Holiday 2015 Newsletter
*Note: This is not the current newsletter. Items listed in the following newsletter are not guaranteed to be in stock and the prices shown are subject to change without notice.
The holidays are a time of joy and reflection. They are also a time for looking at where we have been and where we are going. We can look forward to enjoying the festivities of the season and the joy that they bring. Most importantly, they are to be enjoyed. They come but once a year.
OUR BEST WISHES FOR ENJOYABLE HOLIDAYS AND A PEACEFUL AND SERENE 2016
PANETTONE LOISON AND BARDI: It’s Christmas Time!
We have been offering PANETTONE, the Italian Christmas bread, for a number of years from two producers: BARDI since 1998 and LOISON since 2006. They have become the staples of our holiday offerings. There is not much to improve on their quality, but every year there is some new item. This year is no exception. From LOISON, we have the new VENEZIANA ALL’ALPIANE-VIGNALTA. This is its debut!
VENEZIANA is like Panettone in that it is a raised cake, made with a mother yeast; this one has candied ginger, candied apricot, candied orange peel and raisins, that have been plumped in ALPIANE, the passito wine made from Orange Muscat ( Moscato Fior d’Arancio) grapes grown on the Vignalta Estate. This wine has been the object of several honors of late, Best Muscat of the World in 2014 and a Tre Bicchieri award in 2015. Since Veneziana is also a traditional cake eaten all year in Venice, Veneziana all’Alpiane, should be available all year. The difference of Veneziana from Panettone is that Veneziana is a little less buttery than Panettone. This first production is limited. It comes wrapped in orange colored paper, evoking the grape’s name, with a white ribbon bow.
VENEZIANA ALL’ALPIANE-VIGNALTA kilo size $29.99 (#3700)
To drink with the Veneziana all’Alpiane: The Best Muscat in the World award winning wine: VIGNALTA ALPIANAE 2011 $29.99 375ml (#3701) $161.00 cs/6 (#3701C)
MANDARINO DI CIACULLI, peel of late mandarin of Ciaculli (Palermo), kilo, boxed, $36.59 (#3702)
AMARENA, large, candied Amarena cherries, boxed, kilo $35.79 (#3703)
REGAL CIOCCOLATO, filled with Ecuadorian chocolate bits and cream, boxed, kilo $36.59 (#3704)
NOËL, candied pears, cinnamon, cloves, boxed, kilo $36.59 (#3705)
MARRON GLACÉ, filled with candied chestnut cream, boxed, kilo $37.89 (#3706)
AL FICO, with Calabrian white Dotato fig pieces, boxed, kilo $38.99 (#3707)
CLASSICO LATTA in commemorative 2015 tin, 10th year presentation, 750g size $34.39 (#3708)
CREMA, vanilla pastry cream filling, wrapped, kilo $35.99 (#3709)
CREMA LIMONE, limoncello cream filling, wrapped, kilo $35.99 (#3710)
CHINOTTO, with candied green Chinotto citrus pieces, boxed, kilo $37.79 (#3711)
VENEZIANA AMARENA E CANELLA, cherry and cinnamon, 550g, boxed $23.99 (#3712)
TORCOLATO, with raisins plumped in Maculan Torcolato wine, wrapped, kilo $35.59 (#3713)
CLASSICO MAGNUM 3 kilo size, cello wrapped $83.00 (#3714)
CLASSICO MAGNUM 5 kilo size, cello wrapped $131.00 (#3715)
CLASSICO MAGNUM 10 kilo size, cello wrapped $252.00 (#3716)
PANETTONCINI, mini panettone 100 gram size, smallest made, boxed $9.99 (#3717)
Not panettone, but PASTICCERIA, cookies to us. BISCOTTI 6 GUSTI, individually wrapped cookies in six flavors: Coffee, Rice flour shortbread, Cornmeal with butter, Cornmeal Shortbread, Butter cookie.
Gift box 16.9 oz. $33.99 each (#3718)
BASSO low shape, traditionally boxed, kilo size $28.29 (#3719)
ALTO classic tall shape, traditionally boxed, kilo size $24.99 (#3720)
GLASSATO ALLA NOCCIOLA with hazelnut glaze, red wrapping, ocre ribbon, kilo size $29.99 (#3721)
SENZA CANDITI only raisins, no candied fruit, silver wrapping, blue ribbon, kilo size $27.49 (#3722)
BASSO CIOCCOLATO FONDENTE chocolate glazed, gold wrap, bordeaux ribbon, kilo $31.99 (#3723)
PANDORO no fruit, tall, star shaped New Year’s cake, vanilla sugar, tall box, kilo $26.79 (#3724)
CHAMPAGNE FOR THE HOLIDAYS: A Nice Selection
There is nothing like Champagne, real Champagne! There are a lot of lovely sparkling wines made by the same method, but when push comes to shove, real Champagne is unbeatable. We have a nice selection of some Grand Marques and others.
