Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Colaneri Estate Winery
– April 2012 –
It wasn’t too long ago that people would often cringe at the thought of Ontario wines. However, being a Sommelier and wine marketing business owner involved in the Ontario wine industry, I now revel in pride with how the growing wine industry in Ontario and across Canada too, has flourished and is turning heads with impressive wines. Kudos to our talented winemakers. Now, wine enthusiasts like you, look forward with anticipation when discovering Ontario wines.
A large part of this change is due to those brave entrepreneurs and talented winemakers coming from all parts of the wine world to participate in putting Canada on the wine map. A case in point is the Colaneri family.
Our Savvy Sommelier Derek Vollrath met up with the Betty Colaneri, the family matriarch. The story of the Colaneri family and their wines was one of the most interesting and touching stories that Derek has ever come across.
In this Savvy eZine, Derek introduces you to the Colaneri Estate Winery as well as the family. Also, he provides you with a little “Savvy University” wine education (don’t worry Derek assured me that there is no test!). Deeply rooted in their Italian heritage, in this month’s feature, you are being treated to three different styles of Italian wines crafted right here in our own backyard.
The Savvy Selections tasting panel had several Colaneri wines to sample and it was a difficult job to only pick three wines as we were impressed by the intensity of the aromas and distinctive flavours of each wine. In the end, we selected for your enjoyment – and discovery too! – the following wines:
- Fumoso Bianco VQA 2009 – rich & fruity, definitely not a typical Sauvignon Blanc
- Corposo VQA 2009 – this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon & Cabernet Franc, this medium bodied wine is easy to drink with its long cherry finish
- Insieme VQA 2009 – a big bold & beautiful blend of dried Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & Syrah
- OPTIONAL WINE: Profondo Mistera Recioto VQA 2010 – a sweet & succulent dessert wine made with dried Gewürztraminer
In the last couple of pages in this Savvy eZine, Derek has recipes matched to complement the wines. He highly recommends the stuffed pork recipe that he paired with the Fumoso Bianco (Sauvignon Blanc) wine. “Delicious – pretty much sums it up for me”, reports Derek.
Love these unique wines?
All of us in the Savvy Selections tasting panel agree the Colaneri wines are absolute gems. You won’t find these wines at the LCBO. So, if you found a new favorite wine and would like additional bottles, give me a call and I will take care of ordering more for you. That goes for any of the previous Savvy Selections featured wineries too. Simply, call me at 613-SAVVYCO (613-728-8926) or sending me an e-mail at email@example.com.
Cheers & Enjoy! – Debbie & Savvy Team
Colaneri Estate Winery
The first time I talked with Betty, I was so enchanted by her story that I found myself just listening, forgetting to take notes and ask questions. The second time we talked, I was more prepared.
A Passion for Everything they do …
Passion! That is the only word that can be used to describe how the Colaneri family feels about everything from their family, their winery and their wines. Betty explained, “We Italians do everything with passion, we’re a passionate people.”
The story of the Colaneri Estate Winery begins in 1967, when Joseph & Maria Colaneri came to Canada from Italy with their two sons Michele (Mike) and Nicola (Nick). Several years after their arrival here one of the sons, Mike married Angiolina (Angie), while the other son Nick, married Liberina (Betty). What is touching about this is that two brothers (Mike and Nick) married two sisters, (Angie and Betty).
The Colaneris have been growing grapes in the Niagara region for 34 years. However, they did not become directly involved in the wine making business until 2003. I chuckled as Betty told me that the family agreed to take advantage of an opportunity and replant their grape vines, ”it was either grape vines or Christmas trees”, she recalls. Now, having tasted their wines, I am glad that the family agreed on the grapes!
With the vineyard planted, each family member selected a grape varietal that they felt personified them. Betty chose the Gewürztraminer as she fell in love with the sweet and spiciness of the wine. Once their grape had been chosen, each family member sat with a local artist and had a label designed to reflect their personality. It is definitely intentional that all of the labels have a Leonardo Da Vinci look and feel to reflect the family’s Italian heritage.
During our interview, I remarked to Betty that they sent a large number of wines for the Savvy Team to sample. “The wine is our family; we feel the need to showcase all of them, as it is not right to choose one over the other.”
The family recruited renown winemaker Andre Lipinksi, and although he is not Italian, he was a natural fit because he had experience in producing wines crafted in the appassimento style (read below for an explanation). The Colaneris specifically wanted to focus on styles that emphasized their Italian heritage.
A Sister now watches over …
Betty’s sister and Mike’s wife, Angiolina was a huge part behind the winery. “She was larger than life”, Betty recalls. Although she was able to see the beginnings of the family’s dream during the construction of the winery, she was not able to see it to completion as she unfortunately passed away before it was finished. Betty paused and shared, “Angie’s presence is still felt today”.
