2001 Ferrando Nebbiolo di Carema White Label We drank this with pizza and salad. Translucent dark garnet color. Very mineral nose, powdered graphite, light cocoa dust, some rose petals. Firm acids and lots of tannins. Black cherry fruit under the big structure. Lovely stuff, 13.5% abv. A Burgundian nebbiolo. I loved the 1999 white label and this seems every bit as good. I have been on a little Nebbiolo run lately (as the fall fog rolls into the Pacific NW) and it has been very interesting comparing this wine from the more mountainous northern reaches of Piedmont, to the wines from Barolo. Even at a young age the differences in terroir shine through. Definite buy again.
2004 Vietti Barbera d'Alba Tre Vigne Initial nose was a little volatile, then some ripe plummy fruit with a fair amount of vanilla and a little caramel toast. Rich black fruit, plum and blackberry that is ripe but not roasted, with some tartness. A good combination of full ripeness and the higher acidity typical of Barbera. There is a subtle earthy flavor underneath the ripe fruit that probably will become more prominent with aging. 14% abv. The wine is polished and easy to drink, maybe a little modern but very well made. The wine was a great match with farfalle pasta topped with a sauce made with eggplant, fresh plum tomatoes, basil, garlic, and ricotta cheese (from Marcella Hazan). Buy again, maybe, depends on what else was available.
2004 Marziano Abbona Barbera d'Alba Rinaldi Abbona Dogliani This started out a little volatile and spirity too. This mostly blew off to show ripe blackberry fruit, but a little volatility remained. The wine had a somewhat rough mouth feel, from high acidity and some wood tannin. It would have benefited from serving at cellar temp rather than room temp. It should also improve with a year or two in the cellar, as there is plenty of material and structure. No noticeable vanilla or other new oak flavors. Pretty good overall, I'd like to try it again in a year. 14% abv.