Tuesday, October 1, 2013

2010 Lanari Rosso Conero DOC – Marche, Italy

Reading the label, it tells us that this wine is from the Lanari winery and that it is from the Rosso Conero DOC. This label does not indicate the vintage, the national origin, the alcohol content OR the legally required indication that it contains sulfites. Technically, although this may the face of the bottle you may see on the shelf at the wine shop, it really isn’t the front label. By law, the front label is required to indicate the producer, the vintage, the origin, the alcohol content and the warning that it contains sulfites. The back label then is legally the front label that is submitted to the TBB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) for approval before it can be imported. By putting the technical and legal information on the “back” and submitting it as if it were the front label wineries can use the same label design with the company brand logo every year without ever changing anything on it since it does not indicate the vintage. They then can submit an inexpensive generic label with all the legally required information at a much cheaper price. This is one way to save a lot of money on production costs. Here then is the “back” label (which is the legal front label) with the required data:

While this label contains the required legal data (alcohol is 14%, contains sulfites, product of Italy, produced by Lanari) the label does not tell us WHAT kind of grape is in the bottle UNLESS you already know what grape(s) typically go into Rosso Conero. All that you know is that it is a red wine. The word “Vendemmia” in Italian means “harvest” which indicates the vintage - 2010.

So, if you pick up a bottle that on which the front label looks pretty but it doesn’t tell you this information check out the “back” label. If you don’t know what Rosso Conero is made of, then ask the wine-geek (sommelier) who works at the store or restaurant or search the web with your smart phone.

Rosso Conero DOC

Rosso Conero is DOC a wine appellation in the central part of the Marche region of Italy just south of Ancona on the slopes of Monte Conero near the Adriatic coast. 

If Italy was a booted leg, Marche would probably be located on the calf muscle. It is the homeland of the family of the famous Napa Valley pioneer Robert Mondavi.

The name Conero comes from the Greek name Komaròs, the strawberry tree (cane apple) which is an evergreen shrub or small tree commonly present on the slopes of the mountain. The name was then transliterated into “conero” in Italian.[1]  At more than 1,800 feet above sea level, Monte Conero is the highest coastal point between Venice and Puglia, it has calcareous soils it provides an ideal microclimate for ripening red grapes. 

The red wine made here must consist of at least 85% Montepulciano and the remaining 15% is usually Sangiovese. Montepulciano is a red Italian wine grape variety, rarely seen in California, and it should not be confused with the similarly named Tuscan wine Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, which is made from predominantly Sangiovese and is named for the village it is produced in, rather than for containing any Montepulciano grapes in the blend. Montepulciano likely originated in Tuscany and may be related to Sangiovese which is the reason the two grapes are often confused for each other. However, despite being widely planted throughout central Italy, the Montepulciano grape is not even grown in the vineyards around the village of Montepulciano.[2]

The Rosso Conero was one of the first wines to obtain the Designation of Origin (DOC) with the decree of the President of the Republic of 21 July 1967. Since 2004, there has also been a Riserva under the name of Conero DOCG. 

Lanari Winery

The Estate Lanari was founded about thirty years ago by Leardo Lanari. The original six acres was then expanded under the management of the his son Luke and his wife Paola. The winery is located in Varano on the promontory of Conero Natural Park, south-east of Ancona, on the hills overlooking the Adriatic Sea, the typical area of Rosso Conero. For the 2010 vintage the Lanari family utilized the winemaking skills of Giancarlo Soverchia, one of the most well-known winemakers of the Adriatic coast. For the 2012 harvest, the company hired consulting winemaker Roberto Potentini.

The Wine

The 2010 Rosso Conero DOC “Lanari” Classic is a blend of 90% Montepulciano and 10% Sangiovese. It is a ruby red wine with some purple tints. On the nose it exudes aromas of fresh cherries followed by dried herbs, a touch of anise and a hint of white pepper. On the palate it is vibrant with medium to medium+ acidity, medium body and silky medium tannins. It is a delicious everyday wine that would pair well with any typical Italian dinner (Pizza, Spaghetti, Calzone etc.) and it sells retail for around $20 (I brought one home) at wine shops such as The Vine at Bridges in Danville, California.

To visit or for more information:

The Vine at Bridges

480 Hartz Ave 

Danville, CA 94526

Phone: 1-925-820-7210

Wine Bar Hours

Sunday: 12 (noon) - 7pm

Monday: 5 - 9pm

Tuesday - Wednesday: 4 - 10pm

Thursday - Saturday: 4 pm - 12:00 am

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monte_Conero
[2] Jancis Robinson, Vines, Grapes and Wines (Alfred A. Knopf, New York; First Edition edition, 1986), 212.

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