“… perché se vuoi emozionare, devi provare per primo le emozioni che desideri suscitare…/…if you want to thrill someone, try first to feel the same emotions you desire to awake…” .
Wine Tasting at “Nautilus” Restaurant, Tirrenia, Pisa.
Scanning across the bookshelves in my flat, it dawns on me that my collection falls into three categories: Wine, Food & Travel! Three passions that blend in perfect harmony to a special book, that is “Wine, the secret Novel” written by Roberto Cipresso.
This Outstanding Work is available for purchase in occasion of its presentation prepared by the same author Roberto Cipresso. It takes place at “Nautilius”, an elegant restaurant in Tirrenia, Pisa. On 28th November 2018 Andrea Baldeschi, an experienced Sommelier and the owner of the fascinating place by the seaside, invites me for this memorable event. It is especially a Guided Tasting of Wines from Roberto Cipresso’s most significant Labels , paired with delicious dishes:
- “Felsina”, a Sparkling Wine (Sangiovese 60%, Pinot Nero 20%, Chardonnay 20%) paired with bruschette perfumed with Tuscan extra virgin olive oil;
- “Punto”, a White Wine (Pinot Bianco, Incrocio Manzoni, Friulano) paired with Tuna Pasta;
- 2 Red Wines, Pi Greco (Sangiovese 100%) and Quadratura del Cerchio (60% Sangiovese; 20% Montepulciano; 20% Sagrantino), paired with Veal and tiny roast potatoes.
Guests enjoy the pleasant atmosphere and the refined cooking, and they are under lovely Roberto‘s spell. Before I sit down together with the other people to taste the lavish food, “Nautilius” ‘s Wine Cellar grabs my attention. After a while , Andrea leads me in a journey through his best Wines, such as “Masseto”, “Le Difese”, “Sassicaia”, “Keber”, “Dom Perignon 2009”, and more over. Andrea is very proud of his fine Wines Collection. He talks with me about his jewellery, his restaurant “Nautilius”. Andrea manages it with great enthusiasm and success since last April, after his former experience in the catering service. Our conversation about his great Wine Cellar goes on , and at a certain point, he tells me about an incredible story about his precious treasure: the White Wine “Chateau Montelena”-he owns the Top “Chateau Montelena” vintages! Let’s go to France!
Chateau Montelena and the Judgment of Paris
Founded just North of Calistoga by a senator and San Francisco entrepreneur in 1882 at the turn of the century, it was one of the largest wineries in the state. Prohibition put an end to “Montelena”’s winemaking, and the next major era began in 1968, when Jim Barrett purchased the estate. Jim fell in love with this exceptional property. He had a dream of winemaking at the highest quality level. In 1976 “Chateau Montelena” put California at the forefront of the wine world. That year there was an exclusive tasting at the “Inter-Continental” Hotel in Paris. Four white Burgundies were tasted against six California Chardonnays. When the scores were tallied, the French Judges were convinced that the top-ranking white wine was one of their own. In fact, it was “Chateau Montelena’s 1973 Chardonnay”, rated above all other wines. This seminal event has been memorialized in the book ”The Judgment of Paris,”” by George Taber, as well as in the 2008 feature film “Bottle Shock”. Today “Chateau Montelena”’s distinct 19th century stone structure stands as a quality icon in Napa Valley , consistently producing some of the finest wines in California. Master Winemaker Bo Barrett, Jim’s son, now runs the estate with the help of Winemaker Matt Crafton .
Wine, the Secret Novel by Roberto Cipresso
At the end of the “Chateau Montelena” ’s tale, Andrea brings me in the main lounge of his ”Nautilius” to start the gala dinner in honour of his friend Roberto Cipresso. I really enjoy Roberto ‘s sentimental speech about his book “Wine, the secret Novel” . We all Wine Lovers and Experts are delight to listen to Roberto, while speaking about his passion, Wine !
Roberto Cipresso is an Oenologist, a Winemaker, a Writer, but above all he is a Visionary Leader . His way of life makes him stand out from the rest of the crowd in the Wine Field. I can feel Roberto‘s personality power, while presenting his book. He can imagine things that others cannot imagine. He sees the whole process of a big picture, and not a single step. He is present and focused, you can connect with him when you talk about what he has in mind, when he teaches you something about Wine, his Travels, his previous job experiences, his Life! Roberto Cipresso, a native of Bassano del Grappa (Veneto), completes his agricultural studies and starts his Winemaking career at the outstanding estate of “Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona” in 1987 . Some years later he and two partners founds “Fattoria La Fiorita”, located in Castelnuovo dell’Abate, near Montalcino. He collaborates with well-known Wine Producers in Italy (“Case Basse”, “Poggio Antico”) and abroad (Achaval-Ferrer Winery, Argentina). Roberto ‘s chances to put his professional skills and ideas about Wine into action are three of his major projects:
- “Wine Relais Poggio al Sole”: a secret lair for his visitors and his relax in Montalcino, where Roberto tries to give birth to his unique “Brunello di Montalcino”, that grows only in this magical territory with just 5000 inhabitants ; it is on a hilltop at 567 meters above sea level, between Siena and Florence;
- “Winemaking”: a Wine Consultancy for wine-industry professionals ( in collaboration with his brother Gianfranco, his friend Santiago Achaval , and the Universities of Padova, Venezia, Palermo,Torino, Pisa and Udine);
- “Wine Circus”: a laboratory aimed at ones who don’t inherit a winery and want to manage a wine label!
