When in Rome, do like the Romans do. Right? Well, if a Roman happens to hand you an amazing wine list filled with affordable, cellared wines, then you might be forced to rethink the axiom.
And so I confess.....
On our last night in Rome, we dined at the exceptional Roman Trattoria, Matricianella. Just a stones throw from the Pantheon, Matricianella is tucked into a tight alleyway masquerading as a street. In other words, typical Roman charm. And just so you don't think we threw all convention away, in true Roman style, we had 8PM reservations.
|~ The Wine "List" at Matricianella is almost 3 inches thick and boasts sections dedicated to Solaia & Sassicaia ~|
We enjoyed several courses over the evening. A friend of mine arranged the table for us and he counseled me to "Eat slow and order a lot of food." Pretty simply advice that we happily observed.
So with Roman Polpetti, Carbonara, Cacio e Pepe, and Roasted Lamb with Sage & Potatoes on the way, we chose a wine that would best compliment them all. The 2004 Villa Cafaggio San Martino.
|~ Carbonara ~|
As I've written before, Villa Cafaggio is a gorgeous estate. Situated in the heart of Chianti Classico, near Panzano, the estate is focused on quality wines, crafted predominantly from Sangiovese. San Martino, not being the exception, is 100% Sangiovese.
|~ Villa Cafaggio: Sangiovese vines extending from the Cellars ~|
The 2004 was on the wine list for a fraction of what it costs at retail in the US. It was a no brainer. Deep, almost blood red in the glass with black reflections, the wine has effusive aromas of the Tuscan landscape. Dusty roads, whiffs of Cypress, crushed red fruits laced with sage, tobacco and spice. You can visualize the aroma. The palate of the wine is no less impressive with an ample core of red berry fruit that is both rich and elegant at the same time. The acids lift the body of the wine beautifully and ancillary flavors of roasted coffee, smoked meat, earth and tobacco are present. Simply amazing. Gorgeous with the first two courses - maybe even better by the time the lamb arrived. This is available in the US so seek it out. 95 points - a classic wine!
|~ San Martino is 100% Sangiovese ~|
It was then time for the evening stroll to "earn" back some of those calories......
|~ The Roman Pantheon ~|