Importing wine can be a risky business. It helps that I am blessed with an excellent palate (attributed to my mother’s side of the family) which helps eliminate some of the risk. Over the years, I have found some great wines from France, Spain and Italy. My customers know that I won’t disappoint them when I bring samples to taste. While every wine I import might not make the Wine Spectator Top 100 list, when one of them does, I feel like it legitimizes the rest of my portfolio. Sure, I’m tooting my own horn, but, in my defense, I work alone. I don’t have any employees who might slap me on the back and tell me I’m doing a good job. But, the Wine Spectator just did.
This Thanksgiving I’m celebrating with wines from Cellers Edetària at my table because they just made the Wine Spectator Top 100 and I import them. Several years ago, I read about Edetària in Decanter Magazine (another favorite publication). I was convinced by what I read about the owner and his team that their wines were the type that I like to import. A few weeks later, I received a serendipitous email from Nani Ramon who was seeking importers in the USA for Edetària. Shortly after, we were shipping the wines to Minnesota. Nani and I have become great friends, too. He tries to teach me Catalan and I try to give him insights into American culture.
Edetària wines have been introduced to Minnesota consumers at specialty wine stores like South Lyndale Liquors, Thomas Liquors, Dolce Vita Wine Shop and Lakeside Wine and Spirits. Restaurants like Spoon and Stable (James Beard Award Winner! ) pour Edetària wines for their guests, too. It’s enjoyable growing consumer interest in Edetària, so much so that it helps me forget about a lot of the headaches owed to managing an import and distribution company in these competitive times. #47 on the WS Top 100 List? Yeah, that seems right to me. www.edetaria.com
Today, while reviewing some of the amazing press for Elena Fucci and her wine, I found this really nice video from WineTV (Andrea Galanti) which features Andrea’s review of Titolo while cameras sweep across the Fucci family property. The video gives you a sense of the rare qualities of this wonderful wine project. WineTV, Andrea Galanti: Reviewing “Titolo” Aglianico del Vulture
Thirteen, widely considered an unlucky number, is anything but unlucky with Elena Fucci! Yesterday, Elena and her team received their 13th Tre Bicchieri (3 glasses) Award from the Italian Food and Wine cultural publication, Gambero Rosso. If my math is correct, Elena has won Tre Bicchieri 13 out of the 15 vintages she has been producing wine.
To put this in perspective, there are winemakers all over Italy who produce wine year after year and never even get a mention from the Gambero Rosso. Some might have a good year and receive a one-glass or a two-glass award. But, it’s a rare breed of winemaker who receives the Tre Bicchieri even once in their lifetime. Thirteen times Elena has received Tre Bicchieri!
A few years ago, a wine buyer I work with asked me who Elena consulted with to make her wine. “Her wine is so good. Who is her wine consultant?” he asked. Although I had never heard Elena discuss working with a wine consultant. I owed it to my customer to get an answer. Trying not to insult Elena due to the obvious sexist tone of the question, I asked her as delicately as I could and received this answer. “Brian,” she said, “I do everything. I drive the tractor. I prune the vines. I fertilize. I harvest. I MAKE THE WINE!” In my opinion, she is the wine. Her indomitable spirit carries through to the glass.
Hats off to Elena! She is one of the hardest-working women in the wine industry. She more than deserves this amazing recognition.
(Elena Fucci, Titolo, Aglianico del Vulture DOC is currently available at South Lyndale Liquors in Minneapolis. www.southlyndale.com )
You can also buy Elena’s olive oil directly from Grand Pere Wines: Elena Fucci, “Titolio”, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Limited. Why start a new blog with the word, limited? Because you will want to purchase this olio and it might not be available any longer when you read this item. Fair warning.
Elena Fucci, is an amazing young winemaker who has made fifteen vintages of her wine and received the coveted Tre Bicchieri award from the Gambero Rosso for 13 of those 15 vintages! Who does that?! You would think she might be boastful. She’s not. In fact, she is quite lovely about it. She still gives credit to her grandfather, Generoso, for her knowledge of the vineyards and the care which is necessary to make a great wine like her “Titolo” Aglianico del Vulture DOC.
The family’s olive oil, “Titolio”, is also credited to the long vision of Generoso. Elena understands how he made it possible through his natural curiosity about olio. By carefully selecting and nurturing his trees, 40 years later they reward the family with vibrant green, fruit-driven oil milled from their granite stone press. Try this oil and understand why Basilicata is uniquely well-suited for olive trees and their delicious fruit. This is an oil to compliment your favorite foods. There were only 2500 bottles produced. We have less than 200 available to ship in the USA. Limited!
Read the details and purchase here: Elena Fucci, “Titolio”, Extra Virgin Olive Oil