Roberto Cipresso Wine Awards
Recalling the most important Roberto‘s enterprising ventures and lifetime achievements awards in terms of Wine & Food culture, means understanding his complex and sensitive soul:
- Creation of a special Cuvée for the Pope John Paul II on the occasion of the Jubilee of the year 2000;
- “Best Italian Oenologist” at the “Wine Oscar 2006”;
- “Man Of The Year” by “Men’s Health Magazine” in 2008 ;
- Production of a special wine called “City of Wine”, for the 150th anniversary of the Italian Unification in 2010;
- Gold Medal at the “Merano Wine Festival 2012”;
- Honorable Mentions for his Wines in “The Wine Advocate 2011”, “and in the “Wine Spectator 2013”.
The list would already be too long! Roberto is a creative and multitalented man. Along with the benefits of his many abilities and passions, there is his love for writing, occuring in his books about Wine and its Mystery published between 2006 and 2009:
Roberto is also a frequent speaker at different national and international conferences on technical-scientific nature at Wine Schools and important Universities world-wide.
The 43th Parallel
“Cipresso 43th” is an attempt to create an Oenological Itinerary using only grapes grown at 43th degrees North Latitude. According to Roberto’s recent researches, the 43th Parallel is a magical line with singular physical/spiritual features for Wine Production. It is situated halfway between the Equator and the North Pole, running through central and florid places that have shaped the main phases in the evolution of Vine Culture from Mesopotamia to the USA. A circular line that engulf the Earth among important autochthonous vines:
- the rivers Tigris and Euphrates, birthplace of Viticulture;
- Croatia and its Dalmatian Coast with its “Plavac Mali”;
- Tuscany, Umbria, Marche in Italy, with Sangiovese, Sagrantino and Montepulciano;
- Midì in France with its Viogner and Grenache ;
- Basque Country with its Txakolina;
- New York and Oregon, that nowadays are taking a leading role in Wine production in the New Word.
- “Punto”, a blend of two different grapes, such as Sangiovese from Tuscany and Montepulciano from Marche; it’s a light wine, with its flavors of hay;
- “Pi Greco” , a blend of Sangiovese from Tuscany and Sangiovese from Marche, same grapes but cultivated and produced in different territories; this dense purple-coloured wine shows a complex nose of underbrush after a rainy day ;
- “La Quadratura del Cerchio”, made of Sangiovese from Tuscany, Sagrantino from Umbria, and Montepulciano from Marche, the three pivotal areas bounded by the 43th Parallel in Italy ! This red wine is persistent, balanced and harmonious. It’s ruby red in color, tending toward garnet, with a clear hint of pipe tobacco. It’s much more than a complex red wine. It’s the Roberto Cipresso’s Concept about the 43th Parallel in a glass!
In collaboration with the University of Florence, Roberto Cipresso is studying what makes the 43th Parallel so special for Wine Production together with its general aspects (geography, geology, orography, climates, soils, altitudes,etc). Moreover, Roberto remarks that there is Something Magic and Mystical behind the 43th Parallel, because it is the same axis where holy places are also located, from Medjugorje, Assisi, Santiago De Compostela to Lourdes . And, of course, that is something very special for Roberto, who think of himself as an atheist!
Roberto‘s life is a striving for Exellence and Harmony not only for Wine, but above all for Life.
He is open minded . He doesn’t limit himself to his own thoughts and ideas. When you talk to him, he listens to what you talk about attentively. He encourages you to be as creative as possible and never afraid of presenting your point of view! Roberto gives me a big picture of his vision about Wine and living in this world. His job is an essential part of his existence. It’s not only about running a laboratory or doing analysis, it’s mainly to be part of making Something Amazing. It’s to combine Science, Creativity and Love, that keeps things interesting, and a great industry to be in as well. You are surrounded by great Food, Wine, and awesome People. It’s hard work, but very rewarding, like this unforgettable Tasting Dinner skillfully prepared by Andrea Baldeschi at “Nautilius” restaurant Tirrenia, Pisa. .
Roberto experiments with unconventional colors to find inspiration for his Next Masterpiece, that is still to come! I’m looking forward to it!