This is my favorite Champagne firm. For some time we even had our own label, Cuvée Corti from Bollinger.
Bollinger Special Cuvée Brut 750ml $67.49 (#3725) case/6 $364.00 (#3725C) magnums $163.49 (#3726)
Special Cuvée Brut, jeroboams (3 liters) $427.00 (#3727) Unique. fermented in this bottle.
Bollinger Grande Année 2004 750ml $125.99 (#3728) cs/3 $340.00 (#3728C)
Bollinger Grande Année 2005, jeroboams (3 liters) $870.00 (#3729) Unique, fermented in this bottle.
Bollinger Brut Rosé nv 750ml $88.49 (#3730) cs/6 $477.00 (#3730C)
Bollinger RD 2002 750ml $289.49 (#3731)
A specialty which I like very much since it is very characterful is this Rosé Sauvage, almost a sparkling red wine.
Rosé Sauvage nv 750 ml $65.99 (#3732) 6/cs $356.00 (#3732C) Magnums $137.29 (#3733)cs/3 $370.00 (#3733C)
Ayala Brut Blanc des Blancs 2007 750ml $85.49 (#3734) cs/6 $461.00 (#3734C)
Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve nv 750ml $58.49 (#3735) cs/6 $315.00 (#3735C) En Tirage 2008-Disgorged 2013
Charles Heidsieck Brut, Brut des Millenaires 1995 750ml $234.00 (#3736) cs/3 $631.00 (#3736C) Unique, now rare
MICHAEL: a new Cabernet from Narsai David.
Every so often a vintage comes along that is not in the usual mold and it gets demeaned. A case in point is the 2011 vintage in California. It was a difficult vintage and the resulting wines, not resembling previous harvests, were
decried as being poor. But one thing for certain in winemaking is that not every wine in a “great” year is great, and not every wine in a “poor” year is poor. MICHAEL 2011 from Narsai David is one such wine.
Narsai David is a noted California Bay Area food personality who has vineyards in Napa Valley, and in 2011 having purchased grapes to continue his label, his 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon came out not to his expectations. But it came out as a fine wine according to my expectations. Hence, MICHAEL, Narsai’s middle name, is the name of this wine.
It is a Cabernet Sauvignon that looks back to the history of Napa Cabernet from the 50s and 60s, before the wines were all made to be similar in style to the current fashion. Michael has very deep color, the varietal scent of Cabernet, a touch of wood which has not yet integrated, and a delicious aftertaste both rich and refreshing. Its alcohol is 13.8% and should live a nice long life. To my mind, there is nothing that sticks out of place. What there is, is flavor; and with time, even more flavor not covered up with extraneous detractions. Its price, not the least of its charms, is most attractive also!
MICHAEL 2011, A Cabernet from Narsai David 13.8% $19.99 750ml (#3737) cs/12 $215.00 (#3737C)
VINCENTE DELICACIES FROM SICILY: Sicilian Pistachios and Almonds raised to an art.
VINCENTE is an Italian word meaning “winning.” In this case, VINCENTE DELICACIES, means a small, Sicilian based company started in 2006 by a couple of thirty-something Sicilians, based in Bronte, the center of the island’s famous Green Pistachio production. Their idea: To create from both the noted Bronte Pistachio and Almonds from Avola, sweets that are the mirror of Sicilian pastry making and that reflect authentic Sicilian tradition. These are some of the most characteristic sweets of Sicily, both lovely to look at and delicious to eat. They are presented in simply elegant, lovely packaging.
There are almond pastries; crunchy “croccanti,” brittle to us (but not like our brittle); soft nougat “torroncini”; Bronte Pistachio cream and Sicilian hazelnut cream; Blood Orange marmalade, Fico d’India (prickly pear) jam; and Sicilian strawberry jam. If you are Sicilian, have Sicilian friends, love Sicily, or just want some delicious products, here is a selection that is, frankly, “out of this world.” Please order early not to be disappointed!
