Gambero Rosso Wine Travel Food - April 2017

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WINE 20 | Sassicaia, Vintage Tunina, Berlucchi. Three dream vertical tastings 24 | The big guns of world wine writing. 25| Sassicaia. A legend in 50 vintages 33 | Vintage Tunina. From 1979 to 2014 36 | Berlucchi. Private collection, from 1991 to 200

TRAVEL 56 | Marche. Offida The symbol of the town is pillow lace, but its specialties are also traditional cooking and Piceno wines.

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“Happiness in life means having both love and wine at hand.” Aleksandr S. Puškin (1799 – 1837)





4 | Editorial Pairing. Wine & food dialogues 10 | Events Abroad Gambero Rosso on the road 14 | Wine of the month Franciacorta Extra Brut EBB 2012 48 | Liquid Cuisine Il Mosnel How pairing amplifies a dish 15 | Twitter dixit 16 | Pairing Lab Do as the Msrchigiani do 65| Giuseppe D’Aquino. Frow Lake Garda to the world Giuseppe D’Aquino is a chef from southern Italy, but 18 | Design he breathed in a great deal of French and American air before settling in the hills that dominate Lake Garda. From he kitchens of L’Oseleta he looks out at the world with a Mediterranean soul and modern curiosity, aiming for the best. 39 | Tomatoes. Choose quality.

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PAIRING. WINE & FOOD DIALOGUES Do pairings work better when they move in the same direction, or when there’s a contrast? Just as for human beings, there’s no rule that works for all. Think, for example, of a Metodo Classico Pas Dosé, rich in salts and minerality. We think of seafood and tempura, of cheese and pizza, salmon and salami – in other words, everything that’s savory, rather than focusing on the fattiness of the dish. It would be better to leave flaky, creamy pastry desserts in the pantry. But then, there are perfect marriages based on opposites attracting. There’s nothing better than a mature, mouth-filling white (like a Chardonnay or one with a little residual sugar) for a sweet and sour dish like caponata, or a structured, tannic, acidic red (like a Barolo) for a slow-cooked stew. What’s the point here? The point is that pairing matters. The mantra, for a while, used to be, “If you want to drink red wine with fish, what’s the problem?” There is, it turns out, a problem. It’s undeniable that wine, luckily, offers a significant spectrum of fragrances, flavors and sensations that generate, in turn, a response in our palates. After drinking, our

mouths will be more or less receptive to certain foods, themselves laden with sensations. In turn, a new balance is created, ready for the next sip and bite. The result is a dialogue in which chemistry and physics play a fundamental role that would be silly to dismiss as irrelevant. Even Marchesi’s idea that water is the best beverage to accompany food doesn’t hold up. Knowledge of that world has shown that mineral waters differ greatly one from the other, as does the effect that each produces on the palate. The idea of eating without drinking, or drinking without eating is sad, so it’s best to recognize that food and wine communicate with each other. Whether you start with the wine or the food, it’s not essential to make an original pairing statement. Remember, in some cases and contexts, to let the professionals offer suggestions. It’s worth pointing out, a waiter or a sommelier can be much more than just someone who carries a plate or pours the wine. Eleonora Guerini 4

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COMPETITION. Do we need a Spanish Prosecco? Sooner or later, it was bound to happen. Freixenet, the Catalan winery, one of the top 10 producers in the world and leader in exports of Cava to over 150 countries, recently added Prosecco DOC and Prosecco Superiore DOCG to its roster. During ProWein, in Düsseldorf, the appearance of the new spumante in an elegant bottle with the Freixenet label caused an uproar among Prosecco producers from the Veneto. Innocente Nardi, president of the Consorzio di tutela del Prosecco Superiore. commented, “Freixenet is very conscious of market trends. That’s why we think that this is a recognition, on the part of the Cava world, of the power of the Prosecco name on the world stage. It means they have felt the effect and are react-

ing. The risk is that the perimeter of the identity of the product is further enlarged.” Freixenet Prosecco is produced in an unnamed facility belonging to others in the Prosecco DOC zone. It was presented by the Catalan company for the first time in September, 2016, during the TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes. According to Drink Business, Freixenet declared that Prosecco had proved to be an ‘difficult competitor” for sales of their Cava in the United Kingdom, which is why the winery looked for a solution. Freixenet also sells Prosecco Superiore on a Danish internet site for 119 Danish crowns, (16 euros). Nardi added, “It shows they have understood that in the Prosecco world, products and prices vary widely.”

FRANCIACORTA. Exports of DOCG up 15%. In 2016, 17.4 mlns bottles sold the total exported). Next comes Switzerland (15.2%) and Germany, which has grown 24% (accounting for 13.2% of the total), and the United States (12.4%). Among the various types of Franciacorta, demand is growing for Satèn (+14%) and Rosé (+11%). President Vittorio Moretti (Bellavista) underscored the strong interest shown in countries, such as those of Scandinavia, which are beginning to know Franciacorta better. Monopolies are enlarging their own rosters, adding Italian sparkling wines, as vice-president Silvano Brescianini observed. He commented on another satisfying market, Germany. “Wine shopping by the German consumer has improved. The Consorzio has been investing in promotion for some years. Restaurateurs are making their own contribution.” Germany will be one of the markets where promotional work will continue. “The market is recognizing producers properly,” observed president Moretti. In the meantime, production regulations have been modified, and the indigenous variety erbamat has been added. It might, with the passage of years, become an innovative choice for the 116 sparkling wine houses, one to add to the various blends of Chardonnay, Pinot nero and Pinot bianco.

Exports of Franciacorta DOCG rose 15% in one year. In 2016, the denomination registered sales of 17.4 million bottles. Data from the local Consorzio confirm, as was already announced during its December, 2016 meeting, that Japan is one of Franciacorta’s top markets (+16%, which represents 22% of 6

APRIL 2017

POLLS. AMERICAN AND ITALIAN MILLENNIALS COMPARED. HOW AND WHY THEY CHOOSE. Verallia-WineMonitor research points up the importance of packaging. Millennials are the most promising age bracket for wine consumption. In the United States, a top market for Italian wine, this group accounts for 42% of the volume imported. The Millennial world in Italy refers to the population between 18 and 35; in the United States, to those between 21 and 35. Producers observe and study them. Glass container producer Verallia, a world leader with revenues of over 2.5 billion euros annually, presented, along with WineMonitor, a survey of consumers in the most important states (California, Florida, New York, Oregon e Illinois), aimed at understanding how these young people chose what wine to drink, compared to those in Italy. The results show that American Millennials who drink wine (29% are habitual consumers) choose on the basis of the notoriety of the

brand (32%), the type of wine (21%) and the price (20%). Italians (35% are habitual consumers) choose on the basis of the type of wine (51%) and the territory of origin (21%). According to the research (a sample of 1,200 in the United States and 1,000 in Italy,) there are also 10% of American Millennials and 5% of Italians in that age range who indicate that their first criteria is packaging and the aesthetic aspect of the bottle. The determining factor in their purchase is the originality, shape, consistency and color of the bottle. When asked what characteristics of wine packaging will create new consumer trends, the Italian and American Millennials agreed. 33-35% would opt for wines with more personalized bottles, 20-31% mentioned ecosustainable packaging, and 14%, look for a small bottle.

When choosing a bottle of wine at a supermarket or at restaurant La bottiglia inavetro: which features of the design of the bottle grab your attention attributi rilevantithe most? Immagini ora di dover scegliere una bottiglia di vino in vetro al supermercato o al ristorante …

% of who’sQuali attracted to each feature dei seguenti aspetti del design della bottiglia attraggono maggiormente la sua attenzione?

Source: Survey Wine Monitor

% di chi è (Molto – Abbastanza) Attratto da ciascuna caratteristica 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%


74% 55%

73% 47%

Label (color, shape,forma, image...) Forma Shapedella of the bottle Etichetta (colore, bottiglia immagine..)

USA Fonte: Survey Wine Monitor




Color ofdel thevetro glassdella of Colore the bottle(chiaro/scuro) (dark/light) bottiglia

Presence of logos, drawings or texts Presenza di with glass relief in loghi/disegni/scritte rilievo sul vetro


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THE FIRST BAROLO WITH A GLASS CLOSURE. The Brezza family breaks with tradition It is an epoch-making moment for alternative closures. Here comes the first Barolo with a glass stopper. After the liberalization of the world of wine stoppers requested by the Italian Agriculture Ministry in 2012, this is the first step taken by an historic denomination. The Brezza family has been experimenting with other wines for a decade, but have chosen the glass Vinolok for its 2013 Barolo, bottled in 2016. Of 12,400 bottles, about 15% were provided with an alternative closure. “We preferred glass to cork,” explained Enzo Brezza. “For years we have been looking for a system that guaranteed harmonious evolution of the wine, without defects and with a better conservation of the aromas. We also had in mind consumers who don’t always have perfect conditions for conserving wine.”


EATING IN THE STATION. How big-name chefs are reviving the French railroads

EMP SUMMER HOUSE. Eleven Madison Park pops up in East Hampton, while Guidara and Humm’s restaurant refurbishes in New York

In their struggle to restore the glamour of the busiest and most exciting railroad stations in Paris and the rest of France, SNCF, the French national railroads, have found helpful allies among the country’s most famous chefs. The investment in refurbishing the principal national stations is part of a more substantial plan to improve services to travelers and

bring back the vivacity that stations once had when they were an inspiration to French artists and writers. A few weeks ago, the railroad station in Metz was voted the most beautiful in France, and soon, prestigious chef Michel Roth will take over its Le Grand Comptoir (now being renovated), offering travelers a menu worthy of the Ritz. The difference will be that its public will be more heterogeneous and prices more affordable. This approach has already been successful in Paris’ Gare Saint Lazare, with Eric Frechon at the helm. In November of 2016, Michelin 2-star executive chef at the Mandarin Oriental, Thierry Marx, opened L’Etoile du Nord at the Gare du Nord. This strategic placement of great chefs in railroad stations will continue in 2018 with Michel Roth, together with Alain Ducasse, directing the most complex of the projects, the restaurant in the Gare Montparnasse.

8 APRIL 2017

At 11 Madison Avenue in New York, Swiss chef/co-owner Daniel Humm and partner Will Guidara are planning a festive evening on June 8 to celebrate their recent win as number one among the World’s 50 Best Restaurants and their threemonth closing for renovations. The overhaul will refresh the look of the successful, gracious restaurant, and, more important, overhaul the 20-year-old kitchen. Since they purchased Eleven Madison Park from Danny Meyer in 2011, much has changed. “We can’t wait to have you with us again in the fall. We are excited about everything that will happen between now and then,” wrote Humm and Guidara in the press release that announced the temporary closing. Devotees will be able to visit EMP Summer House, the three-month pop-up on 341 Pantigo Road in East Hampton, from the end of June until mid to late September when Eleven Madison Park reopens on 24th Street. EMP Summer House will have an indoor restaurant, a dining room under a tent, picnic tables, and informal foods such as lobster rolls and fried chicken. Reservations open on-line on May 1, for American Express card holders only.

FLOATING FARM IN ROTTERDAM: cows on seaborne platforms will produce milk and cheese For a country like Holland, which has been fighting the sea for centuries to claim land surface, finding ways to exploit water is essential. The next project is the creation of a floating, 100% green platform that will support a herd of cows. Floating Farm is the result of collaboration among three companies: Courage, the innovation institute of the Dutch Agriculture and Dairy sector, Uit Je Eigen Stad, (‘from your own town’) the national frontrunner for city farming, and Beladon, the leading Dutch company for floating structures. The fund for development of Rotterdam harbor, SOFIE, is backing the venture with 2.5 million euros. The Dutch are creating a dairy on a 1,200 square meter harbor platform to produce milk, yogurt, butter and cheese, a revolutionary approach to kilometer-zero food. The platform will be stable, providing an environment for the cows as similar

as possible to their natural habitat. Materials used will protect the animals’ health, in particular their hooves and joints, considered the most fragile aspects of their bodies. The cows themselves will choose whether to remain in their stalls or move to green areas, where they will find trees, bushes, flowers and a water supply as well as sheltered spaces to protect them from rain and sun. The Floating Farm will be completely self-sufficient and sustainable, with energy produced by well-integrated solar panels and wind turbines. Animal urine will be collected, purified and used to irrigate grasses grown for fodder on a lower level of the farm. The cow manure will fertilize the field and be available for farms in the area. Energy surplus will go to buildings near the port. Two more platforms are planned for other Dutch harbors, one for chicken farming and one for vegetable production.

