Verde Sole Zinfandel

When is wine really local?

Christian Vitone, of Amherst, has created a really nice Zinfandel as his first release for his new company, Vitone Family Wines. Vitone has all the blessings of his familial Italian heritage. His grandfather made wine in the basement by purchasing grapes shipped East from California; the family enjoyed wines with every meal while he was growing up.

With his passion for wine inbred, Vitone has taken on the role of the négociant - buying grapes from growers in California that his winemaker ferments and blends, and selling the bottled wine under his label.

Vitone runs the business from his Amherst office, but he travels to Napa as needed to consult with his winemaker, Marco Cappelli. You can't really consider this a local wine, but as final arbitor of the taste, he has an opportunity to help craft a wine for New England preferences marketed far from the madding crowds of other California wines.

The Vitone 2009 Verde Sole Zinfandel is a blend of 80 percent Zinfandel, 20 percent Côte-Rôtie style syrah and a touch of Viogner. The blend is a mouthful of tastes that change and amplify while being relished. There's enough backbone to make you come back for more.

Find it at the state stores for $17.99.

Additional varietals are expected to be released later in 2012.

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