They want to bring “big red” to the Big Apple.
Soho osteria San Carlo hosted a tasting event on Feb. 26 to whet Downtown pallets for the wares of Italian vintner Elio Filippino, a boutique winemaker from the same northern Piedmonte region as San Carlo’s founders.
Filippino specialize in the tannin-rich *grande rosso* ( “big red”) wines — Barolo and Barbaresco — but he presented a full range of his wines at the San Carlo event, to compliment a tasting menu of Piedmonte cuisine.
Filippino’s entre into the American market comes as the winery’s 50th anniversary, with Elio running the presses for the past 20 years as the third generation of his family to make wine in the quaint village of Neive, itself a UNEESCO world heritage site.
The extreme day-night temperature differences in the hillside vineyards of Piedmonte wine country help cultivate the rich tastes of the Barbaresco grapes the region is famed for, but Filippino pushed the potential of all his grapes further though the practice of “precision viticulture.” Throughout the growing season workers cull the vines, removing all but the most promising grapes, directing all of the nutrients to the champion fruit. At harvest, what the grapes lack in quantity is made up for in quality.
The *grande rosso* wines Filippino presented at San Carlo — a 2011 Barolo and a 2010 Barbaresco — were actually rather young for the famously long-lives wines, said to last 700 years. But wine expert Marisa D’Vari of A Wine Story, said the breakout star of the night was actually the 2016 Arneis Langhe, a dry white with chamomile notes which she called “really a masterwork in terms of its subtle nature, restrained fruit, and elegance.”