Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Colline Novaresi’

Italian Barbera from 1964 to 2013

The gray weather parted allowing a small group of us to taste through a range of Barbera on my back deck. Unspoken etiquette ensured we had bottles of Champagne and white wine to occupy ourselves as the bottles of Barbera were opened and I fussed with the grill. Both starter bottles were excellent. Having now tasted NV Demiere Ansiot, Champagne Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs I can state that I want to drink it again. This is surprisingly complex Champagne with frothy bubbles and balance such that it should be drunk up right now. If you like mature Champagne go buy several bottles. The 2007 Red Newt, Gewurztraminer, Curry Creek Vineyard, Finger Lakes is comparatively younger in profile with its dense flavors of nuts and tropical fruit. It is a lot of wine.

We began the Barbera tasting with a trio of four old wines, one of which was bagged. My favorite is the 1967 Casa Vinicola Antonio Vallana, Barbera del Cantina di Bacco. Some did not like it which meant I was left with the lion’s share of old-school sweaty aromas and sweet, concentrated, silky fruit. From the same vintage I also liked the 1967 Cattaneo Adorno Giustiniani, Castello di Gabiano Riserva which with one “b” is one of Italy’s smallest DOCs from Monferrato and not to be confused with the estate from the south of Florence. The brighter fruit and blood are gently delivered making for a different expression of Barbera. This brightness could be attributed to the wine containing up to 10% Freisa and Grignolino.  Our oldest bottle of 1964 Poderi di Luigi Einaudi, Barbera is a survivor for I drank a glass of leftovers the next night with only slightly diminished pleasure. It is bright, tart, and bit acidic making it more of a curiosity. The brown-bagged 1974 Angelo Papagni, Barbera is a wine that is simply too old.

Our next two bottles were flawed. It is a shame because the 1990 Poderi Aldo Conterno, Conca Tre Pile, Barbera D’Alba has the potential to be very good. There is not telling what the 1999 Elio Grasso, Vigna Martina, Barbera D’Alba should be like.

In young territory the 2005 Antica Casa Vinicola Scarpa, La Bogliona, Barbera D’Asti is young primary and attractively floral. In contrast the 2006 Antica Casa Vinicola Scarpa, La Bogliona, Barbera D’Asti sports heft, brawn, and good flavor. It is one to age for many more years. Also promising is the elegant and impeccably balanced 2008 Bartolo Mascarello, Barbera D’Alba. The last bottle of 2013 Coppo, Pomorosso, Barbera d’Asti proved to be the youngest and most modern wine. It is a good, articulated wine but not of my preferred style.  Based on these wines I would like to repeat the tasting but focus in on 1990s and older.

NV Demiere Ansiot, Champagne Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs
Becky Wasserman selection imported by USA Wine Imports. This wine is 100% Chardonnay. Alcohol 12%. The nose begins with a yeast hint then toast and apple orchard aromas which together make for a very satisfying nose. In the mouth are racy flavors of delicate berries, definitely fruity, and frothy bubbles. The fizz is not hard rather it is subtle. This is an excellent wine for drinking now, it is complex with baking spices and a clean finish.  **** Now.

2007 Red Newt, Gewurztraminer, Curry Creek Vineyard, Finger Lakes
Alcohol 14.7%. The color is bright and golden with a green hint. The flavors mix nuts with tropical fruit with a tilt towards sweet flavors. This fine, dense wine has a minerally middle.  Good stuff! **** Now – 2020.

1964 Poderi di Luigi Einaudi, Barbera
Imported by T. Elenteny Imports. Alcohol 11%-14%. The nose is musky at first morphing to old leather as it cleans up and with air adds in cinnamon. The wine itself is earthy with bright acidity and a clean flavor profile of tart cherry and cranberry red fruit. It is a little tired towards the finish but the tart fruit persists in the aftertaste. ** Now.

1974 Angelo Papagni, Barbera (brown bagged mystery wine)
Alcohol 12.5%. A garnet color but one sniff and taste tell that this wine is way past prime. Not Rated.

