Cru Curious: Tenuta Colli Di Serrapetrona

Tenuta Colli di Serrapetrona "Sommo" Vernacia Nera (Vernaccia di Serrapetrona), Marche IGT, 2008 ($39.00/500 ml)

When I wrote the Wine and Chocolate: Valentine's Day Guide, a friend who works at Gramercy Tavern suggested I try "Sommo," which is on the restaurant's wine list, and is often served with chocolate. I was happy to track down a sample from the importer. Modena Fine Foods began importing the Colli di Serrapapetrona line in September, and at the moment the availability of Sommo is limited.

The grapes of this raisin dessert wine are dried for four months before fermentation, aging is 10 months in barriques, and 10,000 bottles produced per year with a 13 percent abv.

The wine is a beautiful deep cranberry color. It's rich and powerful, with notes of raisin, wild berries, dried fruit, cinnamon, spice, and coffee. The full, dense body, firm ripe tannins, and velvety, juicy nature give it presence and personality. The residual sugar is tightly balanced by the structure of the wine, so it presents, surprisingly, only off dry. My friend was right; this wine is a sure thing with chocolate desserts. Serve chilled.

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