Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Wine of the Week: A.A. Martilde Bonarda Dell'Oltrepò Pavese

This week's featured wine might cause some confusion. Although it's labeled as Bonarda, it's actually made from Croatina grapes and has no connection with Piedmontese Bonarda and are two distinct grape varietals. Croatina, as the name implies, originated in Croatia and is grown primarily in the Oltrepò Pavese region of Lombardy in Italy. Best examples of this grape are located in the foothills of the Apennines mountains on limestone-rich clay soils. Bonadra Dell'Oltrepò Pavese are usually dark in color, with expressive fruit, low acidity and medium tannin, similar in style with Montepulciano and Dolcetto; and some Croatina wine can be served slightly chilled. The Martilde Bonarda is vinified in stainless steel with indigenous yeast. Spontaneous malolactic fermentation. No fining and light paper filtration. Ideal food pairings include Salami, hard cheeses, and braised red meats. Due to it's medium tannin, this Bonarda would be an excellent foil to fattier food. 

Located in Lombardy, Oltrepò Pavese is home to Azienda Agricola Martilde. Here in 1991 Antonella Tacci and Raimondo Lombardi decided to leave their jobs in Milan and make this their new home. The previous owner had died some fifteen years earlier and the grounds were in a state of abandon, so the couple renovated the buildings and cellars while also replanting some of the vineyards – though they did retain the older vine areas, some up to 90-100 years old. Martilde is certified organic, with 3 hectares converting – as such all grapes and treatments applied to them are grown according to organic rules. Each vintage, all manipulations in the vineyard are kept to an absolute minimum. In the cellar, a similar style of non-intervention is practiced, with the goal at all times to produce the best possible wines that are also compatible with the vintage, using vinification to enhance the inherent characteristics of the grapes.


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