 

1967 Cattaneo Adorno Giustiniani, Castello di Gabiano Riserva
Imported by T. Elenteny Imports. This wine is probably a blend of 90%-95% Barbera with the rest Freisa and Grignolino.  Alcohol 11%-14%. The nose smells of blood. In the mouth this is a bright, forward wine with nice bright acidity and up-front grip. It sports an old-school gentleness and softness. Notes of polished wood eventually come out. The blood returns in the aftertaste. *** Now but will last.

1967 Casa Vinicola Antonio Vallana, Barbera del Cantina di Bacco, Colline Novaresi
Imported by The Rare Wine Co. Alcohol 12.5%. The nose is old-school, sweaty and sweet. In the mouth the ripe fruit is sweet with concentration. This silky, smooth wine gains focus and length with air. There is fine texture and weight to the core of fruit which is surrounded by sweaty notes and wood. **** Now but will last.

1990 Poderi Aldo Conterno, Conca Tre Pile, Barbera D’Alba
Imported by T. Elenteny Imports. Alcohol 11%-14%. Sadly cooked on the nose. In the mouth though are gobs of mouth filling fruit with a fine, ripe texture from the tannins. There are tart red fruit flavors in the finish. Correct bottles should be quite good. Not Rated.

1999 Elio Grasso, Vigna Martina, Barbera D’Alba
Alcohol 14.5%. Bad bottle! Not Rated.

2005 Antica Casa Vinicola Scarpa, La Bogliona, Barbera D’Asti
Alcohol 14%. The nose is still young and clean with finely scented aromas of violets. Still youthful in the most this primary wine is fresh with watering acidity. ***(*) Now – 2027.

2006 Antica Casa Vinicola Scarpa, La Bogliona, Barbera D’Asti
Alcohol 14%. The color is darker with a purple tinge. The nose sports more heft to the aromas. In the mouth the flavors are brawnie and matched by additional tannins. There is dark red fruit, rounded feel, and a good personality. This will age for a long time. ***(*) Now – 2032.

2007 G. D. Vajra, Barbera D’Alba Superiore
Imported by The Country Vintner. Alcohol 14.5%. It is hard to get past the over-ripe, full-bore fruit. The wine becomes tangy with serious weight.  ** Now.

 

2008 Bartolo Mascarello, Barbera D’Alba
Imported by The Rare Wine Co. Alcohol 14%. An elegant nose moves on to bright red fruit over a black fruit foundation. This wine is balanced with grippy personality, texture and some ink. The structure is finely integrated with the fruit. ***(*) Now – 2027.

2013 Coppo, Pomorosso, Barbera d’Asti
Imported by Folio Wine Partners. Alcohol 14.5%. This is an articulated, young, modern wine that is not without attraction. Not really my style but I can appreciate it.  *** Now – 2025.

A diverse pair of Italian red wines

February 24, 2016 Leave a comment

I finally took a closer look at the bottles of wine from La Stoppa that were sitting on the shelf.  It is only then that I noticed the new vintage of 2013 La Stoppa, Trebbiolo Rosso.  Incredibly, it was nearly two years since Lou and I drank the 2010 vintage.  This latest vintage is just as good with dark red fruit, red grapefruit, and a little funk.  It is a wine you can savor or quaff!  The 2009 Antichi Vigneti Di Cantalupo, Agamium, Colline Novaresi is in a similar vein to their 1981 Ghemme that I recently drank.  It is a gentle, dry wine that is perfectly balanced.  Just think of a slightly juicy mix of tar, leaves, and black fruit.  What I like about both of these wines is that they have distinct personalities and are priced under $20 each.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

Italian2

2013 La Stoppa, Trebbiolo Rosso – $19
Imported by Louis/Dressner Selections.  This wine is a blend of 60% Barbera and 40% Bonarda.  Alcohol 13%.  The nose revealed vigorous aromas of dark red fruit with high-toned and earthy bits.  The wine was lively in the mouth with dark cherry and a hint of red grapefruit flavors.  It only takes one hour for this to drink well.  The good clean fruit takes on a bit of that 1960’s Californian animale flavor.  The juicy acidity makes you want to quaff the wine.  However, you can savor the bottle of two nights without any yeasty, Pilsner outbreak.  *** Now – 2017.