PASTRY: Dolci di mandorla
Classic Sicilian Almond pastry, in clear box, 200g, $17.39 (#3738) cs/6 $93.00 (#3738C)
Classic Sicilian Almond pastry with candied citrus peel top, clear box, 200g, $17.39 (#3739) cs/6 $93.00 (#3739C)
Classic Sicilian Almond Pastry with Sicilian Pistachio top, clear box, 200g, $19.99 (#3740) cs/6 $107.00 (#3740C)
Classic Sicilian Almond Pastry covered in extra dark Ecuadorian chocolate 200g $19.99 (#3741) cs/6 $107.00 (#3741C)
Assorted Sicilian Almond Pastry, LUXOR, metal tin, bow, 300g, $23.69 (#3742) cs/6 $127.00 (#3742C)
Assorted Sicilian Almond Pastry, dark and white chocolate covered, LUXOR, 300g, $23.69 (#3743) cs/6 $127.00 (#3743C)
Assorted Sicilian Almond Pastry, MAGNUS, bicolor tin, 1000g $45.39 (#3744)
NUT BRITTLE (CROCCANTI)
Croccanti (brittle) with Sicilian Almonds, MATADOR opaque box, 200g, $16.99 (#3745) cs/6 $91.00 (#3745C)
Croccanti with Sicilian Pistachio, MATADOR opaque box, 200g, $18.89 (#3746) cs/6 $102.00 (#3746C)
Croccanti with Sicilian hazelnuts, MATADOR opaque box, 200g $16.99 (#3747) cs/6 $91.00 (#3747C)
Croccanti with Bronte Pistachio PDO, MATADOR, bicolor metal tin 250g $19.59 cs/6 $105.00 (#3748)
Croccanti Bar with Sicilian Pistachio, EROS, transparent box, bow, 200g $15.49 (#3749) cs/8 $111.00 (#3749C)
Soft Torrone with Sicilian almonds, OPAL, opaque box, bow, 200g, $12.89 (#3750) cs/9 $104.00 (#3750C)
Soft Torrone with Sicilian Pistachio, OPAL, opaque box, bow, 200g, $14.79 (#3751) cs/9 $119.00 (#3751C)
Soft Torrone cubes, Sicilian Almonds, BAROQUE, clear box, 200g, $14.79 (#3752) cs/9 $119.00 (#3752C)
Soft Torrone cubes, Sicilian Pistachio, BAROQUE, clear box,200g, $16.59 (#3753) cs/9 $134.00 (#3753C)
Bronte Pistachio PDO Cream, 180g jar, $13.89 (#3754) cs/6 $75.00 (#3754C) WONDERFUL!
The pistachio butter is perhaps the epitome of grown-up nut butter. More runny than normal peanut butter, this “cream” produced from Bronte pistachios, harvested in odd numbered years, is simply delicious. Spread on panettone, pan d’oro or just toast, this raises nut butter to another level. Perfect for making ice cream.
Sicilian Hazelnut Cream, 180g jar, $10.99 (#3755) cs/6 $59.00 (#3755C)
A hazelnut butter that makes all other pale in comparison. Also perfect for making ice cream.
Sicilian Arancia Rossa (Blood Orange) Marmalade, 260g jar, $9.99 (#3756) cs/12 $107.00 (#3756C)
Confettura Extra Sicilian Fico d’India (Prickly Pear) Preserve, 260g jar, $11.99 (#3757) cs/12 $129.00 (#3757C)
Confettura Extra Sicilian Strawberry Preserve, 260g jar, $11.99 (#3758) cs/12 $129.00 (#3758C)
THE GOOD STUFF WATERMELON RIND PICKLES
Once again, THE GOOD STUFF people, here in Sacramento, have produced Watermelon Rind Pickles for Corti Brothers. This year it took 1,000 pounds of watermelon to make the 30 cases of pickles for 2015. Lightly sweet in traditional fashion, these pickles are smooth crunchy and almost addictive. Not often found any more, they are a necessity for ham and other smoked pork meat. Even smoked turkey or chicken. Their sweetly spicy flavor and smooth texture compliment smoked flavors perfectly. Last year, we sold out very quickly.
THE GOOD STUFF WATERMELON RIND PICKLES for Corti Brothers $9.99 pint jar (16 oz) (#3759)
UNUSUAL PIEMONTESE WINES FROM CANTINE BAVA
BAVA is the name of a family which has made splendid wines in Cocconato d’Asti since 1911. They also make the COCCHI aperitifs and sparkling wines. We have offered their wines in the past and now are pleased to offer you a selection of some unusual cultivars, yet typical wines.
