2005 Barbaresco (Roncaglie) by Poderi Colla, Alba, Italy.

2005 Barbaresco (Roncaglie) by Poderi Colla, Alba, Italy (DOCG).

Slightly maroon color. Nose is a little shy. Up front slightly under-ripe dark plum, old damp wood leather. In the back, a subtle honeycomb beeswax. As it decants, subtle caramelization adds a touch of ripeness and cocoa.

WOW! Body is very firm up front. Bold attack greets in the form of under-ripe plum and red apple skins. This brings with it, fully integrated, fine grained dusty tannins that grip almost immediately, progressively tightening their vise grip over the palate with each sip. As it breathes, the acidic punch softens into a gentle yet still firm tension across the palate from front to back. Mouth feel is dry, and leathery. Weight is medium-heavy for a Barbaresco. Somewhat bright. Hints of spice linger but none can match the sheer dominating and overpowering force of the tannic grip. Lips are parched shut. As it breathes, some of those tannins caramelize nicely to lend a subtle punctuation of sweetness in the vast dryness of its expression. This has the effect of elevating and ripening the fruit, especially plum. Hints of cocoa develope so faint you’d likely miss it.

Wow. I thought this Nebbiolo might be over the hill but boy was I wrong. It is still standing tall and strong after 17 years. This is an exquisitely crafted wine every cellar should have. This is my last bottle and I sorely wish I had more. I have had a hard time finding this wine for years now. A solid Barbaresco for the Advanced Palate.

Molto Bene! πŸ·πŸ˜™πŸ‘ŒπŸ½

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2020 Nebbiolo by Cantine Elvio Tintero, Langhe, Piemonte, Italy

2020 Nebbiolo by Cantine Elvio Tintero, Langhe, Piemonte, Italia

Bright, clear ruby-purple color. You get that rocky slightly dusty leather essence up front typical of this region. Nose is very shy overall. As it breathes a smoky tobacco emerges. Subtle berries linger in the back. Swirling vigorously intensifies the tobacco leaf. How is this a 2020 vintage??

Body is nicely balanced. Upfront crisp dark plum skins greet the palate with a subtle tension. This tension quickly relaxes as the already medium body thins and stretches out opening up for a good dose of oak vanilla. Plum turns to raspberry, oak softens what would otherwise be a very dry, lean, masculine expression. Fully integrated tannins begin to precipitate upon the palate in thin layers of coating grip which endures through the finish. Gentle spice warmth lingers. My lips are parched.

On the spectrum of Nebbiolo (especially from Langhe), this falls on the lighter side. It is arguably a chillable red. Nicely composed, mature execution, and built to be enjoyed now. This reminds me of the Nebbiolo by Haarmeyer. It shows a much more approachable side of this varietal.

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2017 Aglianico by Feudi di San Gregorio, Italy.

Tonight’s Occasion: 2017 Aglianico by Feudi di San Gregorio, Italy.

Dark intense color. Warm thick nose out of the bottle with dry, tart plum, blackberry, subtle secondary leather and tertiary hints of caramel. These conspire to create a sweet honey tobacco essence. Brooding. Swirl vigorously to add a touch anise to the drama.

Body is firm from the beginning. Bold crisp tannins are balanced with measured acid. Dark plum and cherry skins provide firm but restrained structure. Minerality adds a crisp firmness to the mouth feel while a firm spice heat slowly commands the stage. This drama quickly vanishes, leaving a dry grippy stage with wisps of mineral leather and refined caramel (reminiscent of neutral oak). This transition to finish ends in an endless duel between firm tannic grip and spice heat.

I keep verticals of this Aglianico in my cellar as a definitive reference for this varietal. It is impeccably executed, clean, crisp, balanced and representative of the varietal and this region. Currently on sale for $19/bottle on wine.com, this wine a bargain and a must. Pick up a few and study them. Good wine doesn’t always have to break the bank.

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2013 Aglianico del Vulture by Tenuta Del Portale, Italy

Tonight’s Occasion: 2013 Aglianico del Vulture by Tenuta Del Portale, Italy.

A little over two years ago I looked at the 2012 Vintage – one of my first forays into the world of Aglianico. This vintage comes with equal intensity albeit just a touch restrained but still a big wine no less.

Joining us for this review is Laura, a globetrotting Sacramento Food Blogger and Charcuterie Artista Extraordinaire. Check out her work on Instagram at @oneluckycat_77

Rustic nose with mushroom, tobacco, wet forest floor and an intense sharp leather. A slightly sharp acidic attack takes the palate time to adapt. Dry tart dark tart cherries accompany a thick dusty mouth feel. As it opens up the mushrooms intensify. A little later a very subtle raw honeycomb lingers in the back. It is so faint you’d likely miss it. Cherries turn ripe and a buttery vanilla emerges. Finish slowly pulls back but remains dusty, gritty, earthy and still massive.

I love everything about this wine. It is unapologetic. Big, Bold, Beautiful.

Molto Bene! πŸ·πŸ˜πŸ‘ŒπŸ½

WineSnob Calendar: Malbec Day

Did you celebrate Malbec Day? My good friend Shelly stopped by to help out. To celebrate we explored two Malbec wines from opposite sides of the world.

Have you had Malbec before? What are your favorites you’d like to see featured on WineSnob? Let me know in the comments below.

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2011 Nebbiolo (TreVigne) by Travaglini Gattinara

Tonight’s occasion: 2011 Nebbiolo (TreVigne) by Travaglini Gattinara (@travaglinigattinara), Italy.