Italian1

2009 Antichi Vigneti Di Cantalupo, Agamium, Colline Novaresi – $17
Imported by Tenth Harvest.  Alcohol 13%.  There is an attractive nose of tar and leafy aromas.  In the mouth the wine remains focused with citric, dry, black flavors and a mineral finish.  Everything about the wine is integrated, the flavors, the slightly juiciness, and the finish which leaves gentle, fine, ripe tannins.  *** Now – 2019.

Italian3

Liquid research: tasting recent arrivals at MacArthur Beverages.

September 21, 2015 Leave a comment

This past week I joined Phil at MacArthur Beverages to sample several new wine selections.  With the clear bottle, the color of the 2013 Spook Light, Skin Fermented Pinot Gris, Hawke’s Bay might look odd at first.  However, this is a skin fermented wine so the orange-rust color is correct.  It is a generous and rounded wine that has attractive minerals.  I found the 2010 M & S Ogier, l’Ame Soeur, Syrah de Seyssuel, VdP Collines Rhodaniennes to be a subtle example of northern Rhone Syrah.  Though well-made and enjoyable, it did not knock my socks off.  The 2012 Domaine Gramenon, La Sagesse, Cotes du Rhone is a very interesting wine that continued to change and evolve while I was at the store.  Initially it was quite earthy and young then shortly before I left it was more generous with very clean fruit and a beautiful rosemary flavor.  This deserves to be tasted again!  The bottle of 2012 Domaine Leon Barral, Faugeres reminded me of earlier vintages where I fell in love with the fruit and delivery of flavors unique to Barral.  There was nothing but pleasure from this wine which I recommend you drink within the next two years.  The guys had trolled the Californian dump-bin from which came the 2004 Pax, Red Wine, Sonoma Hillsides, Sonoma County.  Let us just say it was massive.  Tim then returned with a bottle of the 2011 Le Paine, Piane, Colline Novaresi.  I neglected to take a picture but my initial taste of this mostly Croatina based wine was very promising.  There is certainly a different flavor profile to the rather floral, black fruited flavors.  This long, textured wine deserves another visit as well.  Thanks to everyone for letting me join in!

Samples1

2013 Spook Light, Skin Fermented Pinot Gris, Hawke’s Bay – $35
This wine is 100% skin-fermented Pinot Gris that was rested on the lees in stainless steel until bottled.  Alcohol 13.1%.  This rounded and weighty wine, had red fruit that mixed with a hint of skin/stems, juicy acidity, and a linear mineral streak.

Samples2

2010 M & S Ogier, l’Ame Soeur, Syrah de Seyssuel, VdP Collines Rhodaniennes – $60
Imported by Robert Kacher.  This wine is 100% Syrah sourced from 13 year old vines that was completely destemmed then aged 18 months in 20% new oak barrels.  Alcohol 12.5%.  The nose bore hints of meat, pepper, and some smoke.  In the mouth were purple black fruit with an initially very modest structure.  The wine was harmonious and mouthfilling with some earth-like complexity.  The structure eventually built as did blacker fruit.  A bit shy at this point.

Samples3

2012 Domaine Gramenon, La Sagesse, Cotes du Rhone – $37
Imported by Kermit Lynch.  This wine is 100% Grenache sourced from 60 year old vines that was fermented in cement cuve before aging 12 months in barriques.  The animale nose made way to ripe, quickly expanding flavors of dark red fruit.  This wine continued to change, initially possessing floral flavors that poked through before a hint of tea, then took on complexity from a strong rosemary flavor that mixed with fresh, clean fruit.  There was certainly a very fine, drying tannic structure.  Very interesting.

Samples4

2012 Domaine Leon Barral, Faugeres – $26
Imported by Kermit Lynch.  Alcohol 13.5%.  This opened up noticeably to offer ripe, red, grippy fruit that had a subtle citric note.  It continued to be a vibrant wine with dark, floral potpourri notes, ripe tannins, a grippy nature, and fruit that almost became sweet.  I like the animale flavors.  This bottle drank very well with consistent stability.

Samples5

2004 Pax, Red Wine, Sonoma Hillsides, Sonoma County – $20
This wine is a blend of 52% Syrah, 47% Grenache, and 1% Roussanne.  This big red wine was evocative of big Australian wine that had a stemmy, mineral side.

