My BFF is Back.. What A Reunion!
Most of you who have been following my career know that I was originally with ABC Fine Wine & Spirits but left to take on the world of being a 4 location Corporate Sommelier. During my time at ABC I was fortunate to meet many new people and serve many new guests but in between my touting of Pacific Northwest Wines and the Italian Selections of Nadia Galati and The Burgundies and Rhones from Importer Jonathan Shiekman, I got to become very emotionally close to an Italian Wine from one of the great properties of Bruna Baroncini and imported by Mr Shiekman. It was a wine like no other. I would just sample my guests on my new favorite wine and they would buy 3 cases. Then I left for my position in the Corporate Sommelier world but I knew I would miss my BFF.. OR BWF (Best Wine Forever) His name was FULGENTE which translates to LUMINOUS. Just like when we say goodbye to a dear friend or someone who touched our lives in a special way, we want to have a keepsake to remember them. I found a company online that makes a Wine Coaster out of any picture you send them. So I thought this would be a way to remember my BWF.
Yes above is my coaster of a picture I sent the company sitting on my granite counters in my apartment so any cocktail or wine glass I place on it would always make me smile about the good times with my BWF. Forward the clock to 2017 when I rejoined ABC and not only were many of my Washington State Wines no longer with us but due to logistics by BWF was no longer available at ABC and it is NOT an easy wine to locate. All I had were memories. Lo and behold without any advance notice ( I thought I was dreaming) our import logistic issue was resolved and when we received a delivery from our ABC Warehouse 3 BOTTLES of FULGENTE were on the truck. I literally could not wait to see if my BWF was as I remembered as wine is different every YEAR or VINTAGE but I drank a bottle of the 2014 yesterday !
2014 Querciarossa “Fulgente” Rosso ,Maremma I.G.T.
In an area in southwest Tuscany is the General Area called the Maremma. More specifically for this wine, Magliano in Toscana. Sandy Soils and Clay and the characteristics of the soil because of the nature of Limestone the soil is composed of during all the past history and different conditions of formation. Basically we have lots of Limestone and very low levels of nitrogen and phosphorous which in plain English means Perfect for High Acidity and Full Flavored wines. GET OUT YOUR PENS for the Blend of Grapes. Sangiovese makes makes up the major component of the wine with a little, Canaiolo, Colorino (Love this grape even buy itself ), Montepulciano, Alicante Bouschet, Ciliegiolo (CHILL–EEE–GEE–OLOH) A grape used in Morellino Di Scansano which is underrated as well and a dash of Teroldego. ….Whew!! I love Mediterranean climates as we get a dry spell in the summers usually and mild winters. Basically the sea determines a good vintage or a bad one. They manually harvest the grapes. They ferment in Steel Vats and then age in 225 liter oak barrels. Most Importantly….IT’S BACK… Lets see how my Reunion went!
13.5% Alcohol. The color was an intense “LUMINOUS” or FULGENTE Ruby Red Color with a slight lightening at the edges which is normal for a 4 year old wine. I love any wine that has aromas and flavors of Dark Chocolate. This had both. First whiff and it was like being in a movie theater and opening up a fresh box or bag of Raisinets.. Seriously!! No black fruits all red but that Chocolate Covered Raisin smell was powerful. Who doesn’t like Cocoa Powder and Red Dried Fruits on a wine or in a Cake lol.. On the palate, a medium frame and all the flavor action took place on the mid palate as a bright acidity backbone pushed the Red Currant flavors straight to the juicy finish line where it had a slight tannic grip, and a spicy, minty (Colorino always gives mint) on a pretty lengthy finish. 4 years and my BWF is just as I remember him. Delicious. A 91 points from me on this one and no bias because I knew the wine from years ago.
I am letting you know as some regulars may not even notice it back on the shelves. Thanks to Jonathan Shiekman getting this wine back to ABC. $21.99 it never did then and I am telling you it won’t last on the shelves very long now. I challenge all my readers and customers who tell me they are not a fan of Italian Wine to give this a whirl with Pizza, Chili, Stews, Lightly Aged Cheeses or even Good Tuna Or Salmon on the Grill and then come back and tell me you still don’t like Italian Wines. More for me then!! I can put away my coaster as my Favorite wine and I are going to make NEW MEMORIES TOGETHER