2008 Tor del Colle Riserva, Biferno 750ml 2-Pack
The grapes for this attractively priced Riserva bottling are hand-harvested from several vineyard sources around the town of Campobasso. After fermentation and pressing, the wine spends over 12 months in oak casks, followed by another year of aging in stainless-steel tanks. This 2008 offereing is medium- to full-bodied, revealing attractively earthy aromatics along with classic Montepulciano notes of plum, dried cherry, tobacco and light game. With more of the same on the palate, it is well proportioned with surprising length and fine-grained tannins.
Given its Old World heritage, it is not surprising that the Tor del Colle Biferno Riserva pairs so well with full-flavored Italian fare, especially pasta dishes with lamb, beef or pork. Feathered game is also an ideal match, as are rustic stews, sausages and virtually anything from the grill. Consider recipes that include earthy ingredients such as mushrooms and herbs, or that highlight the wine’s intrinsic fruit characteristics by incorporating fresh or dried plums and cherries. This wine also works well with cheese, most notably Fontina, Teleggio and Pecorino.
Molise is a small, mountainous region in the sunny highland hills of south-central Italy. Wedged between the Adriatic Sea and the Apennine Mountains, Molise has been a home to viticulture since 500 B.C., although the area did not receive formal D.O.C. status until 1983. The region’s finest red wines come from the Biferno appellation, which encompasses vineyards along the Biferno River from Campobasso to the Adriatic Sea. Montepulciano is the dominant red grape in most bottlings, with Aglianico filling out the blend.
2009 Tor del Colle Brindisi Riserva 750ml 2-Pack
Dark scents of blackberry and plum emerge from the glass along with notes of vanilla, bay and white pepper.
Juicy berry flavors mingle with smooth, savory hints of soy, leather and charcoal.
Negroamaro’s fresh acidity, medium tannins and berry fruit make it an exceptionally versatile wine at the table. Medium-weight proteins like pork, poultry, sausage and game are a natural match, as are rich pastas, ragùs and pizzas. The Tor del Colle’s full flavors will also be delicious with heartier meats including roasts, chops and stews of lamb or beef. Try it with dishes like Pork Rib Ragù with Polenta or Veal Cutlets Gremolata; find the recipes at williams-sonoma.com.
Puglia is the narrow peninsula that juts out in Italy’s southeast corner and separates the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. Here, sea breezes temper the region’s heat, and the Negroamaro grape has dominated viticulture since at least the sixth century BC. Notable for its deep color, vibrant perfume and pleasant, earthy bitterness, Negroamaro has seen its rustic image improve over the last couple of decades as producers have gone from selling their grapes to a local cooperative to crafting their own wines. The Brindisi appellation allows blending with a few other selected varieties for complexity and nuance. This wine is made by Casa Vinicola Botter under the Tor del Colle label, a company that began in 1928 and is now in the third generation, making wine in the Veneto and southern Italy.
2008 Tor del Colle Montepulciano Riserva 750ml 2-Pack
This plush, chewy wine offers impressions of blackberry, black cherry, licorice, plum and assorted spices.
Tasting Notes: Earthy. Truffles. Also a nice round meaty edge. Nice warmth with a savory finish.