Tasting note: Barbera d’Alba Conca Tre Pile 2004, Aldo Conterno

Although the prices for the best bottles are not exactly bargain basement, barbera remains a somewhat underrated varietal, shadowed as it is by the brilliance and finesse of the regional all-star, nebbiolo. Mind you, producers have been working hard (sometimes a bit too hard) to show that barbera is a serious grape.

Take Aldo Conterno’s Conca Tre Pile 2004 Barbera d’Alba, for instance. What strikes you first, when you smell it and taste it, is a well-defined set of flavors, dominated by cherry and red currant, quite typical of the varietal and concentrated. Yet the tannins (more…)


Tasting note: Foradori Teroldego Rotaliano DOC 2004

A couple of years ago, I had the pleasure of tasting a bottle of Granato, Elisabetta Foradori‘s flagship wine from her estate in Alto Adige. I remember it as an elegant, well-structured red that made me feel like finding out more about its varietal, teroldego, typical of this particular part of Northeast Italy.

Lo and behold, a couple of weeks ago, I find a bottle of Foradori Teroldego Rotaliano DOC 2004, a much less expensive varietal wine from the same producer. No hesitation, I had to find out what it could deliver.

Answer: I’m not quite sure yet. Not because there was anything wrong with the bottle, or because it wasn’t up to speed, but rather because (more…)

Published in: on January 29, 2008 at 2:23 am  Leave a Comment  
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How on Earth Did I Forget About Italy?

For some odd reason, I haven’t written a single post about Italy, since I started this blog last July. I can’t explain why. I drink them regularly and enjoy them greatly Better yet, when I don’t know which wine I’d like to drink, my almost automatic choice is to go for an Italian wine.

This realization (about my unintentional un-Italian blog bias) dawned on me as I was drinking a delicious bottle of 1997 Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico Riserva. From a fantastic vintage, it was just ripe and nicely opened up, with a great garnet color, bright aromas and flavors of cherry, cedar and cigar box, as well as those velvety yet firm tannins and astringent finals. Not terribly complex, but everything I expect from good sangiovese.

Italian wines from indigenous grapes like (more…)

A whole other kind of sangria (and a drop of rosé)

OK. A real short, fun post, here. My friend Duncan over at the Code Kitchen spends more time cooking virtual stuff (say, e-mail and web apps) than actually cooking. But when the heat is on, he gets out of the kitchen to make this lovely sake-based sort of a sangria, which sounds absolutely lovely. He points to this favorite cocktail recipe of his on the Kitchen’s blog.

Why mention this here? Well, sake is a wine of sorts – a rice wine, to be precise.

And it’s also a good way to discuss summer drinks, like, say, rosé. I started thinking about that because of a funny blog post from Eric Asimov, the NY Times wine expert, called Rosé Reluctance. It’s a nice bit of skepticism about recent hype surrounding rosé: he points to some really serious ones he’s had, including a Sancerre by amazing producer François Cotat (I’ve tasted it, it’s truly exceptional, with its straight-as-an-arrow mineral character and sharply refreshing acidity, and has little to do with the fruity stuff usually called rosé). I must say that I’ve had the same type of rosé fatigue as Asimov, something that a recent tasting of Castello di Ama Rosato, a bone-dry yet very fragrant rosé by this renowned chianti producer somewhat cured.

Yet what is surprising about the Asimov blog is the amount of reaction it got. Even the fun-loving rosé drinkers take their stuff seriously, it seems.

I feel I’m getting carried away. I’ll go ponder that some more over a glass of cucumber-ginger-sake sangria…