9 APRIL 2017

WITH LOVE, THE SYRACUSE POPUP, SHOWCASES THE CUISINE OF REFUGEES FROM AROUND THE WORLD After six months, another chef steps up. The turnover is designed to showcase the cuisine of under-appreciated immigrant groups. Right after the November election, Syracuse, in upstate New York, coincidentally launched a restaurant incubator, a teaching restaurant that will feature a different food entrepreneur and national cuisine every six months. Onondaga Community College, in collaboration with Centerstate CEO, Onondaga Country’s Industrial Development Agency, acquired and renovated a former restaurant with the goal of training students, refugee chefs and entrepreneurs in the food service business. With Love from Pakistan, run by Sarah Robins, is the first out the gate. The lines for her delicious food immediately went around the block. This summer, she will leave the space, planning to open her own restaurant, and another refugee chef from a different country will take her place. Syracuse is one of the poorest cities in the United States, with a long history of integrating refugee populations, among them those from Syria, Yemen and Bhutan. More than thirty languages are spoken in the With Love neighborhood. This incubator project is intended to revitalize a city zone, provide training for students and immigrants, and offer Syracuse an ever-changing array of delicious, authentic, vibrant eating experiences.


by Lorenzo Ruggeri



ambero Rosso comes back to London with a very special edition of its gala Tre Bicchieri tasting. Moreover, the wineries present will offer some new vintages of their labels, those that have enjoyed the greatest success during the international fairs, ProWein (Dusseldorf) and Vinitaly (Verona), guaranteeing a truly memorable preview tasting. The event will take place on May 4th in the Church House Conference Centre starting from 12:30 to 18:00 for trade and press, and from 17:00 to 19:30 for Wine Lovers. Two seminars, guided by Marco Sabellico, Senior Editor Vini d’Italia, and Lorenzo Ruggeri, International Editor, have been scheduled. The masterclasses will feature the enormous heritage of Italian native grapes. In honor of this special anniversary, Gambero Rosso has joined forces with Barilla to bring the best of Italian food and wine around the world. During the Tre Bicchieri tasting, show-cooking from Barilla chefs will delight participants with a variety of pasta dishes to pair with fine Italian wines. Barilla, the world’s largest pasta company, is the number 1 pasta brand in Italy, the USA and many other countries around the world. Based in Parma, a city famous for Italian food products like Parmigiano and prosciutto, Barilla is also the leader in continental Europe for pasta sauces. And here we have some more news: during the event the best Italian restaurants in town according to the new digital guide Top Italian Restaurants in the World will be honored. The guide rates restaurants, pizzerias, and wine bars dedicated to Italian food and wine culture. The UK shows a growing trend in the consumption and

sale of Italian wines. In the first three months of 2016, market evidence shows that in the UK, the value of Italian wines rose by 7%, reaching 152 million euros. The next stop will be in Toronto, on June 8, in cooperation with LCBE, Ontario’s alcohol monopoly, and the final event will take place in Bordeaux, on June 20, during the Vinexpo. LONDON Thursday, May 4, 2017 Church House Conference Centre Dean’s Yard Westminster London SW1P 3NZ 12:30 – 18:00 | Walkaround Tasting (Trade and Press) 13:30 – 14:30 | Masterclass 1 15:30 – 16:30 | Masterclass 2 17:00 – 19:30 | Walkaround Tasting open to Wine Lovers

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APRIL 2017

Notte Italiana

20 awarded Italian wineries, the best Italian pizza artist from Naples, and a special voice from Milan join forces for a very unique Italian Night in Dubai on May 16


ambero Rosso, the leading Italian wine and food media house, celebrates 30 years of activities all round the world with a special show under the patronage of H.E. Liborio Stellino, Italian Ambassador in Abu Dhabi and of H.E. Valentina Setta, Consul General of Italy in Dubai, with the kind support of a highly respected business man and wine conoisseur, Mr Yogesh Mehta, and his wife Falguni. The top Italian wines, the Tre Bicchieri awarded in Vini d’Italia 2017, will be showcased in Dubai for the very first time. For such a unique occasion, Gambero Rosso will present the number one pizza maker in Napoli: Enzo Coccia will delight the guests with his soft and super tasty pizzas, an ode to the Neapolitan-style pizza which perfectly suites Italian quality wines. Lastly, Nya Crea, a talented singer from Milan, will perform with her unique soul and pop vibes. Notte Italiana will take place on May 16 in the luxurious Palazzo Versace, a universal symbol of Italian style. The opening ceremony, hosted by Paolo Cuccia, President of Gambero Rosso, is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. while tastings will start at 8 p.m. Eleonora Guerini, Senior Editor of Vini d’Italia, and Lorenzo Ruggeri, Gambero Rosso International Editor, will lead two detailed masterclasses where they will select a top label from each producer. The first masterclass will take place at 6 p.m. while the second one is planned at 8 p.m. Guerini and Ruggeri, together with the producers, will feature the classic and up-and-coming terroir of Italy, reporting all the latest news, styles and expressions of Bel Paese, which can count on an heritage of more than 900 indigenous grape varieties. Moreover, the wineries present will offer some new vintages of their labels, those that have enjoyed the greatest success during the international fairs, ProWein (Dusseldorf) and Vinitaly

(Verona), guaranteeing a truly memorable tasting en primeur. In honor of this special anniversary, Gambero Rosso has joined forces with Barilla to bring the best of Italian food and wine around the world. During the Tre Bicchieri tasting, show-cooking from Barilla chefs will delight Italiamnet participants with a variety of pasta dishes to pair Gourght with fine Italian wines. Barilla, the world’s largest Ni pasta company, is the number 1 pasta brand in Italy, the USA and many other countries around the world. Based in Parma, a city famous for Italian food products like Parmigiano and prosciutto, Barilla is also the leader in continental Europe for pasta sauces. And here we have some more news: during the event the best Italian restaurants in town according to the new digital guide Top Italian Restaurants in the World will be honored. The guide rates restaurants, pizzerias, and wine bars dedicated to Italian food and wine culture. The digital guide will be launched next October. DUBAI Tuesday, May 16, 2017 Palazzo Versace Hotel, Al Jadaf, Cultural Village 7:30 pm | Welcome Ceremony and reception 8:00 pm | Wine Tasting followed by dinner 8:00 pm | Masterclass 1 9:00 pm | Masterclass 2 (Limited Seats)

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PARC DES EXPOSITIONS DE BORDEAUX – EXHIBITION CENTRE Cours Charles Bricaud – Bordeaux Academy – Hall 3 – Entrance K. Room 2

10:00 – 18:30 | Grand Tasting





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Masterclass Bellavista Meraviglioso

Monday, June 19, 2017 15.30 -17.00 (Room 7)

PARC DES EXPOSITIONS DE BORDEAUX – EXHIBITION CENTRE Cours Charles Bricaud – Bordeaux Academy – Hall 3 – Entrance K.






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PARC DES EXPOSITIONS DE BORDEAUX – EXHIBITION CENTRE Cours Charles Bricaud – Bordeaux Academy – Hall 3 – Entrance K.



Franciacorta Extra Brut EBB 2012 Il Mosnel 6,000 bottles ex-cellar price: 26,00 euros + taxes


Emanuela Barboglio converted the family estate to viticulture back in the 1960s, marking the start of wine and Franciacorta production of wines at Mosnel. Today the estate is lovingly and competently run by her children Giulio and Lucia Barzanò, who have perfectly restored the winery’s headquarters, the 16th-century hamlet of Camignone di Passirano, set among its impressive 40 hectares of vineyards in a single plot. Since 2014 the vineryards are organic certified. Franciacorta Extra Brut EBB is dedicate to the estate’s founder. The 2012 vintage is one of the very finest of the Franciacortas tasted this year. A Chardonnay cuvée from the estate’s finest vineyards, it is fermented in oak before long bottle fermentation for well over three years. It is well profiled, deep and complex, with a very good definition and a long finish of citrus notes, aromatic herbs and white pepper. The texture is pretty impressive, creamy and silky, being rich but at the same time dynamic and refreshing. This is a very appealing style of Franciacorta which displays an original profile, and a striking backbone. Pair it with grilled meatballs wrapped in lemon-tre leale. Gorgeous match!

14 APRIL 2017

TWITTER dixit Miss Bubbles


Love the suggestion on this bottle!

Bourgogne Feux préventifs dans qq vignes emblématiques #spring2017

Kerin O’Keefe

Behind every bottle of Vernaccia di San Gimignano there is ... 6 million years. Found the shells from Pliocene geological era

Your brain actually prefers lighter wines over bigger aggressive ones.

What Vino

Ken @ alawine

Top 6 Wine Faults: Their Causes & How to Identify them?

The Ideal #Wine For Every Kin Of #Beer Lover

15 APRIL 2017



drawings by Chiara Buosi






Olives all’ascolana




Flatbread with Prosciutto di Carpegna verdicchio




Seafood soup alla sanbenedettese

bistecca alla fiorentina

16 APRIL 2017







Lasagna Vincisgrassi SCHIAVA












Wine cookies

17 APRIL 2017




by Francesco Seccagno

DESIGN & FOOD Table and houseware design devotes increasingly more attention to raw materials, their interaction with the uses of each object and the contexts in which they live. Sustainability and natural resources inspire designers to respect the environment. Recycled materials are popular, but beauty is never forgotten.

Fresh | Fresh Wine | Pozzuoli | loc. Lucrino | via Scalandrone, 15 | tel. 327 699 8839 | The idea comes from Nando Salemme, the owner/sommelier of the Osteria Abraxas in Pozzuoli, near Naples. This handsome, effective thermal-stabilizer or wine cooler, designed by Salvatore Cozzolino, from the Second ���� University of Naples, was developed by ADI, Association of Industrial Design, also in Naples. The amount of ice provided, indicated by the numbers on the transparent and non-scratch Plexiglas wall of the container, determines whether the temperature of the wine is maintained or lowered. The cold is transmitted by an aluminum panel in direct contact with the bottle, while the bottle itself stays dry and at the proper temperature.

Wild & Free | GoldPlast | Arcisate (VA) | Campi Maggiori 27/A | tel. 0332 470 249 | In fashion and interior design, natural elements lead 2017’s style trends. GoldPlast, a sector leader in tableware, offers a tribute to Italian taste in its finger food series. Inspired by nature, these designs interpret, in a simple and pristine way, flower and leaf forms, the patterns that wind creates on water and meadows. The Wild & Free line emerges from the study of these movements and their geometry. Bowls and plates express in their design the freshness and joy of natural landscapes, but also their most unusual and original aspects. All these objects are made in polystyrene (PS), are BPA free and 100% recyclable.

18 APRIL 2017

Plancha | Mastrad | Parigi | 32bis-34 boulevard de Picpus | tel. +33 (0)1 73771761 | distribuito da Maino Rappresentanze | tel. 02 6686 294 | Brilliant, appealing modern design – a griddle and lid for cooking a la plancha, grilling, or even baking. Channeling on the edge collects fat and juices. The stainless steel pan comes with a barbecue-oven cover and a thermometer registering up to 300°C (570°F) for preparing bread and pizza. Plancha can be used on any heat source and is ideal for cooking without fat. Once prepared, food goes directly to the table in the pan. The appliance’s sleek shape makes it attractive on an open shelf.

Essent’ial |

A.G.C. srl | Carpi (MO) | tel. 059 664 269 | distribuito da

This company in Emilia-Romagna produces house furnishings, accessories and leisure goods featuring original design and using natural or recycled materials to make objects such as poufs and chairs in cellulose fiber, bread baskets and cardboard cutting boards. Among their target customers are restaurants and chefs. Four words characterize the brand: essential, sustainable, genuine, beautiful. Various designers have collaborated, among them Matteo Ragni, Diego Grandi, Paola Navone and the K-Lab, a workshop that develops high profile projects of communication and design, taking advantage of the unexpected capacities of diversely-abled young people.

