I admit it, I admit it... before I had a boyfriend from Piacenza I was rather ignorant about the wines of the Val Tidone. Sure, I had tasted more than a few, but the enormous potential of Malvasia bred in this area I had not yet understood! Instead, thanks to Antonio I tasted first the wines of Cantina Valtidone, then those of Lusenti... and yesterday at lunch it was the turn of 'Sorriso di Cielo', an organic Malvasia-based wine from the 2018 harvest of the Colli Piacentini. Well, I liked it so much that I decided to write about the preview tasting here on my wine blog, even before visiting the La Tosa winery. The Malvasia used to make 'Sorriso di Cielo' wine comes from vineyards mainly trained on guyot trellises at 180-210 metres above sea level planted between 1983 and 1992 in the provinces of Piacenza, Pavia and Parma. 5000 plants per hectare in the 75% vineyard, 2200 in the 25% vineyard. The soil, which is not very fertile, is clayey and silty. After harvesting, the grapes undergo a soft pressing and are then fermented at a controlled temperature of 14-15°C. At this point, the wine spends 5 months on the fine lees and the bâtonnage, i.e. the stirring of the yeasts now deposited on the bottom with a tool to bring them back to the surface.
The winter of 2018 was quite cold and vine sprouting rather late. Subsequently, a period of warm weather towards the end of April brought the vines up with some speed, but in May the temperatures dropped and the month was very wet. (Does this remind you of anything? I can't take any more of this May, give me spring... or rather summer!) At the end of June, summer heat arrived briefly, which then returned at the beginning of August. The following weeks, with temperate weather and some rain, led to the harvest of Malvasia di Candia Aromatica on 30 August and 5 September. The wine was bottled on 27 February 2019. From the 2018 vintage, we obtained 17,500 bottles and 60 magnums.
I tasted bottle number 2,451. It is a beautiful intense straw yellow, swirling the glass reveals a certain consistency. And indeed it does: this white wine has 13%vol. The nose is very pleasant and very intense, with a complex bouquet of aromas in which citrus fruits prevail. Notes of blood orange, lemon marmalade, and lime zest blend into a light liquorice aftertaste. Then a thrill: an intense scent of peach tea arrives distinctly, the real homemade one like I used to make with my grandmother, boiling whole peaches with brown sugar until the water was reduced by half, and then using the infusion together with the tea leaves. This is followed by aromas of candied pear, acacia honey, sugared almond and apricot jam. In the mouth, it enters decisive, intense, with an excellent correspondence to the nose. It envelops the mouth and expresses all its warmth. The alcohol content in the mouth is a little more than I would like, but I am sure it also depends on the freshness of the bottling. It also has a nice acidity, which makes me realise that going back in vintages one can discover very interesting wines! It goes very well with duck, prepared in various ways. We drank it with spaghetti Monograno Felicetti Riserva Valentino risotto pan-fried with a sauce of Monte Isola salami, red onion, peppers and chilli pepper! Delicious! 😍
The article, however, as you guessed, I didn't write yesterday, but today, and as the wise man says... today is another day. So I decided to try the 'Smile of Heaven' with some foie gras I had in the fridge and... well the sky really smiled at me and within five minutes the sun came back! I swear! ☀
So, see you soon at the winery to taste some of the old vintages and other wines produced by the company!
Now, if you want to stay 'in the zone' you can read the article "Cantina Valtidone wines at Ristorante Le Proposte: the perfect pairing of Piacenza tradition" or visit the company's website www.latosa.it 😜
P.S. Are you familiar with Piacenza wines? Which wineries and wines do you prefer? Tell me in a comment!