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The De Angelis brothers are known for their richly robed, decadent style of Lacrima Christi, but the glorious 2004 De Angelis Rosso Lacrima Christi del Vesuvio is without a doubt the brothers’ finest effort to date. It offers a veritable feast for the senses, beginning with a deep black cherry colored robe and a haunting bouquet. The nose comes across as an infusion of pure black fruits, summer berries, plum and cedar, which deftly move onto the palate. With each sip, the De Angelis Rosso Lacrima Christi continues to reveal its fleshy sensual side by offering up plenty of forward fruit, tender softness, and tactile pleasure. Yet, beneath this wine’s overt opulence lies excellent structure in the form of soft ripe tannins and subtle spice, which both define and frame the wine’s forward fruit. And if all this goodness is not sufficient, the glorious 2004 De Angelis Lacrima Christi astounds with a pleasantly dry, spicy finish that persists long after the wine has been consumed. We advise allowing this Lacrima Christi at least fifteen minutes of breathing time before serving. And as with most reds, we prefer drinking the 2004 De Angelis Lacrima Christi somewhere between cellar and cool room temperature (60°-66° F). Enjoy!
Simple regional fare and country cooking from southern Italy provide a wealth of outstanding accompaniments to the 2004 De Angelis Rosso Lacrima Christi. Most notable among these complements is an authentic cioppino, southern Italy’s rendition of bouillabaisse or fish soup. Other winning pairings include shrimp or lobster Fra Diavolo, linguine with red clam sauce, and even a simple hardy marinara with penne pasta, thick country bread and shaved Parmesan or Romano cheese. Brick oven baked pizzas, Eggplant Parmigiana or Eggplant Rollini, grilled sweet or hot Italian sausage, Veal Sorrentino, and thick, spicy, homemade lentil or minestrone soups provide other fine accompaniments. Other tasty companions for the 2004 De Angelis Lacrima Christi include a tomato and fresh buffalo Mozzarella salad or vegetarian lasagna. If southern Italian favorites are off the menu, we suggest you fire up the grill, put on a good old-fashioned USDA prime or choice rib-eye steak, and serve it with finely whipped garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed green beans. However, as ripe and succulent as the 2004 De Angelis Lacrima Christi del Vesuvio is, it can stand solidly on its own, without food. It is the rare Italian red that tastes as good au natural as it does with food. Buon Appetito!
The De Angelis brothers have quickly become the leading purveyors of excellent Lacrima Christi wines, and with good reason. They are one of a mere handful of Lacrima Christi producers whose wines actually match their breathtaking location. Located on the foothills of Mount Vesuvius, bordering majestic Sorrento Bay, the Azienda Agricola De Angelis overlooks the prettiest part of the Campania. The Campania Felix, meaning the “joyous country” or the “face with an open smile,” is the ancient province of the Roman Empire that sits just south of Rome and neighboring Latium. Like its name implies, this region produces friendly, gregarious wines, and none is more exemplary of the good nature and open character of the land and people of the Campania than the De Angelis Rosso Lacrima Christi.
The estate’s owners, the DeAngelis Brothers, typify the unparalleled character of their enchanted region. From barely twenty acres of hillside vineyards they produce, with the help of Oenologist Angelo Valentino, the two mythical wines of Sorrento: Rosso Lacrima Christi and Bianco Lacrima Christi. Lacrima Christi means “tears of Christ,” and as legend has it the wines of this area of Vesuvius were so named because here, it is said, that Lucifer was cast out of heaven, causing Christ to weep.
The Rosso Lacrima is the result of the marriage of the local Piedirosso grape to the legendary Aglianico, one of the ancient grape varietals that the Greeks brought to southern Italy more than 2500 years ago. Meanwhile, the Rosso’s fraternal twin, the Bianco Lacrima Christi, is the product of two other native varietals, Coda di Volpe and Falanghina, which produce a fine, fragrant white wine that is prized as much for its full, rich savor as it is for its uncanny facility to accompany the delightful fish dishes of Sorrento and nearby Amalfi.
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