Nello Olivo Wines and Chef David Bagley announce a vertical wine-pairing dinner featuring four vintages of Nello Olivo’s acclaimed Toscanello wine. Open to the public, the dinner will be at Wedgwood Sequoia Mansion, in Placerville, Friday, Jan. 25 at 6:30 p.m.
Toscanello is a prime example of today’s popular super Tuscan style wines. Super Tuscans began in the 1970s when Antinori Winery (Tuscany, Italy) tossed aside industry rules governing the making of chianti. In defiance, it created a new style of wine, eliminating the required 10 percent white grape juice and instead, blending cabernet sauvignon, merlot or syrah with the traditional chianti grape, sangiovese.
Antinori’s renegade blend was a hit. Authorities protested, but neither Antinori nor enthusiastic lovers of the new style wine seemed to care. Demand increased, prices rose and other producers followed Antinori’s lead.
Today, a legal classification for super Tuscan style wines exists, but the renegade characteristic continues as winemakers freely push the boundaries of Chianti “gone wild.”
Super Tuscan wines are known for being well balanced, highly saturated, and having an exciting big taste.
Nello Olivo’s Toscanello is no exception. Each year, its makeup is slightly different, taking advantage of that season’s best juice to create a modern, rich, bold super Tuscan style blend.
The name Toscanello (trademark applied for) playfully represents a Tuscan blend done “Nello” style.
Toscanello’s premiere vintage, created by winemaker Marco Capelli in 2007, won platinum (Best of Show nominee) at the Monterey International Wine Competition. The ’08 and ’09 vintages garnered two gold medals each, including a gold at the 2012 Orange County Fair, considered by industry insiders as USA’s most prestigious wine competition.
Toscanello has become Nello Olivo’s flagship wine, its top seller and most favored wine by Nello Olivo’s almost 800-member wine club.
Excitement runs high over the Toscanello 2010, released in October and now being submitted for 2013 judging. For the first time, it incorporates juice from the rare Sagrantino grape, prized in Umbria, Italy, and grown exclusively in El Dorado County by Nello Olivo.
The upcoming Nello Olivo Toscanello dinner presents an authentic Tuscany styled menu including Tuscan white bean, roasted garlic and porcini soup; chopped Italian salad; a pasta course featuring Bagley’s own creation — “PastaNello alla Romano;” an entrée of roasted venison loin; and for dessert, mixed nut tart dried fruit compote, a taste of Sagrantino wine, and gourmet coffee service.
As the dinner progresses, each course will be paired with a different vintage (’07, ’08, ’09 and ’10) of Toscanello wine. Vertical wine pairing dinners are rarely available to wine enthusiasts and present an opportunity to experience how a proprietary wine evolves.
Tickets are $79 and can be purchased online at NelloOlivo.com, by calling 530-409-5603 or by visiting the Nello Olivo Tasting Room located in Sequoia’s historic wine cellar, 643 Bee St. in Placerville. Visitors can sample Toscanello and other Nello Olivo wines on Tuesday through Thursday from 2 to 7 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.