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.
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.