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February 2012

January 2012

Rocchi Serrapetrona Dolce

Serrapetrona dolce

Serrapetrona Dolce is one of the most unique and unusual wines I've gotten my hands on.  It's sparkling off dry red wine made, partially, from grapes dried on straw mats; there is nothing mainstream about this wine whatsoever.  Adding to its mystique, only about 45 hectars of land are approved to produce Serrapetrona Dolce and the peculiar wine making process for it is quite involved.  I regret that I only bought 6 cases when I had the opportunity. 

Serrapetrona Dolce is a small DOCG area in Italy's Marche, over on the east coast about 20 km inland from the Adriatic.  The soil is a mix of clay and loam with a fair amount of gypsum and sulfurous rock mixed in underneath.  I don't have a real handle on how that influences the wine, but it does reportedly pick up minerality and a resultant stony undertone from the gypsum.  Paris Rocchi took over from his father in the late 90's and is one of only four producers of this wild wine. 

Aroma: The aroma is a lot of dark berry fruit, cooked flavors, particularly blueberry pie, black cherry, and a spicy smell that is similar to the spicy smell of burning leaves and dead branches in autumn-but not specifically just smoky. 

Palate: This is a full red, but it's effervescent too which makes it seem brighter.  The bubbles are small and frothy, not too intense.  The sweetness likewise isn't overpowering; it makes the wine taste lusher and more substantial but it's balanced by the tannin and spice so you aren't overwhelmed with it.  The taste of the wine starts with big juicy  fruit that fills your mouth with a velvety texture.  Behind that fruit the wine starts to show some spicy herbal qualities of dried lavender, rosemary, and thyme followed by some sweetness and a meaty taste.  The wine finishes with a long and lingering dried plum and slight tannin.

This is my go to wine for National Pie Day but unfortunately I don't have much so it's only available at a few places.  The only retail shops with this are Rosemont on Munjoy Hill and the Freeport Cheese and Wine shop; however you could also try it at Bresca or Trattoria Athena in Brunswick.  I was all excited thinking about how well this will go with blueberry pie, or pork pie, or a mince meat pie and thought I was brilliant for having thought of these pairings.  Then I translated the company's website and discovered that they actually recommend pairing this with pie.  Oh well, at least I'm validated.  This is approximately $17 retail

Spending a whole day in a Pie Suite for the Preble St Resource Center

The Portland Pie Council has talked me into dressing up as a slice of pie for a whole business day in order to raise money for the Preble St Resource Center!  If I can raise a minimum of $500 for Preble St in the next week I will wear a giant brown and purple slice of pie suite for an entire day as I go about my business.  I'll wear it to the bank, in the supermarket, moving wine around in my warehouse: everywhere.  And I'll post pictures all over the Devenish Wines Facebook page so you can see me looking ridiculous.  In fact, here's a picture of me with the suite on so you can see what it will be like. 

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Please email me back at for how to donate.  Donations to Preble St are way down right now but more and more people in our community, our neighbors, need help. The Rosemont Market has already given me $100 towards the goal of $500, so just $400 left to see me spend a whole day in a pie suite.

Chateau le Bergey Bordeaux 2009

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Chateau le Bergey is one of the best values I have and it comes to me by way of my friend Laurent in the Loire valley.  Le Bergey is the entry level label of Chateau L'Escart, a Bordeaux Superior winery run by Damien Laurent, who lives on the property with his family.  The 2009 vintage was just released and I was excited to see how this drank as I had really liked the 07 and 08.  09 was a good vintage in Bordeaux and this is more structured than usual.  In past vintages this was Merlot based, but I'm told that with the 09 Damien took advantage of the unusually good season to use more Cabernet. The grapes are grown organically.

This vintage is 60% Cabernet and 40% Merlot

Aroma: Classic Bordeaux!  Dark intense fruit hits my nose first; cooked cherry, licorice, currant, and hints of baking chocolate and cedar when you get down to it.  Almost brooding it's so serious!

Palate: This is intense and concentrated.  I have to say I did open this early and it had plenty of aeration, but boy is it good now!  Ripe cherry, licorice, blackberry followed dry tannins and a tightly wound fruit on the finish that is, dare I say it? Grapey.  This is a well made, honest Bordeaux.  It's not super polished, but what do you want for under $12? 

This is a dark, serious, Bordeaux that's organically farmed and sells for about $12.  It's a great deal, but decant it!

Available at Vic and Whit's, the Rosemonts, Tess's Market, Downeast Beverage, and Bathra's Market, as well as many fine restaurants such as Caiola's and Figa.