Wine To Match The Trees: 15 Italian Reds for Fall

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There is something about fall that whispers to our senses. We seek comfort and nostalgia in the smells and tastes of spice and bounty. We long for the cool air that where I live we call “sweater weather” and the feel of chill on our cheeks.

We look, oh goodness we look, for the colors of fall — in some parts of America, they call this “leaf peeping”, an attraction that causes a migration from cities into the wooded areas of the world — looking for fall colors is a beckoning.

Taking inspiration from the appeal, giving into that which we seek, let’s drink to the fall colors and highlight some red wines. Ideal for this season’s meals, many-layered and long-cooked, red wines from Italy offer everything we could want from a fall drink. Variety is the spice of Italy, and here are 15 fall reds for the fall season… something for everyone as we do everything fall.

What does wine taste like? How to taste wine. Italian wine tasting.
A bottle of Chianti Classico from Montemaggio. Courtesy: Montemaggio

Colli Ripani Bio Marche IGT Sangiovese 2017, Le Marche

I’m thinking of all the antipasti with this organically -ultivated sangiovese. Cantina dei Colli Ripani is a cooperative in Le Marche. It was founded in 1969 by a small group of farmers and has grown substantially in recent years to over 300 growers.

Castello di Magione Morcinaia, Umbria

Refer to this wine as a “Super Umbrian” blend of 40% merlot, 40% cabernet sauvignon and 20% sangiovese. A hand-harvest is followed by oak and bottle aging period to soften this wine into a perfect pairing for your roasted fall meals.

Azienda Agricola Montefioralle Chianti Classico Riserva, Tuscany

Montefioralle is a family-run winery in Chianti and one I’ve been watching all summer as they celebrate their 50th harvest by sharing details of their experience with fans around the world. The Sieni family manages every aspect of their two hectares — one of Chianti Classico’s smallest producers.

Donnafugata Sherazade Nero d’Avola 2016, Sicily

Made from the indigenous Sicilian variety Nero d’Avola, this fresh and fragrant wine is ideal with your freshly-canned pasta sauce to bring a bit of the summer bounty into the fall season. The beautiful label features Sherazade, the female protagonist of Arabian Nights.

A lineup of fresh summer wines from Umbrian and Lazio
My tasting with Dominga Cotarella. Credit: Jill Barth

Falesco Montiano Merlot Lazio IGP 2013, Lazio

I shared a tasting with proprietor Dominga Cotarella, one of three female family members representing the next generation of Falesco. This merlot is built with structure, balanced with acids. Soft tannins and spice on the finish would put this wine on the table with a slow-roasted Umbrian chicken meal (Cotarella’s suggestion).

Fongoli Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG 2010, Umbria

If we’re talking color, this is the variety to watch — one of central Italy’s darkest and most tannic grapes, this sagrantino is aged for 30 months, 12 in oak. It’s a big wine to help you warm up, cultivated organically and made with native yeasts.

Argiolas Cardanera 2017 Carignano de Sulcis DOC 2017, Sardinia

Argiolas cultivates native grapes on the Italian island of Sardinia (Sardegna) in dry-farmed vineyards “irrigated” by sea-salted humidity. Carignano de Sulcis is an appellation dedicated to this single variety, which is permitted to be produced as red or rosé.

Valle Dell’acate Il Frappato, Sicily

From the eastern Sicilian region of Vittoria DOC Frappato, this is a100% frappato wine. Light-bodied and fresh with red fruit, this wine is your cheese plate partner. If you aren’t familiar with this variety, some liken it to a bottle of Beaujolais.

Castello del Trebbio Chianti Superiore DOCG 2016, Tuscany

This wine comes from a family operation housed in a historic castle and organic vineyards covering 60 hectares. The proprietors utilize a beyond-biodynamic practice they call BioIntegrale to cultivate their wines in an atmosphere of biodiversity and sustainability.

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Castello di Albola Acciaolo 2014, Tuscany

Grown in one of the highest elevations in Chianti, this is your wine for summer steaks. If you keep the grill going through the cooler season, you’ll love having this full-bodied beauty — packed with fresh dark fruit — as a partner.

Peter Zemmer “Rolhüt” Pinot Noir 2016, Alto Adige

Zemmer’s wines come from the Dolomite Alps, centered in the ski village of Cortina. This fresh and flavor-packed Pinot Noir isn’t the obvious Alto Adige bottle, so it makes sense to keep it on hand for fall enjoyment — it’s something special.

