Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wine Wednesday — Free Terralsole Tasting Tonight at the Icon in the Gulch

Posted By on Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 8:19 AM

I don't even know why I need to type any more after that title. It's free. It's an outstanding Italian value producer. And it's a block from the Scene's offices. You might need a shoehorn to get yourself in, now that I've let the cat out of the bag.

But if you want to brave the masses, here are the details. Jeanne Boone of Boonedocks Distribution, Inc. has invited Athena Bollag from Terralsole to visit Nashville and discuss her portfolio of fine Italian red wines from the Montalcino region. Originally from California, Athena is a world-renowned violin player with a strong background in wine as the result of her proximity to the Napa Valley. On a musical tour of Tuscany, she met her husband Mario at his winery near the hilltop town on Montalcino. Home to the noble Brunello wine and the slightly less noble Rosso di Montacino, this region produces some of the finest Sangiovese wines in all of Italy.

After their marriage, Athena moved into the estate and built her own recording studio where she could combine her great loves among the vines. Yeah, it would be easy to not like them if they weren't such fascinating, nice people. Terralsole produces a Brunello and a Brunello Riserva. Created under the strict DOCG laws of Italy, these wines must be 100 percent Sangiovese grapes form the Brunello strain and require at least a mandatory two years of aging in oak and four months in the bottle prior to release.

The result is an intensely deep ruby colored wine with strong elements of oak and leather in the bouquet. Brunello can cellar for years and only gains complexity and softness over time. Brunellos also cost a pretty penny as well, but the Terralsole versions are fairly affordable for the category at about $40-50 for the Brunello and double that for the Riserva.

More economical are the four Rossos di Montalcinos that they sell. Literally translated as "Montacino Red WInes," these offerings are not subject to the same regulations as the Brunellos and can contain more than just one type of grape varietal. Athens will be pouring a Merlot-based Rosso on Wednesday night along with the Brunello and at least one other Rosso. The soft tannins of these wines make them very drinkable alone, but also extraordinarily food-friendly. In the $20-30 price range, they also will not break the bank if you decide to serve them with a pizza at home.

If you'd like to try these wines and hear more about Terralsole, come to the Icon tonight October 27 starting at 6:30. If you have questions, email Jeanne at

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