Many restaurants devote concerted efforts to authoring a high-caliber wine list that will pique the interests of their clientele, but few go so far as hotelier-restaurateur Mario Fantinel did. When he desired to offer the discerning customers of his Friulian restaurant some high-caliber selections, rather than going after top labels, he sought out top-quality vineyard land to start his own. That was 1969. Now, the Fantinel family operates a multitiered wine brand, the original restaurant (as well as a restaurant-hotel), and an extensive wine bar collection, the first of which opened in San Daniele del Friuli in 1998 as part of a project—“Pane, Vino e San Daniele”—undertaken by Mario’s three sons, Luciano, Gianfranco, and Loris. The original Pane Vino & San Daniele has essentially precipitated the launch of an upscale “chain” of sorts, with numerous outposts located in towns throughout northern Italy. These establishments are intended to promote the slow food philosophy and the enjoyment of local products, with an emphasis on the wines of Fantinel and the hams it produces in conjunction with the Testa e Molinaro company. At the time of this writing (August 2008), the locations numbered 20, though expansion plans include international destinations, as well as additional regional outposts.
A Nice earthy vegetal wine that is right up an old world wine lover's alley. It has some green pepper, aspargus, rhubarb and brussel sprouts with some spiciness and blk cherry on the nose. Much of these flavors translate to the palate. There are dry dusky tannins with some nice green veggies. The only problem is the finsh, it's is a little short. The bottle has only been open for about a 1/2 hr I will adjust my score if I feel it improves with time.
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