Barbera is a specialty of the area of Asti, making a slightly different wine from the other Piedmont area, Alba. STRADIVARIO is the Bava flagship Barbera. (The range of “classic” Piemontese wines from Bava all take the name of a musical instrument.) The appellation--Barbera Superiore-- means that the grapes are harvested from older vines and produce a slightly higher degree of alcohol. Stradivario is a Barbera d’Asti Superiore from a great vintage, 2009, now ready to drink, but can be aged. Old Barbera is a revelation in taste. Think white truffles.
MALVASIA di Castelnuovo Don Bosco is a Bava specialty. This is a red Malvasia, (malvasia di Schierano) which is always lightly sweet. It has the most wonderful rose fragrancy, low alcohol, and some sparkle. A lovely dessert wine which is light and charming, perfect for panettone and almond pastry, Rosetta is its name.
ALBAROSSA is a rarely seen cultivar which has recently taken hold in Piemonte. A cross made in the 1938 by prof. DALMASSO, crossing nebbiolo with barbera, it was ignored until recently. The nebbiolo used was not the traditional one of Piemonte, but another cultivar called nebbiolo di Dronero or in French, Chatus. Thus it wasn’t allowed in the Italian viticultural scheme of things since it has a “foreign” parent. But change came, and in the last ten years it is now being grown in Piemonte. It embodies the juicy character of barbera and the tannic structure of nebbiolo. Curiously, nebbiolo di Dronero was an 1880s varietal importation made to the University of California.
GIONSON, (read Johnson) is the name given to another nebbiolo, this one, the nebbiolo of Piemonte, grown on the oldest (since 1600) Bava family vineyard, Cadodo. This is a special nebbiolo, in that the appellation laws forbid the varietal name on the label and the wine sees no wood. It is bottled from stainless steel in the spring after harvest and maintains all of its varietal character of fragrancy and flavor for 4-5 years after bottling. Gionson is the name of the hawk which nests in the vineyard.
BAVA STRADIVARIO 2009, Barbera d’Asti Superiore 13.5% $39.99 (#3760) cs/6 $215.00 (#3760C)
ALBAROSSA 2010, Rosingana 13.5% $18.99 (#3761) cs/6 $102.00 (#3761C)
ROSETTA 2014, Malvasia di Castelnuovo D.B. 5.5% $14.99 (#3762) cs/6 $80.00 (#3762C)
GIONSON 2014, Piemonte Rosso (Nebbiolo) 13% $19.99 (#3763) cs/6 $107.00 (#3763C)
EXQUISITE WHISKEY Second and Last Bottling of 2007 Whiskey
This last bottling of 2007 EXQUISITE WHISKEY marks the end of the stock of this distillation year. It is the Second Bottling of whiskey, double barreled in the Harbor Mission del Sol barrels. Another difference is that this whiskey is Tennessee Whiskey, not Kentucky whiskey. It is slightly different, drier and more perfumed. The effect of the Mission del Sol barrels is more noticeable since the whiskey has been resting in them for more than a year.
The traditional mash bill was 72% corn, 21% rye and 7% malted barley. It was produced in the “other” Tennessee distillery and shipped to Amador County when seven years old. It is unique.
Once this bottling is gone, it is gone for good. Our customers have been very pleased with the First Bottling and should be likewise impressed with this Second Bottling. There are only 500 bottles of it.
CORTI BROTHERS EXQUISITE WHISKEY 2nd Bottling, 45.25% $59.99 750ml (#3764)cs/6 $323.00 (#3764C)
VIGNALTA BRUT NATURE SPUMANTE
This is a very special methode champenoise sparkling wine made at Vignalta from grapes coming from another estate. The variety is unusual. It is a very large bunched, late ripening, red variety called FRIULARO. This is the name given to a type of RABOSO, a grape variety which is common in the Veneto. In the area to the south and east of the Colli Euganei, this Friularo makes an intensely colored red wine. If harvested early and simply pressed lightly, the resulting clear juice with high acid makes a wonderful base for sparkling wine. Thus the reason for Vignalta’s making it.
A curiosity is that at one time this same Friularo, vinified as a red wine was shipped to Bordeaux by none other than Emile Peynaud. Vignalta Brut Nature is made as a metodo classico wine, the name Italy is forced to use rather than methode champenoise and is held for a minimum of three years on tirage. Having been disgorged in 2014, it has all the hall marks of a wonderfully balanced, full bodied sparkler, that will repay further cellaring. When disgorged, it was not given any dosage, thus completely “Nature” and dry. The full body of the base wine allows such treatment. This is a wonderful “Blanc des Noirs” sparkler that could also substitute for a red wine in a menu.
