WTN: Azienda Agricola Vignalta "Gemola" Colli Euganei 2001

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WTN: Azienda Agricola Vignalta "Gemola" Colli Euganei 2001

Postby John Tomasso » Sun Oct 22, 2006 10:36 am

This is a 75% Merlot, 25% Cab Franc from the Veneto. I wasn't sure what to expect when this bottle was brought to my table last evening, while dining at Grappolo. I often defer my wine selection to Daniele, one of the owners, just to see what surprises he has up his sleeve. He brought this wine out, and decanted it for us. The wine's appearance was a beautiful garnet in the decanter.

Truthfully, I was anticipating an oaky monster, not being familiar with this bottling. Upon nosing the glass, I found something far more restrained, and was immediately reminded of Bordeaux, with tell tale aroma of tobacco leaf. The Cab Franc really adds character to this wine, and I liked it quite a bit. It was substantial on the palate, but not syrup like or jammy, but instead quite balanced. I believe the wine would benefit from some more cellar time, as it showed a fair amount of tannin.
The wine had a long finish, with just a touch of heat on the back end, but it didn't seem too alcohol laden to me. We both remarked that we didn't feel too much of a buzz from it, the way we often do after drinking a bottle of one of the "Super Tuscans" that Daniele sometimes pours for us.

This was a nice wine, and one I'd like to try again.
Our entree, with which we consumed the bulk of the bottle, was a strip steak, cooked rare, and sliced thinly. It was a wonderful match.
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Re: WTN: Azienda Agricola Vignalta "Gemola" Colli Euganei 2001

Postby Jenise » Sun Oct 22, 2006 6:43 pm

John, thanks. I'm going to put this on my shopping list for a January tasting I'm going to where the theme is Piedmont and Veneto. This wine would be perfect (though I find nothing harder to accidentally run into than an Italian wine I'm looking for).
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: WTN: Azienda Agricola Vignalta "Gemola" Colli Euganei 2001

Postby Hoke » Sun Oct 22, 2006 8:03 pm

John:

In the Fall of 2003 (thankfully after the torrid hot spell had broken), four of us rented an agriturismo in the Colli Euganei. We were on the grounds of a very old---but still operating---winery. As a matter of fact, the crush pad was directly across the driveway from our old stone house.

I was delighted to discover that the Colli Euganei has some interesting wines. Though we see few of them here in the States.

It's a strange and interesting place the Euganei, a string of rounded stone hills thrusting out of the flat plains of the Po, west and south of Padova. The Colli is studded with a string of hot baths (the Terme), famed since ancient times; the poet Petrarch had his villa there.

The Euganei is a little niche in the vinous landscape, with the usual muddle of white varieties, but some surprisingly good vineyards of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, with a little Cabernet to add complexity. I was quite pleased with the character of the reds; they were much as you described them: the tobacco leaft, definitely, and usually restrained use of oak. There was the influence of the globalized style, to be sure, but it hadn't yet trumped the lean, herbal and anti-gloppy, and therefore good with food, local style. We drank well in the Colli Euganei. And ate well, too, but that goes without saying in Italy.

The next time you have the Vignalta, try a goo sized hunk of well-aged Grana Padano to go with it. The DOC for the Grana is right there also, so chances are the cheese and the wine will be from the same small area.
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Re: WTN: Azienda Agricola Vignalta "Gemola" Colli Euganei 2001

Postby Jenise » Thu Oct 26, 2006 8:32 pm

John,

Of all things, found this wine in Canada today. I was almost more excited about finding Bertani Soave there, too. Anyway, bought both. Thanks again for recommending this wine.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: WTN: Azienda Agricola Vignalta "Gemola" Colli Euganei 2001

Postby Hoke » Thu Oct 26, 2006 9:04 pm

Jenise wrote:John,

Of all things, found this wine in Canada today. I was almost more excited about finding Bertani Soave there, too. Anyway, bought both. Thanks again for recommending this wine.


What? Bertani is available in Washington state, Jenise. Don't know if it's hard to find, but it is in the state. I've bought it there.

Question: I know the Canadian government makes it punitive to bring US wine across the border. Is it equally costly to take wine purchased in Canada into the US? I ask because in most US Customs POE, the Customs guys usually don't really give a damn.
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Re: WTN: Azienda Agricola Vignalta "Gemola" Colli Euganei 2001

Postby Jenise » Thu Oct 26, 2006 9:27 pm

Hoke, I'm sure the Bertani's in Seattle, but I've never seen it up here, just the Pieropan. Whereas the Bertani was available just ten miles from home, which happens to be Canada. Price seemed about right--$16, whereas the Pieropan's $14 here.

You're right about the punitive nature of wine going into Canada. Coming home, not so much, though one often gets the hard-ass who type who acts like it's a crime even though I always honestly report what I have and cheerfully volunteer to pay the duty--it's like 22 cents a bottle. I've never been charged here close to home, only over on the Eastern side of the state. But today they weren't even slightly interested even though I also mentioned that I had sausages on board--a sure wire tripper--which, I'm just thinking, may have had something to do with the ten or so agents who poured out of the building to surround the car next to me with guns drawn just about then.
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