Wine Dharma

Farm holidays La Sabbiona

Bed and breakfast in Faenza. Holidays farm La Sabbiona with swimming pool. Albana's vineyards trained with Guyot system, Oriolo's tower in the background Mauro Altini is a passionate winemaker, the wine flows in his veins, it’s his element. When he talks about it his eyes light up and you could spend hours in his cellar speaking and tasting wine. Visiting his winery it’s always a pleasure, because he is able to convey that enthusiasm not only to the visitors, but to the wine itself.

Most of his wines are native, we have Albana di Romagna, Sangiovese, Famoso, of course Centesimino, one of which sweet, and a rarity among the hills of Romagna: a small production of Syrah. There is a wide range of bottles with fair prices and good quality: the wines are clean, balanced and more floral than massive due to a terroir where clay and sand mixed with lime give birth to fragrant and darting wine, characterized by a zippy acidity, yet rounded by the supple flesh of the fruit.

You can taste a wise, mellow oak in these wines. It’s gentle, smooths and adds just enough spicy thickness to make the wine suggestive, but never at the expense of the freshness. And this is a great merit that should be recognized to Mauro, who has well interpreted his own land, focusing on typicality and not on technical tricks.

Delirio, 2009, Syrah

Here is the first surprise: a warm, voluminously spiced wine that is not short of body and elegance. Unique for the exuberance of the notes of chocolate, pepper and blueberries, plus a final coffee and vanilla spark. This wine comes from a droughty and extremely windy hill and the tough conditions of this cru make the grape thrive: it’s not easy to cultivate, but the results are amazing. 15 days of maceration, aging on lees with frequent bâtonnage for three months and then eight more in the barrels. A sumptuous red wine to match with Moussaka or Pappardelle with wild boar ragout. € 9.

Savignon Rosso, 2010, Centesimino

Farmhouse near Faenza. Romagna hills. Bicycle wine tour. Food and wine tour. Grilled fishes and soups, fresh cheeses and veg souffle are welcome Aged exclusively in stainless steel to maintain intact the zesty floral bouquet. Blueberries in alcohol, mountain herbs, pansies, peonies in a swirl of scents that finds a cutting balance in the mouth, with a flowing silky tannin that lies in a delicate memory of wild rose. To combine with Chicken wings glazed with Honey, Ginger and Chili. € 7.50.

Vip 2011, Famoso Grape

It has just been bottled so it needs a little bit more of refinement in the bottle, but the bouquet is already fascinating with slices of apple, flashes of bananas and plenty of yellow flowers like broom, acacia and magnolia; in the background you can hear the herbs that eventually will take shape within a couple of months. The acidity is good, clear and supports the flower load without being too racy. A perfect wine for herby dishes such as Roasted Sea Bream with Wild Fennel and Potatoes or Pasta with Genovese Pesto and Green beans. € 6.20.

Divo 2011, sparkling Famoso

Holiday farm Faenza. Swimming pool and walks in the vineyards. Wine Tourism. Oysters, sushi, fried chicken, scallops and even a piece of Parmigiano will be fine with this sparkling wine It starts with a riot of flowers: a cascade of hawthorn, acacia and primroses mingled with white peaches dripping juice. In the mouth the bubbles are crackling, are fine, tickle and make this already brisk grape even more lively. Fresh, full, round, a great invention by this winery. A sparkling wine to be paired with Bologna Mousse, Dumpling Soup or Sweet and sour Shrimps. € 7.

Alba della Torre, 2011, Albana

Stir pork with vegetables and ginger, paired with a powerful white wine: Albana Stir pork with vegetables and ginger: the sour & sweet flavor will get along with a fruity, supple wine like Albana There is so much love behind this wine. Starting from the vineyard itself, all cultivated using the Guyot system. Low yields, a soil with a perfect composition-clay, silt, and sand in equal parts-to give body, acidity, aromas and elegance to a grape like Albana. The Albana is a controversial wine, it’s difficult to understand because it’s more similar to red wine, nevertheless it has an enormous potential. Its tannic-acid mightiness is dangerous, it can explode if not properly tamed and give back wines too massive, but Mauro has done a remarkably job. His Albana is a symphony, full-bodied, but with graceful spikes of citrus-apricot-lemon custard-honey-almond-daisy that leaves your mouth aghast. The version that we sampled is a preview not yet bottled, but it has already pumped us. Slips in the mouth like velvet while not skimping on fruity suggestions in a endless creamy-tangy stream. A white with the structure of a red, to match with Crab Chowder, Spaghetti with Bottarga or a classic Thai Curry Chicken: it loves curry, do not forget it.

If you want to stay in the hills of Faenza, for a great wine holiday and spend time in Emilia-Romagna call Mauro:
email: [email protected]
Phone: 0546 642142

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