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Cascina Fontana wines

Note on filtration and bottle sediment
Mario does not filter his wines before bottling as he wishes to keep them as natural as possible. That means, however, that Cascina Fontana wines are likely throw a sediment so care should be taken when serving and especially when pouring the last glass. Writes Mario, “I prefer to keep all the richness and extract in my wines, so I don’t filter before bottling. That means there may be a natural sediment in the botle. For those who know my wines, they understand that this is perfectly normal and indeed a sign of their natural genuineness. I hope this isn’t a problem for Vino drinkers — please take care when pouring the last glass, or else transfer into a decanter or a normal carafe.”

Dolcetto d’Alba DOC
The Dolcetto grape makes deeply coloured, fruity wines that are intensely flavoured and incredibly drinkable yet which also have the capacity to benefit from age in the bottle. The name implies sweetness, but the wine in fact is a classic Italian red, dry, full, with ripe, concentrated, vivid fruit. We think it’s fantastic, the sort of superior everyday wine we are more than happy to open night after night.

Barbera d’Alba DOC 2003
Barbera is the workhorse grape of the Piedmont, capable of making wines in a range of styles, from young, zesty, and sometimes slightly frizzante examples from Asti and Monferrato to more serious examples from the Langhe wine zone of Alba. Mario Fontana’s is a full-flavoured, serious example, with good body, acidity and tannin, a typical and stylish Langhe red that is just perfect to accompany a plate of pasta or meats cooked over a wood fire. This wine is always released with a year more bottle age than the Dolcetto: time in the bottle allows the wine to soften and mellow while maintaining its structure. A classic example of Barbera d'Alba at its best.

Nebbiolo delle Langhe DOC vigna Il Castello
Nebbiolo is the great, aristocratic grape of Le Langhe, the source of two of Italy’s most prestigious high profile wines, Barolo and Barbaresco. Mario’s Nebbiolo, a great favourite of ours, is a cru wine made just outside the Barolo wine zone from a well-exposed single vineyard surrounding the Castello di Sinio. This is a truly beautiful wine, offering the rich and complex varietal character and scent of Nebbiolo yet without the austere tannin and sheer power of its more heavyweight cousin Barolo: as such, we consider it a wine of unrivalled elegance and harmony, a very special expression of this unique grape that we’re certain you will love as much as we do.

Barolo DOCG
What can we say? Mario Fontana’s Barolo is legendary. Select Nebbiolo grapes are cultivated on the prestigious crus vineyards of Villero and Valetti in the commune of Castiglione Falletto. The wine is vinified traditionally to extract structure, colour and tannin, then it ages for at least three years in medium-size botti made from Slavonian oak, followed by further ageing in the bottle prior to release. Every year of Barolo is unique; typical the wine displays the deep and intense flavours of Nebbiolo — tar, violets, plums, liquorice — with tannins which, if austere in youth, mellow with age.

Make no mistake: this is a serious, big wine and should be treated as such. Open the bottle some hours before you want to serve, and make sure the temperature is neither too cold nor too warm. Decant if you like and serve in large wine glasses, to sip and savour, perhaps with just a good nugget of parmigiano reggiano or Montgomery mature cheddar. Drink now, or buy some to lay aside and observe it develop and evolve in future months and years.

Moscato del Piemonte DOC
Moscato is the closest you can come to drinking freshly squeezed wine grapes. Intensely fragrant, refreshingly grapy, low in alcohol (only 5.5%), and slightly sweet with a touch of frizzante bubbles, this is an absolutely gorgeous, frivolous wine to enjoy as an aperitif, or after a meal on its own, or with a light dessert or fruit. We have only a small allocation of this delightful wine, so buy it while it lasts as we’re unlikely to have any more until next year.


Copyright Marc Millon 2005-2009 All rights reserved
Images copyright Kim Millon 2005-2009 All rights reserved

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