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Taste of Italy

Synthesizing traditional winemaking practices with innovative technology, Maculan makes crisp whites, well-structured reds and legendary dessert wines. Tradition taught him to hand-harvest only the best grapes in Breganze and to age in small barrels. And from modern technology he learned to directly press whole grapes and to accurately control the fermentation.

Maculan is most famous for his dessert wines. And they are his first love. In Italy these wines are considered wines of meditation—and drunk without food. Yet the wines are a match for fruity desserts, cakes and cheeses (see Pairings column, next page). The Torcolato Breganze DOC 2004 ($38, 375 ml) is amber in color with flavors of spice and pears and hints of honey, apricots and hazelnuts. Unlike some cloying dessert wines, the sugar is balanced by acidity. Dindarello Moscato IGT Veneto 2005 ($20, 375 ml) is made of 100 percent Moscato Fior d'Arancio (orange blossom) is bursting with Moscato, honey, floral notes and flavors.

In addition to dessert wines, Maculan also produces lovely whites and reds. Pino & Toi 2006 ($12) is a blend of Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, and Tocai. More complex than Pinot Grigio and lighter than a Chardonnay, it is pale yellow in color with hints of green and shows grapefruit and lemon zest. Drink young. Brentino IGT 2004 ($20) is a blend of 55 percent Merlot and 45 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. This Bordeaux style wine is medium bodied and shows licorice, black currants, spice and cedar. Drink within three years. Fratta IGT Veneto 2003 ($90) is a blend of 77 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 33 percent Merlot. It is deep ruby in color, with aromas of chocolate, blackberry, dried prunes and licorice. And Crosara Breganze DOC is made of Merlot—grown at the meeting point of two vineyards—that is too good to blend. It is made only in the best vintages and is barrel aged for 18 months. The 2003 vintage shows black fruit, silky tannins and a spicy finish.

Maculan wines are available locally at Bettola, Bottega Restaurant & Café, Indigo Joe's, Little Savannah, Piggly Wiggly, Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, The Vintage Wine Shoppe, The Wine Cellar, V. Richard's, Village Wine Market, Western Supermarkets, Whole Foods Market.

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