19 APRIL 2017


by Marco Sabellico and Eleonora Guerini photography by Andrea Ruggeri

Sassicaia Vintage Tunina Berlucchi THREE DREAM VERTICAL TASTINGS 20 APRIL 2017

Sassicaia. Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta

Vintage Tunina. Silvio and Michele Jermann Berlucchi. Franco Ziliani


To celebrate Vini d’Italia’s 30th anniversary, Gambero Rosso organized vertical tastings of three of the most significant wines in Italy: Sassicaia, superTuscan of Bolgheri, from 1968 to 2013; Vintage Tunina, the Friulano king of modern Italian whites, from 1979 to 2014; Berlucchi, sparkling wine from Franciacorta, from 1991 to 2008.


hen Mario Incisa della Rocchetta planted the first cabernet sauvignon and franc vines in Castiglioncello, in 1944, on his beloved Bolgheri estate, he certainly never imagined the impact his wine would have worldwide. The Marchese had been very successful, especially with his greatest love – horses. Nearco, Ribot, and the purebreds of his DormelloOlgiata stable, for over twenty years, had dominated the most important races in the world, from the Derby to the Arc de Triomphe. Mario Incisa, who was an agronomist and great wine aficionado, also cultivated another passion, the dream of producing a few French-style barriques for his own consumption and that of a few lucky friends. The leap forward came in 1972, when, on the advice of his Antinori cousins, he brought a brilliant enologist on board. Giacomo Tachis. Tachis was already in charge of production on the Antinori estate. He was the force behind Tignanello, Solaia, and other celebrated Italian wines, first working with Antinori, and later, many others. The first enthusiastic review of Sassicaia by Luigi Veronelli in Panorama magazine in 1974 was followed by awards and prizes, in Italy and around the world. 22 APRIL 2017

Sassicaia is a modern classic of Italian enology. The prices for old vintage years – 1985, for example – break records at every international auction. Today the winery is headed by son Niccolò, who gave Sassicaia an entrepreneurial makeover, transforming it from a family passion to a cult label. More than once the wine won over more prestigious Bordeaux chateaux and other world classics in international competitions, just as Ribot had done years before. Alongside Niccolò is his daughter Priscilla. Like her father and grandfather, she is in love with this corner of Tuscany’s Maremma, which the Incisa family has decided to preserve intact as a natural reserve, a first in Italy. Year after year, Sassicaia, which has its own denominazione d’origine as a subzone of the Bolgheri DOC, unwaveringly maintains its charm, elegance and delicious drinkability. Its success created a winegrowing zone that had not existed before, but where today grand cru labels are no longer a rarity. Bolgheri is the Mediterranean alternative to the grand crus of the Médoc. To celebrate its own thirtieth anniversary, Gambero Rosso could not have chosen a more iconic label to represent Italian wine in the world. We decided to do so with a unique event, a vertical tasting of all the vintage years, from the first assembled by

Giacomo Tachis, the legendary 1968, to the latest one released, 2013. Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta and Carlo Paoli, director of Sassicaia, shared with us the last bottles, for some vintages, of the family reserve. We can definitely state that this is an unrepeatable vertical tasting. Alongside Sassicaia we added two other wines that wrote the recent history of Italian wine. One, a white, is beloved by Italians and other wine drinkers around the world. Vintage Tunina, produced by Silvio Jermann, when it first appeared in 1975, made news for its expressive finesse, its fresh, rich aromas, its seductive and harmonious elegance. It is an extraordinary label from a zone perfectly suited for winegrowing, Friuli’s Collio. Silvio’s intuition, although he had just graduated from enology school, launched a new chapter for white wine in Italy. A blend of chardonnay and sauvignon blanc grapes, with small amounts of ribolla gialla, malvasia and picolit to underline its territoriality, Vintage Tunina is by now the archetype that inspired all successive generations of white wine producers, Friulano and not. It has been an extraordinarily enjoyable wine since its first release, but this twenty-year vertical tasting, diving back to 1979, was astonishing. Who would believe that a great white wine could be so long-lived? Today the wine dedicated by Silvio Jermann to Tunina (nickname for Antonia), the one-time proprietor of that vineyard, the poorest of Casanova’s lovers and a servant girl in Venice, is sealed with a new type of closure now proving to be better than cork at preserving the wine’s magic. Tasting of samples of the same vintage year with different sealing methods proved the point.


The 13 big guns of world wine writing

MONICA LARNER. Robert Parker The Wine Advocate KERIN O’ KEEFE. Wine Enthusiast SERENA SUTCLIFFE. Sotheby’s - Master of Wine DMITRY FEDOTOV. Supervision board of the Union of winegrowers and winemakers of Russia WINIFRED BOWMAN. Cape Wine Master Platter Wine Guide ANDREAS LARSSON. Best Sommelier of the World 2007 World of Fine Wine MADELEINE STENWRETH. Master of Wine – Prime Wine Group THIERRY DESSAUVE. Guide Des Vins de France Bettane + Dessauve TOMASZ PRANGEBARCZYNSKI. Wino Magazyn VERONIKA CRECELIUS. Weinrwirtschaft JANE ANSON. Decanter Writer of the Year per International Wine Writers’ Award 2016 MARCELO COPELLO. Baco Media

In 1961, another young enologist, Franco Ziliani, together with his friend Guido Berlucchi, turned out the first round of 3,000 metodo classic bottles in Borgonato di Cortefranca. That gave birth to Franciacorta, a territory that today boasts more than 110 quality wineries. With over 16 million bottles annually, it is the most important metodo classic spumante district in Italy. Today Franco Ziliani leads an extraordinarily successful winery, releasing annually four and a half million bottles of Franciacorta and controlling 550 hectares of vineyard, both estate-owned and belonging to local growers. Alongside him are his three children, Cristina, Arturo and Paolo, responsible, respectively, for communication, production, and marketing. The second generation has made changes in Guido Berlucchi. They launched the Berlucchi ʼ61 and Palazzo Lana Riserva lines, but above all they totally restructured the 24 APRIL 2017

vineyards and winemaking facilities with the objective of absolute quality and sustainability. The history of the estate was told by Franco and Arturo Ziliani through twelve of their most representative wines, covering a twenty-year period, from 1988 to the latest excellent cuvée of Palazzo Lana Brut Extrême, the 2008. Three great wines, the fruit of the brilliant intuition of three great men of wine. They created something that didn’t exist before, managing to read, with amazing sensitivity, the potential of their land and the demands of a new era. Today these three outstanding wine families represent Italy on the international scene. They continue to offer, vintage after vintage, wines of extraordinary quality. The Vini d’Italia guide has reached an important moment, thirty years of life and distribution on a world stage, thanks also to these wonderful companions on the journey.

Sassicaia | Tenuta San Guido | Bolgheri | Castagneto Carducci (LI) |

2013 100/100

A fantastic wine, right from its nose, with fresh, crisp notes of red and black fruit – currants, blackberries, blueberries – hints of sweet spices, tobacco and leather, menthol sensations of extraordinary elegance. The palate is already beautiful, even though young, with imperceptible wood, perfectly mature tannins, state-of-the-art acidity and a long, long finish, deep and penetrating, unending. A masterpiece.

2012 90/100

A very intense nose, but at the same time not very expressive in terms of multiple facets and chiaroscuro tones. Wood plays a crucial

Sassicaia role, with balsamic notes suggesting paint. Fruity notes offer sensations of plum jam. In the mouth, besides wood, which here, too, is excessively present, vegetal sensations are the most evident. Tannin doesn’t seem perfectly mature and presents a finish that is a bit too dry. Time will help.

2011 95/100

Initially, a note of alcohol stands out, but after a few seconds in the glass, fresh and refined notes of fruit – strawberry and currant – take over, along with a vibrant vegetal and earthy note. The palate is very lively and full of character, fine and elegant. Alco-

hol again makes itself felt, but it is balanced by good acidity and mature, smooth tannins. A very convincing finish.

2010 92/100

The wine shows the effects of the vintage year, one of insistent rain. On the nose, fruit already shows signs of maturity, with notes of plum jam, tomato, sweet spices, hints of aromatic herbs, tobacco and chocolate. The palate predictably offers a solid dose of acidity, but the tannins are not truly mature, and the finish contracts on green notes and some astringency that brakes its progression. Still, it is one of the best 2010 bottles tasted from the denomination.

2009 95/100

The nose initially seems focused on vegetal notes of bell peppers, brambles and cooked herbs, but then opens on very ripe fruity notes of berries, cinnamon and cloves. The palate is intense and round, creamy and dense. Despite its concentration, it maintains a high level of acidity. Tannins, though, curl up a little on the close.

2008 98/100

The nose is already very complex and multi-faceted with evolved notes of coffee beans and damp earth. But the fruity aspect is also present, with fresh sensations of dark berries, then dried flowers, roses and

THE EVENT lilac. The palate is poetic in its balance and harmony. Structure and length, roundness and softness are all there, as is a lashing of acidity, maintained to the end, in a long and graceful finish.

2007 90/100

An inexpressive nose, ethereal, a little elusive, with tenuous sensations of tobacco, autumn woods, notes of blood. The palate is somewhat small, although pleasant, very immediate, defined by acidity, with tannins a little drying and slightly bitter.

2006 (magnum) 93/100

An uncharacteristic nose, compared to the dark and deep winery style. Notes of grilled meat, dark berries, mentholated nuances and soot. A palate of great structure and power. Dense, tight tannins. The finish is wider than it is long. In some way it resembles a very young 1985. Time will tell…

2005 95/100

A vintage year that time

has ignored: it offers the same sensory profile as when it was released. Fresh and agile on the nose with notes of red fruit, flowers, aromatic herbs. Fine and elegant, seductive, truly enthralling, like a symphony. Dry but mature, with extraordinary acidity that renders the finish infinite. .

2004 91/100

A wine that delivers more than the nose leads you to expect. A certain maturity and openness of its olfactory notes, with sensations of cherry jam, tobacco and leather corresponding to a vital palate with great character. The finish is not especially long, but is certainly fresh and energetic.

2003 89/100

Overall, a wine on its way down, as you might expect from a year that was not balanced, and was marked by a torrid summer. The nose is intense and hot, not very complex, with notes of roast meat, autumn leaves, jam. The palate is both voluminous and elusive, caused by a probable excess

of alcohol and tannins still rough today.

2002 90/100

Today, like ten years ago, this wine surprisingly resembles a Pinot Noir. Notes of berries, raspberry and wild strawberry, pencil lead, medicinal herbs. The palate is light and elusive, certainly not substantial and structured, but it displays the usual class and elegance. It isn’t a wine with more room to grow. But it’s here right now, authoritatively.

2001 98/100

A muscular and structured vintage, but Sassicaia doesn’t lose the elegance and agility that has always distinguished it. The nose is initially closed and decidedly reduced, requiring a few minutes to display its notes of tobacco and soot, currants and juniper berries. The palate is rich and powerful, dense and harmonious, with mature and integrated acidity and tannins that lengthen and refine the finish. Severe and fascinating.

2000 93/100

A wine slightly on the down swing with its notes of dried leaves, sweet tobacco, and damp soil, but also fresh, with sensations of Mediterranean herbs and licorice. Tannins, conditioned also by a slight touch of Brett, are slightly dry, but a final lashing of acidity puts the wine into a perfect mood.

1999 95/100

Another vintage of structure and intensity, with the nose initially not perfectly focused and reduction notes evident. Little by little they leave room for sensations of ripe black and red berries – currants and blackberries – for balsamic and citrus notes, and for hints of pencil lead and rare steak, in a continuous play of chiaroscuro. The palate is majestic, displaying volume and breadth without ever being heavy and monotonous. Tannins and acidity are mature and perfectly blended. The finish is infinite and still has a great deal to say.

1998 100/100

The refinement and classicism of this wine are difficult to render in words. Mediterranean scrub, berries, candied orange peel, chocolate and tobacco, spices and dried flowers: there’s every sensation you could imagine in a great Sassicaia. It has reached adulthood, and it shows, but it hasn’t lost freshness and vitality. It is round and sinuous, with velvety tannins and the extraordinary acidity of aristocratic wines. Simply, a masterpiece.

