We are great admirers of young winemaker Cristiano Garella. Considered a “whiz kid” by Wine Spectator, he quickly made his mark with outrageously good wines in the emerging region of Northern Piedmont. At the age of 23, he was made the winemaker of Tenute Sella, the most prominent winery in the region at that time, and manager of the whole estate a year later. Now 30, he is a consulting winemaker for a number of small producers in Northern Piedmont, and one in the Oltrepò Pavese.
“Cristiano is my kind of enologist,” says wine importer Oliver McCrum, “very technologically savvy but committed to making wines that express terroir through largely traditional techniques. He’s an amazing taster, too.”
This area is considered up-and-coming, but actually the area was producing Nebbiolo far before Barolo and Barbaresco became fashionable — in fact it is the original home of Nebbiolo, and these new wines are a reconnection to the area’s past and its long-held traditions, which are capable of producing beautiful, age-worthy reds with character.
We will be tasting four wines based on the delicate and complex Nebbiolo grape, coming from three different growing areas in Northern Piedmont — Bramaterra, Fara, and Lessona, all with varying soil types and terrain. These wines come from small, young wineries for which Garella consults: Le Pianelle, Boniperti, and La Prevostura. Garella makes wine organically, favoring a low-intervention approach with natural yeasts.
After the tasting, our menu upstairs will feature Garella’s wines by the glass and Piedmontese dishes, and Garella will be present to discuss his wines.
August 16th, 5:30 pm to 6:15 pm
Monday, June 15th
We’re huge fans of Ciro and Stef Biondi. They are smart, generous, and full of life. Their wines are too. While their vineyards have been producing wine for centuries on Mt. Etna, Ciro hit the restart button less than two decades ago, trying to make a great wine, taking full advantage of the extraordinary gifts of Mt. Etna — its young volcanic soil, its altitude high above the sea, and warm days.
We’re pleased to introduce you to them. Ciro and Stef will be in the Oliveto dining room, pouring their wines (some older vintages too) this coming Monday, and Chef Jonah will be offering some appropriate dishes to go with these wines:
- Fritto of house made ricotta-stuffed squash blossoms
- Crudo of swordfish with oregano, currants, pine nuts, and lemon
- Rigatoni alla trapanese
- Spaghetti with fresh anchovies, saffron, pine nuts, and raisins
- Charcoal-grilled pork porterhouse with eggplant, artichoke, and salmoriglio
There are also a few places still available in the 6:15 to 7 PM tasting that Ciro will offering in our private dining room.
- 2014 Biondi ‘Outis’ Etna Bianco
- 2013 Biondi ‘Outis’ Etna Rosso
- 2011 ‘Cisterna Fuori’
- 2008 Biondi ‘Outis’ Etna Rosso
- 2007 Biondi ‘Monte Ilice’ Etna Rosso
The tasting is $40. Register here.
After the tasting, stay for dinner.
His vineyards are a simple, beautiful place on the eastern slope, where cool evenings and warm days make for a wine that far exceeds the standards of the island. Its soil is of young volcanic ash, crumbly and crystalline, and its eastern aspect allows the morning dew to dry from the grapes when the sun rises. His wines are spectacular. Over the last five years, Etna has emerged as one of the most important wine regions, and Ciro is one of its biggest players.
We love Ciro personally as well. He’s warm and passionate, both in winemaking and in life. We’re happy to have him for a tasting of his wines, and we’ll be having Sicilian dishes on the dinner menu that evening in his honor.
The wine tasting will consist of:
2014 Biondi ‘Outis’ Etna Bianco
2013 Biondi ‘Outis’ Etna Rosso
2011 ‘Cisterna Fuori’ Etna Rosso
2008 Biondi ‘Outis’ Etna Rosso
2007 Biondi ‘Monte Ilice’ Etna Rosso
$40 per person
Monday, June 15, 2015 from 6:15 PM to 7:00 PM
Oliveto Restaurant & Café
Our good fortune is your good fortune.
Our most recently acquired stash of French wines from the 80’s and 90’s has revealed a number of delights, and we’re eager to share them with you at our upcoming Provençal Dinners on May 19th and 20th.
