Tag Archives: Barolo

Experiencing Unusual Wines

Fallegro 2012

Fallegro 2012

Gianni Gagliardo, Fallegro, 2013 

From the western hills of Barolo in the La Morra region of Italy comes this unusual vino blanco at 12% alcohol.  You will probably find it hard to get this wine, but every now and then we need to highlight an interesting wine, encouraging each of us to explore and widen our experiences.  The soils are calcareous marls — more like the soils of Barbaresco — producing less intensity than the soils responsible for those big Barolos.  Since this is a white wine and a very unusual one from the Barolo area, it spiked my interest.  What might it say to us?

With emotions on alert (they always should be), I opened the wine to find a wine of perfect balance.  It’s hard to say one balanced wine is more balanced than another.  Balanced is balanced.  But some balance is more complete or rewarding than others.  A balanced wine should be a pleasant mix of acid, tannin (if present), fruit, sugar (or lack of it), and alcohol.  We could also ask, “Are the fruit flavors balanced?”  Have they marinated into a pleasant whole?  What does the balance create — an unusually smooth and softly textured liquid?  That is the message of this wine.

Lemon and apple flavors combine with very delicate floral notes and just a suggestion of honey that leaves the mouth feeling it has been coated with unctuous wine using a velvet brush.  The wine is light bodied, dry, not overly acidic, and sports a lemony brightness.

It is another great aperitif wine and one you will remember.  Do experiment with at least one new wine a month and soon you will  have built up a memory of wines that increase your pleasure and experience.

Rating:  89+

Emotional rating:  A contrast of softness and lemony brightness, and a memory as rich as the region is in its renewed vineyards.

Availability: try winesearcher.com.

Barolo — One of the World’s Greatest Wines

Barolo Rocche Dell’ Annunziata, 2010

Barolo Rocche Dell’ Annunziata, 2010

Barolo Rocche Dell’ Annunziata, 2010

Since the 1990’s, the vineyard area of Barolo has increased by at least 40%.  The hilly nature of the area means that in some places Nebbiolo ripens better than others.  Hence the vineyard location is critical to finding a good Barolo.

What is a good Barolo?  Aside from all the quality factors we would look for in other wines, two things stand out — its aromas and its tannins.  Just like you find in this wine, the smell of roses and violets should float on the aroma and greet you as you raise the glass to your nose.  These floral notes are a hallmark.  Also, licorice is a common scent and the smell of truffles, with which the wine goes so well, are mingled with reminders of tar, which is not at all objectionable, believe it or not.

You should not miss the tannic grip of Barolo.  In this case, the tannins are strong but fine and their power makes the wine an excellent food wine.  Tannins are smoothed by fats such as you find in milk products, cheese, and  in rich pasta sauces which  is, therefore, my suggestion for this wine.

Perhaps you have noticed an orange tint around the meniscus. This is also expected in Barolo.  This wine is young and needs an hour or so of breathing after it is decanted.  If you want it to change quickly, pass it through a Vinturi wine aerator, which oxygenates the wine and softens it amazingly.  The aromas will become more floral and the tannins will calm down some.  This way you can drink it younger with great pleasure.  The Rocche dell’ Annunciate is well-knit and assertive at first with added notes of cedar, cherry, and strawberry jam.  It offers you a mild creaminess and after it is passed through the Vinturi, the caramel notes of cognac.  Expectedly, the wine takes time to show itself and when it does, it unfolds beautifully.

Rating:  91

Emotional rating:  At first, not great, but after aerating, it can rise to new heights.

Availability:  Try wine.com.

You’ll find many great Colorado wines described in my books, “Experiencing Colorado Wine, Volume 1 – The Dry Red Wines ” and “Experiencing Colorado Wine, Volume 2 – The Whites and Rosés.”  Volume 1 also provides descriptions of the pairing of several Colorado wines with a great recipes by great Colorado chefs.

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Food and Wine: A Natural Affinity — Truffles and Nebbiolo

Barolo Grill BarRecently I was privileged to eat at the annual Barolo Grill “Truffle Dinner,” thanks to a generous friend.   All the courses were lifted to culinary heaven by the addition of shaved truffles or truffle glazes and were paired with Gianni Gagliardo wines from Piedmont in Italy.  The Barolos (100% Nebbiolo with their amazing delicate floral aromas reminiscent of violets and roses plus more earthy aromas of truffles and licorice) were a match second to none.  Barolo is sometimes called the “King of Wine” and truffles, “the diamonds of the kitchen” — worthy descriptions.

Italian white truffles are very highly esteemed and their strong earthiness is often described as syrupy sweet, although I would hail their savory characteristics.  Truffles are found the world over and the first black truffles from the southern hemisphere were discovered in Gisborne, New Zealand in 1993.  If you ever have a chance to indulge in truffles from any region, pair them with a noble Barolo and you will be delighted and taste ecstasy.

The Barolos, “Serre” and “Preve,” were outstanding and rated in the 90’s.  Aged in wood for 30 months, they revealed all that you might expect from this noble grape.  Check out the number of Barolos on the wine list at Barolo Grill.

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EXPERIENCING COLORADO WINE, Volume 2: The Whites and Rosés!

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FACEBOOK    TWITTER

You’ll find many great Colorado wines described in my books, “Experiencing Colorado Wine, Volume 1 – The Dry Red Wines ” and “Experiencing Colorado Wine, Volume 2 – The Whites and Rosés.”  Volume 1 also provides descriptions of the pairing of several Colorado wines with a great recipes by great Colorado chefs.

GET YOUR COPIES  at SQUARE MARKET!

These books entertain, educate, and entice readers to experience Colorado wine!

Experiencing Colorado Red Print Ready

ECW Vol 2 Cover