Fattoria di Montemaggio Chianti Classico 2011, Tuscany

I’ve admired Montemaggio for a few years and had the pleasure of interviewing proprietor Valeria Zavadnikova. Dressed in cherry spice with smooth tannins, this is a model Chianti to drink with fall pasta and pizza.

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Tasca D’Almerita Lamùri Nero d’Avola Sicilia DOC 2015, Sicily

Lamùri means love in Sicilian dialect, and this elegant ruby wine will be loved by many! Hand-harvested and aged in French oak for a year, this wine offers the balance between acidity and tannins redolent of a food-friendly gem.

Castel Sellegg Moscato Rosa 2014, Alto Adige 

Made from 100% Moscato Rosa, a super-rare indigenous grape from Alto Adige, this unique dessert wine is a fascinating treat. A bottle to keep open all season, with sips to satisfy those late night cravings. This bottle can be cellared for up to 30 years.

Planeta La Segreta Nero d’Avola 2016, Sicily

I’m convinced that Sicilian wines are ideal for fall — they offer a balance that mirrors Autumn’s shift between extremes. Our second Nero d’Avola on the list, from Italy’s largest island, is nurtured in as setting the producer describes as a hortus conclusus, “a luxuriant area of fruit, flowers and vines enclosed by walls, a synthesis of the beautiful agricultural countryside of Sicily.”

ITALIAN FOOD, WINE AND TRAVEL

On the first Saturday of the month, a group of food, wine and travel bloggers post about a region or a wine varietal. For September’s event, we look towards the change of season with food and wine that celebrate cooler weather and the abundance of harvest.

These wines can be from any region, based on your own experience and preference. We are looking for roundup lists, pairing suggestions, travel inspiration, producer profiles and any other story that highlights red wine from Italy this time of year.

The Favorite Italian Red Wines For Fall #ItalianFWT event will be Saturday, September 1, 2018. The following posts will go live early that morning and you can follow along on a Twitter chat — using #ItalianFWT — from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. CT.

Marcia at Joy of Wine reveals Lacrima – The Aromatic Jewel in La Marche’s Crown

Jeff at FoodWineClick gets real with his directive to Finish Up the Rosato, It’s Barolo Time!

Jennifer at Vino Travels introduces us to Badia a Coltibuono: Beginnings by Monks in Gaiole in Chianti

Gwen at Wine Predator has an inspiring suggestion for Italian Red Wines for Fall? Go Pink and Pair with Pasta! #ItalianFWT

Jane at Always Ravenous is bringing in the new season by Leaning into Fall with Beef Short Ribs and Nebbiolo

Lauren, The Swirling Dervish, is our helpful guide to Transition into Fall with the Wines from Südtirol / Alto Adige

Wendy from A Day In The Life On The Farm crafts a tempting pairing of Pappardelle al Ragu Di Cinghiale and a Monsanto Chianti Classico

Camilla from Culinary Adventures With Camilla shares her secrets with A Few of My Favorite Fall Things: Truffles, Cheese, & Barolo

Katarina of Grapevine Adventures encourages readers to Welcome Fall with a Taurasi DOCG from Irpinia

Here on L’Occasion, we give you Wine To Match The Trees: 15 Italian Reds for Fall

FUTURE #ITALIANFWT EVENTS

October 2018 (hosted by Gwendolyn of Wine Predator) Lugana

November 2018 (hosted by Katarina of Grapevine Adventures) Gaglioppo and Calabria

December 2018 (hosted by Martin of Enofylz Wine Blog) Italian Sparkling Wines

Note that some wines appearing on L’Occasion are media samples, but no compensation has been received and opinions are my own.
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16 Comments Add yours

  1. wendyklik says:

    Great post Jill. So many wines to explore and discover. Thanks so much for hosting this month.

    Like

  2. culinarycam says:

    Leaf peeping? Never heard of that. What a fun term. And all these fun wines, Jill. Thanks for hosting.

    Like

  3. Nice lineup of wines. I’m coveting that Sagrantino!

    Like

  4. Moscato Rosso? I’m on the hunt for a bottle! Each of the wines you’ve featured is perfect for fall – or anytime, really. Great topic this month – thanks again for hosting!

    Like

    1. Jill Barth says:

      If you find one you’ll have to let us know!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So many wines to try this fall and…winter. Thanks for hosting!

    Like

    1. Jill Barth says:

      Thank you — looking forward to the change of seasons!

      Like

  6. A nice wine list for fall here 🙂 …the Chianti of Castello del Trebbio is always a good choice…il Frappato is a wine that is good for fall, anf thanks for mentioning also the Chianti Classico of Fattoria di Montemaggio.

    Like

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