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Not April Fool: Wine Focus, the rest of Piemonte

by Robin Garr » Wed Apr 01, 2020 7:55 am

Say Piemonte, and most wine geeks will think at once of Nebbiolo, the classic black grape that makes the great, ageworthy, and usually pricey Northwestern Italian wines Barolo and Barbaresco. But once we get past these trophy wines, there's a lot more to Piemonte, and much of it is relatively affordable. So get ready, it's April, and we're going to pull corks on Barbera, Dolcetto, Ruche, Arneis, Freisa, and more this month. What are they like and what foods do they pair with? Bring your notes, bring your questions!
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Re: Not April Fool: Wine Focus, the rest of Piemonte

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Apr 01, 2020 9:55 am

Always wanted to do a side by side Barbera - Dolcetto tasting. so where to start.

Well, this might be of interest so read on.

https://openingabottle.com/piedmont-win ... ng-report/
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Re: Not April Fool: Wine Focus, the rest of Piemonte

by Jenise » Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:42 pm

I'll play, but it's going to be real loosy-goosy. Wait and see!
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Re: Not April Fool: Wine Focus, the rest of Piemonte

by Tim York » Wed Apr 01, 2020 2:55 pm

As often when "exotic" wines are the subject of a WF, I visit web sellers to look at availability. I note on the Italvinus site that several Langhe Riesling are listed. That awakes my curiosity. Does anyone know whether the Riesling in question is the inferior Riesling Italico or the real thing, Riesling Renano?

I am sorely tempted to put in an order because the Italvinus range is very wide but at the present time deliveries are very unreliable, particularly via the official postal service, La Poste, and its parcel subsidiaries, Colissimo and ChronoPost. DHL, UPS, etc. are better.
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Re: Not April Fool: Wine Focus, the rest of Piemonte

by Oliver McCrum » Wed Apr 01, 2020 6:38 pm

Hi Tim,

There are a number of true Rieslings grown in Piedmont. Vajra was maybe the first, Ettore Germano also makes one that I drink quite a bit of. I don't know of any Riesling Italico there.

(I deal with Germano.)
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Re: Not April Fool: Wine Focus, the rest of Piemonte

by Dale Williams » Wed Apr 01, 2020 10:18 pm

can't say I loved the Vajra Riesling, at least considering QPR, but will look to try the Germano, as I tend to like Oliver's recs.

But will go for weird/fringe post of the month, have a 1962 Grignolino to try.
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Re: Not April Fool: Wine Focus, the rest of Piemonte

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:30 am

1962 Grignolino should be fun.
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Re: Not April Fool: Wine Focus, the rest of Piemonte

by Dale Williams » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:50 am

well, it should be dead, but you never know till you open
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Re: Not April Fool: Wine Focus, the rest of Piemonte

by Robin Garr » Thu Apr 02, 2020 11:08 am

Dale Williams wrote:well, it should be dead, but you never know till you open

Thinking out loud, it's almost Easter ... :twisted:
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Re: Not April Fool: Wine Focus, the rest of Piemonte

by Oliver McCrum » Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:08 pm

I can't wait to hear about the Grignolino, Dale.

I have a Vespolina to open, I think, but it's not almost 60 years old.
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Re: Not April Fool: Wine Focus, the rest of Piemonte

by Tim York » Fri Apr 03, 2020 6:09 am

Spaghetti Bolognese was on the menu last night and this Barbera was the perfect accompaniment. I have nothing to add to the TN which I wrote after my first bottle, except that the store did indeed have more bottles and there were still a few just over two weeks ago at my last visit before the lockdown. French consumers tend to be wary of foreign wines; I guess that, if this had a French name, it would fly off the shelves quickly :shock: .

2017 Fontanafredda Barbera d'Alba - Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Barbera d'Alba (10/10/2019)
I have been unconvinced by most of the ambitious Barbera I have had because I haven't found it exalted by steroids, luxurious oaking and high prices. However this food friendly and "fun" bottle fitted the grape like a glove IMO. It was medium/full bodied and quite dense with fresh red fruit sprinkled with a little orange, earth and spice, lively acidity and sufficiently firm finish without over extraction. I hope the store has more bottles. Good+.
Posted from CellarTracker
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Re: Not April Fool: Wine Focus, the rest of Piemonte

