Enthusiasts, we’re all the same, passionate about our interest and just a little nuts.  It doesn’t matter what we’re into, the behavior is the same: waiting by the mail box to get this month’s magazine, hours on the internet researching the newest gizmo-thing-a-bob.  Cars, boats, audio equipment, snowmobiles, cameras, guns and ammo, skiing, motorcycles, the symptoms are different but the disease is the same, passion!  We dream about the ultimate expression of our interest.  Ask us, we can tell you in great detail the specs and cost of the objects of our desire.  We live to hop into “that car,” tear down “that road,” hunt “that animal,” ski “that slope,” dive “that piece of ocean,” sail “that boat.”  What holds us back?  MONEY!  For no matter how much I see myself as a Bentley Continental GT guy, I can only afford to drive a Nissan Altima.

Now, each of these passions has its own experts, authorities, and pundits.  They fill magazines, books, TV shows, radio programs, blog sites, shows, retail stores, and catalogs with all the latest and greatest stuff, all with only one aim, to sell us our dream.  And we love it!  We go to the stores, the shows, the catalogs, and TV programs to increase our knowledge and fuel our passion.

I’ve often wondered what if all these guys got together and, through an independent source, said “here is a list of the best of the best, here is the car that costs $32,000 but performs like $125,000, or the snowmobile that cost $3,200 but performs like a $14,000 machine.”  Well, as my passion is wine, I can tell you that in my version of that list you would find Kurni at the top.

Milano Finanza, which is the Wall Street Journal of Italy, took a look at 19 of the top Italian wines, rated by the top 5 rating companies, and had them pick the best of the best wine Italy had to offer.  Many of these wines averaged about $500 a bottle but their pick, Kurni, sells for around $100 a bottle.  Gambero Rosso, Italy’s most famous wine publication, chooses the top 300 wines out of over 40,000.  The guide only includes wines which the editors deem, “extremely above average.”  The ratings are based upon blind tastings by independent experts.  The wine ratings are built on the number of glasses (bicchieri) awarded. The highest rating, three glasses (Tre Bicchieri), indicates “extraordinary wines,” two glasses are used for “very good wines,” and one glass for “good wines.” Kurni has won Tre Bicchieri 12 of the past 14 years.

Well-known U.S. journalist Craig Camp wrote the following: “Soon, Gambero Rosso will have to establish a prize of four glasses,” in order to keep pace with the ever-increasing quality of Kurni.

Kurni is made from the Montepulciano grape, but it is unlike any Montepulciano you have ever tasted.  It’s fabulous!  The deep purple color is unlike anything you’ve ever seen in a wine.  Take a piece of blank white paper, pour a little Kurni into a wine glass, turn the glass sideways, hold the wine over the paper and allow the light shine through the wine you’ll see the wines color on the paper.  The color will coat your glass!  Allow the wine time to breathe and soon you’ll be enjoying the delightful fragrance of Kurni.  The wine is aged in New French Oak for a year then transferred to another new French Oak barrel for another year.  The flavor this process produces is just unbelievable; rich, deep and balanced.  This wine has it all: character, uniqueness, insight, and value. 

Wine Spectator calls Marco Casolanetti one of Italy’s most innovative wine makers.  Marco, an engineer by training who used to design motorcycles at Ducati, and his wife Eleonora, and actress, wanted to live closer to the land.  After looking at some land owned by Eleonora’s family, Marco saw the potential and the rest is history.  At the vineyard you would think everything is done the old-fashioned way, by instinct. In fact, everything is very methodical and ultra-modern.  Marco and Eleonora’s farming–they also make a fantastic olive oil–and winemaking practices are as novel are they are courageous, and you really do owe it to yourself to try this wine. Production is only 5,000 bottles a year, and the only place you can get this wine in America is at Center Street Wine and Spirits in Wallingford CT.  Tell them Giffy sent you!


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