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Ferragamo: Wine and Fashion

Ferragamo: Wine and Fashion

Charles Scicolone (October 20, 2009)
Charles Scicolone
Salvatore Ferragamo at the Wine Tasting for His Family's Wines

A Wine Tasting with Salvatore Ferragamo, Grandson of the World Famous Italian Designer.


Ferragamo: Wine and Fashion

The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the name Ferragamo is top quality luxury goods made in Italy. That was what I believed until I received an invitation to a very special wine tasting showcasing the Ferragamo family’s wine estates Il Borro and Castiglion del Bosco on a private outdoor terrace at the elegant Feragamo fashion showroom on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Fashion and wine, how could I refuse? I put on my best Italian suit and off I went.
 I was introduced to Salvatore Farragamo, grandson of the world famous Italian designer of the same name. Salvatore is in charge of both of the family’s Tuscan estates. I noticed that the Ferragamo name does not appear on the wine labels.  Salvatore explained that despite this, the consumer can be certain that they are getting the best in Italian wine--like any other product associated with the Ferragamo name.
The Castiglion del Bosco estate is one of the leading producers of Brunello di Montalcino and is located in the northwestern part of Montalcino. In 2004 the internationally acclaimed winemaker Nicolo D’Afflitto together with the locally trained enologist Celicia Leoneschi took charge of the production and they are now making a more “modern” style of Brunello. 
The first wine I tasted was the Dainero 2004 IGT Toscana--90% merlot and 10% sangiovese. All of the grapes for the wines from Castiglion del Bosco are hand-picked. It was fermented in stainless steel tanks and then aged in French oak barriques for six months. It was a pleasant wine with good fruit and a slight hint of wood.
It is a wine for easy drinking and costs about $16. 
 Next was the Rosso di Montalcino 2005 DOC made from the 100% sangiovese, the same grape that is used for Brunello. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks and the wine is aged in French oak barriques for six months. The Rosso is aged in wood for less time than the Brunello. The vineyards are located 300 meters above sea level and are on the southern side of the property. The wine was typical of sangiovese with aromas of red berries, and a pleasant finish and aftertaste. $25
Brunello di Montalcino 2003 DOCG is made from 100% sangiovese grapes grown in vineyards located on the southern side of the property 300 meters above sea level. The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks for 20 days and aged for 24 months in French oak barriques and 24 months in bottle before it is released. The 2003 vintage in Tuscany was very hot and this is a complex wine with intense red berry flavors and aromas with a long finish and lingering aftertaste. $60
Brunello di Montalcino 2003 Campo del Drago is fermented in stainless steel for 20 days. It is aged in French barriques for 24 months and 36 months in bottle before being released.It is made from 100% sangiovese grapes which are carefully selected from the south-facing vineyards located in the Capana area 350 meters above sea level.  The soil here is a combination of sandstone, clay and galestro a typical Tuscan stone. Salvatore felt that the soil, especially the presence of the galestro, and the microclimate gave this wine a unique aroma, complexity and structure. This was a big complex wine with blackberry aromas and flavors which continued in the finish and aftertaste   $75
Salvatore explained that Il Borro is a tiny Tuscan village that had been restored by his family. It is located in the Valdarno area at the feet of the Pratomagno Mountains. He went on to say that at Il Borro, there is not only the production of fine wine but a place where guests can find luxury accommodations in villas and country houses.
At Il Borro they produce a range of wines that could be labeled Super Tuscan, made from international grapes or a combination of native and international grapes. All of the wines are aged in French oak barriques, and are all IGT.  I liked the Il Borro Plan di Nova  2006 made from 75% syrah and 25% sangiovese ($32), Il Borro Polissena 2006100% sangiovese ($36), and the Il Borro Toscana 2005 made from 50% merlot, 35% cabernet sauvignon, 10% syrah and 5% petit verdot ($50). This last is a mixture of a lot of grapes but it seems to work.

Michele and I will be teaching a class on Italian wine & food at De Gustibus at Macy's on Thursday December 3, 2009. For information 212-239-1652

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