1997 90/100

A vintage year that in some way is difficult to decipher. From a year that overall was one of the hottest of the 1990s you wouldn’t have expected a wine defined mostly by green sensations – bell pepper and grass. Some hints of red fruit, then mint, spices, and an unusual note of celery. The palate is substantial, not over-elegant, defined by slightly aggressive tannin that is perhaps not perfectly mature.

1996 95/100

An amazing wine, complex and multi-faceted, that regales us with sophisticated sensations of black truffles, olives in tapenade, orange zest, smoke, cacao and barley sugar, then fresh sensations of strawberries and medicinal herbs. Tannins are very slightly severe, but acidity and sapidity are overwhelming in this wine, and give it a sort of second youth. A true surprise.

1995 90/100

A cool year that yielded a multi-faceted Sassicaia. Along with the green and immature notes typical of the vintage year, come a parade of fruity sensations, ranging from currants to marasca cherries, aromas of dried herbs, gentian and root, dried leaves and pipe tobacco. On the palate, the alcoholic component dominates in a surprising way, which tends to impoverish the finish, rendering it divided and not very penetrating.

1994 88/100

A wine that certainly lacks some backbone and


breadth, predictably, given a vintage year that was not exactly propitious. It has something shaded and melancholy about it, with green sensations braided with currants and marasca cherries, mint and licorice. The palate is streamlined and slim, the tannin a little aggressive and slightly bitter.

1993 88/100

A wine grasping its acidity. Sensations of blood, grass, notes of plum jam, then a palate that is a bit narrow, in which atypical notes of wood emerge, in a minor vintage year that doesn’t manage to express itself. Acidity offers a vital sensation, but on its own, it isn’t enough to render the finish truly lasting.

1992 86/100

More convincing in the mouth than on the nose, where an evolved vegetal

component prevails, lacking freshness and complexity. But on the palate it is more available, fairly harmonious, little defined in terms of length and tension.

1991 85/100

The passage of time is evident in this vintage. Evolved notes of tar prevail, transformed soon after in the glass into tamarind, plum jam, and tobacco, with a nuance that resembles broth cubes and cooked greens. The palate too lacks complexity and length. It is soft but also elusive midway, with a split due to alcohol not completely masked by structure.

braid together with spicy tones, offering a very effective sweet/intense sensation, not cloying at all. The palate is lively and voluminous, lacking just a little presence in the center due to excessive alcohol. But considering the very warm vintage year of this wine, it is a sort of miracle.

blueberries followed by a seductive but not immature vegetal note, then tobacco and tar, pencil lead and forest floor. The palate is fine and well-defined, not overwhelming, but with great tannic elegance. An interminable finish that is somehow noble, aristocratic.

1989 90/100

Certainly evolved, with sensations of quinine and tamarind, maintaining its dignity thanks to pipe tobacco and dried herbs. Not an explosive nose, but with a certain refinement. The palate is harmonious, although not holding the cards of a world champion.

An extraordinary wine…if drunk quickly. The vintage years shows that it doesn’t stand up well to oxygenation in the glass. Given this fact: dried flowers, sachet, berries, cinnamon, cardamom, black truffles, then a harmonious palate even if not enormous. Long, streamlined, with vibrant acidity.

1990 90/100

Intense and open on the nose as well as the palate, but not at all disappointing and with a great deal still to say. Fruity notes of blackberry in the background

1988 98/100

Extremely fascinating and complex on both nose and palate. A dominant fruity sensation of currants and 29

APRIL 2017

1987 85/100

1986 90/100

There is a magic moment that speaks of red fruit, fresh and crisp, of roast peppers and dried flowers. Then oxygen brings reality back, and speaks of a wine thirty years old, and turns


to notes of juniper berries and tamarind, of forest floor and mushrooms. The palate is rigid, narrow and sharp, whole and austere.

1985 99/100

We were waiting for this one, the vintage year that made Sassicaia famous around the world. It didn’t let us down. The vintage year was a warm one, as the alcohol, still perceptible, reminds us. But all together, it is blackberry and tobacco, soot and pencil lead, forest floor and leather, and a masterful choice of wood, because little by little, in the glass, sweet spices appear that give a Middle Eastern flavor to this timeless wine. The palate displays power and harmony, and despite a certain alcoholic dilution in the center mouth, acidity directs the orchestra and renders the finish fascinating and interminable.

herbs. The palate is not disappointing, defined by dense, mature tannins, integrated and harmonious, and by balanced acidity that brings equilibrium and length to the finish.

1984 84/100

The vintage year wasn’t among the best, and the wine has difficulty standing up to the test of time. The garnet color speaks of some evolution, confirmed on the nose, with its notes of quinine and cooked greens. The palate is small, narrow and dry, with a bitterish finish.

1981 87/100

Defined above all by vegetal sensations that in some way lead to an idea of immaturity in the fruit. The palate also presents rigid sensations, with tannin still very astringent and acidity assertive, not fully covered by the fullness of the fruit.

1983 87/100

An aging wine, with pride. Notes of tar, coffee and chocolate, mint and leather lead into an agile palate with smooth tannins and vital savory acidity.

1980 89/100

Soft and consoling, the 1980 is a wine without sharp edges or rigidity. Ripe fruit on the nose, plum and cherry jam, joins juniper, bay leaf, orange zest and chocolate, while the well-structured palate flows velvety and harmonious, without hardness. Twilight, with class.

1982 97/100

A nose full of chiaroscuro effects, with truly amazing youthful sensations. Currants and cherries, dried flowers, juniper and mint, with a markedly fresh vegetal background of bell pepper and medicinal

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1978 89/100

The 1978 seems the antithesis of the 1980. Fresh and rigid, this wine is defined by its harder components. On the nose, camphor against an animal background, with notes of dried herbs, mint, tarragon, hay and carob. A vital palate, narrow and long, a little frigid, but it doesn’t seem to fear time.

1977 91/100

Without a doubt, a wonderful surprise. Already on the nose, it resembles and old, fascinating Claret: tobacco, forest floor, dried leaves against a general ethereal sensation and a vague hint of fruit. The palate is surprising for its harmony and tannic delicacy, its glittering acidity, even if the finish is not very long and lacks a pinch of structure.

1975 90/100

A point score that takes into account the age of this wine. The sensations that evolution brings with it are all there: jam and tobacco, cigar box and dried leaves, leather and mushrooms, but overall, the wine holds together, on the palate as well, where tannin has held up very well without falling into the bitterness of oxidation, and acidity sustains with great dignity.

1968 95/100

Italy won the European finals against Yugoslavia. The Beatles conquered 10th place in the Rolling Stones Best 500 list with their ninth album, White Album. The Rolling Stones answered with Beggars Banquet. Sassicaia produced the first vintage released of its Cabernet Sauvignon. After 48 years, it still has a great deal to say. It begins with an amalgam of cacao and pipe tobacco, followed by, without signs of weakening, red fruit, dried herbs, truffles, licorice, wet leaves and sweet spices. The palate has backbone and tension, amazing grip and touching, emotional ups and downs, as exhilarating as a long night of love.

Priscilla Incisa della Rocchetta

31 APRIL 2017




RIVE - Valdobbiadene DOCG Prosecco Superiore - Brut Nature Millesimato

Vintage Tunina

Vintage Tunina | Jermann | Dolegna del Collio (GO) |

2014 88/100

The nose opens fresh and elegant, with notes of white flowers and exotic fruit, apricot and white plum, with pleasant vegetal notes that appear and disappear, then citrus fruit and a light touch of botrytis. The palate, as in the classical style of this wine, is both fresh and fat, with length and growing complexity.

2011 90/100

Along the same lines as the preceding year, but with greater maturity and concentration, thanks to the warm vintage year. The citrus and botrytis notes are more evident, along with exotic fruit, beeswax and a certain sweetness of wood. The palate is powerful, alcoholic but balanced by a good dose of acidity, with a slight carbonated sensation on the finish that contributes to streamlining it, and gives the wine a certain austerity.


2010 92/100

2006 (screwtop) 93/100

The cool vintage year makes itself felt above all in the acidic component which makes this wine something special. On the nose, classic notes of white fruit – apple and plum – and of exotic fruit, with a particular and insistent note of banana, plus an intriguing smoky sensation. The palate has sweet tones of vanilla and spices, but sharpened by assertive acidity that defines a long, taut finish.

A fresher and more vital version of the same vintage year, where, added to notes of apricot and wild flowers, come sensations of flint and marzipan, candied citron and hydrocarbon. On the palate, the mineral component stands out, acidity is assertive and the finish long and complex.

2002 87/100

A nose in two phases, first displaying evolved sensations of grated apple, then opening on notes of gooseberry, grapefruit, orange zest. The palate is a bit compressed by alcohol that divides the finish, so it lacks length and tension.

2006 (cork sealed) 86/100

The nose is low-intensity and a little muffled, with notes of barley and wheat, sweet wood, beeswax, and a certain minerality in this sample. The palate is rich and fat, evolved but fascinating, above all in the notes of white chocolate found in the aftertaste.

2001 88/100

A very intense and complex nose, where white fruit jam is accompanied by sensations of honey and smoke, candied citrus fruit,

33 APRIL 2017

white currants and pomegranate. The mouth is not fat, but rather sweet, conditioned by the spiciness of the wood and with a good dose of acidity.

2000 92/100

Once again a Tunina of great concentration, with intense sensations of jam, apricot, plum, orange and exotic fruit, with banana emerging decisively, and with puffs of smoky sensations. The palate, intense and alcoholic, doesn’t lack the usual acidity, which perfectly handles even a good dose of wood.

1997 92/100

Decidedly intense with unusual notes of powdered coffee, animal tones, flint and dried herbs, evolved but not at all tired. The palate is noteworthy not only for its density and fullness, but also for its acidic grip, responsible for a long and streamlined finish.


1995 95/100

A wine that is still young and growing. It expresses itself above all in a mineral register, with notes of hydrocarbons and anise, fennel seeds and dried dill, then citron and oriental spices – cardamom and cumin. On the palate, it conceals its great extractive forces in a sort of sedateness, balanced by acidity and sapidity.

1993 88/100

Intense evolution characterizes the nose, with notes of biscotto and saffron, honey and forest floor, wheat, barley sugar, spun sugar. The palate is shaped more by alcohol than by acidity, leaving it a little empty in the center of the mouth, due to a sensation of dilution.

1991 90/100

A very unusual profile defines this Tunina, which is never this vegetal. Extremely young in its notes of asparagus and dried herbs, hay and animal, with hints of roasted coffee and citron. The palate moves along the same register, missing the usual fattiness but offering great spirit and longevity.

1990 91/100

A more classic Tunina, offering fruitier and more exotic notes in an evolved

key. The fruit, therefore, is jammy – citrus, passion fruit, pineapple – with notes of just-baked bread and yeast against a fascinating botrytis tone. The alcohol makes its presence felt, but so does acidity and the result is very appealing.

1988 93/100

Decidedly evolved, but not at all oxidized. This Tunina pulls out the best aging cards. Beeswax is contaminated by fresh notes

of Mediterranean scrub, hints of roasted coffee, wet leaves, saffron, barley sugar and brown sugar. The palate is very rich, harmonious overall, and displays a great balance between alcohol and acidity.

1979 91/100

1983 89/100

The sensation that initially seems due to a cork problem transforms in the glass into notes of dried mushrooms, sweet spices, pipe tobacco and white chocolate. The palate stays rich and persistent. Acidity plays a determining, although not so evident role, delivering a finish that is still vital and decidedly savory.

A wine as elusive as it is intriguing. On the nose, evolved notes are clear and complex, and in addition to the usual combinations of roasted coffee and chocolate, jam and botrytis, a very unusual and decidedly refreshing tone of iodine appears. The palate shows only small slippage on the close, due to the alcoholic split, but this is a beautiful wine. Twilight; fascinating.

Silvio e Michele Jermann

35 APRILE APRIL 2017 2017

Berlucchi THE EVENT

Berlucchi Collezione Privata | Guido Berlucchi & C. | Corte Franca (BS) |

2008 89/100

A young nose, not too complex, defined mostly by notes of white fruit – plum and gooseberry – and flowers. The palate reveals more complex structure that allows us to appreciate, in the aftertaste, full, solid sensations of bread crust. A pity that a touch of excessive alcohol shadows the finish.

