So who waits my table at La Bastiglia in Spello (Umbria)?
Vincenzo, probably the most fantastic waiter I've ever known.
Vincenzo literally reads your mind, X-rays you thru and thru, pretty much as your mom would do, and transparently proceeds to fulfill your innermost gastronomic wishes.
What rosso would you like? -asks Vincenzo, somewhat maliciously.
You tell me - says I, knowing who I'm talking with.
And here he comes with a bottle of 2009 DiFilippo's Novello d'Autore Rosso dell'Umbria.
Needless to say, in the 10~15 Euro range (restaurant price).
I'm amazed. Stuff exhudes exhuberance, flavors, sexyness, wow!
Did anybody say Beaujolais? Get lost, Novello is the real thing.
After Vincenzo's revelation, I started ordering "novello della casa" all over the place, it produced marvel after marvel of this fragrant stuff. I even stopped taking notes, too overwhelmed.
What is Novello? Not much literature around. Not mentioned in any Italian wine guide ( at least not in Gambero Rosso, not in Duemilavini ). Not even google has much info. Here's what I could find:
"Vino Novello translated means "New Wine" and, according to the law, producers can release the wine from November 4th on the year of harvest. In reality the wine is actually bottled a few weeks after harvest. This young wine can be compared to the French "Beaujolais"., which is also released soon after harvest.
It is not simply the fact that the wine is released early that makes it unique; the actual technique differs considerably from that of most wines. The grapes are placed, whole, in tanks where they undergo carbonic maceration, and the juices undergo fermentation without the assistance of adding yeast. The grapes are then pressed, creating a partially sweet juice which will finish fermenting in another tank.
This process goes toward creating a wine that is described as "light, lively and fruity", with it being relatively low in tannins. Consequently, it is not a wine to be aged, as it should be appreciated for the youthful qualities that it possesses.
Most of the major Tuscan wineries produce Vino Novello, Merlot is the grape most commonly used in Italy, followed by the Italian Sangiovese grape and Cabernet.
Bottles should be served at 10°C and it is ideally drunk with roasted chestnuts as well as salamis and cheeses. In the past, farmers used to take wine from the barrels at the end of October simply to check the maturation of the wine. However, in 1999 this young wine was authorized by law to enter the market and wine festivals taking place during November are the perfect place to welcome its arrival. "
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