Even though summer has officially ended, the weather has been pleasant enough to remind us that Fall has not put that much space between itself and L’Estate.  This weekend, family came to visit and we opened a few nice late summer wines with assorted antipasti.
Over the past year,  I’ve been happy to discover the wines of Frascati and keep them in my cellar. They are versatile and excellent values given their quality.  Since my interview with Mauro Merz of Fontana Candida, I’ve been curious to try his creation; Luna Mater. 
The 2011 Fontana Candida Frascati “Luna Mater” is an eye opener. It’s a pretty medium gold color with intense aromatics.  Perfumed exotic, tropical fruits are bountiful.  Pineapple, citrus, guava and stone fruits combine in harmony. On the palate, the full body of the fruit is evident but not heavy. The acids in the wine provide freshness and lift to the tropical fruit flavors and the laser like streak of minerality that pentrates the core of the wine.  This is simply outstanding and quite likely, my White Wine of the Year.  Wow.  93 points, about $20.  How’s that for value?  Disclosure:  This bottle was an importer provided sample.

~ Fontana Candida Luna Mater 2011 ~

With Luna Mater we had assorted snacks including Black Label Cambozola cheese which greatly magnified the wild fruit flavors of this wine. Also featured were a selection of olives, caponata, cured salume and Sottonocere al Tartufo.  The Luna Mater was delightful with all of the offerings as was the next wine we tried. 
~ Antipasti:  cheese, salume, olives, Caponata, stuffed cherry peppers ~

In building momentum to heavier reds with dinner,  we opened a lightly chilled bone dry Rosato.   The 2012 Castello Banfi Centine Rosato also paired very well with the above appetizers, but paired especially well with the summer sausage.  It’s a light pink to salmon in color with vivid aromas of strawberry, melon and flowers.  A blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet and Merlot, the wine is vinified completely in stainless steel and emerges fresh and bright.  Strawberry, peach and minerals on the palate add enough complexity to keep the wine interesting and provide the perfect foil to wash down the antipasto.  A wonderful combination.  The 2012 has just only reached the US so it may not be in retail circulation as of this writing.  87 points, about $12.  Disclosure: This bottle was an importer provided sample.
~ Castello Banfi Centine Rosato : Predominantly Sangiovese ~
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