by Patchen Markell » Fri Apr 03, 2020 5:54 pm

This is exciting, since I have a case of Crivelli Ruché and a bunch of Paitin Barbera on the way....
cheers, Patchen
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Re: Not April Fool: Wine Focus, the rest of Piemonte

by Peter May » Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:31 am

Oh shucks, I read the subject some time ago and it didn't sink in that it was varieties other than Nebbiolo. I opened my only Piedmont wine last night and came here to post on it....... but it was a Langhe Nebbiolo..
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Re: Not April Fool: Wine Focus, the rest of Piemonte

by David M. Bueker » Thu Apr 09, 2020 11:01 am

Peter May wrote:Oh shucks, I read the subject some time ago and it didn't sink in that it was varieties other than Nebbiolo. I opened my only Piedmont wine last night and came here to post on it....... but it was a Langhe Nebbiolo..


No problem Peter. Go for it.
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Re: Not April Fool: Wine Focus, the rest of Piemonte

by Peter May » Thu Apr 09, 2020 11:57 am

OK!!

2017 Rizzi Langhe Nebbiolo (Italy, Piedmont, Langhe DOC)

I opened this 30 mins before last nights dinner to air it and to ensure it wasn't corked. On that exploratory taste I wasn't impressed as it was not offering much.

Very pale translucent red, not much nose.
15 minutes into dinner, 45 minutes after opening, it also had opened up. Now offering strawberry notes and a rounded sweetness.
The pale colour tricks one into thinking it a light wine, but the label says it's 14.5% abv. Enjoyable, if not profound.

Would buy again, but 7 weeks since I bought it in an introductory promotion by The Wine Society it has sold out.


https://www.cantinarizzi.com/langhe-neb ... o-piedmont
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Re: Not April Fool: Wine Focus, the rest of Piemonte

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Apr 11, 2020 9:27 pm

Thanks Peter, have one here that could echo your bottle!

TN: 2015 Serradenari Langhe Nebbiolo.

Recognised early drinking Barolo producer but never seen here in Alberta. One of the worst corks I have ever come across, so dry, small and very hard to extract. Cellared 2 yrs on store rec, 13.5% alc, L IN1517.

Very light ruby color, red berries and spice on the nose, figure young vines? Initially light to medium bodied, pepper, tobacco, berries. Soft tannins and 'earthy' from across the table. clear bright fruit but lacks intensity. Left overnight, more complex finish with some dark fruits. Really not sure what the winemaker intended?
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Re: Not April Fool: Wine Focus, the rest of Piemonte

by Robin Garr » Sun Apr 12, 2020 7:59 am

Indigenous Selections 2014 Piemonte Barbera ($17.99)

This 100% Barbera is a dark reddish-purple color, shading to a clear edge. Appealing red fruit aromas lift from the glass, offering mixed-berry notes and a whiff of something like strawberry liqueur. It's flavor is full of ripe cherry-berry fruit, framed with fresh, mouth-watering acidity and soft but perceptible tannins. Although the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in oak and spends a year in French oak barrels, there's nothing manipulated or industrial about its flavor, which is pleasantly rustic and comes across as a versatile table wine that carries its 14% alcohol well. U.S. importer: Indigenous Selections LLC, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; selected by Giorgio Rivetti. (April 9, 2020)

FOOD MATCH: You can't go wrong with rare red meat alongside this fruity, acidic red. It should be fine with darker poultry – duck, goose, or turkey dark meat – and cheese dishes, too, not to mention the stereotypical pairing with tomato-sauced pizza or pasta.

WHEN TO DRINK: This 2014 vintage is drinking beautifully now, and I'm sure it will remain good for a few more years, assuming cool-temperature storage lying on its side. The Diam technical cork provides reassurance against cork taint.

VALUE:
It was a particular value at my local $18 price, but it's well worth [url=https://www.wine-searcher.com/find/indigenous+select+barbera+monferrato+piemonte+italy/1/usa?referring_site=WLPWine-Searcher.com's $23 average U.S. retail[/url].

WEB LINK
[url=https://www.indigenousselections.com/This link[/url] offers an overview of Indigenous Selecctions. Then [url=https://www.indigenousselections.com/indigenous-selections-barbera-piemonteclick here[/url]for a brief fact sheet on the Piemonte Barbera.

FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Check prices and find vendors for [url=https://www.wine-searcher.com/find/indigenous+select+barbera+monferrato+piemonte+italy/1/usa?referring_site=WLPIndigenous Selections Piemonte Barbera[/url] on Wine-Searcher.com.

