The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Go-To Wine Tuesday: Movia Pinot Grigio 2008

A beautiful $30 warm weather biodynamic white

WH1593-2We spent this Memorial Day weekend in Miami and on Saturday we found a great restaurant called The Federal, which was a short drive from where we were staying and decided to try it for brunch. The menu was diverse and interesting focusing on the chef’s take of comfort food with selections like Lobster ‘n Gravy, Smoked BBQ Brisket ‘n Egg, slow-cooked duck paté, and charred fluff sweet potato. We sat at the bar and ordered from the prix fix. Everything we tried was delicious. The flavors blended spectacularly and the portions were perfect and well presented. Out of habit, I asked to see the wine list and I was curious to see what wines the restaurant offered. I was surprised to see that Gravner was on the list as well as Aldo Conterno. As you all know, I love orange wines and immediately started a conversation with Aniece Meinhold, who was behind the bar. It turns out that Aniece and her husband Chef Cesar Zapata own the place and, coincidently, they are also clients of IWM!

As we spoke about biodynamic wines and producers she poured us a glass of Prince in his Caves Sauvignon Blanc from a producer called The Scholium Project in Sonoma County, an estate producing wines unsulfured, unfined, unfiltered and only natural yeasts. It was quite nice and paired well with the dishes we were enjoying. The name is a spin on the Fiorano wines of Alberico Boncompagni Ludovisi, prince of Venosa. Look up this link to learn where the name comes from? This New York Times article explains it all.

Ana knew her wines well and we had a great afternoon talking and tasting while we enjoyed our food and she tended other clients. If you are in Miami and want a great place to have some great wine and great food I highly recommend the Federal. We’re back in New York and the temperature is in the mid-to-high 80s, so tonight I’m bringing home a bottle of Movia Pinot Grigio 2008 and toast to Ana and Cesar for providing a great food and wine experience. She told me that Movia was also one of her favorite producers—and it’s long been one of mine. 

Movia Pinot Grigio 2008 $30.73

Movia’s Ales Kristancic is an eccentric producer who uses biodynamic vinification methods such as harvesting and even bottling his wines in harmony with the cycle of the full moon. The 2008 is clean, crisp, surprisingly complex, and classic for warm weather. A pretty bronze-gold in the glass, this wine highlights juicy, ripe golden apple, a nose of spice and flowers, a touch of honey and a thrill of acidity on the finish. A full, bold Pinot Grigio, this wine is anything but boring. Drinking for the next half decade.

Inside IWM, April 21-24, 2014: Location, Location, Location Edition

A look back at the week that was

Vines at Il Palazzone

Vines at Il Palazzone

We began this week with a tour of Sicilia’s winemaking history, and we ended it with an impassioned invitation to join the cult of Brunello. These pieces converge not only on being about wine in general, or our recent eLetter offers of wine in specific, but also by highlighting the importance of terroir–those magical, ineffable qualities of site-specific place–in selecting, appreciating and understanding wine. RKO came to his own appreciation of terroir in a three-decade vintage tasting of Montevertine Le Pergole Torte. Spoiler alert: he was blown away. And David Gwo put our history lesson of Sicilia into practice when he enjoyed a delicious value wine: under $30 COS Frappato.

Our experts took a somewhat broader view in selecting their choices this week. Garrett used the warming weather as his guide for picking a pair of “thought-provoking” whites from biodynamic Movia. Will also claimed weather as his guide in picking a pair of summertime wines from Sartarelli (a Verdicchio) and San Giuliano (a Barbaresco), but earlier in the week, he used entry-level wines and “off” vintage wines to select a stellar pair from Aldo Conterno and Cupano. And Francesco hearkened back to 1996, the year that Titanic won Best Picture and the Bulls won their fourth NBA championship, to pick two gorgeous ’96 Barolos, one Luciano Sandrone and one Bartolo Mascarello.

Have a great weekend, and wherever you may be, enjoy it!

Expert Picks: Movia and…Movia!

Two expert selections from Garrett Kowalsky

Garrett_1As the weather warms up, I am starting to move out of reds and move into interesting and thought-provoking whites.  Some of my favorite Italian whites come from Movia, which actually straddles the border of Friuli and Slovenia, and these two wines help to illustrate why I enjoy them so much.

