Domodimonti: Italian for "Natural Wine"

Imagine if you were from Italy, but couldn’t enjoy your country’s renowned wines. That was the case with Dr. Francesco Bellini – internationally acclaimed bio-chemist and sufferer of wine allergies.

 

But in 2003, Dr. Bellini and his wife, Marisa, were back in their native country, visiting from their adopted homeland of French Canada. During their trip to Le Marche, Italy, where they had grown up, the opportunity arose for them to purchase a little run-down vineyard and olive orchard. They jumped at the chance.

 

It took seven years to build the Domodimonti winery , but the Bellinis built their retirement dream project exactly the way they’d envisioned: State-of-the-art, with a small environmental footprint, sustainable vine growth, water conservation, and natural winemaking practices that eschew additives (including sugar), acid adjustments, etc. These are organic wines – wines clean enough for Dr. Bellini to drink; as they say at the winery: “If he can’t drink it, they don’t make it.”

 

I was recently invited to try several of the Domodimonti wines at Drago Centro, in downtown LA. The first wine I tried was the 2006 Picens, a blend of Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Celestino Drago paired it with Garganelli pasta, pork sausage, Parmesan and fennel seeds. The wine was surprisingly light in body for a blend of such big varietals. The nose of white pepper and earthy black fruit led to flavors of earthy cherry against light tannin. The pasta was all buttery richness, with layers of slightly sharp Parmesan and rich umami. I had three bowls.

 

The 2009 Domodimonti Monte Fiore is 100% Sangiovese. It had a nose of raw beef and plum with flavors of iron and strawberry, which turned into cherry on the finish. This wine was paired with roasted venison saddle, soft polenta and red currant gastrique. The venison – with its sweet, cool center and additively salty, browned crust – was a perfect pairing. The super-sweet gastrique was balanced nicely by the soft pillows of polenta, and helped to accentuate the wine’s cherry notes.

 

My favorite wine of the evening was the 2006 Il Messia, a blend of Montepulciano and Merlot. It was all irony-earth, cherry and plum tart – although an odd pairing with Drago’s scallop agnolatti, lemon zest, chile and herbs. The wine felt a little overbearing against the oceany scallops, with their spray of crisp lemon.

 

I quickly abandoned the food to focus exclusively on the wine.

 

At $25/bottle, it pushes the upper limits of what I’d consider a value, but for those who are looking for a natural wine, with minimal interference from the winemaker, and a small environmental footprint – and especially for those who normally suffer from wine-related allergies – $25 doesn’t seem like a large price to pay.

 

 

Hard Name, Good Wine Imagine if you were from Italy, but couldn’t enjoy your country’s renowned wines. That was the case with Dr. Francesco Bellini – internationally acclaimed bio-chemist and sufferer of wine allergies.

But in 2003, Dr. Bellini and his wife, Marisa, were back in their native country, visiting from their adopted homeland of French Canada. During their trip to Le Marche, Italy, where they had grown up, the opportunity arose for them to purchase a little run-down vineyard and olive orchard. They jumped at the chance.

It took seven years to build the Domodimonti winery , but the Bellinis built their retirement dream project exactly the way they’d envisioned: State-of-the-art, with a small environmental footprint, sustainable vine growth, water conservation, and natural winemaking practices that eschew additives (including sugar), acid adjustments, etc. These are organic wines – wines clean enough for Dr. Bellini to drink; as they say at the winery: “If he can’t drink it, they don’t make it.”

I was recently invited to try several of the Domodimonti wines at Drago Centro, in downtown LA. The first wine I tried was the 2006 Picens, a blend of Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Celestino Drago paired it with Garganelli pasta, pork sausage, Parmesan and fennel seeds. The wine was surprisingly light in body for a blend of such big varietals. The nose of white pepper and earthy black fruit led to flavors of earthy cherry against light tannin. The pasta was all buttery richness, with layers of slightly sharp Parmesan and rich umami. I had three bowls.

The 2009 Domodimonti Monte Fiore is 100% Sangiovese. It had a nose of raw beef and plum with flavors of iron and strawberry, which turned into cherry on the finish. This wine was paired with roasted venison saddle, soft polenta and red currant gastrique. The venison – with its sweet, cool center and additively salty, browned crust – was a perfect pairing. The super-sweet gastrique was balanced nicely by the soft pillows of polenta, and helped to accentuate the wine’s cherry notes.

My favorite wine of the evening was the 2006 Il Messia, a blend of Montepulciano and Merlot. It was all irony-earth, cherry and plum tart – although an odd pairing with Drago’s scallop agnolatti, lemon zest, chile and herbs. The wine felt a little overbearing against the oceany scallops, with their spray of crisp lemon.

I quickly abandoned the food to focus exclusively on the wine.

At $25/bottle, it pushes the upper limits of what I’d consider a value, but for those who are looking for a natural wine, with minimal interference from the winemaker, and a small environmental footprint – and especially for those who normally suffer from wine-related allergies – $25 doesn’t seem like a large price to pay.

Posted on by Arianna Armstrong in Arianna's Wine Tasting Notes

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