We have a handful of wines to offer:
1979 Domaine Tempier, Bandol Rouge Cuvée, Mourvèdre, “Speciale La Migoua”
*1987 Domaine Tempier, Bandol Rouge Cuvée, Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre, “Speciale La Louffe”
1988 Domaine Tempier, Bandol Rouge Cuvée, Mourvèdre, “Cabassaou”
1989 Domaine Tempier, Bandol Rouge Cuvée, Cinsault-Grenache-Mourvèdre, “La Tourtine”
*1989 Domaine Tempier, Bandol Rouge Cuvée, Mourvèdre, “Cabassaou”
All bottles are priced at $100, and those labeled with asterisks above are available by the glass ($20) and half glass ($10) as well. It should be an interesting event, as all of these have held up quite well over time, though there may be some uncustomary variation from bottle to bottle.
We hope to share these with you Tuesday and Wednesday for our prix-fixe menu from the classic Richard Olney cookbook, Lulu’s Provencal Table. Visit our website for details on this simple, delicious late spring menu.
For many a bébé boomer, Provence’s Domaine Tempier, and Lulu and Lucien Peyraud, opened a door to what food should be: full-flavored, true, beautiful, not fussy, seasonal, and full of life.
We were shown a way. Preparing for next week’s dinners and the release of our little treasure trove of old Tempier red Bandols, we’ve been going through a tasting of bottles from select vintages. It’s been an honor and an adventure.
We’ve tasted many extraordinary bottles and a few “interesting” ones-the lesser ones having aged, alas, for too long, or some in which Brett yeast cells have run amok. Unfortunately, there’s little accurate information on what to expect as each vintage ages-even from the experts at Kermit Lynch. We’re rather enjoying performing the task of looking into each to determine the effects of time. (We must keep in mind that bottles might even vary within each vintage, creating yet another problem in making them available to you.) But we know we will be offering many spectacular aged Tempier Bandols at good prices, along with some merely good ones. Yesterday, we opened a ’79 and last rites were performed; then, an ’87, and it blew us away, and today it is still very much alive, with interesting character.
Here’s what we are working with.
|1979||Mourvédre, “Speciale La Miguoa,” Domaine Tempier, Bandol Cuvée|
|1981||Mourvédre, “Speciale La Miguoa,” Domaine Tempier, Bandol Cuvée|
|1982||Bandol Cuvée Speciale, Domaine Tempier|
|1982||Cinsaut-Grenache-Mourvédre, “La Tourtine,” Domaine Tempier, Bandol Rouge Cuvée|
|1985||Mourvédre, “Speciale La Miguoa,” Domaine Tempier, Bandol Cuvée|
|1985||Cinsaut-Grenache-Mourvédre, “La Tourtine,” Domaine Tempier, Bandol Rouge Cuvée|
|1987||Mourvédre, “Cabassaou,” Domaine Tempier, Bandol Rouge Cuvée|
|1988||Grenache-Syrah-Mouvédre, “Speciale La Louffe,” Domaine Tempier, Bandol Cuvée|
|1988||Mourvédre, “Cabassaou,” Domaine Tempier, Bandol Rouge Cuvée|
|1989||Mourvédre, “Speciale La Miguoa,” Domaine Tempier, Bandol Cuvée|
|1989||Cinsaut-Grenache-Mourvédre, “La Tourtine,” Domaine Tempier, Bandol Rouge Cuvée|
|1989||Mourvédre, “Cabassaou,” Domaine Tempier, Bandol Rouge Cuvée|
|1999||Mourvédre, “Cabassaou,” Domaine Tempier, Bandol Rouge Cuvée|
View our special Provençal menus for May 19th and 20th here.
A chance to taste something rare.
Early this year Oliveto sous chef Hans Huysentruyt scored a stage at famed Osteria Le Logge. Thanks to the assistance of our friend Roberto Stucchi of Badia a Coltibuono, Hans spent three weeks in the kitchen “of arguably the best restaurant in Siena” according to Oliveto owner Bob Klein, “…and I’ve been to a lot of restaurants,” he quantified. With Roberto in town this month and some of his older wines ready to drink, we thought it would be cool to arrange a particularly Tuscan menu to accompany them.
