Diane was away helping a sick friend, so I made fresh mushroom soup and some cheese toasts using a sheep’s milk cheese for a late snack when she got in. We drank the below barbera with the soup; the rest of the notes are from another time.
2004 Giacosa, Barbera d’Alba:
Aromatic complexity I did not expect with an earthy, woodsy smell surrounding black fruit notes with a bright red fruit tone right in the middle, expressive and arresting; much the same on the palate with a satin texture, medium body, and a multi-layered series of flavors that keep me coming back; long, earthy finish. One of those ‘greater than the sun of its parts’ wines that belies its modest price. Imported by Locascio and about $16; I’ll buy more tomorrow.
(I buy no barbera as I had never found one I wanted to drink again. But this is a pretty dramatic exception to my rule. Leave it to Giacosa to make me a believer.)
After two days recorked but left out on the counter, the 2005 Chanrion, Côte-de-Brouilly seems unaffected by air; its more open and fruit driven, just as well-structured and beautifully fleshy and aromatic. A masterpiece, IMO; imported by Kermit Lynch, $14 and I will buy more.
2004 Dom. d’Aupilhac, Les Cocalières:
A single vineyard from this producer at about 350 meters altitude and a GSM blend at 13% abv; fancy bottle (Bryant Family style); I can not help but compare this to the Montpeyroux – this is much more polished and suave, smoother and more concentrated on the palate and a bit longer, I think. There is rusticity to the Montpeyroux that is not in evidence here. Both are very well-made wines that smell and taste great but my impression is the Montpeyroux is more about drinking and this one more about tasting. Both have their place. Imported by Kermit Lynch and about $25; I’ll buy more mainly because my wife loves it.