Itinerant Tasting of Sensi Wines at The Pantheon Iconic Hotel in Rome, Italy

The tastings of wines don't have to confine us in brightly-lit rooms with white walls while attending to quarter-filled glasses and scribbling of analyses in notebooks. Wine tasting is about relishing the precious alcoholic drink that has evolved from fruit to juice to wine, given by nature and perfected by the hands and minds of the people working behind the bottles. It has its own sense of beauty that has to be savored in an equally aesthetic ambience.

On a winter evening in Rome, Flavour Coach presented six different wines of Sensi Vini and Fattoria di Calappiano, both wineries owned by the Sensi Family, in the newly-opened Pantheon Iconic Hotel and Liòn Restaurant paired with the dishes of Executive Chef Luca Ludovici. The wine tasting highlighted the elegant wines of Sensi, the commendable dishes of Executive Chef Luca Ludovici, the Lìon Restaurant and the different rooms of The Hotel Pantheon Iconic Hotel, positioned right at the center of the capital.

Sensi is a winemaking family since 1890 that maintains two farms in Tuscany: Tenuta del Poggio and the Calappiano Farm where they have 100 hectares of vineyards and olive groves. It started small-scale when Pietro Sensi, the patriarch of the family, started selling the wines he made to the markets. Pietro's sons, Vittorio and Armido continued the activity and founded Fratelli Sensi. However the scope of their business became bigger as they started delivering their wines to the surrounding countryside and to the city of Florence. Third generation Pietro and Giovanni, Vittorio's sons, continued on and made their wines even more sought after throughout the region of Tuscany. Massimo, Roberta and the late Marco from the fourth generation of the family joined the company in 1987 who then modernized their wine making techniques, technology and farming, thus, improving the quality of the wines to a greater level. Sensi wines expanded their reach to international markets. Currently, Sensi enlists the help of producers in a number of principal wine making areas in Tuscany for the production of Tuscan wines, all closely followed by the family oenologist Lorenzo Landi.

Lìon Restaurant is a new déco restaurant that's just a step away from Piazza Navona. It is the latest project among 11 hotels (10 of which are in Rome), including the nearby Pantheon Iconic Hotel, of three Roman entrepreneurs, brothers Emidio and Fabrizio Pacini and Andrea Girolami. Its elegant yet informal atmosphere makes it the ideal place to relax in the center of Rome with the dishes of their young talented chef Luca Ludovici.

Chef Luca Ludovici carries a wealth of experience and training from some of the best Italian and French chefs. Chefs Giulio Terrinoni, Antonio Sciullo, Massimiliano Alajmo, Gualtiero Marchesi, Michel Roux and Gabriele Bonci have left imprints in his techniques and perspective in the kitchen. His kitchen amplifies the importance of the usage of high quality raw materials from producers he trusts before he utilizes them in his dishes that are innovative. He currently heads the kitchens of Lìon Restaurant, Divinity of The Pantheon Iconic Hotel and a third one which will soon open, YYdilio, on the ground floor of the same hotel.

The Pantheon Iconic Hotel is a five-star hotel located in the epicenter of the art and culture of Rome which is just a few steps from the Pantheon. It has six floors in all with 20 suites, including the terrace wherein Divinity Restaurant is located which gives a breathtaking view of the domes and roofs of the capital. The hotel stands majestically in its contemporary design which brings forth the inspiration of the nearby Pantheon's geometry, a meeting of the right usage of light and scenography. Black and white marble, brass and circular motifs are incorporated prominently throughout the design of the hotel.

The wines presented during the Itinerant Sensi Wine Tasting were:

18K Prosecco Brut Gold, made with 100% Glera, cultivated in alluvial soil and vinified in Charmat or tank method. Crystal clear and pale straw yellow in color, good acidity, dry and fruity with delicate white stone fruits dominated subtly by pears and fresh white flowers.

Chianti Superiore DOCG Vegante, made with Sangiovese and other grapes in the Chianti DOCG disciplinary, cultivated in clay and marl soil as well as sand and pebbles in other areas. Following the vegan philosophy, no animal-derived products were used in the various stages of cultivation, vinification and wine stabilization. Fermented with indigenous yeasts and aged in stainless steel. An easy wine to drink which permits the varietal characteristics, predominantly fruity and floral aromas of violets and ripe red berries to show through. 

18K Blanc de Blancs Nectar, demi-sec, made with Chardonnay grapes with second fermentation in Charmat or tank method. Brilliant and straw yellow in color, good acidity, persistent, and subtly sweet for its residual sugar. It has lovely fruity and floral aromas with light hints of pear, citrus, and pineapple.

18K Pinot Noir Rosè Brut, made 100% Pinot Noir grapes cultivated in alluvial soil with second fermentation of base wine in Charmat or tank method. Brilliant with a vibrant soft rose color, persistent perlage and dry. A very pleasant drink that takes out lovely aromas and flavors of strawberries and other red berries and balances well with the acidity of the wine. 

Lungarno IGT, made with 90% Sangiovese grapes and 10% Colorino cultivated in a hilly terrain of loam-sandy schist rich in marine fossils and pebbles. Fermented in stainless steel and aged in oak barrels for 10 - 12 months and a few more months in the bottle. Ruby red, in color, full-bodied with complex aromas of red berries, dark stone fruits like cherries and plums, spices, and a light floral notes. It has a long persistence in the palate, round with medium tannins, and good acidity.

Collegonzi Sangiovese IGT, made with 100% Sangiovese grapes cultivated in a hilly terrain of loam-sandy schist rich in marine fossils and pebbles. Fermented in stainless steel and aged in oak barrels for 12 - 24 months and a few more months in the bottle. Ruby red in color, full-bodied with ample complexities of aromas of dark stone fruits like cherries and plums, smoke, spices, underbrush and a light floral nuance of violet. It has a long persistence in the palate, round with soft tannins and gives the right acidity and moderate sapidity which makes it a nice glass to linger with.

The dishes of Chef Luca Ludovici paired with the wines were:

Oyster with Banana and Licorice
Raw Shrimp with Pomegranate and Grape Must
Carrots and Flowers
Yellow Polenta Chips
Mini Sandwich with Beef Prosciutto Crudo
Grilled Artichokes Malga Butter and Anchovies
Egg and Bottarga
Octopus and Beet

Sensi Vini

Via Cerbaia, 107
51035 Lamporecchio, Pistoia, Italy
Tel: +39 0573 82910

Lìon Restaurant

Largo della Sapienza, 1

00186 Rome, Italy

Tel: +39 06 8115 7070



Open daily except Tuesdays from 11 AM to 2 AM

The Pantheon Iconic Hotel