea and on a hillside. The vineyards were originally planted by Eleonora's ancestors and some of their Montepulciano vines are 95 years old.

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Marco's first vintage is 1997 and he makes only Kurni (100% Montepulciano) and Supra (100% Bordo). His Kurni was aged in new barrique twice for the total of 2.5 years. The reason for this is not to make a heavy oak-tasting wine, but because he believes the method can give the right amount of breathing for the wine.

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He poured us 2013 Kurni, which is going to be released in a couple of weeks! It was obviously still very young yet really complete and beautiful. Such a sensual wine.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Trip to Italy (Abruzzo - October 2015)...Dinner at Ristorante Zenobi

In the evening, we came back to Abruzzo side.

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We had a reservation at Ristorante Zenobi, which serves traditional Abruzzo cuisine. This restaurant is also certified by Slow Food Association. It's a family-owned restaurant. Manma is the head chef and her son is in front of the house.

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We started with a wide variety of antipasti.

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Baccala (salted cod), mushrooms, etc.

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Primi...all hand-made pasta. Chitarra was extraordinary.

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Secondi. Grilled lamb and braised goat.

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Wonderful local wines for wonderful local dishes.
2009 Dino Illuminati, Spumante di Qualita
2014 Francesco Cirelli, Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo
2010 Plenus, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo