~ Vittorio Emanuele Monument: Forza Italia ~

 It was hot, the streets were active with the buzz of life, tourism, even Governmental motorcades.  We were shopping, and although our primary quest may have been ceramics and leather goods, we were always mindful of eyeing an enticing place for a snack or cocktail.  It was mid afternoon and many Romans were enjoying the afternoon passegiata, that post lunch stroll before re-opening for dinner later that evening. 

We made our way down a tightly nooked alley and with the cobblestone road imploring our feet for a break – or maybe it was the other way around? – we found a wonderful little bar that was serving snacks and drinks.  They had tables in the shade and that sealed the deal.  

~ Perfect tomato Bruschetta.  I’m still convinced these were the best tomatoes of the trip ~

Originally we were planning on relaxing with a few Aperol Spritz and enjoying the complimentary bar food that in Italy, would shame many a buffet here in the US.   However, when I spotted an entire section of the menu dedicated to Bruschette, we had to change our  plans.  

~ Warm Mozzarella and Anchovy – simply ethereal ~

With these snacks being a bit more substantial and complex,  we moved beyond the Spritz.  I was thrilled to order a 2011 Arnaldo Caprai Rosso di Montefalco from the list at 28 Euro – so about $40.  That’s a few dollars more than US retail.  

In the glass the wine was a pretty violet color with an expressive nose of red berries, flowers, meat, savory herbs and a slight hint of vanilla, this wine seemed to be firing on all cylinders.  It was refreshing served at the proper temperature, which I found not always the case in much of Italy, and the wine carried it’s prowess through to the palate.  

Juicy red berries around with hints of mint, dark chocolate, and a savory, meaty component that was wonderful with the anchovy Bruschetta. The 2011 Caprai is 70% Sangiovese, 15% Sagrantino and 15% Merlot and spends a full year in a combination of cask and barrique before resting 4 months in bottle before release. This is a polished, delicious red whose acidity matched the perfect tomatoes wonderfully and whose forward fruit component from the Merlot really blossomed with the cheese. Maybe not textbook, but nevertheless, the perfect match.   90 points.  
~ Arnaldo Caprai Rosso di Montefalco ~
When in Rome…..  

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