Jeff’s Corner 3-26-18

Hello, Hello, and one more Hello

Wowser!  All of a sudden, there are lots of exciting new wines being released.  This is placing a serious burden on yours truly to write and drink (or is it drink and write) at a furious pace.  I’m going to have to really step up before I fall down.  In the very near future you’ll see stories about the 2016 Cabernet Trois and Mosaic, but today is all about the new ’16 Bellissimo.

Bellissimo is our best-selling wine, with hordes of loyal, cult-like followers.  Some are proud to boast they have a vertical collection of every vintage going back to its birth in 2004!  The 2016 is vintage #12; we did not produce one in ’05.  Before we check out this lovely new wine, however, I thought it would be fun to do a little research on its name.

In Italian, Bellissimo is what’s called an “absolute superlative” of the adverb “bello”, which means “beautiful” or “handsome”.  The absolute superlative doesn’t exist in English, but it’s the equivalent of adding “very” or “extremely” to an adverb.  Kathy is “very beautiful” or “bellissima”.

In terms of gender, bellissimo is male, and bellissima is female, so our beloved Bellissimo is a dude.  Bellissime is plural for bellissima, and bellissimi is plural for bellissimo.  I’m very fortunate to have lots of Bellissimi in my wine rack.

Okay, enough etymology; let’s get on to the 2016 Bellissimo.  Like the ’16 Serendipity, this new release will be a part of the April Black Label Wine Club allocation.  This lovely Super Tuscan is 52% Sangiovese, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Merlot, and 2% Tannat.  The ABV is a sensible 13.8%

The color is a classic ruby with a progressive sunrise of extraction from bowl to rim.  The nose is bright and playful, with earthy aromas of clove, cinnamon, and licorice in rich contrast with fruit flavors of red raspberry, red plum, and dried cherry.

Moderate amounts of oak and tannin allow the palate to be dominated by fresh, lively acids that accent the bright fruit of the Sangiovese.  The finish is a well-balanced sparring match between fruit and acid that ends in an evenly matched draw.

This is a bright, festive wine with the huge palate appeal Bellissimo is famous for.  We should enjoy this with something fun, like lots of good friends and a super-cheesey Lasagne with parmesan-garlic toast and a Caesar salad.  Definitely there should be some Spumoni for dessert.