By Darin Pemberton
Filipo Marc winery doesn’t look like a winery. It’s neighbors are what you’d typically find near a strip-mall on the corner of two busy streets. I visited the winery/retail sales location and spent most of my time chatting with Vinny – if he told me he was a brother of actor Ryan Reynolds, I’d have believed him. If you visit Filipo Marc, ask Vinny about his shower story.
The storefront is loaded with lots of pretty things; Lots of things I’m sure would come in handy for wine parties when one wants to impress. These types of places with more merchandise than wine throw up red flags to me, flags with phrases such as “Nevermind the wine, look at all the shiny things!”
Nose: Red onions, fruit cake, cherries, peppermint,
I approached the counter and started asking questions and snooping through their wine selection. Vinny poured me a sample of their Malbec ($11.95) which had a strong vegital element to it, and probably about $5 over-priced compared with other Malbecs i’ve tried. But – i’ll get to a full review of one of their Malbecs another day. Today I went for the Big Guns – the most expensive wine in their shop – 2007 Amarone del Tresard. Word is, 24lbs of Piedmont grapes go into each bottle which is a mix of Rondinella, Carvina, and Molinara.
Taste: This wine drinks like hard work. It’s not hard work to drink the wine. Drinking this wine over a lamb-dominated lunch brought to my mind visions of my italian family gathering after a day working in the fields. I think of an old library with dust on the shelves and books containing just the slightest amount of moisture to give off a sweet, dark aroma. Excellent balance without a dominating trait, the Filipo Marc Amarone performed greatly against the lamb but was smooth and enjoyable enough to drink every day.
Gritty, literally – I was cautioned by the winemaker to strain this juice before serving. Good call! Even after there was a pile of sediment in my glass not seen since Mt St Helens left it’s ash over Washington state. Old world has a specific meaning, but in a general sense this wine tastes old-world. It’s really quite good, and I’m surprised to believe so, as I’m generally a cynic when it comes to new wines – especially those purchased in a Winery that operates in a strip-mall. This wine is hearty, blue-collar with a solid foundation. From the promising nose, to crossing the lips, teeth, tongue, and finish, the wine doesn’t fall down in any one point.
My advice, Drop off your dry cleaning, get your nails done, then stop over to Filipo Marc Winery on 11 mile and Garfield. Pick up a bottle of Amarone and take it home. Enjoy with hearty home-cooked meals with gamey meats. If this wine were $20/bottle – my magic-number price point – it’d be in my top 5 for dinner-parties. Even at $26 per bottle, which I think is a few dollars too high for my comfort, it’s a wine I’ll buy again, which is why I scored it…
WEP Rating: 100%
Winery website: www.filipomarcwinery.com