[url=https://www.wine-searcher.com/regions-barbera+del+monferrato?referring_site=WLPFollow this Wine-Searcher link[/url] to read more about Barbera del Monferrato and find listings for dozens more examples of these good red wines.
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Re: Not April Fool: Wine Focus, the rest of Piemonte

by David M. Bueker » Sun Apr 12, 2020 10:09 am

That sounds quite lovely!
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Re: Not April Fool: Wine Focus, the rest of Piemonte

by Robin Garr » Sun Apr 12, 2020 12:49 pm

It made us happy. A nice dinner for the time of plague.
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Re: Not April Fool: Wine Focus, the rest of Piemonte

by Dale Williams » Thu Apr 16, 2020 3:37 pm

OK so the 1962 Fontanafredda Grignolino was interesting. Clean short cork, came out easy (used Durand but wouldn't have needed to). Very pale at first, color deepened a bit. Pretty awful nose at first pour, but seemed to settle. First taste quite acrid. Was debating opening something else, decided to give it a try. By dinner time a different wine. Some fruit- very tart raspberry/cranberry, but more spice and citrus than real red fruit. Actually it reminded me of the "Russian tea" my mom made in the 70s (included I think Tang, cloves, and cinnamon). Got pretty perfumey and floral with time. I'm a known lover of older wines (what some consider dead) but Betsy actually liked this. No one would ever describe it as young, fresh, or fruit-driven, but it had character. I'm mostly used to the more modern style of Grignolino, but I think the grape itself is quite tannic, and apparently the old ones (not made to emulate glou glou wines) can age. Fun to try (and wasn't expensive).
(edited to show correct decade for "Russian tea:")
Last edited by Dale Williams on Fri Apr 17, 2020 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Not April Fool: Wine Focus, the rest of Piemonte

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Apr 16, 2020 10:52 pm

I was eagerly awaiting your note. Good for you Dale, who would have thought eh.
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Re: Not April Fool: Wine Focus, the rest of Piemonte

by Peter May » Fri Apr 17, 2020 6:42 am

2016 Araldica Barbera d'Asti Albera (Italy, Piedmont, Asti, Barbera d'Asti)

Well, I had this Barbera and I didn't realise it came from Piedmont* until I crossed it off CellarTracker.

I had roasted tomatoes last night and thought an Italian wine would suit. It did.

Very food friendly wine, really slurpable, with red cherry flavours over spice and a bit of leather.

*After I entered the appellation I noticed the title of this thread referred to Piemonte (no 'd', extra 'e' at end. Italy is confusing; I've got the two Montepulciano sorted. Seems that Piedmont and Piemonte are the same, but different language source accounts for the different spelling.That doesn't explain to me why the labels of wines sold in USA use Piemonte while the US CellarTracker and US Wikipedia use Piedmont
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Re: Not April Fool: Wine Focus, the rest of Piemonte

by Jenise » Sun Apr 19, 2020 2:54 pm

So here's the real deal:

2017 Bruno Giacosa Roero Arneis
Best bottle so far--the relationship between fruit and acidity is perfection right now. Currently considering an offer on the '18, which if Italy is like the rest of Europe will be a riper vintage and less desirable to me. But maybe not--open for advice!

Then last week a neighbor gave me this sad imitation, made by his nephew:

2015 Tagaris Barbera Michael's Vineyard Wahluke Slope
First impression wasn't good: unruly, candied fruit dominated by the dill of American oak. So we set it aside, uncorked. Returning to it two days later, the dill had backed off and barbera's natural acidity was forefront. Fairly pleasant with a broccoli salad (thank you, broccoli!) though of course, nothing close to the real deal.
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Re: Not April Fool: Wine Focus, the rest of Piemonte

by Patchen Markell » Fri Apr 24, 2020 7:16 am

Crivelli 2018 Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato.

An old favorite that I wasn’t able to find for several vintages in Chicago. Deep garnet. Assertively floral bouquet, satisfyingly bright and firm in the mouth, this is, at first, just as good as I remember, zingy vibrancy plus exotic aromas. With time and air, the alcohol (listed at 14.5%) becomes perceptible and the wine begins to feel riper and weightier, although it never becomes flabby enough to lose interest. While this may not prove to be the vintage best suited to my tastes, I’m still happy to have more. ($25 by the case, which is at least a few dollars more than I recall paying for the 2011, unsurprisingly.)
cheers, Patchen
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