Wine Reviews: Acinum Wines from Veneto

Vias Imports — a big player in the U.S. when it comes to Italian imports — has just launched its own label called Acinum. Hitting the nationwide market this month, these wines are solid, value-driven examples of the classic Veneto wines: Prosecco, Soave Classico, Valpolicella and Amarone.

The wines are a result of collaboration between the chairman of Vias Imports, Fabrizio Pedrolli, grower and oenologist Enrico Paternoster. For those looking for an introduction to the wines of the Veneto, these widely-available bottles would be a good and inexpensive place to start.

These bottles were received as trade samples and tasted sighted.

Review: N.V. Acinum Prosecco Italy, Veneto, Prosecco
SRP: $11
Pale straw color. Bright and floral nose with a nice mix of lemon-lime and richer peach and guava aromas. Refreshingly crisp and quite dry but plenty of fresh fruit: peaches, lime, kiwi, yellow apple. Add in some hints of honeysuckle, lilies and a slight saline and seashell aspect. A brighter and crisper wine than a lot of Proseccos at this price point that can take the sweet flower and canned peach approach. Impressive for the price. (86 points IJB)

Review: 2014 Acinum Soave Classico - Italy, Veneto, Soave Classico
SRP: $11
Light yellow color. Bright nose of clean laundry, floral perfume and a mix of kiwi and yellow and green apples. Juicy kiwi, peach and apples on a medium-bodied frame. Moderate acid keeps it all clean, some creaminess adds texture. I get some notes of white tea and floral perfume, hints of saline as well. Bright, clean, refreshing, well-balanced. Great for the price. (85 points IJB)

Review: 2014 Acinum Valpolicella - Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella
SRP: $16
Pale ruby color. Smells of tart red apples, wild strawberries, some darker cherry notes, rose petals and green coffee. Medium-bodied with some refreshing acidity, medium tannin but a tiny bit astringent. Tart red apples, strawberries and cherries mixed in with notes of cedar, clove and coffee. Ready to drink but has some fun flavors and structure to offer. (85 points IJB)

Review: 2013 Acinum Ripasso della Valpolicella - Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella, Ripasso della Valpolicella
SRP: $23
Medium ruby color. Rich red and black fruits on the nose, cherries, plums and currants, mixed in with richer, darker elements of prunes and fig paste, roses, violets and potting soil. Full-bodied, tannins have plenty of structure but a velvety presence on the palate. Medium-low acid, the plum fruit is dark and rich yet crunchy around the edges, plenty of coffee, pipe tobacco, clove, anise cookie and cedar shavings. Not super complex but quite solid stuff. Best with plenty of air or a year or two in the cellar. (87 points IJB)

Review: 2012 Acinum Amarone della Valpolicella Classico - Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
SRP: $55
Dark ruby color. Saucy and rich on the nose, with dense black cherries and plum fruit, a couple waves of sweet mocha, clove, dark chocolate shavings and rich dark soil. Rich and full but maintains a juicy, chewy approach. Dark plums and cherries, the fruit is rich but laced with savory elements. I get pine sap, espresso, charcoal pit, dark chocolate, clove, spearmint chewing tobacco, lots of complex flavors underneath waiting to come out. (89 points IJB)

Tuna and Prosecco: A Delightful Lunch

Tuna and Prosecco: A Delightful Lunch
I’ve always been a big fan of Prosecco, the charming and thirst-slaking Italian sparkling wine, for festive and casual bubbles imbibing. At a recent lunch at Serafina, I was reminded what a great food wine it is as well. Prosecco belongs on your lunch (and dinner) table!

The Proseccos we enjoyed were from Valdo, a shop favorite. Their Brut DOC is a machine here at Esquin. The staff loves it and so do our customers. They also make an excellent Rosé Brut, though don’t call it Prosecco! The Italian wine laws in the region have recently changed to protect the good name of true Prosecco; it has to be made from the Glera grape and in a specific geographic area. The Rosé is made from the Nerello Mascalese grape (surely you’ve heard of it) and is a joy to drink. Ultra-fun! It was perfection with the Calamari, especially with the touch of chile flake giving a little heat. (The Brut DOC was no slouch with it, either. I was alternating back and forth between the two.)

Tuna and Prosecco: A Delightful Lunch

Most unexpectedly, the Prosecco even worked with a sweet pea and ricotta ravioli (with taragon butter and sauteed pea vines, to boot) The sweetness of the peas was a nice match with the DOC Brut, which has a whisper of sweetness.

Tuna and Prosecco: A Delightful Lunch

But my favorite pairing was with the tuna at the top of the post. I devoured it with two special Proseccos from Valdo: The “Cuvee di Boj” and “Cuvee Fondatore”. Both have DOCG status, which denotes the highest quality in the Prosecco region. These Proseccos were drier, more elegant, and most harmonious with the tuna and its melted leeks, fingerling potatoes, and frisee salad with a basil-grapefruit vinaigrette.

It was a wonderful lunch made even more wonderful by convivial dining companions and and special guest Dr. Pierluigi Bolla, the President of Valdo. Hard to think of a more personable and genuine ambassador for the region and the wines. Bravo!

Full disclosure: I was a guest of the importer and distributor who provided the food and wine.

Tuna and Prosecco: A Delightful Lunch