Lunelli Ziggurat Montefalco Rosso 2010-$19
The summer grilling season is in full swing, with the coals burning almost non-stop from now through Labor Day Weekend. Italy's beautiful Umbria region, known for its lush hillsides and ancient history, is also home to one of the most versatile summer time wines, newly released just in time for the summer barbeque season; Ziggurat Montefalco Rosso D.O.C. 2010 ($19), from the Lunelli family of Treviso. The wine literally speaks of sun-kissed beaches, pool parties and sumptuous barbecues. A luscious red blend of native Sagrantino, Sangiovese, Cabernet and Merlot, the wine is strikingly elegant with aromas of ripe dark cherries and cloves. The wine is just packed with fruit and heady herbal flavors. Besides the almost jam-like plum flavors, there's a healthy sprinkling of rosemary, thyme, fennel and a hint of licorice on the palate. This is a great wine with meat and veggies hot off the grill. For a versatile twist, serve the wine lightly chilled. It makes for a refreshing pairing. Skirt steak marinated in a bit of the wine overnight along with crushed garlic, fresh thyme or oregano from the garden and a generous coating of olive oil and grilled 2-3 minutes on each side over the hot coals then set on the side of the grill to smoke to preferred doneness is the way to go with this lean, flavorful cut. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing on the diagonal against the grain. Serve with grilled summer squash, fennel, corn on the husk and potatoes seared over the coals and swathed in garlic butter or aioli (garlic and olive oil) for the ultimate summer time feast.
The hills surrounding Umbria