Prix Fixe Le Logge-inspired menu
Crostini of whipped lardo
Crostini of almond puree
Arancini with tomato conserva
Ribolita with poached egg
Penne with albacore and tomato
Due of Liberty duck with ricotta and black garlic
Roberto will have on hand the following wines from Coltibuono’s catalog which will be available for purchase by the glass and half-glass:
2010/2011 Chianti Classico
90% Sangioveto 10% canaiolo+Colorino+Ciliegiolo. From the Monti (Gaiole) and Vitignano (Castelnuovo Berardenga) estate vineyards, organically farmed for 20 years, planted with the estate’s historical “massal “ selection. Fermented with indigenous yeast. Aged 1 year in 20 hl (400 gallons) austrian and french oak casks. True Chianti expression, elegant, complex, fresh and food friendly. Chianti that tastes like Chianti at it’s best.
2008 Chianti Riserva
90% Sangioveto 10% Canaiolo+Colorino+Ciliegiolo.From the Monti (Gaiole) estate vineyards, organically farmed for 20 years, planted with the estate’s historical “massal “ selection. Fermented with indigenous yeast. Aged 2 year in 20 hl (400 gallons) austrian and french oak casks. The top selection from the vintage, the deepest expression of the estate; a wine made to live and evolve for decades.
2009 Cultus Boni
80% Sangioveto 20% Canaiolo+Colorino+Ciliegiolo+Mammolo+Fogliatonda+Pugnitello+Malvasia Nera+Sanforte. From the Monti (Gaiole) estate vineyards, organically farmed for 20 years, planted with the estate’s historical “massal “ selection. Fermented with indigenous yeast. Aged 12 months in french oak barrels, 10% new oak. A modern expression of a classic.
100% Sangioveto. From 30+ year vineyards, the oldest in the estate, in Monti, organically farmed for 20 years, planted with the estate’s historical “massal “ selection. Fermented with indigenous yeast. Aged 12 months in french oak barrels, 10% new oak. One of the original “Supertuscans” created in 1980 to make a statement about the potential of Sangioveto in its purest expression.
2007 Vin Santo
50% Malvasia 50% Trebbiano from the estate’s Monti vineyards, organically farmed for 20 years. Grapes partially raisined indoors, wine fermented and aged in sealed barrels in attics. The true tuscan hospitality wine. Sweet and crisp and aromatic, more than a dessert wine.
And in very limited supply:
1985 Chianti Classico Riserva
Tuesday, August 19th, 2014
1999: Denver beat Atlanta in the the Super Bowl. The Spurs took the Nicks in the NBA playoffs. Shakespeare in Love received the Academy Award for Best Picture. The Y2K bug is a thing. Napster and the euro made their debut. And the cost of a first-class stamp was $0.33.
Meanwhile in the Piedmont region of Italy: After two unusually warm years, winter temperatures dropped to a more normal range with adequate amounts of snow fall adding needed moisture reserves to the subsoil. Bud-break arrived right on time in most parts, and plentiful spring rains helped with early growth but also led to some mold-issues by May. Temperatures got hot in June and July, but unusually chilly in August. The growing season finished out with a burst of warmth again in September, allowing for a good final ripening and a successful harvest.
We’ll be drinking four wines from the 1999 harvest from four renowned producers:
Presented by Peter Granoff, master sommelier and co-proprietor of Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant & Wine Bar in San Francisco and Oxbow Cheese & Wine Merchant in Napa, CA.
classic Northern Italian cold veal with tuna sauce
Agnolotti dal plin
meat-stuffed, “pinched” raviolini from the Piedmont
Bavarois with berry sauce
*One of the most luxurious of the boiled sausages, cotechino derives from Modena and owes its rich texture to the inclusion of cooked pork skin.
(tax & service charge not included)
Space is limited.
Call (510) 547-5356 to reserve.