As we ended the interview, Betty told me that, “Italy is the inspiration for our wines, while family is the inspiration of the winery. Having family work together to create a legacy that can be passed down to other generations is something that Angie would have wanted.”
Savvy University – Italian Wine Styles 101
Italian wines are as diverse and as unique as the people and the country. Given this, I thought I would dedicate a portion of this article to provide you with basic information about the styles you will be enjoying.
Appassimento: A style of wine in which some or all of the grapes are partially dried before they are fermented into wine. By drying the fruit, there is more sugar, less water and therefore a greater concentration of flavour with the finished wine.
Ripasso (pronounced ree-PAH-soh): In Italian ripasso literally means “re-passed”. After the wine is fermented in the usual way, it is placed in casks containing the lees (winespeak for grape skins) from a prior batch of wine. Usually, the lees of an Amarone wine are used. This process, which lasts from 2 to 3 weeks, adds colour, tannins, body and complexity of flavors to the new wine.
Recioto (pronounced reh-CHEE-oh-toh): This is a distinctive style of wine from the Veneto Region located in northeastern Italy. Grapes are dried in a cool, airy room for up to 4 months until semi-dry, which produces concentrated sugars and flavors. This is like a sweet dessert wine, along the lines of a late harvest.
Fumioso Bianco VQA 2009
Colaneri’s Sauvignon Blanc was crafted in the appassimento style with 45% of the grapes being kiln dried before being fermented. In addition to including the dried fruit, this Sauvignon Blanc was both barrel fermented and then barrel aged in French Oak. The combination of these two winemaking techniques resulted in a Sauvignon Blanc that is rich in body and fruit forward in taste. This is definitely not your typical New Zealand style Sauvignon Blanc!
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Vibrant gold in colour with powerful aromas of apricot, ripe apple and peach. The palate is very fruit forward with banana, peach and ripe pear. The use of dried fruit and oak during the vinification process (winespeak for winemaking) has resulted in a dry wine with a rich mouth feel and a long ripe fruit finish.
Suggested Food Pairing: BBQ chicken with a lemon-tarragon sauce or ravioli stuffed with butternut squash would pair quite well with this Sauvignon Blanc. Derek highly recommends pork tenderloin stuff with ricotta cheese, baby spinach and artichokes. The recipe below is super easy for a main course!
Cellaring: This wine can most certainly be enjoyed now or it can be cellared for up to 18 months.
Corposo VQA 2009
This is a blend of 60% Cabernet Franc and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. It is made in a ripasso style where the wine was re-fermented using Cabernet Sauvignon skins which were used in the production of Colaneri’s signature Amarone wine.
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: A beautiful deep garnet colour. Your nose will be drawn in by intense aromas of white pepper, eucalyptus and dried fruit (can you detect dried cherries?). The palate is a complex array of red currants, dark cherries, tobacco leaf and white pepper. Dry, medium bodied in nature, with a relatively long finish of dried cherries. Try decanting this wine 30 minutes to an hour before serving to allow it to breathe.
Suggested Food Pairing: Crispy duck with spice plum chutney or venison stew would pair well with this wine. The Savvy Selections tasting panel suggests that you pair this wine with roasted garlic lamb leg and rosemary potatoes. A recipe for this crowd pleasing wine follows.
Cellaring: Give it 2 to 3 years in the cellar or enjoy it tonight while watching your favourite movie or show!
Insieme VQA 2009
Insieme is named in honour of Joseph & Maria Colaneri, the original matriarch and patriarch that came to Canada from their home country of Italy. In Italian, the word “insieme” means together and as Betty explained, insieme is so fitting a name because Ma and Papa Colaneri did everything together. This wine is an equal blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It too was made in the appassimento style with 50% of the Syrah and Merlot along with 100% of the Cabernet Sauvignon was kiln dried before fermentation.
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Garnet red in colour with captivating aromas of warm spices, dried figs and cooked fruit. The palate is loaded with layers of red and black fruit, dried fig accompanied by subtle hints of mocha. The wine is medium to full-bodied with a long and intriguing black cherry finish.
Suggested Food Pairing: This rich wine would pair well with strip loin roast or pasta with a bolognese sauce. We are recommending that you pair this wine with crusty barbequed beef with a horseradish mayonnaise. The recipe for this dish can be found on the following pages.
Cellaring:This wine is drinking well now or if you so desire allow it to evolve in your cellar over the next 5 years.
