Sunday, January 27, 2008

Bruno Giacosa Roero Arneis 2006 (Piemonte)

Another terrific wine from Bruno Giacosa. The small area of Roero, located north of Barolo and Barbaresco in Piemonte, was awarded a DOCG denomination just a few years ago. This designation, the highest available in the official Italian system, replaced the DOC that was previously applied to Roero wines. This delightful pure varietal white wine is the product of the indigenous grape of the same name, which was practically extinct until Alfredo Currado of the Vietti estate revived it in the late 1960’s. Giacosa's Roero Arneis is medium-bodied wine with characteristic verdant and floral notes. Made from 100% Arneis, this wine is fermented entirely in stainless steel tanks, and aged for three additional months prior to bottling. In the local dialect, “Arneis” means difficult or stubborn; this grape’s delicate skin makes this one of the toughest varietals to grow in Piedmont. Giacosa's Arneis offers subtle, elegant aromas of apples, pears and peaches. A very refreshing white.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Bruno Giacosa Dolcetto d' Alba 2006 (Piemonte)

A wonderful, affordable introduction to one of Italy’s finest winemakers, Bruno Giacosa’s 2006 Dolcetto shines as an outstanding food-friendly, approachable wine. (Could I have used more comma's? I think not.) The Giacosa family has been making wine in the Langhe region of Piedmont for three generations. Bruno Giacosa credits his winery’s success to his respect for traditional winemaking methods which enhance the characteristics of Piedmont's varietals. The wine is medium-bodied, with well-integrated tannins, lots of fruit and a fresh, smooth finish. Nice, soft use of oak. Sampling a Piedmontese superstars Dolcetto’s and Barbera’s is a great way to enjoy the winemakers skill without spending a $100 and waiting 10 years or more for their Barolo’s and Barbaresco’s to come into their own. (A total of seven comma's for those keeping score.)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Giacomo Conterno Barbera d' Alba Cascina Francia 2004 (Piemonte)

A fantasic Barbera from one of the giants of Piemonte. The estates celebrated traditional winemaking skills are evident in Giacomo's great-grandson Roberto's version of this affordable, "common" wine. A profound example of its varietal and underlying terroir, this Barbera d’Alba Cascina Francia is a terrific effort. Its silky aromas meld seamlessly onto the palate, where vibrant layers of dark fruit come to life. As it sits in the glass, licorice, tar, smoke and mineral notes become more prominent, adding further complexity to this velety wine. Long, sweet and pure, its essence grows further with food. Enjoyed with Mario Batali's "Weeds with Sausage". Of course; an Albeisa bottle.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Pio Cesare Barbera d' Alba 2004 (Piemonte)

A straight-forward Barbera from a 4th generation family winery. Pio Cesare, known for their outstanding single vineyard Barolo's, Barbaresco's and Barbera's, don't let their winemaking skills wane with their multi-vineyard varietals. The grapes for their Barbera come from selected vineyards in the villages of Monforte and Castiglione Falletto and from grapes in Pio’s vineyards in the villages of Serralunga and Treiso. Aged for 2 years in French and Slovenian Oak, their Barbera has an intense ruby color with garnet reflections. The nose is full with fresh, ripe fruit, and the finish is long and smooth.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Vietti Barolo Castiglione 2001 (Piemonte)

A wonderful, accessible, and affordable Barolo from Vietti, a 4th generation Piemontese family winemaker. The 2001 Castiglione is made from nebbiolo grapes grown on "both sides" of the Barolo border from vineyards located in Castiglione Falletto, Monfote, Morra, and Novello, thus possessing both a bold richness as well as easy drinkablity at a young age. This brick-hued wine has a powerful bouquet, and a plush, smooth finish. I enjoyed this youthful wine on New Years Eve with Beef with Barolo. Albeisa bottle.