A New Occhipinti

4 February 2012, 100 Jane Street, Manhattan

Before dinner, Diane, Nard and I decided to open up a bottle of wine – call it our Saturday night aperitif before beer and burgers with a group of friends. We opened up a bottle of Andrea Occhipinti’s 2009 Alea Viva. Nard and I had this wine originally at Babbo as part of the pasta tasting menu with wine-pairing. We both loved it and got a few bottles to try at home – it didn’t disappoint.

A quick digression before getting to how it tastes – the wine is made in Lazio at an altitude of 1,500 feet on the volcanic hills near Lake Bolsena. Made with 100% Aleatico, a native varietal, it matures and briefly ages in stainless steel before bottling. Aleatico is typically used for sweet, port-like wines and this is one of the first dry reds made from this varietal. Italy’s wine making regions – with Lazio in the middle:

Italy's Wine Regions

The wine itself was a light ruby color with floral and red fruit aromas. The light-bodied red had no noticeable tannins with medium acidity that made it a perfect wine to sip on its own. We all agreed the palate was fruit – red cherries in particular – with flavor of the volcanic soil that it was grown in. Diane called it a “flirty” wine – just delicious and fun to drink by itself.

We drank it slightly chilled and all agreed it would be a perfect summer wine to sip on by the pool and plan on doing so in a few months:

2009 Occhipinti Alea Viva

*** 2009 Occhipinti Alea Viva, $20