From Frappato to Nebbiolo

This is just a quick post as I have more house sale and moving tasks to attend to today.  My two favorite wines in today’s post are both from the 2009 vintage in Italy.  The 2009 Carminucci, Naumachos, Rosso Piceno Superiore has taken on attractive maturity but still offers ripe fruit, texture, and a hint of minerals.  It drinks great right now and I suspect if you are a fan of the Southern Rhone you will dig this wine.  I will buy more and so should you!  The 2009 Antichi Vigneti di Cantalupo, Agamium, Colline Novaresi is an attractive, mature wine made from Nebbiolo.  It is not terribly complex but strikes a good balance between maturity, interest, and price.   I like Frappato and was very much looking forward to the 2013 Paolo Cali, Mandragola, Vittoria Frappato.  It smelled good but I was too distracted by the elevated level of carbon dioxide to enjoy it.   These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

Italians2

2009 Carminucci, Naumachos, Rosso Piceno Superiore – $18
Imported by Verity Wine Partners.  This wine is a blend of 70% Montepulciano and 30% Sangiovese that was aged in French oak.  Alcohol 14%.  There were aromas of ripe fruit, cedar, and mature notes.  In the mouth were focused flavors of ripe black and blue fruit that had attractive texture and density.  The maturity was evident in the middle.  The texture continued through the wine as a hint of minerals, a little smoke, and creamy blue fruit wrapped things up.  Drinking well.  *** Now-2018.

Italians1

2009 Antichi Vigneti di Cantalupo, Agamium, Colline Novaresi – $20
Imported by Tenth Harvest.  This wine is 100% Nebbiolo.  Alcohol 13%.  There were candied red fruit aromas.  In the mouth the wine fleshed out with some concentrated red fruit supported by very fine and powdery texture.  The drying, tannins persist through the finish where a bit of tart, yet creamy fruit come out.  Mature but will last  **  Now-2018.

Italians3

2013 Paolo Cali, Mandragola, Vittoria Frappato – $17
Imported by RWK Imports.  This wine is 100% Frappato that was fermented then aged for 4-6 months in stainless steel.  Alcohol 13%.  An attractive nose but one is quickly distracted by the rather frizzante beginning.  There was unique bright and mineral infused blue fruit that was brought forth on assertive grapefruit acidity.  A little odd.  * Now.

Italians4

Italians wines with pizza at Delancey’s

September 30, 2014 Leave a comment

A group of us recently met up with Julia to eat pizza at Delancey’s in Ballard.   This is a top-notch spot for pizza particularly when the dough is prepared by the guy with big fingers and cooked by the owner Brandon.  Bigger fingers apparently yield those bigger, crispy bubbles when cooked.  On our night the guy with the little fingers yielded lower lying crust that was crispier.  Finger differences aside the six of us polished off five pizzas.  As fanatical as Brandon is about details in his cooking and cocktails, his interesting assortment of wines scales the heights of the walls.  Which means they also ascend to the warm side in temperature.  That did not bother me as I walked in with a pair of Italian wines recommended by Michael the proprietor of Pike & Western Wine Shop.

I knew that the four other guys in our group prefered beer so I figured Julia and I would just split the leftover wine.  Despite the presence of beer one of them tried the Monsecco and pronounced it better than the box wine he typically buys.  The others joined in one by one due to curiosity then of course it was time to sample the Terradora di Paolo.  Sample pours switched to full wine glasses.  The bottles were quickly getting low so I scratched out the few tasting notes you may find below.   The telling moment came when it was pronounced, “The wine is better with the food than the beer.”

ItaliansAtDelanceys2

2009 Monsecco, Pratogrande, Nebbiolo, Colline Novaresi – $27
Imported by Neal Rosenthal.  This wine is 100% Nebbiolo.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The nose was tight on the fruit but had articulated aromas of tobacco and red berries.  In the mouth were black fruit flavors, dry tannins, supportive acidity, and a drying finish.  This is a great buy for it retails at $22 in NYC.

ItaliansAtDelanceys1

2008 Terradora di Paolo, Fatica Contadina, Taurasi – $30
Imported by VIAS.  This wine is 100% Aglianico that was aged for 12 months in very large oak barrels.  Alcohol 13.5%.  This was a fruit driven wine that while remaining compact, responded well to air.  It mixed berries, tobacoo, and dark fruit before the attractively inky and dark finish.

ItaliansAtDelanceys3