LA MOZZA ARAGONE
In last week’s BottomsUp/Tastemakers we reported on Chef Mario Batali’s recent interview in Bon Appétit and how he sang the praises of the Northern Michigan food and drink scene. After his glowing reviews of area restaurants, wineries, breweries and the region as a whole, it is time to share some love back at the chef.
Batali and his restaurant partner Joseph Bastianich, along with Bastianich’s mother, chef and restaurateur Lidia Bastianich (a celebrity chef in her own right), partnered to launch the La Mozza label. The vineyard is located in Toscana (Tuscany) the central region of Italy famous for its Super-Tuscan blends with Bordeaux varieties.
The 2007 La Mozza Aragonne is a blend of primarily Sangiovese, a popular native grape of the region along with Alicante, Syrah and Carignan. This wine has an intense ruby red color and you can expect a spicy licorice aroma with subtle berry fruit notes. The spice and licorice come through on the palate as well, along with a slight citrus feel and more plum notes than berry in the flavor profile.
This is a tough wine in a good hearty way. Pair with grilled steaks or the traditional New England pot roast slow roasted with horseradish. Certainly this wine works well with red sauces and pasta.
A little history behind the name from Batali: “The name ‘Aragone’ refers to the Aragons of Spain, who together with the Medici family of Florence, dominated the region of Maremma in the 1500s. The sixpoint star depicted on the label, represents an aerial view of ‘Forte Stella, which is located in Porto Ercole just south of Grossetto, built by the Spanish around 1550.”
This wine is available in Northern Michigan, so look for it at your favorite shop. For details check out www.mariobatali.com ---Rick Coates