2007 87/100

Aromas of ripe fruit, from plums to apples, from white peaches to lychees, are enriched little by little by more complex sensations of yeast, with reminders of zwieback and newly baked bread. The palate is full and fat, concentrated and soft, even if not very long.

2006 90/100

The nose is initially not precise, but finds its complexity in the glass, with wonderful notes of apple, casein, citrus fruit and butter croissants. The palate is intense and very concentrated, but doesn’t lack grace or acidic tension, thus a long and savory finish.

2005 86/100

Sweetness characterizes this vintage year, with notes of honey and ripe white fruit, hints of caramel, barley sugar, and pleasant notes of dried herbs. The palate is structured, but lacks tension, so overall, not persistent in the mouth.

2004 91/100

A nose that resembles the 2006, with clear notes of apple and casein, medicinal herbs and citrus fruit. The palate is meaty, vital, savory and long. On the aftertaste, a pleasant note of dried mushroom, all of it lightened by a fine, sparkling bubbles.

2001 86/100

A certain rustic quality characterizes this wine on both nose and palate. Alcohol tends to equalize somewhat oxidized aromas, and the palate, which is a little grumpy and heavy, is braked on the finish by a slightly bitterish note. Franco and Arturo Ziliani

1995 89/100

Evolved and very complex, this vintage year is surprising for its harmony and rigor. Bread crust sensations are initially to the fore, but are enriched, little by little, by more articulated sensations of apricot, dried mango, hazelnut, fresh butter. The palate is full and assertive, decisive but not rustic.

1991 91/100

This vintage repeats some of the characteristics of the preceding wine, but with a greater dose of elegance thanks, on the nose, to a beautiful note of plum that lightens and refreshes the whole. The mouth is decidedly vivid and fresh, the finish very long and savory. Considering its age, it’s a true purebred. 37 APRIL 2017



by Mara Nocilla photography by Francesco Vignali


Choose quality The third element in Italy’s culinary flag: the green of extra-virgin olive oil, the white of flour, the red of tomatoes. Industry has taken giant steps to assure quality in pureed and whole, peeled canned tomatoes. But agro-piracy takes advantage of the loopholes that regulations permit, especially for ready-made sauces. There is no European Union law. Here’s our ratings of the best labels. 39 APRIL 2017



omatoes add the red to Italy’s tricolor culinary flag and they star in the entire country’s recipes. Summer’s child, they flourish during the hottest weeks between the end of July and early September. But they also go into preserved products that represent one of the most important elements in Italy’s food industries. They stand for excellence, at least in the best transformations: peeled, cherry, crushed, and pureed. “Canned tomato products are made solely from fresh tomatoes grown in Italy, processed in the company within 24-36 hours of harvesting. The tomatoes are of high quality. Those not suitable, or the discards from peeled production are transformed into concentrates through processing at high temperatures,” explained Giovanni De Angelis, director of Anicav, the national association for industrial vegetable food preserves. (Associazione nazionale industriali conserve

alimentari vegetali) This association is Italy’s largest representative of companies that transform tomatoes. To limit the importing of Chinese triple concentrates, bought and diluted by cavalier Italian industries to prepare their own conserve, a law was passed in 2006 (D.M. 17/02/2006) that obligates producers to indicate the origin of the ingredients used, specifying the region or the country in which they were grown. In any case, tomato puree (passata, in Italian) can only be made from fresh tomatoes, according to a law of September 23, 2005. “But a law that is valid only in Italy has relative efficacy,” De Angelis pointed out. “So Anicav has requested that throughout the European Union, only fresh tomatoes can be used to produce puree.” Tomatoes are used in other products, of course, in concentrates and in sauces, which represent a fairly small slice of consumption. On the internal market, 56% of preserved toma40 APRIL 2017

to products are accounted for by puree. The next most popular types are crushed (24%), whole peeled (15%) cherry tomatoes (3%) and tomato paste (1.5%). Ready-made sauces account for only.5%. A glance at supermarket shelves shows that this last category is growing rapidly. No Italian law requires the indication of the origin of sauce ingredients, as it does for peeled, cherry, crushed and pureed tomatoes. The absence of information about the provenance of the ingredients and the legislative vacuum on the subject are perplexing. On purees, yes, on tomato paste and finished sauces, no – only an indication of where they were processed. At

the beginning of March, 2016, the farmers’ association, Coldiretti, issued a statement. Alarmed by the ISTAT data of 2016 about exports from countries outside the European Union, they said, “From January to November of 2015, 168,000 tons of triple concentrate of tomato was imported, an increase of 22.3%.” Lorenzo Bazzana, head of the fruit and vegetable sector of Coldiretti said, “Italian producers of tomatoes have been asked to reduce their growing surface so as not to create excess. It’s a contradiction! And where does that imported triple concentrate go?” To understand the destina-

Packaging Too much improvising. Coherence is essential If packaging is the clothing of a product, pureed tomatoes offer a fourseason wardrobe in every size, shape and color. Just look down the supermarket shelves. “A company’s communication, its brand design, is one of the most complex jobs that exist,” explained Carlo Angelini. Thirty years ago he founded his graphic design agency, now with headquarters in Italy, France and China. Among his most important food projects are Garofalo, Amarelli, Simply, Lindt, Bertolli, and Chinotto Neri. “The objective is to give the product a strong, transparent personality. It has to communicate its mission clearly, tell a credible and enthralling story, have the gift of synthesis, arouse emotion. It has to be appealing and convey ItalianMediterranean culinary savoir-faire.” Unfortunately, many food companies, including artisanal ones, tend towards improvisation. There is little coherence between the image and the reality, little clarity about ingredients and processing, about brand name and actual producer. “Correspondence between the book and its cover is essential. The challenge is to be contemporary while speaking about production values and artisanal craft, to express personality while managing to be daring, to awaken the consumer’s curiosity and stay ahead of trends.”

41 APRIL 2017


tion of the super-concentrated tomato, we spoke to De Angelis of Anicav. “Triple concentrate can be imported in two ways. The normal way, with payment of customs tariffs, or else as TPA, which is ‘temporary importation’, on which no customs tariff is paid. The European Union allows this second category to ease the activities of the continent’s exporting industries and render them more competitive on the international market. The merchandise transits, but exits from the European Union, is imported by other countries, and sold there.” So where does the triple concentrate that comes in as TPA go? “Those who use this method, can do what they like with the product. And privacy laws prevent knowing how much was imported, whether ‘temporarily’ or not. Nor can we know which transforming companies have bought the concentrate.” But we do know where

it comes from. “Almost all the triple concentrate imported comes from China,” stated Giovanni De Angelis, “but as a temporary import, it is processed only to be re-exported, especially to Africa. It is labeled ‘packed in Italy’ and not ‘made in Italy’.” Besides ethical issues and damage to the image of one of Italy’s most prestigious sectors, agriculture and food products, safety is also in question. Looking through the report on a food-alert system released by the Health Ministry in 2015, it appears that “The country that has received the greatest number of notifications for irregular products is China.” The public can only await developments on the transparency of the provenance of tomatoes and all its derivatives. As Lorenzo Bazzana of Coldiretti said, “Labeling is the most democratic element that exists. It allows us to make informed and free choices.”

42 APRIL 2017

The chef test Cannavacciuolo “The secret? Grandma’s love” What characteristics does a tomato puree need to pass the chef ’s test? “It has to be from San Marzano tomatoes, not too concentrated, made with a grandmother’s attention and love.” That is how chef Antonino Cannavacciuolo, owner of restaurant-hotel Villa Crespi on Lake Orta, awarded 3-forks in the Gambero Rosso guide and two stars in Michelin, a wellknown personality thanks to television programs, describes the ideal passata di pomodoro. But he prefers to make it himself. “I have worked out my ideal recipe, suitable for all uses. When a puree is good, it works well with every dish,” the chef asserts. Just as for wine, olive oil, honey, mineral water and chocolate, now there are celebrity figures in the tomato sector. Two years ago, Mutti, a leader in the field, in synergy with chefs from the Jeunes Restaurateurs d’Europe, drew up a paper for Tomato Sommeliers to spell out the use of the three major industrial transformations of tomatoes: crushed, pureed, concentrated. “Triple concentrate to give sweetness, body and structure, for example in a Bolognese meat sauce, a ragù,” said Marcello Trentini, chef of the Magorabin restaurant in Torino and a Sommelier del Pomodoro. “A fine, silky puree is good for a Neapolitan meat sauce, fluid enough to simmer for many hours. The rustic version, rough and less fluid, with traces of seeds and peel, has lower acidity and is ideal for sauces that cook quickly, and for fish. A classic Tomato and Basil sauce calls for a very sweet tomato, a cultivar like a cherry tomato, a butalina piemontese, beefsteak tomato, or the pomodorino vesuviano, intense, very sweet and with limited acidity.”

Mixology Tomato drinks

Diverse cultivars Differences start in the fields The differences between industrial and artisanal tomato products often begin in the fields. In general, in both cases, hybrid tomatoes are used. Longish ones (San Marzano type) are used for peeled versions, round tomatoes for purees. But for gourmet conserves, with specific flavors or an old-fashioned feel, we have to look to niche products, to the small and medium-sized companies that select indigenous varieties, perhaps grown on their own property. San Marzano (with a DOP label in peeled versions), cherry and datterino tomatoes are produced by large industrial groups, mostly in Campania, lesser-known local varieties come from small producers. For example, there are tomatoes called pizzutello, fiaschetto, pera, regina, corbarino, del piennolo, cuore di bue, prunill, riccio di Parma… Another great difference between industrial and artisanal products is in processing. Industrial puree is made “from the concentration of tomato juice with a hot break method, characterized by a high percentage of soluble and insoluble solids in order to guarantee good consistency and viscosity in the product,” explained Giovanni De Angelis, director of Anicav. Small, high quality companies process the tomatoes at low temperatures to preserve their fragrance, aromas, consistency and color, sometimes cooking them in water, not steam, with pasteurization in bain-marie. The resulting products are less concentrated in their structure, lighter-colored, and have fragrances and flavors that resemble more closely a just-harvested tomato.

43 APRIL 2017

Tomatoes are not just for sauces and stews, but find their way into cocktails, too. The trend towards fresh and natural beverages has influenced the bartender world. “When you season it, the tomato becomes a fantastic container,” said Massimo D’Addezio, famous Roman bartender, now at the Chorus Café, a cocktail bar near the Vatican. “We mixologists look for pulp, juice structure, not extracts.” Companies respond to this demand, producing ‘liquid’ tomatoes as ingredients for cocktails and long drinks. Among them is My Eatness, based in Chieti, in Abruzzo. The family of Giuseppe Ursino, a well-known producer of olive oil and conserves in Fossacesia, has recently released “My Pomodoro”, an organic ‘tomato to drink’, a delicate, fresh puree that can also be used for sauces and cooked dishes. A Sicilian company, Pachineat, produces PachinEat, an essence of fresh tomato. Liquid, transparent and light, it makes an excellent base for both cocktails and cooking. D’Addezio offered some examples of tomato-based drinks. “Vegetable flavors are welcome in Margaritas. A Bloody Mary should be made with raw tomatoes. A Dirty Martini can be enlivened with tomato water.” But the infinite variety of tomato cocktails also depends on their seasonings, which can include Maldon salt, smoked salt, wasabi powder, chili pepper infusion, soy sauce, horseradish, clam juice, or an exotic ground pepper, such as Tasmanian, Madagascar or Szechuan. My Eatness | Fossacesia (CH) | via San Giovanni in Venere, 5 | tel. 0871 930036 | Pachineat | Pachino (SR) | c.da Granelli v.le Malta, 8 | tel. 348 9177585 |


Amarone della Valpolicella Great family prestige from 5 generations

Via Costabella, 9 - 37011 Bardolino (VR) Lago di Garda - Tel. +39 045 7210022 -


by Mara Nocilla photography by Francesco Vignali

This tasting was dedicated to one of the products that symbolizes Made in Italy food. It gave surprising and touching results. We found silky and velvety consistencies, intense sweet and acidic flavors, aromas of vegetable gardens and hot summers. The tasting lined up the tomato purees (passate) available on the Italian market, dozens of products, covered and assigned numbers, with different characteristics, targets and prices. They underwent a double tasting, raw and quickly cooked for three minutes, with neither salt or olive oil added.


