Virtual Wine Tastings this Week!
Virtual Wine Tasting Friday with Maine and Loire, Matt Mollo of SelectioNaturel, and the wines of Collecapretta
Annalisa Mattioli with their press
The Mattioli family has been in the tiny hamlet the Roman's once called Collecapretta (hill of the goats) since the 1100's. For generations the Mattioli have been cultivating the rugged hillsides of southern most Umbria. Located just outside of Spoleto, in the near-impossible-to-find borgo called Terzo la Pieve, today's farm is a scant 8 hectares in total; 2 planted to a mixture of local olives trees, 2 ha of farro and other ancient grains and ~ 4 ha of indigenous old vines. Vittorio Mattioli, his wife Anna and their daughter Annalisa live together with 3 generations of their family inside the tiny village overlooking the valley below with the high Apennine Mountains and Gran Sasso looming in the background. The elevation is some 500+ meters and the soils are a mixture of calcium and iron rich clay with outcroppings of tufo and travertine limestone. Though the total production of Collecapretta is only some 8000 bottles in a good year, the family chooses to vinify many different cuvees in hopes of expressing the vineyard and grape varieties at their best. It is an impressively exposed and windy vantage point with 360 degree views.
All the wines are made in much the same fashion: natural fermentation takes place in open-top cement containers without temperature control or sulfur additions. The wines then age for various amounts of time in glass-lined cement vats or resin tank before bottling in synchrony with the waning lunar cycle. There is no sulfur used at any point in the winemaking process. All farming in the vineyards is completely natural, only composts made from their own animals are used to aid vine health. The labels are brilliantly simple: straightforward Italian explanations of that particular vintage's wine making .
From Ned "In a way this is a label that started Matt's company SelectioNaturel. These wines are legendary among Italian wine makers and through them he connected with many other producers he now works with." From Matt "I am humbled to be working with this gracious family of true vignaioli in the heart of Umbria. Production is minuscule and the local demand and private, very guarded clients of Collecapretta easily over-fill the supply for these. We are honored to be the first to import the wines of Collecapretta beyond a 100km radius of the winery. Needless to say, small quantities are generally avaiable but don't miss out on your chance to get your first taste of these remarkably pure wines."
The Tasting is Friday the 1st at 5pm with Maine and Loire and Matt Mollo online. Use the link below to get in on the Zoom tasting.
Zoom Tasting with Matt Mollo Sign Up
Annalisa in their winery.
Below is a list of the wines Maine and Loire has available right now. Collecapretta releases wines once a year, I get a small allocation...and that's it. So this is our one shot to get our hands on these wines until next year.
Direct-press white wine made from old-vine (“Vigna Vecchia”) Trebbiano Spoletino grown in the hills and grown on trellises in the Umbrian peasant tradition. Spontaneous fermentation without temperature control in open-top vats. Aged in cement, stainless steel or fiberglass. No added sulfur and no filtering or fining.
Terra dei Preti 2018
“Terra dei Preti” or “Hill of the Priests”, is 100% old vine Trebbiano Spoletino. Spontaneous fermentation with 10 days of skin maceration, as in the traditional ancient practice - "Ribollito". The work in the vineyard and in the cellar is inspired by principles of absolute naturalness and the influences of the lunar cycles. No artificial yeasts are used, no sulfur is added, and no filtering or fining. The wine ages in cement tanks before bottling.
Malvasia dello Scarparo Bianco
The "Scarparo", or the Cobbler/Shoemaker of Terzo la Pieve owned this small vineyard of Malvasia Bianca for almost ten years in complete abandonment. The Mattioli family have recovered the vines, cutting the brambles and giving them a defined structure to lean on. 100% Malvasia from 70 year old vines. Spontaneous fermentation with 3 days skin maceration. Aged in stainless steel. No added sulfur and no filtering or fining.
Il Rosato 2018
The Mattioli’s rosato is made from all Ciliegiolo, direct press. Spontaneous fermentation without temperature control.. Aged in cement tanks with two rackings, one in December and one at the end of February following the waning moon. until bottling in the Spring. No added sulfur and no filtering or fining.
Vino Rosso da Tavola 2018
The Mattioli’s beloved red “table wine”, made from 100% Sangiovese with 6 to 8 days skin maceration. Spontaneous fermentation without temperature control. Aged in cement/stainless/fiberglass until bottling. No added sulfur and no filtering or fining.
