Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Domodimonti Natural Wine

It's becoming more and more "natural" to me that fine food can only be paired with the finest wines.  Knowing where my wine comes from is now just as important as knowing where my food comes from.  My journey this year has lead me to many wonderful wines that compliment natural meals.

Domodimonti’s objective is to produce wines as naturally as possible with the least amount of additives. Their natural approach to the cultivation and conservation of vines typically exceeds the rules and regulations of organic farming. They focus on specific aspects of sustainable vine growth including water conservation, soil improvement, erosion control and the latest in Integrated Pest Management techniques.
Their minimalist approach can best be described as follows:
  • Grapes are hand-picked
  • Sustainably-grown, using organic matter
  • Low-yielding vineyards
  • No added sugar, and strict selection of yeasts
  • No acid adjustments
  • No other additives for mouth-feel, color, etc.
  • Minimal sulfites added
  • Use of state-of-the-art technology
The Vineyard's 48 hectares of land are spread across the backdrop of Montefiore dell'Aso.  They are facing south on clayish soil, which in the past was covered by the Adriatic sea.  Remnants of ancient times have left behind minerals that are very precious to the development of the vines.  The vicinity of the Adriatic Sea to the east, the protection offered by the mountain chain "Sibillini" to the west and the winery's altitude of 300 meters above sea level all play a role in providing an ideal microclimate for  healthy and natural ripening of the grapes.  Domodimonti's first vintage was in 2004..... Although the vineyard has been in existence for over 50 years, a great deal of work was performed to restructure the original vines and plant new ones.   Several grape varieties are grown and include:  Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Petit Verdot, Pecorino, Passerina Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

What makes Domodimonti so enticing is their production methods which revolve around the systematic amalgamatin of the best techniques and technologies from the Old World and the New World respectively. Their objective is to produce wines as naturally as possible without the use of chemical and/or additives to synthetically enhance their wines.

Here's a little bit about the techniques:

Old World Techniques

  • Manual harvesting to minimize stress and bruising of the fruit.
  • Pruning 67% of grape clusters to increase nutrients to the remaining fruit.
  • The use of natural yeast.
  • The wines are aged in traditional French oak barrels located in Domodimonti’s wine cellar. Depending on the wine, the duration in barrels may range from 3-14 months, after which, the wine is bottled and stored for an additional period of at least three months before being shipped to its various distributors.

New  World Technology

  • The entire winemaking process is performed under nitrogen which is generated by ionic exchange, allowing us to handle and later bottle the wine in the absence of oxygen.
  • Temperature controlled vats with external insulation jackets allow strict control of the very important stage of fermentation.
  • The use of cryomaceration: the grapes are de-stemmed and gravity-fed into stainless steel vats where a quick drop in temperature, from two (2) to five (5) degrees Celcius is maintained. This allows the pulp to absorb aromas otherwise lost to the pomace, which in turn limits the solubility of polyphenols and protects against oxidation.
  • The use of First and Second fermentation to ensure the organic and antioxidant properties of the wine are not lost.

I looked for a wine that would compliment a light summer dinner of chilean sea bass with angel hair pasta. Domodimonti's LiCoste was the perfect fit.

Offida, White, Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC)
Grape varieties
Golden honey yellow.
Elegant notes of flowers, hazelnut and mature fruits like bananas and peaches.
Pecorino is a dry and fragrant wine with flavors of gooseberry, lychee and tangerine. Enjoy LiCoste as an aperitif, with light pasta and fish dishes or even at the end of your meal with the cheese course.

The Chilean Sea Bass was very simply prepared by lightly seasoning the fish with basting oil then lightly grilling.  As a side I lightly steamed baby spinach with garlic cloves, prepared angel hair pasta and mixed the baby spinach in with the pasta lightly drizzled with garlic oil.  Very simple, very summery and allows you to experience the wine's bouquet.
My recommendation for the best Chilean Sea Bass I've encountered is from Rastelli by clicking here.

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