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Wine with Dinner #3

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"A person with increasing knowledge and sensory education may derive infinite enjoyment from wine."  - Ernest Hemingway

The third installment of Wine with Dinner has Daniel Deny veering away from his beloved France.  Alas, I Didn't want you to pigeonhole our blogging sommelier.  Daniel attended a seminar on Italian wine last week in Los Angeles and was inspired to revisit some of his Italian favorites.  His selecitons are off the beaten path. My excitement in presenting wines to the D blog is to give voice to less well-known wines that often get overlooked.  I'm into the wine segment to champion the underdog wine.  I am an unabashed non-oenophile.  I'd rather play in the sandbox with a mixologist and a craft cocktail.  But as Hemingway noted, as I increase knowledge, my enhanced enjoyment of wine is evolving.  Having tasted Daniel's selections, they are accessible wines that when paired correctly do add such pleasure to a meal.


Producer : Vignalta
Name of the wine : Agno Tinto
Region : Veneto
Blend : A majority Petite Syrah plus a few indigenous Italian grape varieties -- Marzemino among others.

It is a rather Dark wine, notes of raspberry and blackberry, spicy with solid tannins . . . "an iron fist in a velvet glove."

This wine is a suited pairing for smoked or grilled red meat, as well as game and sausages. 

The particularity of this wine: It comes from the 40 year old vineyard of Tocai, that was grafted over with the California Concannon Vineyards of Petite Syrah. The grafting occurred in 1978.*

While this Agno Tinto is on the wine list at Primitivo Wine Bistro for $66, I realize that some of the interest is in wine collecting and/or bringing your own to Dinners of your choosing.  I suggest that if you can not find this wine at your favorite wine store, ask a store to order it for you.

Okay - so now that the Details of this wine Distinguished by Daniel are out there, I can tell you that I had no idea what it meant that a "grafting occurred."  It sounded so medical.  So, friends, isn't Google grand?  I looked it up and found some notes. Turns out it's like it sounds, like skin grafting, only Done with vine cuttings.  The Vignalta owner himself, Lucio Gomiero, brought Petite Syrah cuttings from Ridge Geyserville to his own Colli Euganei vineyard where they are currently the only Petite Syrah vines in Italy! He named the wine Agno Tinto after a 500 year-old plant, Agnus Castus, that finally Died in the Orto Botanico in Padova, the oldest botanical garden in the world founded by the Senate of the Venetian Repubic in 1545. In other words, Lucio has brought back to life the Petite Syrah that had Died in Europe. He changed the name "Castus" meaning chaste to "Tinto" meaning colored.

I Don't know about you, but for me, the additional back story added fascination to the world of wine, wineries and wine lovers.  The word they use, "particularity" makes more sense as I learn about the nuanced Details involved in the Delivery of wines to our lips.

Proprietor of Primitivo Wine Bistro Sommelier Daniel Deny, with me, and yes that's not wine in the background.  It's soy sauce at the Izakaya!

for questions, contact Daniel Deny directly at Primitivo
1025 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 396-5353