Wines of the Month - May 2020

Posted by Wine Gourmet on

Due to the restrictions set by the Governor, we will not be having our Wines of the Month tasting on Saturday, May 2nd. We would still like to bring you all the information you'd learn at the tasting and make this information accessible to our club members! Sign up online to join our clubs and receive special selections at the beginning of each month!

  • Punta Crena, Vermentino 2018
  • Piero Benevelli, Langhe Nebbiolo 2018
  • Azienda Agricola Elvio Tintero, Vino Bianco NV
  • Azienda Agricola Elvio Tintero, Vino Rosso NV


    About the Vineyards

    Punta Crena

    Varigotti is probably the most beautiful and evocative place of Liguria. A place where man rips the sea and the mountains a few flaps earth, to live and cultivate products truly extraordinary. A place for the eyes and for the soul, where, for more than 500 years, the family Ruffino wines produced from grapes very ancient. Mataossu, Pigato Vermentino, Rossese, Lumassina, Cruvin are wines, too rare, that give the lucky few connoisseurs strong experiences, feelings, smells and authentic flavors and almost forgotten.

    The vineyards owned by the family Ruffino are located in the thin coastal strip that separates the sea from the Alps to 350 meters above sea level. To work it is used the typical terraced Ligurian characterizes much of the impressive landscape of this region. This cultivation technique naturally imposes the harvest by hand and in small baskets. The grapes are picked up so quickly brought in old wine cellar dug into the rock, where the grapes are pressed gently and slowly becomes wine. A wine made of sun, sea, work and passion that bears the name of Punta Crena.

    Piero Benevelli

    It was in 1978 that Piero Benevelli started out with five hectares of vines in Monforte d’Alba and focused on the traditional grapes of Piedmont: Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, and Barbera. His son, Massimo, started his training in the vineyard at age 14 and quickly learned the core principle that still guides him today—to make great wine, you must first have great grapes.

    The young Massimo Benevelli has developed into an extremely talented Piemontese grower. He exhibits a total command of the production process, from vine to bottle. When tasting his production during various stages of aging—in barrel, tank, and bottle—there is a consistency, a touch, an intangible quality that is the mark of something great. His wines show character, soul, and originality.

    The Benevelli holdings are mostly concentrated in the southeastern-facing hillside cru of "Ravera" in the deep southeast of the Barolo zone. The wines from Ravera have the distinction of combining the structural strength of neighboring Serralunga d'Alba with the concentration and richness of Bussia and the other crus further north. Massimo’s Baroli are approachable young but like any great Barolo, reveal their true potential after at least five years or more in bottle. His Dolcetto and Langhe Nebbiolo are true Piemontese delights as well—classic and full of pleasure.

    Azienda Agricola Elvio Tintero

    In 1900 a Frenchman named Pierre Tintero set out for Piedmont in search of work. He found an opportunity to do odd jobs at a small estate where widow Rosina Cortese was struggling to handle all the work herself. Pierre, called “Pietrin” by the locals, quickly became a vital part of the estate and also fell in love with the widow, whom he married two years later. The couple continued to work the vines together and bottled their own Dolcetto for the first time just as war fell in 1914. Years later their grandson would find a stash of this vintage hidden within the walls of the cellar, certainly a precaution against ransacking troops who passed through the area.

    Pietrin and Rosina’s two sons, Giovanni and Carlo, eventually took over the estate and expanded it by purchasing adjacent vineyard plots. Moscato was just a tiny part of their production since it is only practical to produce it in large quantities, but after the Second World War giants Cinzano and Martini began producing the wine, so the brothers planted more of the variety to sell to these negociants while they continued bottling their still wines themselves. It was not until the 1980s that Carlo’s son Elvio began experimenting with the challenging process of frizzante wine production, allowing the family to take advantage of the grape’s special affinity to the local terroir. Elvio has now handed the reins over to the next generation, but he continues to help his son Marco and daughter-in-law Cinzia run the estate.

    The commune of Mango is the heart of Moscato country, and 20 of the Tinteros’ 30 hectares are planted to this grape. Their largest parcel is in the Sorì Gramella vineyard, whose full southern exposure and gradient of more than 20% pamper the grapes with many long hours of sunshine, without even casting shadows from one row to the next as is the case in most vineyards. The resulting wine is delightfully fizzy and slightly sweet, an irresistible combination that makes it a universal favorite. Marco also maintains that same spirit in his other wines, which are all fresh, easy, and fun to drink with friends.


    Tasting Notes

    Punta Crena, Vermentino 2018

    Fresh and lively with a hint of pétillance, this white caresses the palate with floral perfume and an interesting suggestion of pinenuts. It is subtly flavored with a long, grape skin-like finish




    Piero Benevelli, Langhe Nebbiolo 2018

    Great perfume on this wine, nice spice, a wicked core cherry of fruit. 2018 showing excellent depth and length, almost plush tannins. Considering the amount of fruit from Monforte that usually has loads of structure is quite a feat. Lovely mouthfeel.






    Azienda Agricola Elvio Tintero, Vino Bianco

    Fresh and dry, low in alcohol, with just enough fizz, making it the perfect sipper for long summer evenings when you don’t want to tackle anything too cerebral.


    Azienda Agricola Elvio Tintero, Vino Rosso NV

    Spicy cigar box and cedar aromatics, cherry and red berry juiciness, a light and bright texture, refreshing acidity, and fine-grained tannins. It is delicious, complete, and perfectly quaffable with just about any dish, for any occasion.




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