Movia Veliko Bianco 2007 $39.60

Now with seven years of age on it, this Ribolla, Chardonnay, Sauvignon, and Pinot Grigio blend is firing on all cylinders. Explosive and rich aromatics give way to a full-bodied, lush, dense palate with tropical and citrus fruit flavors. A clean and mineral finish puts everything in perspective.

Movia Lunar Chardonnay 2008 $42.50

This is a surprising wine, so stay with me. At first sight, you might want to dump this one down the drain, but the first sip will make you want to bring it to bed with you. This is unfined and unfiltered, skin-macerated Chardonnay that has a very cloudy and ominous look about it. But don’t judge the book by its cover; this wine’s flavors are bright and expressive, and the palate is smooth and elegant, showcasing a side of Chardonnay that I have never seen before. If you’re looking for something out of the box, look no further than this biodynamically produced wine.

Go-to-Wine Tuesday: Movia 2010 Ribolla Gialla

Biodynamic, complex, delicious Ribolla Gialla for under $30

WH1794-2Spring is right around the corner. We got a taste of it here in NYC last week when temperatures reached the mid-50s. Everyone was out and about enjoying what felt like summertime weather after the brutal winter that we’ve experienced here in the northeast. Spring begins officially on Friday, making now a great time to start picking out your spring/summer whites. What’s better than sitting outside in the sun on your day off, eating a dish of fresh, light food, and enjoying a crisp glass of flavorful white wine? If white wine isn’t your thing the 2010 Movia Ribolla Gialla may be that unique, charismatic white that you’ve been looking for.

Friuli [Venezia-Giulia] is currently a hotbed for innovative wine making, especially for whites. One of the star producers in the region is Ales Kristancic of Movia, which technically sits in Brda, a region that straddles the border between Slovenia and Friuli. Ales utilizes biodynamic winemaking practices, such as fining and filtering using atmospheric pressure incurred by the arrival of the new moon, as well as leaving his wines on the lees without stirring and aging in small Slovenian oak casks.

This Movia bottling is 100 per cent Ribolla Gialla, one of the indigenous varietals found in Friuli. This is a wine with a golden hue, full-bodied texture, and great acidity. On the nose it’s floral, citrusy, and has a perceptible honeyed, waxy aroma. The linear palate delivers citrus notes, followed by flavors of dried leaves and a hint of minerality. If you’re in search of a distinct white that is both unique and artisanal, look no further. This is a great white to introduce to new wine lovers or to enjoy with your wine-geek friends.

Go-To-Wine Tuesday: Movia 2008 Pinot Grigio

A complex, aromatic, nutty biodynamic Pinot Grigio for $30!

WH1593-2If you are looking for a Pinot Grigio that defies the notion of that typical floral and citrusy Italian white wine, then look no further than the Movia’s 2008 Pinot Grigio. What sets the Movia Pinot Grigio apart from the rest is the incredible range of flavors you get from the nose to the palate. This range makes the wine more akin to its Alsatian counterpart, Pinot Gris, than to the Pinot Grigio you think you know. If you want a unique go-to white with a little something different, this is it.

On first inspection, right out of the bottle, the wine shows a golden hue, considerably darker than your average Pinot Grigio. The nose offers an immense bouquet of honey, flowers and beautiful nuttiness. Taking a sip, you get a continuation of hazelnut, joined by apricot kernel and a honeyed spiciness that rounds everything out really nicely. It’s that nutty quality that makes Movia’s Pinot Grigio stand out and gives you that something extra that maker Ales Kristancic strives to capture in his wines.

With six years of age, the Movia 2008 Pinot Grigio comes from handpicked biodynamically grown grapes that ferment on natural yeasts, and the estate uses no sulfur in vinification, allowing the wine to naturally stabilize.  Unlike some Pinot Grigios, Movia’s wine can stand up to stronger food flavors. I served this bottle to a group of friends this past weekend as an accompaniment to a meal of seared salmon served with sesame noodles. The nuttiness of the wine brought out the intensity in the sesame and vice versa.

This Pinot Grigio is a real accomplishment in the world of Italian white wines. In a land where red wine can easily dominate, Movia Pinot Grigio holds its own. At $30 a bottle, it’s a steal considering all the layers of aroma, flavor and intensity.

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