RED GOLD Tasting panel participants: Marco Camilli, president of Anagribios (Coldiretti) Maria Gabriella Ciofetta, professional oil taster Marco Greggio, agronomist and teacher of sensory analysis Antonio Menconi, expert of sensory analysis of bread and oil Mara Nocilla, Gambero Rosso journalist Annamaria Olivieri, professional wine and oil taster Elvan Uysal, Elvan Uysal, food and wine journalist Prices are average retail in Italy Except for the first two winners, other companies are in alphabetic order

45 APRIL 2017


LE CONSERVE DELLA NONNA Ravarino (MO) via Confine, 1583 tel. 059 900432


San Lazzaro di Savena (BO) via Palazzetti, 5c tel. 051 6540211

EX AEQUO Italian tomatoes processed A well-known natural foods brand, Alce within a day of harvesting, with the Nero is available in organic specialty shops addition of salt and citric acid. Le and conventional supermarkets. We tasted Conserve della Nonna is a brand name of the an organic type, from a longish, round vaFini group. A very classic puree, functional, riety grown in the Po Delta and processed country-style in the best sense of that term, within 10 hours of harvesting (by La Cedense, full-bodied and concentrated, a comsenate Conserve Alimentari). Only basil is pact red color tending towards purplish. Senadded. The color is a fiery red, fairly homosations on the nose and mouth: a heavy velvet geneous and compact but vibrant. During a consistency, fairly sweet, with notes of toast brief cooking, the puree becomes compact and cooked tomato, but very little acid. Clean and perfect. Sweet and fresh flavor, as the and natural, not forced concentration. Perfect label promises, but with toasty notes and for meat sauces but also for last-minute pasta natural sweetness that three minutes of heat topping. accentuates without losing the original fresh ness. The basil is faintly present, but not disturbing. Classic, well made, suitable for all 35 g price 1.49-1.55 euros recipes. A winner..


Venturina Terme (LI) via Enos Cerrini, 67 tel. 0565 855150 - 800 192500

EX AEQUO An historic Italian tomato-processing company, founded in 1925, Petti evolved with time, refining its transformation methods and carefully selecting its resources. It uses only Tuscan tomatoes from low-impact agriculture worked at low temperatures with iodized salt and nothing else added. The top product is Il Delicato, an extrafine puree that fulfills the intentions and claim on the label. Subtle and clean, homogeneous and compact, although with an artisanal appearance, it becomes even more luminous and appealing after three minutes of heating. Immediate and linear on the nose and the mouth, it offers the characteristic sensations of fresh tomato. It provides what you expect from a good industrial tomato puree, a model for other companies in the sector. It is good for a simple tomato and fresh basil sauce, but also for other cooked dishes calling for tomato.

500 g price 1.98-2 euros


San Lazzaro di Savena (BO) via Paolo Poggi, 11 tel. 051 6228311 An historic company known for tomato conserves “made with heart since 1856”. Founded in Torino, today it is part of the Conserve Italia group, a European leader of the Italian canning industry. La Rustica, made with only Italian tomatoes and nothing else added, is processed in Codigoro (Ferrara). It is a classic industrial puree, a lively flaming red, that preserves the notes of fresh tomato. High but natural acidity, balanced, clean flavor, genuine aromas. On the palate, traces of seeds and skins, suitable in the rustic version of the conserve, but the consistency is velvety overall. For traditional recipes, but also for a classic spaghetti with tomato and basil sauce. 680 g price 1.44 euros



Venezia via Istituto Santa Maria della Pietà, 6 tel. 041 8690111 Classica ‘velvety’ Ca’ dell’Orto, a brand of In’s, a discount chain, lives up to its name. It is a fine, clean, compact puree, homogeneous and with a concentrated bright red color. It is made from 100% Italian tomatoes from low-impact agriculture and processed fresh, together with salt and citric acid, by Columbus in Martorano (Parma). Fragrance and flavor are those of a good industrial puree, well-made, characteristic and correctly produced, with tomato still perceptible. Quick cooking improves it. Considering the price, a miraculous product. 700 g price 0.49 euros

700 g price 1.38-1.50 euros

46 APRIL 2017

Fiano Romano (RM) via Tiberina, km 19,300 tel. 0765 4621

‘Sfiziosa’ Cuore Mediterraneo, a brand of Todis, sold in the well-known chain of discount supermarkets, is a product that fully deserves to be included in this list. Produced by ICAB La Fiammante in the Buccino (Salerno) factory, it is from Italian tomatoes grown on low-impact farms, with salt and citric acid added. It is a lively flaming red color, fine, compact and rustic, with traces of seeds and skins, the consistency of rough ketchup. Not particularly exuberant on the palate and with little fluid, it has a subdued acid/sweet component and a light bitter trace on the close, but in both nose and mouth there are sensations of fresh tomato. 680 g price 0.89 euros



zona industriale


Fara San Martino (CH) tel.

0872 9861

The Rustica puree made by De Cecco is produced by Rodolfi Mansueto in Ozzano Taro, Parma, using Italian tomatoes and salt. Fiery red, pulpy, compact, homogeneous, it is enhanced by quick cooking. Typical notes of cooked tomatoes, as in most industrial purees, but there is also a hint of freshness. The salt gives energy to the flavor and amplifies aromas. Classic, immediate, very well-made. It is suited for all traditional dishes, meat sauces, and for both medium and lengthy cooking. 700 g price 1.10-1.38 euros


agglomerato indutriale lotto tel.

0828 957155


La Fiammante is the top brand in the ICAB group, Industrie Conserve Alimentari Buccino (La Paesana and La Reale are also part of the group). The company works together with farmers, most from around Foggia, encouraging low-impact agriculture and mechanical harvesting in order to fight the exploitation of low-cost labor in the countryside and to guarantee rapid transfers of fresh tomatoes to the processing plant. Their good practices and intentions can be felt in Rustica Licolife in particular, which, compared to the other La Fiammante purees, undergoes half the heat treatment and very rapid cooking to enhance fresh tomato sensations. It is a grainy, shiny puree that leaves slight traces of seeds and peel in the mouth, but not annoying ones. Good sweet/sour balance, and fresh-tomato aromas. Classic and characteristic, it is at its best raw. Heat accentuates the acidity slightly. 680 g price 1.10-1.20 euros


Montechiarugolo (PR) via Traversetolo, 28 tel. 0521 652511 - 800865040 Mutti’s puree, from ripe Italian tomatoes “harvested in full summer and immediately processed” is one of the most widely appreciated and popular products of its type. It is a classic puree, concentrated, tending towards extracted, fine, clean, compact and homogeneous. A velvety, silky fluid of an intense red color, it is what the consumer looks for and expects. Tasted raw, it is restrained, slightly acidic and has notes of cooked tomato, with no tones of fresh fruit. But after a quick heating, it shows its best self. The bitter trace disappears, the acidity fades, the sweetness concentrates. It is a winner of a product, made by a time-tested industry aiming for a desirably concentrated puree. That’s its target. Perfect for meat sauces, whether long or shorter cooking times, and for slow-cooking stews. 700 g price 0.99-1.48 euros


Bologna via I. Barontini, 16/5 tel. 800910550 “All the flavor of raw tomatoes”. That’s what’s written on the label of the Pomodorissimo Santa Rosa, an historic brand, now part of the Valsoia group. In its classic, La Passata, fine and velvety, prepared with fresh Italian tomatoes and salt in the Copador plant in Collecchio (Parma), the promise on the label is fairly well maintained, especially on the palate. The sensations of concentrate make room for those of fresh tomatoes. We found delicacy, cleanliness, coherence, a linear and quite genuine style, a certain freshness and very little acidity. Brief cooking removes the trace of bitterness perceptible in the raw puree. 700 g price 1.05-1.18 euros 47 APRIL 2017

Milano via Caldera, 21 tel. 02 48251 - 800 650650

The puree of Puglia Terre d’Italia, the Carrefour brand, is prepared for the major French chain of supermarkets by Puma Conserve in Molfetta (Bari) with fresh tomatoes grown in Puglia, salt and citric acid. It has a grainy consistency and a vibrant flame-red color, is well-prepared and has an artisanal appearance. Good also when tasted raw. For an industrial product its flavor stays fresh and is very balanced, with the aromatic sensations of a tomato that hasn’t been over-processed. Heat takes away some fragrance and freshness. 500 g price 1.99 euros



Bob Noto

by Pina Sozio

Cooking methods, sous vide, fermentation‌the creativity of the chef comes into the dining room and bar with drinks that are more constructed, less alcoholic and better calibrated for pairing with the dishes of a tasting menu.

LIQUID CUISINE How pairing amplifies a dish The Oyster cocktail - Kresios

49 APRIL 2017



nce upon a time there was pairing. That was a time when we, the joyful visitors to the tables of top chefs, thought we understood the unquestioned significance of pairing: to each dish its wine, in a more or less articulated menu. From sparkling wine to dessert, we could trace the notes of harmony or contrast playing counterpoint to our meal. At most, recently a choice of craft beers was added. These pairings, obviously, are still in fashion, and they are what one usually orders in a restaurant. But there are new schools of thought that put that concept in question, restaurants and kitchens

in Spain, northern Europe and the United States in which much consideration goes to the possibility of experimenting with drink just as one does with food. Is it time to put a stop to the excessive alcohol tenor of pairing wines with the large number of dishes (sometimes well over ten) in a tasting menu? The Spanish experience. The Spanish, at least the most extreme representative of the country’s avant-garde, David Muñoz, three Michelin stars at DiverXO in Madrid, call it Cocina liquida. The chef with the Mohican hair cut showed, a few years ago, along with sommelier Javier Arroya, his intent to revolutionize the world of pairing,

Photo Madrid Fusión

Matthew Abbick at Atera - New York. On the right, David Muñoz at DiverXo - Madrid

playing with the wines served using essences and aromas that brought them closer to the spirit of the plate each accompanied. Whether it was grapeseed oil (to give unctuousness) or a pinch of Maldon salt, the message was clear: wine is no longer a closed world. On the stage of the last edition of Madrid Fusion, an international conference of haute cuisine, Muñoz went further, talking about what was happening in his newly-opened London restaurant, StreetXO in Mayfair. Here, with loud music and dishes to share, the culinary experience was further enriched, with the liquid part becoming an extension of the dishes, liquid cui-

the other with a straw.” DiverXo and StreetXo are naturally not the only restaurants, nor the first to have reformulated the pairing question. Steps towards a more synergetic union between plate and glass were taken a while ago by Ryan Clift at the Tippling Club in Singapore. With the stupefying speed of the sector to find ugly new words, his style was baptized ‘gastromixology’. It was a meeting between cuisine d’auteur and tailored cocktails, built to stimulate the mind and the taste buds. Among the pairings on the menu, for example, was ocean trout, beetroot, smoked ox tongue, and horseradish cream accompanied by Radicle Horse, a drink based on gin with coriander, horseradish and lemon.

