Monday, April 26, 2010

Paolo Scavino Langhe Bianco (2008) Piemonte

A pleasant-enough (I’m trying) Italian white blend from noted Barolo maker Paolo Scavino. The winery, founded in 1921 by Paolo Scavino, is now run by his son Enrico and granddaughters Enrica and Elisa. The 2008 Langhe Bianco is a blend of 70% Sauvignon Blanc (vinified in steel) and 30% Chardonnay (vinified in oak). The two grapes, however, are not particularly well-integrated. The wine seems to have competing citrusy/grassy/herbal notes – a problem for me with white blends generally. The stature of the producer will make me try it again - maybe warmer weather might help.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Emilio Bulfon Pecol Ros La Santissima (2008) Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Some 30 years ago, winemaker Emilio Bulfon rediscovered and replanted several ancient native Friulian grape varieties in the hills of the province of Pordenone in western Friuli. Today, Bulfon produces wines exclusively from these ancient grapes. While I have enjoyed Bulfon's single varietals (especially the whites), his Pecol Ros, a kitchen-sink blend of 35% Piculit Neri, 35% Refosco del Peduncolo Rosso, 15%, Forgiarin, and 15% Cianorie is a disconnected mess. Deep ruby-red color. Minty, peppery, blackberry fruit nose. Not particularly well balanced. Fiery finish. 14% alcohol. As a side note, each of Bulfon's wines are adorned with a different color label designed by Bulfon that depict a detail of a medieval fresco of the last supper found on a wall of a local church.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Jermann Vinae (2006) Friuli-Venezia Giulia

A terrific Italian white wine from master winemaker Silvio Jermann, whose 100 year old family winery is known for the character and varietal correctness of their wines. The 2006 Vinnae is a blend of 90% Ribolla Gialla and 10% Tocai and Riesling. Bright straw-yellow in color. Beautiful fruity nose. A small portion of the blend is aged in oak barrels for six months to give the wine some added weight. Prior to bottling, the oak-aged wine is incorporated with the rest of the wine that was aged in stainless steel. The Ribolla grape is high in acid, making it great match with a variety of foods. Terrific balance.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Cantine Sant'Agata Barbera D'Asti "Baby" (2007) Piemonte

Abort this baby. Perhaps the worst wine I have ever had. An expressionless effort from Cantine Sant'Agata, a Piemontese winery founded in the 1970's that produces three levels of Barbera; their baseline "Baby", their second tier "Altea", and their top of the line "Caval". Fermented and aged in stainless steel. Smith Brothers quality fruit. No nose to speak of. Completely lacking in any of the qualities that make Barbera such a terrific wine. I would defy anyone to guess the varietal in a blind tasting. Only wine in the sense that it is presumably made from grapes that have been fermented in some manner. Criminal at $15 a bottle.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Marco Felluga Friulano (2007) Friuli-Venezia Giulia

A Friulian delight from Marco Felluga, a multi-generational organic winery that controls over 250 acres of vineyards, most of which are family owned and operated, within the Collio Goriziano, or Collio; one of the most important DOC's in Friuli. While most of their production is dedicated to white wines, including Friulano, Ribolla Gialla, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon and Chardonnay, they do produce a small number of reds as well. The 2007 Friulano is a brilliant straw yellow wine with a slight greenish tint. Nut-bush floral nose. Silky mouthfeel. Well structured acidity and balance. Crisp. Fermented and aged in stainless steel.