While touring around California and Las Vegas last week with Fabio Motta of the Michele Satta estate in Bolgheri, we communicated in our frantic mash-up of English, Italian, and occasionally sign language.

Fabio taught me a lot of useful new terms in Italian, including “vivaio“, which means “nursery”, or the place where young vines selected from the vineyard are cultivated and raised before planting.  Another less innocent, although perhaps more colorful lesson, taught me the descriptor “fava rita“, or “straight fava”.

If you’ve ever seen a long, turgid fava pod, you’ll understand the allusion here too.

One piece of American slang we just couldn’t seem to translate into Italian was the word “badass”.  A client of ours described Michele Satta’s explosive Bolgheri wine, Castagni as “badass”.  They were right.  This powerful blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Teroldego, is a masterpiece of rich, black fruits and soft, grippy tannins.  There is an electric acidity that runs up the length of the wine and highlights a clean, mineral finish.  Michele Satta’s Castagni is massive, and yet somehow still approachable.

This wine is the enological definition of “badass”.

Fabio, here is another illustration for you:

One Badass Tattoo, courtesy of Davanti Enoteca’s Dave Parker