OPTIONAL WINE: Profondo Mistera VQA 2010
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Rich, honey gold in colour, with an intense and extreme complex nose. Floral aromas (violets perhaps?) along with sweet aromas as lychee, ripe pear, honey and sweet spice are definitely detectable. These wonderful aromas follow through on the palate as you will enjoy flavours of honey, brown sugar along with lychee and ripe pear. This is a definite sweet wine, with a cloying mouthfeel and a long pleasantly sweet finish.
Suggested Food Pairing: The food pairing possibilities with this wine are endless. Given the Italian style of you can’t go wrong if you serve this wine slightly chilled accompanied by a traditional Italian antipasto platter of Genoa salami, Capacola ham, thinly sliced prosciutto, roasted red peppers, marinated artichoke heart, stuffed green olives rounded out with Gorgonzola, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Another great pairing would be melon wrapped in prosciutto, the combination of the sweet from the wine along with the saltiness from the prosciutto or antipasto platter is what makes this a classic pairing.
Cellaring: This would make wine can be enjoyed now. As a result of the fruit and acidity in the wine it can easily cellar for 3 to 5 years.
~ Recipes to Enjoy with your Savvy Selections ~
With Colaneri Estates Fumoso Bianco …
From Men’s Health Nutrition Guide
2 lbs pork tenderloin
1 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese
2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach leaves
½ tsp dried basil
1 small jar artichoke hearts, drained and diced
Salt and pepper to taste
- Butterfly the loin by splitting it down the centre, cutting it almost but not all of the way through and the opening the two halves so that they lie flat.
- Stir the cheese, basil, spinach and artichoke hearts together and spread the mixture on the inside of the cut loin.
- Roll the loin closed and tie it with cord in approximately five places.
- Place the pork in a roasting pan, brush it lightly with oil, and sprinkle it with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and roast it for 35 to 45 minutes.
With Colaneri Estates Corposo …
Roasted Garlic Lamb Leg with Rosemary Potatoes
4 lb leg of lamb, bone-in, trimmed
2 heads garlic, halved
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tbsp Rosemary, chopped
3 lbs small red potatoes, halved
grilled asparagus or preferred vegetable, to serve
- Cut off the tips of the heads of garlic and brush the cut sides with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Set garlic cut-side down on a sheet pan and roast until it is soft to the touch, about 30 minutes. Let garlic cool for 5 minutes, and then squeeze the roasted cloves out of the garlic and into a bowl. Mash with a fork and spread over the top of the lamb (see tip).
- Meanwhile, place the lamb in a large roasting pan and season with salt, pepper and half of the rosemary. Allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour. Place the potatoes in an oven-proof dish and toss with the remaining oil and rosemary. Set aside.
- Roast lamb for about 1 hour 40 minutes, until it registers 130-135°F on a meat thermometer for a medium-rare roast, or until the juices run clear when a sharp knife or skewer is inserted in the thickest part of the meat.
- When the lamb has been roasting for 40 or 50 minutes, place the potatoes in the oven and bake until well browned and tender.
- Transfer the lamb to a warm platter and let rest for 15 minutes. (It will continue to cook as it rests.) Carve and serve with the potatoes and asparagus.
TIP: The garlic can be roasted and mashed the day before. Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. You could also spread over the lamb the day before and marinate overnight for a real garlic flavor. Just remember to cover well, and bring lamb to room temperature before roasting.
With Colaneri Estates Insieme …
Crusty Barbecued Beef with Horseradish Mayonnaise
From The Canadian Living Entertainment Cookbook, Carol Ferguson
2 round steaks, 2ibs each
½ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ tsp hot pepper flakes
1 cup mayonnaise
⅓ cup chopped fresh chives
⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley
4 tbsp prepared horseradish
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp mustard seeds
- To make the marinade; in a large shallow glass dish or heavy plastic bag set in a bowl, combine vinegar, oil, onion, garlic and hot pepper flakes. Add steaks turning to coat all over; cover tightly. Marinate for 24 to 48 hours in refrigerator, turning occasionally.
- To make the horseradish mayonnaise, combine 2 tbsp of mayonnaise, chives, parsley and horseradish. Refrigerate until serving time.
- To prepare the coating; mix together the remaining 2 tbsp of horseradish, mustard and mustard seed. Remove steaks from marinade; spread half of the coating over one side of each steak.
- Cook in covered barbeque, coated sides up over medium heat for 12 minutes.
- Turn meat and spread remaining mustard mixture on cooked side. Barbeque for about 15 minutes or until meat thermometer registers 140°F for rare or to desired doneness.
- Let meat stand for at least 10 minutes before carving into thin slices.
- Serve with horseradish mayonnaise.