Clear, rich ruby color. Out of the bottle you are greeted with a lovely herbal bouquet with wet wood undertones. Fruit plays secondary and tertiary notes with subtle hints of berries and red cherries with a certain crisp character. A touch of spice and mineral. Once opened up, a hint of caramel permeates the nose.

Body is bigger and bolder than it looks. You are greeted immediately with bold acid and broad well rounded tannins. This provides great structure. The wet wood and fairly neutral terroir take second stage. Subtle hits of cedarwood conspire with black currants to create a faint Absinthe-like locorice. Finish is brisk, quickly giving way to fine grained tannins and rendering the palate parched.

I have been following this winemaker for a while and absolutely love what they do with Nebbiolo however this is my first time trying the TreVigne (Three Vineyard) and I could immediately recognize its layered structure and complexity, relative to the others. They have managed to take such a big, massive grape and turn it into a refined experience, it’s impressive.

Molto bene Travaglini! πŸ·πŸ˜πŸ‘ŒπŸ½

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2008 Nebbiolo by Ca’Nova, Piedmont, Italy

Tonight’s occasion: 2008 Nebbiolo by Ca’Nova, Ghemme, Piedmont, Italy.

As you’ve probably figured out by now, I am obsessed with Nebbiolo especially from Italy. They are hard to come by in this part of the world and fetch a premium. So while browsing wine.com for this month’s Explore & Taste selection, I decided to try a Nebbiolo off the beaten path.

Big warm aromatic nose permeates the space as soon as you pop the cork. This wine is still swing for the fences after 12 years. Upon closer inspection, nose is full of black berry, subtle sweet cherry notes, marshmallows and tart plum with faint slate rock undertone.

Body has a moderately acidic attack. Slightly chalky, minerality carries through. Tannins are slow to wake up, finally making their presence known towards the back. When they do, they conspire with the chalk to completely rob the palate and lips of all moisture and render dry. Body and finish feel to be one cohesive unit culminating in parched lips with a tingling of spice as you attempt to pry your parched lips apart.

This wine isn’t messing around. I think it is just now becoming approachable. For a 12 year old vintage it is appropriately aged for a Nebbiolo. It will likely drink like this for the next decade. It presents a very compelling value at around $36.

Thanks to wine.com and their extensive library, you can now access most of the wines I review on here. You can use the link below to have Ca’Nova wines delivered to your doorstep.

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2014 Langhe Rosso by GiA

Tonight’s occasion: 2014 Langhe Rosso by GiA, Langhe, Italy.

Nose is restrained overall however the introduction of mineral terroir is clear and unmistakable. This is followed by subtle secondary cherry and tertiary oak caramel upon vigorous swirling. The body is moderately acidic, dry, further restrained. It feels like this wine does not appreciate being disturbed. Minerality carries through the body. I am reminded by what enchanted me about this wine many years ago. Towards the back of the body, clean, crisp tannins begin their relentless rise to dominate the palate and transition into an otherwise smooth finish, overshadowed by powerful dry grip that leaves the palate parched and craving more.

This is the wine that started my obsession with Nebbiolo and more specifically the Langhe region. It is a relatively inexpensive wine. It comes in very manly looking 1 Litre bottles and a case will typically set you back well under $200. Keep in mind that more than a typical case of standard 750ml bottles. It’s a great way to introduce the region to guests and curious wine enthusiasts.

A very understated wine. Molto bene! πŸ·πŸ˜˜πŸ‘ŒπŸ½

2015 Langhe Nebbiolo by La Sacrestia

Tonight’s occasion: 2015 Langhe Nebbiolo by La Sacrestia. Langhe, Italy.

I am completely enamored with Nebbiolo from Langhe. This lesser known region offers great value and massively intense wines.

Crisp clean nose. Subtle tart berry with a hint of marshmallow/caramel in the back. Terroir is without a doubt all dusty mineral. Very characteristic of this region. The nose is very tight – even after aerating requires vigorous swirling to unlock the aromas – without doubt this wine has a long journey ahead of it.

Body is all business. First thing you notice is a bit more leather along with the mineral terroir. Mild acity is noticeable but restrained over a firm chassis. Good structure and balance for a Nebbiolo this young. It’s difficult to separate the body from finish as massive tannic grip emerges midway and dominates the entire experience. The more it breathes, the bigger the grip. A subtle spice makes an appearance after the fact, leaving your lips tingling.

It may be lesser known but it is no less of a Nebbiolo than its peers. It is a great bargain at around $16 from Total Wine. It presents a great opportunity. Pick up a bunch now and forget about them. Thank me in 5-10 years. πŸ·πŸ˜πŸ‘ŒπŸ½

Reserve: 2017 Langhe Nebbiolo by Nada Fiorenzo

Tonight’s occasion: 2017 Langhe Nebbiolo by Nada Fiorenzo.

Nose of leather and berry. Swirl it a little and out comes oak and cherry. Dry, structured and fairly balanced body features tart plum and a hint of vanilla in the back. Big, dry tannic finish leaves you parched and going for another sip.

This is a definitely Nebbiolo. Unapologetic. Unpretentious. Not unnecessarily complex or complicated. It is a well made quality wine. Although surprisingly mature for a nebbiolo this age, it is also very young and will show very nicely, given ample time. This Nebbiolo is very young but presents a unique value proposition. You can pick up a few bottles at @totalwine fairly inexpensively and forget about them for another 5 to 8 years when it should be showing marvelously. Salute! πŸ·πŸ˜πŸ‘ŒπŸ½