Le Cese 2018
Red wine made from Sangiovese vines grown in the hills and grown on trellises as typical in the Umbrian peasant tradition. Spontaneous fermentation occurs without temperature control, with 8 days maceration on the skins. The wine is aged in either cement/fiberglass/stainless steel. No sulfur is added and there is no filtering or fining.
Il Selezione Le Cese 2015
One of the Mattioli’s most precious wines, the Selezione Le Cese is 100% Sangiovese from fruit selected and separated only in the very best vintages (not produced every year). Spontaneous fermentation without temperature control, with 8 days skin maceration. Aged in a single old barrel. Age-worthy wine with no added sulfur and no filtering or fining. *Very limited
Click here to Order from Maine and Loire
Bud break back in spring of 2017
Here's a little video of tasting the Selezione Le Cese at Collecapretta in spring of 2019
From left to right: Danilo Marcucci, Annalisa Mattioli, Matt Mollo, Annalisa's father Vittorio Mattioli. Danilo grew up down the road and originally learned about wine making from Vittorio.
Cacique Maravilla Pipeno Litre Bottle
Saturday at 5pm I'm opening this litre bottle of Pipeno for a virtual happy hour. This is one of the wines i found in Chile last month. It's made by Manuel Moraga (pictured above). His family has been here on this land since 1776. Pipeno is a traditional rural style of wine that's fun and easy to drink and made from the native Pais grape. You can order it from Rosemont Market by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday evening. The Zoom link is below
Cacique Maravilla Happy Hour
Op Ed Advocating for Commercial Rent Adjustments
No one has to do what I suggest and I write the below humbly, but I think this needs to be said publicly and I'm trying to do my part to move this conversation forward:
We are now one month into this pandemic and the associated restaurant shut down. I am a distributor of international wines as well as a commercial property owner, therefore I am right in the middle of the impact. The past month feels like a long time, and we’ve certainly moved through several emotional stages processing it, but there are still some hard truths that we haven’t faced yet. A big one, from my perspective, is the hard truth that restaurants will not be able to return to normal operation for a long time which means landlords will not be able to collect full rent while restaurants are impacted by this pandemic. The sooner that landlords and restaurant tenants face this reality of extended revenue losses and agree to lease modifications, the less pain both parties will face down the road.
The food scene in Maine (and particularly in Portland), has gained national attention. Portland is rising in value and esteem and Maine is continually growing as an international tourist destination. Our local restaurants play an invaluable role in driving these growths and are a big reason why Portland area property has risen so much in value. The shutdown has made dining rooms worthless, in a time when many restaurants were already stretching their budgets to afford them. Landlords attempting to hold restaurant tenants to their full lease payments risk killing the goose that lays the golden eggs; both immediately for the landlord but also for Portland and Maine as a destination. As an investor looking for an additional commercial property I know from personal experience how much stress goes into managing commercial buildings. The rent doesn't just go into the land lord's pocket, it goes to covering the mortgage, taxes, maintenance, and insurance. Just as it’s not realistic for a restaurant owner to pay top dollar rents for a space they can’t use, not all landlords are in a position to forego all rent over a period that could last a year.
In all of this uncertainty, it is important to focus on what we do know. We know that there are thousands of people in Maine who love food and are willing to spend money on an exciting, curated dining experience. They were doing that just a month ago. We also know that millions more people will likely drive to Maine in their own cars and stay in In our towns and cities this summer. Summer visitors will be eager to spend money on good food as a way to relax. It’s possible for restaurants to pivot and meet that demand, but building a new website, expanding or creating a delivery service, and reorganizing a kitchen to maintain personal distance take money and time. Restaurants have almost nothing certain they can count on right now.
Right now it’s very possible that a large number of Maine restaurants will go out of business and leave landlords trying to fill an empty retail space in the middle of a pandemic and 15% unemployment. Empty storefronts and higher unemployment rates could be the downfall of a city that has spent the last decade growing as a nationally-recognized restaurant hotspot. I’m asking landlords to modify restaurant leases to give meaningful rent reductions in the realm of at least 50% for 6 months. 6 months of 50% rent is a sacrifice for a landlord, but growing up my mother taught me that half of a cookie is better than no cookie. Many landlords have been accommodating already, but formalizing an agreement on paper will take the rent stress off of restaurateurs so that they can focus on their business challenges. This will give restaurateurs breathing room to adapt their business models, survive this shutdown, and keep Portland vibrant.
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