Wine. Food. Reviews. Recipes. Lap it up.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Mitolo Jester Cabernet Sauvignon 2005

Tonight's dinner is to be capellini with homemade Puttanesca sauce, and I was pondering what wine to have. An Italian wine would be appropriate, but I was in the mood for something else.

Then I remembered the Mitolo Jester Cabernet. It's made by a family with an Italian heritage in Australia, and they use the same method used with Amarones -- 20 percent of the grapes are drjied for eight weeks before pressing. The juice is then patially barrel-fermented and then undergoes a natural malolactic fermentation; after that it's aged in used (but fairly young) French oak barrels for nine months.

The resulting wine is bit, smooth, rich and concentrated, with enough tannin to make it a good match for beef. It is is quite a satisfying drink, from the deep blueberry nose to the tongue-coating texture and spicy palate, all the way through the long, long finish. It may have enough acid to get along with the Puttanesca sauce, but even if it doesn't I sure don't regret bringing this one home!

You should be able to find this wine for $18-$20 a bottle -- and at that price, it's a tremendous bargain. This is a new-world Cab with an old-world spin, and well worth the effort to find. I just may need to revisit this wine with some Bistecca alla Florentine....

As it turned out the Mitolo Cab was just fine with the Puttanesca sauce. But then, I had added my secret ingredient to counteract the acidity of the tomatoes: Chocolate.

The recipe I used may be found here. Besides the addition of a square of unsweetened chocolate, I strayed from the instructions by doubling the amount of pepper flakes (next time, quadruple!) and using a heavy hand with the basil. Dee-lish!
M. Zane Grey, 7:39 PM