VIGNALTA BRUT NATURE SPUMANTE 12.5% $29.99 750ml (#3765) cs/6 $161.00 (#3765C)
SARDINES AND BABY MACKEREL FROM BRITTANY
Sardines have become almost a joke in today’s gastronomic world. But they are simply delightful both for serving at a dinner or enjoying when at home, by yourself. Sardines were so important more than a 100 years ago that silverware services also had “sardine forks” Look for one at the next antiques show you go to.
This past summer, we tasted a series of French sardines and mackerel that were truly delicious: LES MOUETTES d’AVOR, produced by Conserverie GONIDEC. Founded in 1959, Gonidec is now one of the few remaining fish canners in Brittany. Hence, their inclusion in this newsletter.
France thinks so much of sardines, it specializes in dating the sardine tins, allowing them to be aged, much like fine wine. The result is very good and you might want to try aging some yourself. Just turn the tins over from time to time to allow the oil to completely cover the fish. The five step process in canning these tiny fish is all done by hand. A speciality of the firm is the baby mackerel called LISETTES. Available now is the production from 2014.
Lisettes are baby mackerel prepared in the 5 step procedure of the sardines and packed with extra virgin olive oil. You should keep some just to see what happens with age. These are another of those “I bet you can’t eat just one” products.
SARDINES À L’HUILE VIERGE EXTRA are normal size, not too big, nor small. But they are firm textured and delicate flavored. From 2015 production, these sardines will also gain in flavor with age. Of course, they can be enjoyed right now.
The other remarkable production was the piquant sardines with bird’s tongue peppers. SARDINES PIQUANTES
À L’HUILE VIERGE EXTRA have some heat to them which combines with their richness. This is softened by a bit of carrot and gherkin.
LISETTES DE SAISON 2014 $5.99 115g tin (#3766) $64.00 cs/12 (#3766C)
SARDINES À L’HUILE VIERGE EXTRA $4.59 115g tin (#3767) $49.00 cs/12 (#3767C)
SARDINES PIQUANTES À L’HUILE VIERGE EXTRA $4.59 115g tin (#3768) $49.00 cs/12 (#3768C)
BEERS FOR THE HOLIDAYS: Eureka Donkey from Santorini and Anniversary Barley Wine Ale
We have very little left of these two beers which merit your attention. EUREKA DONKEY is a collaboration beer. It was produced on the Greek Island of Santorini using hops grown in Sacramento. On Santorini, Yannis Paraskevopulos, a noted winemaker, owns a brewery. When I was on the island last year and tasting the beer there, an idea was hatched to ship Sacramento grown hops to Santorini to make a brew. It was done with hops grown by Ruhstaller and shipped as just dried hops to Santorini. This was probably the first shipment anywhere of Sacramento grown hops in more than fifty years. The resulting beer is a flavorful style not exactly an I.P.A., but not an ordinary ale. It is just delicious. Please keep it refrigerated.
The 65th ANNIVERSARY BARLEY WINE ALE was a brew made to commemorate Corti Brothers 65th anniversary in business in 2012. It didn’t get made exactly in 2012, but in 2014! But we kept the name. This brew style is meant for aging and for drinking as an after dinner beer since it has 12% alcohol and is meant to be drunk in smallish glasses after dessert when you just want something to enjoy, but not a lot. Drink cool not icy.
EUREKA DONKEY ALE 5.5% $4.99 330ml (#3769) $26.95 6 pack (#3769C) Plus CRV
65TH ANNIVERSARY BARLEY WINE ALE 12% $5.99 250ml (#3770) $64.00 cs/12 (#3770C) Plus CRV
HOLIDAY ITEMS WHICH YOU SHOULD NOT BE WITHOUT
LEVONI COTECHINO di MODENA $13.99 each box (#3771)
To serve with it, BARTOLINI Umbrian Lentils $4.99 pound bag (#3772)
BACCALÀ (Bacalao, Bacalhau, Salt Cod) Baccalà is sold by weight in approximate size pieces. Avg. 3-4 lbs
Norwegian with skin and bones $18.99 lb (#3773) Canadian, boneless and skinless $17.99 lb (#3774)
REAL WILD RICE: Ball Club Chippewa Wild Rice, hand harvested $23.99 pound bag (#3775)
TERMS OF SALE: This list supersedes all others. All taxable items, such as wine, beer, or spirits will be taxed at the rate of 8.5%. This is for all sales since we sell in California. Foodstuffs are not taxable. Shipping will be charged at prevailing rates. PLEASE NOTE: In extreme weather, either hot or cold, please give us a shipping address where your order may be properly received and stored. Corti Brothers cannot be responsible for items left without protection.