Photo Madrid Fusión

sine. “A dance for two – dish and drink,” said the chef. Cold, cooked or fermented mixtures played a starring role, equal to that of the food. An example is Muñoz’ version of chili crab, a typical Asian dish. It is accompanied by a cocktail inspired by Tom Kha Gai, a sweet and sour Thai soup. In this concept, the alcohol component of the drink is generally very modest and often the cocktails incorporate ingredients with umami qualities, like bottarga or tobiko eggs. “Cocktail and dish are two faces of the same experience,” explained Muñoz. “Our cuisine is based on the harmony between solid and liquid. You approach one with silverware,


The New York scene. Attempts to lower the alcoholic element in tasting menu pairings have been made in different parts of the world. The Temperance Pairing at Atera has become famous on the New York scene. The drinks are all alcoholfree, which, with a long succession of small plates (about 20 courses), generally served at a counter, replaces the usual wine match (although it is available) with drinks that are calibrated perfectly with the food for those who don’t want to stagger out of the restaurant. The dishes of Ronny Emborg are famous. One is the liquid with which meals at Atera begin. Champine, presented at Madrid Fusion by maître Matthew Abbick, is com-

pletely alcohol free. It is a bubbly, fermented drink infused with douglas fir pine needles with resin tones that accompany a mouthful of Osetra caviar on pistachio gelato. Alcohol-free pairings are not new in New York. At Eleven Madison Park, dishes are often paired with fermented drinks that aim at strengthening the food sensations. In the eternal cycle of global kitchen reinventions, the first traces of this trend are to be found in René Redzepi’s juice pairings at Noma. Dishes were paired with juices made from herb extracts, fruit and vegetables. Experimentation in Italy. In a country where the culture of wine is so deeply rooted, it is not simple 52 APRIL 2017

to suggest such games, and probably, the need isn’t felt. In the Anglo-Saxon world, it seems normal to accompany food with a cocktail or other drink, while here, in Italy, alcohol other than wine at the table is a rarity. That does not mean, though, that the discussion is closed. With the golden age that mixed drinks are experiencing in Italy, it is becoming easier to find excellent restaurants that, if the client asks, can tailor beverages to order. Numerous bartenders now use molecular kitchen tools with ease. Filippo Sisti, barman at the Carlo Cracco bistrot, Carlo&Camilla in Segheria di Milano, is giving a meaning all his own to the concept of liquid cuisine. More than pair-

Madrid Fusión Stage for the avant-garde Madrid Fusiόn has just celebrated its fifteenth birthday. The gastronomic conference, which heads the annual roster of the gastronomy sector’s events, was founded in the Spanish capital by critic José Carlos Capel. A twin event is also held annually in the Philippines, Madrid Fusiόn Manila. “The shared codes of haute cuisine” was the theme of the 2017 Madrid edition, held from January 23-25. About 12,000 visitors and hundreds of speakers from 17 countries attended, with Argentina acting as host country. Among the invited chefs was Italian Niko Romito. He enlivened the auditorium of the Municipal Conference Center with a talk called “The difficult path of simplicity.” Much emphasis was placed this year on the world of mixed drinks, with workshops dedicated to the theme and numerous famous bartenders on hand to accompany the chef show-cooking on stage. www . madridfusion . net

ing, although that too is carefully studied, the mixing phase is being rethought, borrowing the typical elements used for food, such as baking, sous vide, blast chillers, spices and aromas. New energy is coming to creativity at the bar. Focused attention on pairing is evident at Punto di Vista in Torino (a brother of Barz8). Traditional Piedmontese dishes are matched to specially designed cocktails. One example: tartare of Fassona beef and gin tonic with dried tomatoes. To find even deeper considerations of the evolution

OYSTER COCKTAIL Ingredients 2 cl VKA vodka 4 cl green apple puree

Photo Marco Varoli

Shake and pour onto the plate holding the oyster, directly in front of the guest.

53 APRIL 2017


of pairing food and drink in haute cuisine, we went further south, to Kresios in Telese Terme, in the province of Benevento, in Campania. Giuseppe Iannotti and his team have developed two internationalstyle tasting menus. They provide a crescendo of flavors, the first part meant to be eaten with fingers, the other in more classic fashion, with silverware. They have reformulated the concept of pairing, not eliminating wine, but alternating it with other kinds of beverages. “Since we only have tasting menus and not a la carte service, the menu reflects the needs of the guests for the entire evening,” Iannotti explained. “The same is true for the beverage. We try to understand if the client tends to-

ward acidic flavors, if they like sweet tastes or prefer bitter ones, but at the same time we study the best way to complete the dish.” So mixed drinks amplify in an obvious way some dishes. Mizuwari, served with lamb, mushrooms and Jerusalem artichoke puree, is a Japanese-inspired cocktail. The term derives from mizu (water) and wari (mixed). In the original recipe the sochu (a spirit from sweet potatoes, barley and rice) is diluted with four parts of water. The version here, created by Alfredo Buonanno, the maître at Kresios, uses a peat whisky, Tau water from Wales, and a sphere of ice. “The low alcohol content of the mixture,” explained Buonanno, “allows us to avoid the highs and lows of wine gradations,

yet, thanks to the complexity, freshness and a hint of peat, Mizuwari prolongs the persistence of the lamb, at the same time bringing freshness and sapidity to the palate.” Another beverage balanced between eating and drinking is a cocktail of vodka, water and green apple puree, used to season an oyster, with the objective of balancing the strong saline element of the crustacean. Here the idea goes beyond the classic idea of accompanying a food, and becomes a new contemporary approach. Eighty-five years ago in the culinary paradoxes of the Manifest of Futurist Cucina, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti proposed ‘simultaneous mouthfuls’. How up-to-date that seems now.

MIZUWARI Ingredients 1 cl whisky 3 cl Tau water 1 ice sphere

Dilute the whisky with the water, mix and serve with an ice sphere. Pair with lamb with mushrooms and Jerusalem artichoke puree.

addresses Carlo e Camilla in Segheria | Milano | via G. Meda, 24 | tel. 02 8373 963 | Punto di Vista | Torino | Moncalieri, 5b | tel. 011 8193378 | Kresios | Telese Terme (BN) | via San Giovanni, 59 | tel. 0824 940 723 | DiverXo | Madrid | Calle de Padre Damiรกn, 23, NH Eurobuilding | tel. +34 915 700 766 | StreetXo | London | 15, Old Burlington St. | Mayfair | tel. +44 (0)20 3096 7555 | Tippling Club | Singapore | 38, Tanjong Pagar Rd | tel. +65 6475 2217 | Eleven Madison Park | New York | 11, Madison Ave. | Metropolitan Life North Building | tel. +1 (0) 212 889 0905 | Atera | New York | 77 Worth St | tel. +1 (0) 212 226 1444 |

55 APRIL 2017


text and photography by Massimiliano Rella

56 APRIL 2017

Offida is known for its handmade lace, but today’s visitors are more interested in its traditional food and wine. The area’s fruity white and assertive reds have kept up with the times.

e h c r a M



The triangular Piazza del Popolo is the heart of the town. At the far edge, the Palazzo Comunale


n Offida we have good cucina, excellent organic wines and a unique product: handmade lace!” exclaimed Daniele Maurizio Citeroni, chef and host at Osteria Ophis, a top restaurant in this delightful village in the Marche, 25 kilometers from Ascoli Piceno. It’s here that we have our first experience of two of the zone’s pleasures of the table: maccheroncini in meat sauce with pecorino cheese from the Sibillini mountains and exquisite rabbit stew (coniglio in salmì). They are both Ophis specialties. The next stop on our itinerary, a perfect destination for a spring weekend, is the beautiful, triangular Piazza del Popolo, the heart and meeting place of Offida. Palazzo Comunale and Teatro del Serpente Aureo dominate the square. A stroll down Via Roma takes you

past the Merletto a Tombolo museum, dedicated to lace, and ends at the 14th century church of Santa Maria della Rocca. This building stands apart on a cliff with a romantic panoramic view. Inside is a crypt and a series of frescoes, both worth a visit. Stay at Catia Stracci’s Botte, a comfortable inn with homestyle food. The staff, all women, turn out delicious maccheroncini di Campofilone (a version of homemade egg tagliatelle) with lemon and prosciutto, and taccù (handmade whole grain flour and water pasta) with cherry tomatoes and crisp guanciale (cured pork cheek). Among the second courses is rabbit all’offidana (with white wine and local Ascolana olives) and the classic deep-fried lamb, olives and cremini (squares of custard) trio, all of it tasty and surprisingly light. Botte has no wine list, but offers 58 APRIL 2017

The staff of La Botte restaurant. From the left, chef Loredana with housemade maccheroncini di Campofilone, owner Catia Stracci, sommelier Daniela Stracci, and cook Adriana with housemade bread

Mixed fry of Ascolana olives and cremini from the pasta shop and kitchen, Fior di Farina

Osteria Ophis. Chef Daniele Citeroni with a dish of rabbit stew, coniglio in salmĂŹ

59 APRIL 2017


Producers Dwight Stanford and Raffaele Paolini of PS Winery

The Di Nicolò family, owners of Valle del Sole winery. Producer Silvano Di Nicolò with his daughters

60 APRIL 2017

Offida’s best local labels. Devote the next morning to local wines and the three organic wineries of the Terroir Marche consortium. Our first stop is the panoramic terrace overlooking the vineyards of the modern PS winery belonging to Raffaele Paolini, ex-journalist and communicator, and Dwight Stanford, ex-surgeon from Kansas City. We asked how a doctor ended up in this vineyard. “After a financial crisis in the United States,” explained Dwight, “malpractice insurance costs rose as high as a thousand dollars a week. At a certain point, I couldn’t take it anymore. Meanwhile, I had gotten a degree in enology, pursuing a personal passion. So I decided to change my life and came to specialize in Italy.” Here he met Paolini while taking a master’s degree in Gastronomic Sciences. The two became friends

Pillow lace Il merletto a tombolo Merletto a tombolo is lace made with threads of linen (or hemp, silk, cotton, gold or silver) worked on bobbins, a rigid cardboard pricked with the design, and a ‘tombolo’, a cylindrical pillow set on a support. The patterns most commonly used are: punto Rinascimento, punto Venezia and punto antico. Offida’s lace museum, which also houses the museums of archeology and popular traditions, began its life in 1950 with a first exhibition of “craft, industry and commerce.” First shown in the Town Hall, it then moved to various spaces in the ex-convent of San Agostino, soon becoming an important showcase for this extraordinary product of local artisans. Right from the start, modern works were placed side by side with antique ones, a witness to centuries of patient labor. The exhibit always showed different types of work, with lacemakers demonstrating specific patterns and different uses for lace. Antique and modern objects have always been shown together, to underline continuity and transformation in an art that is ancient and so widely known that its origins are difficult to trace. Museo Del Merletto a Tombolo | Palazzo De Castellotti-Pagnanelli | via Roma, 17 | Offida (AP) | tel.0736 88871 - 0736 888609 | Associazione Il Merletto di Offida | Serpente Aureo, 2 | Offida (AP) | tel. 329 704 3979 |

The preparation of lace in the Offida lace museum, working with cotton thread, bobbins, and a pillow

61 APRIL 2017

and in 2007 bought six hectares of vineyard on a southeastern facing hill. Today, besides offering visits and tastings, they host wine tourists in a charming B&B in an exfarm house, Nascondiglio di Bacco (Bacchus’ Hiding Place). We hear all this while tasting a glass of white Aurai, a Pecorino di Offida. It charms us with its fresh floral and citrusy aromas that lead into a powerful and decisive palate. Then we sampled Baccofino, a monovarietal Montepulciano aged in new oak barrels for a year, then two more in the bottle. The next wineries we visited are among the pioneers of organic wine in Marche. Aurora chose that path in 1979. Among the six labels we tasted, Fiobbo is a Pecorino with floral aromas, a note of anise and plum jam, with good acidity. Barricadero is a Montepulciano, rich in ripe red fruit tones with hints of vanilla and licorice. The day continued at Valle del Sole, where we met the Di Nicolò family and tasted four wines. Among them was a red blend of montepulciano and cabernet sauvignon grapes and a white Pecorino with citrusy notes and noteworthy acidity. In the center of Offida, in Piazza del Popolo, Cantina Ciù Ciù, one of the new players on the Piceno zone wine scene, has its tasting headquarters. It serves wines paired with traditional products of the territory, cheeses and cured meats above all. Here we tried two reds that the Bartolomei family recommends for traditional Easter dishes. One is Esperanto, a blend of Montepulciano and Cabernet that spends a year in barrique and another one in the bottle, giving it a slight international feel. The young Bacchus is a blend of Montepulciano and Sangiovese. Before dinner we stop to shop at the butch-


