WINE OF THE WEEK #070
yesterday I completed a project (I’m an architect) so I am free of deadline stress and can finally put my energy in tasting wine n°70!
Because my eyelids are still a bit heavy (sleep was not on my list last week), I wanted to go for a lighter wine so I picked this bottle out of my nebbiolo box:
It’s the Nebbiolo d’Alba d.o.c. 2009 from the BATTAGLINO winery.
I could start writing about how this wine was made and how long it aged, when it was harvested etc… But since the winemaker has a website, in english, that is up to date (an exception!) I am just going to post a link to the factsheet of this bottle : LINK
Everytime I want a lighter type of wine from Italy, I pick a bottle with Alba or Asti on it. I probably miss a whole lot of opportunities that way, but I am sure to get what I want. And with a Nebbiolo d’Alba, it’s no different.
The big wines from the Alba region are Barbaresco and Barolo.
(look on my winemap for wine #070 to see what I’m talking about ;-) )
I see them as the queen and the king of the region. Both full of character and pedigree, massively complex and wines that occupy every braincell when you taste them. It’s like listening to an opera or a big symphony. Both wines, due to regulations, have to be aged during a certain amount of time in oak barrels.
But sometimes you just want to listen to a simple sonata, and not an opera.
Luckily, you can also make nebbiolo based wines in Alba and not age them in oak barrels, and then you are making a Nebbiolo d’Alba d.o.c. wine. (I am propably simplifying here, but that’s the main idea). So what I’m tasting today is a Barolo-light.
It’s funny how much you can learn from colour alone. This wine looks like a classic glass of red wine, but when you swirl, those typical brown shades appear that I’ve seen on the previous wines as well. Like they added a small amount of coca-cola to the wine.
What I smell right away is the freshness of the wine. No oak, no toasty aromatics, just a juicy wine.
The wine is not very expressive, but when you stick your nose in the glass and wait a second or 2, a cloud of complex aroma’s enters your nose, and that’s where it gets really good! A list :
- Strawberries and cherries
- agave on a BBQ (hot ashes) - that’s a first :)
- pistachio chocolate
- ice tea
I am absolutely loving this nose. The soil of the vineyards is mostly sand and sandstone, and I am sure that this really adds complexity and body to this wine. The reason why I think of ashes in combination with pistachio and hazelnuts is pure terroir driven I believe.
As my first sniff suggested, this wine is juicy and the acidity is right there. There is just enough acidity to bring the flavours to a next level in my mouth, without bringing the wine out of balance. Tannins are very soft and the overall balance is just astonishing. I love the complexity, the drinkability, the likeability and the authenticity of this wine.
Really really great.
As a flavour profile, the wine has really nice fruit, mostly strawberries. The other more complex notes on the nose do not really return in my mouth, but along with the amazing balance goes a very soft and comfortable feeling.
This wine is less earthy and difficult then the previous wines.
On the finish I get hints of an Earl grey tea with sugar and some almonds on the side. And strange enough, I have a craving to eat an aged cheese with this wine.
I don’t know how to start to tell you how much I like this wine right now. The nose is so complex yet so approachable and not overpowering, the mouthfeel is comforting and elegant, and the finish makes you hungry for some good food. And last but not least, this wine is DRINKABLE! You will not get bored after a glass or 2, you just think why this wine does not come in a magnum or even a bigger bottle.
I’m in love