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Costantini’s 2012 Borgo del Cedro Frascati Superiore reflects the Lazio sun in its bright, dazzling, yellow-flecked robe. It also embodies a freshness and vivacity reminiscent of the magical current that seems to permeate this estate. In Lorenzo Costantini’s Frascati one gets a taste of the sea, a draught of mountain air, so clean and refreshing, as well as subtle softness born of Frascati’s volcanic soil. Light, fresh, and utterly satisfying, this Frascati provides the perfect anytime wine. It offers pleasing aromas and flavors born of summer fruits that have been imbued with a gentle minerality and a citrus twist – all of which conjure images of the glorious sun-drenched Alban Hills that gave it birth. Costantini’s Frascati finishes pleasantly dry, with a freshness and purity that make the mouth beg for more. We suggest serving this classic Roman treasure well-chilled and then allowing it to open slowly in the glass as it reaches towards a more ambient temperature. Although seemingly light on first impression, the Borgo del Cedro Frascati unfolds gracefully to reveal its many faces and facets. Enjoy!
Frascati is unquestionably the wine of Rome, a drink for all occasions and in Italy’s capital the correct accompaniment to fish, fowl, and almost everything else. Frascati pairs especially well with the savory pasta and peasant dishes that Rome serves up in abundance, and it doubles as a thirst quencher and aperitif extraordinaire whenever the need or desire arises. What may come as a surprise to many is how well the light, thirst quenching white wine of Rome stands up to the hearty fare of la cucina romana. And, indeed, authentic Frascati the likes of the 2012 Lorenzo Costantini Borgo del Cedro can hold court with a multitude of culinary delights, so don’t worry about serving it with hearty dishes, such as spaghetti all’aio or spaghetti peperoncini (spaghetti with hot olive oil, garlic and chili peppers), or even slices of fresh buffalo mozzarella and vine ripe tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and herbs. Pasta and peas; artichokes steamed with oil, garlic, and cheese; and just about every other savory dish can be happily washed down with a glass or two of Lorenzo Costantini’s Borgo del Cedro Frascati Superiore. And let’s not forget more familiar classics: Fettucine Alfredo and Pasta Primavera, which shine in the presence of Costantini’s Frascati. But why stop there? Feel free to create your own concoctions, or none at all. Lorenzo Costantini’s Borgo del Cedro Frascati works wonders as an aperitif, whether it is winter, spring, summer, or fall. So why wait? Open a bottle, and call it a day.
We first visited Costantini’s hillside estate on a hot summer day. The sun was scintillating and the surrounding hills were alive as if charged by some unseen current. Rome languished in the distance, seemingly far below. What a pleasure it was to enter Costantini’s cool enclave and drink the natural refreshing Frascati of Lorenzo Costantini, a wine quite different from the mass produced waves of white wine that some try to pass off as Frascati. But then Lorenzo Costantini is hardly your typical Frascati producer, and his family’s Borgo del Cedro Frascati Superiore shares little in common with the majority of the zone’s mass produced white wines whose owners turn out wines that are more emblematic of an industrialist’s mentality than Costantini’s meticulously tended organic family affair.
In short, the Costantinis produce one of the very best wines of Frascati. At the Costantini estate, which was formerly known as Villa Simone, quality is supreme. All of Costantini’s grapes are organically cultivated and all systemic treatments have been banished from this 55 hectare estate in favor of natural, sustainable methods of disease control. Furthermore, production per hectare is half the legal limit, and great care is expounded both in the vineyard as well as in the cellar to make the Frascati of Costantini the finest in the land. Thanks to Piero Costantini and his winemaker nephew Lorenzo, Frascati can indeed be the pride and joy of Rome.
Latium is the region of Rome. It is, also, the source of so much of the wonderful produce, meat, and especially wine that flows into the Eternal City to sustain Romans and visitors alike. Latium is unquestionably one of the most important wine regions in Italy, both in sheer volume as well as quality. And what may come as a surprise to many is that ninety percent of Latium’s wines are white, including the region’s best known wine – Frascati.
Frascati is Latium’s most famous wine, and so pervasive is its presence in Rome that the name Frascati has become synonymous with white wine and all that is Roman. Frascati does indeed produce the finest dry white wine from the hills around Rome, which are known alternately as Castelli Albani, Castelli Romani, and Colli Romani. The name notwithstanding, the Alban Hills offer a sun-drenched climate and a mineral-rich volcanic soil, conditions that have proven ideal for the cultivation of Malvasia, Trebbiano, and a handful of other local white wine varieties that constitute Frascati.
Today, Frascati is most often made light, clean, and very dry. However, Frascati can still legally be made semi-sweet (amabile) or sweet (cannellino), but such versions are increasingly rare. The same can be said for the other notable white wines of the Alban Hills, including Marino and Colli Albani.
In addition to Frascati and its siblings Marino and Colli Albani, Latium is home to Est! Est!! Est!!! and part of Orvieto as well. A growing number of select high quality red wines spring from the rural hills of Latium as well, but none with the international renown of Frascati.
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