Pastificio con Gastronomia Fior di Farina. Fresh tagliatelle and maccheroncini di Campofilone

er’s, Emilio and Valentino Aleandri. We buy ciauscolo, a soft salami, sausages made with pork and liver, and some capocollo from the Fattoria del Ciafone. Our evening ends happily at La Mattra, run by two sisters-in-law, Simona and Paola. They serve typical Marche dishes and pizza baked in a woodburning oven. We eat crisp fried potatoes with rosemary and olives, a dish of taccù pasta with pancetta and lime, and then a mixed deep fry, all’Ascolana. The next morning after a breakfast typical of Nascondiglio di Bacco, Sunday began with a stop at the lace museum, Museo del Merletto a Tombolo. Don’t dismiss it as an old lady thing. Lacemaking is an ancient and honored craft, and two thousand people are employed

doing it in a town of 5,000. Each home in Offida turns out works of lace. Before leaving the town we have a snack and do some shopping at Fior di Farina, a pasta shop with kitchen run by Nora and Sonia, partners for 18 years. On the counter we see the classics: Offidani taccù pasta from water and whole grain white flour; maccheroncini di Campofilone; chichi, pizza filled with tuna, capers, anchovies, pickled vegetables and green olives. Offida funghetti are Deco brand biscotti from water, flour, sugar and anise. Brunch served at the tables is a hymn to the territory: cremini (fried custardy rectangles), fried olives all’Ascolana (stuffed with meat), and a glass of Offida Pecorino DOCG! 62 APRIL 2017

Sonia Darini in front of her pasta shop with kitchen, Fior di Farina

addresses where to eat Osteria Ophis | Serpente Aureo, 54b | Offida (Ap) | tel 0736 889920 | |

La Botte | Borgo Miriam, 51 | Offida (Ap) | tel 0736 889299 | | via

La Mattra | p.zza Fratelli Cervi, 10 | | Offida (Ap) | tel. 0736 889787 |

where to stay La Botte | via Borgo Miriam, 51 | Offida (Ap) | tel. 0736 889299 | | Il Nascondiglio di Bacco | c.da Ciafone, 97 | Offida (Ap) | tel. 0736 889537 | Valle del Sole | c.da San Lazzaro 46 | Offida (Ap) | tel. 0736 889658 |

foodshops Enoteca Regionale delle Marche | via G. Garibaldi, 75 | Offida (Ap) | tel 0736 618 023 | | Fior di Farina | via Roma 6/a | Offida (Ap) | tel. 0736 880711 | La Fattoria nel Ciafone | via S. Lazzaro, 118 | Offida (Ap) | tel. 0736 880544 |

wineries Ciù Ciù | c.da Ciafone, 106 | Offida (AP) | tel. 0736 810001 | La Valle del Sole | San Lazzaro, 46 | Offida (Ap) | tel. 0736 889658 | c.da

PS Winery | c.da Ciafone, 97 | Offida (Ap) | tel. 0736 889537 – 347 1983 306 | Vini Aurora | Contrada Ciafone 98, zona Santa Maria in Carro | Offida (Ap) | tel 0736.810007 |

The crypt (1330) in the church of Santa Maria della Rocca. To the right on the column, a fresco, “Saint with mantle”

63 APRIL 2017



Clara Barra collaborated

Giuseppe D’Aquino is a chef from southern Italy, but he breathed in a great deal of French and American air before settling in the hills that dominate Lake Garda. At the wine resort, Villa Cordevigo, he leads the kitchens of L’Oseleta. From here he looks out at the world with a Mediterranean soul and modern curiosity, aiming for the best


D Aquino

From Lake Garda


APRIL 2017


«My kilometer zero is the world» L’Oseleta is not a place for ‘cucina tipica’. It is where half of Europe and much of the world comes together: Italians and Germans, French and Americans, Asians and Africans, largely business people who travel the world on global matters. “Mine is a kilometer zero kitchen, but here zero means the world,” joked Giuseppe D’Aquino. For seven years he has been executive chef in the romantic 18th century Villa Cordevigo. Right after earning a diploma in industrial technology, he turned to working in kitchens. After an early experience on the Amalfi Coast, he traveled to the United States and then to Dubai. In France, in the 1990s, when French cuisine was at its height, he worked at Senderens, at the L’Opera kitchen in the Hotel de la Ville, and twice spent time with Ducasse in Monte Carlo. During this fifteen-year period, Giuseppe absorbed basic premises: the importance of choosing ingredients, the planning and coordination behind the kitchen brigade, and a respect for roles. “These are bases for best expressing what I am,” the chef explained. When he returned to Italy, he applied those premises to a marvelous palate of top quality Italian (and other) products. “My objective,” he said, “is to attain simplicity, excellence and uniqueness in each dish. I focus on seasonality, on the immediacy of ingredients, and on being in touch with the times. That’s my cucina.” In the dishes he presents to Gambero readers, Giuseppe demonstrates the key concepts of his work. Spaghetti with piennolo (air-preserved, hung) tomatoes and red mullet are both explosive expressions of Italian flavor and its Mediterranean origins. “I develop my cucina based on the entire Italian territory but also on modern techniques of cooking and preparation that enhance flavors and aromas,” affirmed D’Aquino, refusing to be easily categorized. “Spaghetti represents simplicity. It is the indelible record of my childhood. The key dishes of our history were built with incredible ingredients, even though some were leftovers, like the liquid from anchovies, and some were ordinary, like the lemons that give the right acidity,” Giuseppe continued. “Red mullet when cooked keeps its colors intact. It still feels alive in a sauce full of sunlight, one that seems to have been created at the start to keep the mullet company.” Foie gras and chocolate, however, are the more French and international part of the chef, but he doesn’t hesitate to color them with a touch of the Mediterranean L’Oseleta di Villa Cordevigo Wine Relais | Cavaion Veronese (VR) | loc. Cordevigo | tel. 045 723 5287 | 66 APRIL 2017

Foie gras, tuna, rhubarb sherbet, beets, soy and veal sauce Ingredients for 4 servings 4 foie gras slices 50 g each 120 g fresh tuna 4 cooked beet cubes 40 ml veal broth 16 ml soy sauce 2 kg rhubarb 480 g water 400 g sugar 168 g dextrose 168 g glucose extra-virgin olive oil

Maldon salt Pepper

For the sherbet, wash and clean fresh rhubarb. Insert in Pacojet container. Prepare a syrup with water, sugar, glucose and dextrose. Add to fruit in Pacojet and mix after cooling to -20°C. Heat slices of foie gras on both sides for one minute in very hot non-stick pan. Following foie gras shape, cut tuna in slices. Season with Maldon salt, olive oil and pepper. Earlier, prepare a classic veal broth with veal belly and tail, chicken wings and herbs. Reduce to 1/10 and strain. Add soy sauce in indicated proportions and reduce further. Assemble dish, garnishing with a pea sprout and beets. Lastly, cover with wellheated sauce.



with piennolo tomato sauce , burrata , lemon peel

Ingredients for 4 400 g spaghetti



g piennolo tomatoes


g burrata

2 garlic cloves 2 cl anchovy colatura grated yellow peel

1 lemon

extra - virgin olive oil basil



SautĂŠ together olive oil, garlic, basil stems without leaves. Add air-dried tomatoes (piennolo) and turn off heat, but cover so heat completes cooking. Boil pasta in water without salt but adding anchovy colatura. Drain while still al dente. Reserve some cooking water. Reheat tomatoes, add pasta and, little by little, pasta water, stirring for about 2 minutes. Add basil leaves at end. Serve, finishing plate with burrata and grated lemon peel.


mullet , R omesco sauce , watercress Ingredients for 4 servings 4 red mullet 150 g each 5l



g celery


g carrot


g onion


g tomato paste

For the Romesco 4 tomatoes 4 red

sauce :

bell peppers


ml extra - virgin olive oil


ml red wine vinegar


peeled almonds


peeled hazelnuts

4 garlic cloves,


2 slices day-old



pepper , salt , pepper

Clean and fillet mullet, but leave tail whole. Prepare broth, adding bones and head to sautéed celery, carrot, onion. Add tomato paste and simmer for 5 minutes. Add water and cook for 3 hours over low heat. Strain and reduce further until consistency is right. For the Romesco sauce, wash peppers and tomatoes. Dry with cloth and grill at highest heat for about 10 minutes, turning every 2-4 minutes to avoid burning skins, just loosening them. When tomato skin is slightly toasted, remove from oven and place immediately in paper bag. Continue cooking peppers for 5 minutes more, turning twice. Place them in paper bag. Close hermetically and wait 10 or more minutes. The steam from the peppers and tomatoes will soften toasted skins and make them easier to remove. Take vegetables out of bag, eliminate skins, stems, seeds, and filaments from both. Toast almonds and hazelnuts for 2 minutes over medium heat, then chop.

69 APRIL 2017

Remove crusts and cut bread into cubes. Sauté in 2 tbsps olive oil. Dry on paper towel. In a mortar, pound together peppers, tomatoes, chopped garlic, chili pepper, hazelnuts and almonds, gradually adding olive oil to obtain a puree. When preferred density is obtained, add more oil and vinegar. Mix carefully and leave to rest for 4 hours. Place mullets on a wire baking rack. Heat olive oil to 180°C (355°F). Ladle oil delicately over fish several times. Bake fish in 170°C (340°F) oven for about 3 minutes. Serve.


Chocolate and raspberry

Ingredients for 4 servings For the crisp base: 80 g bittersweet chocolate 55%

For the chocolate mousse: 250 g whipped cream

For the raspberry gelatin: 250 g raspberry pulp

172 g bittersweet chocolate 55%

50 g sugar

16.5 g cocoa butter

125 g milk

45 g rehydrated gelatin

386 g hazelnut paste

15 g rehydrated gelatin

200 g di pailleté feuilletine

For the crisp base, melt chocolate and cocoa butter, blend with hazelnut paste and add the pailleté. (lacy crépe bits). Place a thin layer of the mixture in a baking pan with high sides. For the mousse, heat milk to boiling point, pour over chocolate and blend

with hand-held blender. Add gelatin to milk, blend in whipped cream. Spread mousse mixture over crisp base and place in blast chiller. For the gelatin, heat raspberry pulp with sugar, add gelatin, spread on solidified mousse and leave to harden.

70 MARZO 2017

For the chocolate cupola, melt and stir, spread on an acetate sheet and draw lines with a rake. Wait until it hardens, then shape into a cylinder. Cut the mousse into rectangles in the baking pan. Plate, covering with chocolate cupola and flowers.


Foie gras, fresh tuna, rhubarb sherbet, beets, veal and soy sauce

Spaghetti with piennolo tomato sauce, burrata, lemon peel

Le Demisec s.a. | Laurent Perrier | Tours sur Marne | Francia | tel. (33) 326 589 122 |

Bardolino Cl. Vigna Morlongo 2014 | Vigneti Villabella | Bardolino (VR) |

A fresh, rich and intense wine made from chardonnay (45%), pinot nero (35%) and pinot meunier (20%) grapes, it ages for at least 3 years and has a sugar dosage of 40g/l. This Champagne is a reminder of flavors from another time, and goes well with both sweet and savory dishes. Its intense bouquet, rich in notes of almonds, hazelnuts and toasty, slightly burned aromas, makes it suitable to pair with foie gras and this highly complex dish.

A pairing that celebrates the Tre Bicchieri won in the latest edition of Gambero Rosso’s Vini d’Italia. An exceptional wine with an enviable price/quality rapport (8 euros in Italian wine shops). “Fabulous,” said our panel. “The color is properly pale, aromas fine and intense, dominated by the marriage between wild fruit and pepper, with a delightful hint of mixed herbs in the background.” Complexity and elegance right for a highly complex dish.

Red mullet, Romesco sauce, watercress

Chocolate and raspberry

Villa Cordevigo Bianco 2013 | Vigneti Villabella | Bardolino (VR) |

Trentino Moscato Rosa 2011 | Cantine Letrari | Rovereto (TN) | tel. 0464 480 200 |

A home-grown pairing. The wine is a blend of garganega (75%) and sauvignon blanc: mineral, savory and floral at the same time, evoking aromas of apple, citrus fruit and sage. It spends 8 months in 30-hectoliter oak barrels after fermentation in stainless steel. It is a wine that sustains well the very particular character of the mullet and the rich sauce that accompanies it.

Nello Letrari is the over-eighty patriarch of Trentino wine. His daughter, Lucia, an enologist has inherited his wisdom. She focuses more and more on sparkling wines. This Moscato is red (not pink, like many others.) and joins the floral perfume of yellow roses to the presence of tannin. It is perfect with chocolate-cream-cocoa butter and with the raspberries. 71

APRIL 2017


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