WINE OF THE WEEK #013
A new wine, and a gift from my Dad!
Paolo Guidi, Barbera, Piedmont Italy, 2007
This wine is produced in the small village Novello, near Alba in Piedmont from the Barbera grape, in this case Barbera d’Alba and bottled in the estate of the Sartirano family in Narzole by two cousins : Paulo & Guido. (WINEMAP)
They grow the main varietals in Piedmont : Nebbiolo to produce Barolo and Barbaresco - these are the king & queen of the region , as well as Barbera and Dolcetto, often described as the workers grapes, to produce the largest bunch of wines with lower reputation.
I am curious what an entry-level Italian red at €9 has to offer.
A light, cherry red, looks very liquid
The nose smells really fresh, strawberry, raspberry and plum. It has got a sour component as well - somewhere between rhubarb and onions.
The mouthfeel is very liquid, light, elegant and bitter (reminds me a bit of rosé). Red fruit and acidity are present, with notes of earth, mushroom and tobacco. Really like it, yet the bitterness makes it not that attractive to drink along and the alcohol bites quite a lot. (13%)
So many transitions, got chocolate and coffee, fig and a crusty sweet skin component.
I find it really hard to judge this wine. It touches many notes without playing a chord loud and clear and I guess it really shows the potential of the Barbera grape and the terroir, without having the structure to get things together.
I had this wine with different cheeses and it really was spectacular, especially with manchego-cheese. Now, tasting it by itself, I give it the silver medal, just good as I expected but not great.
WINE OF THE WEEK #012
I kick off the Italian winemonth with a white wine, finally. I think that the value of white wine is generally underestimated : well cooled, it mostly is abused as fruity-get drunk-headache provider. Well executed however, I believe it can be of enormous value!
Anyway, I tasted this wine :
AJELLO, Grillo & Catarratto, 2008 from Sicily
The wine consist of 2 varietals : Grillo and Catarratto.
Grillo is a local Sicilian white grape varietal known for withstanding the high temperatures of the Italian island. Catarratto is more widely available in Italy, known for full-bodied white wines.
The vineyards are located on the Western part of the island, at an altitude of 200 meters a.s.l., on a hilly position with south eastern exposure. The nature of the soil is clay and chalk.
See the vineyard on the WINEMAP
A grassy, light yellow with a hint of green.
Fresh and mineral, very attractive nose. I found some pineapple, white flowers and white pepper as well, but the minerality is very present.
It is weird to describe the body of a white wine. The attack is acid and vibrant, and quickly evolves towards a round, oily and sweeter mouthfeel.
The minerality stays, with some hints of green tea.
This wine has a lot of character and I like it. It is clearly terroir-driven, maybe not suited for everybody but very honest and easy going. A very good choice!
WINE OF THE WEEK #010
Woot, we made it already to number 10!
And it’s a good one
CLOS CENTENAIRE, 2007, Maule Valley, CHILE
Blend : 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Malbec, 20% Carmenere and 10% Cabernet Franc on volcanic soils and aged for 12 months in French & American oak.
Some info from their website :
Las Casas estate:
Located on the way to Constitución, approximately 15km southwest of San Javier , at latitude 35°36 ’ 12.20 ° S and 71°48 ’ 14.15 ° W, and 115m above sea level.
Vineyards: Our Las Casas estate has its organic certification, by the Swiss Company IMO, our first organic Harvest was on January 2009. We have 101 hectares, of which 50 are planted with Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Carmenere grapes. The grapevines are between 10 and 30 years of age. This estate is home to a drought resistant native esclerofil forest, which grows in the glens and by the streams around the Coastal Mountains.
Soil: The soil type is Melozal series, of granitic origin (rock which has eroded over the millennia), the surface layer is sandy clay loam and below, dark coffee coloured sandy loam, with a moderate depth of 90cm.
Climate: This region has a Mediterranean Climate with a dry season lasting 4 to 5 months; winters are very cool and wet with an average annual rainfall of 720mm (28,3 in).
During the ripening period from January to February, the minimum temperature is approximately 12°C (54°F), with maximums reaching 33°C (91°F). These temperature differences between daytime and nighttime provide excellent conditions for the development of aromas and color, especially in the red varieties.
Here are my tasting notes :
An elegant red, very classic.
The nose is very fresh and clean. Biggest notes are strawberry, violets and fig. Secondary notes of vanilla and those oily peppadews. (That’s where carmenère kicks in)
Delicious, round, elegant, soft tannins and good acidity. Alcohol is really well covered (13,5%).
Almost no mid-palate which bothers me a bit.
Licorice, coffee & chocolate, and something green/bitter. I really like the finish.
This wine is a superb value for €8 ! But I cannot give it a gold medal because of the lack of mid-palate. Otherwise I wouldn’t doubt a second.
WINE OF THE WEEK #009
The 3rd bordeaux-grape tasting :
SANTA JULIA, Malbec, 2009 Reserva
I got this wine for €9,00 @migs world wines in Brussels.
Made from 100% hand-picked, organically grown Malbec grapes from the Maipu valley in Mendoza, Argentina.
Here are my tasting notes:
A very deep, almost black color. If Coca cola would have a purple shine to it…
The nose is very round and full. Vibrance of strawberries, depth of figs and syrup along with some licorice & coffee. My girlfriend found that it had some violets, but for me it was to thick for that. And oh yeah, oak & vanilla are part of the nose as well. I guess this is a very attractive nose … if you like a big vanilla red.
Hm, the wine feels watery and has a fluffy structure. Sweet and soft tannins, a bit of raspberry freshness, but the mid-palate consist for 80% out of a watery sweet juice.
Butter cake, red fruit and vanilla dessert. I feel a bit disappointed that the coffee, licorice notes didn’t came through on the palate.
I feel in doubt with this one. On the nose, I feel like everything is right there, on the palate is just didn’t make me sing - I don’t know if it’s me or the wine. But I guess I’ll give it a silver medal.