Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Beppi's Picks October 9 2014 - 6 Tasted of 6

A long time reader of Beppi Crosariol's column in the Globe and Mail I still go back to his picks for the occasional tasting. His October 9th column had an Italian focus exposing some of Italy's lesser known grapes: negromaro, cortese, grillo, freisa and nero de Troia. Grapes that produce some of the most dense reds with great depth and crisp clean whites, sometimes raw but always interesting and steeped in history. More articles published at Beppi Crosariol.

I've entered Beppi's (BC) rating in the LINEUP below. Two whites and four reds should give an idea of tasting points of view. 

THE LINEUP: (Reds, Whites, Bubblies)

  • Schola Sarmenti Roccamora Nardo' Negromaro 2006, 92-2  --  V, Puglia, Italy, #379768  $17.95 (BC90)   
  • Fontanafredda Raimonda Barbera d'Alba 2012, 87a-1  --  V, Piedmont, Italy, #023135  $16.95 (BC89) 
  • Torrevento Vigna Pedale Castel Del Monte Riserva 2009, 84ac --  V,  Puglia, Italy,  #208256  $22.95  (BC90) 
  • Borgogno Langhe Freisa 2012,  81(NR)  --  V, Piedmont, Italy, #388660 $21.95  (BC88)

  • Fazio Aegades Grillo 2012, 89-1  --  V, Erice, Italy, #388637  $17.95   (BC90)
  • La Chiara Gavi di Gavi 2013, 88-1  --  V, Piedmont, Italy, #383612  $15.95  (BC88)

         (V - Vintages, G - General, O - Other, r-v  - Rating-Value, a - aerated, c - cellar, NR - Not Recommended)


FONTANAFREDDA RAIMONDA BARBERA D'ALBA 2012, Piedmont, Italy, 13.5%  XD  6g/L, #023135  $16.95  (Tasted October 24, 2014)

Released by Vintages on October 11, 2014.  My notes:  A pronounced dusty red cherry with a liquorice taint and a film that falls in tatters. The colour is purple hued ruby and the first sip cleans the palate leaving a metallic grip - less austere when aerated. The finish stays a long while having fine tannins and a thin flavour remnant.  Nicely balanced and full in the mouth this would make a sipper with a complement of sausage pieces or hard cheeses. Pair with anything savoury - the extra dry finish isn't that alluring if left without food too long. Cellar several years for a smoother touch. 87a
TORREVENTO VIGNA PEDALE CASTEL DEL MONTE RISERVA 2009,  Puglia, Italy,  13.0%  D  11g/L,  #208256  22.95  (Tasted October 29, 2014)

Released by Vintages on October 11, 2014. Gambero gave this red 3 glasses of 3 in his 2013 Edition of Gambero Rosso and Beppi Crosariol gave it a 90.  My notes: Two aspects of this red convinced me to aerate before sipping: it's from Puglia and it's a red. The fragrance is on the floral side of liquorice with a touch of jalapeno. The first sip has a bright acid tang, is smooth, full-bodied with a subdued burnt cork long on the palate and a process driven ending. A charcuterie of Italian cheeses and cold meats would pair nicely or an Irish Stout Stew, a chili bean soup or bbq'd beef ribs. Keep for several more years then serve at room temp in wide bowl glasses - could rate a couple of points higher.  84ac
FAZIO AEGADES GRILLO 2012, Erice, Italy, 13.0% XD 5g/L, #388637  $17.95  (Tasted November 6, 2014)

Released by Vintages on October 11, 2014. Gambero gave this red 2 glasses of 3 in his 2013 Edition of Gambero Rosso and Beppi Crosariol gave it 90. A Sicilian white.  My notes:  Bottle weight is 1.38 lbs. A pale yellow, crisp with a sprinkling of fine bubbles to brighten the glass. A thin film layers the sides forming a jagged rim as a mobile decoration. The nose combines fermenting hay and tart apple without much distinct fruit and with a sharpness that teases the nostrils and cleanses the teeth. A surprising depth to the first sip with flavours bringing some intensity for a long extra dry finish. Held its own with grilled cod on basmati rice and Cuban sauce. There's a smack of acid that demands attention when solo sipping. A drink now and an acquired taste. 89

SCHOLA SARMENTI ROCCAMORA NARDO' NEGROAMARO 2006, Puglia, Italy, 13.5%  XD 13g/L, #379768  17.95  (Tasted November 3, 2014)

Released by Vintages on October 11, 2014. Antonio Galloni  (August 2010) and Beppi Crosariol rated this 90.  My notes: There's a regal glow in the ruby and a swirl brings a light film although sticking then releasing thin tears and leaving a shallow lace. A nose that doesn't get in the way. Very smooth, tart cherry and blackberry, layering the palate and taking time to go into a long bright extra dry finish. So far not aerated. Can't pin down a difference on aerating. An entertaining sipper having an energetic fruit that persists to the end. Pair with anything savoury and beefy. Cellaring several years may soften nippy edge. 92
BORGOGNO LANGHE FREISA 2012, Piedmont, Italy,  13.5%  XD  6g/L, #388660 $21.95  (Tasted November 7, 2014)

Released by Vintages on October 11, 2014. Beppi Crosariol gave it an 88.  My notes: Made from the Freisa grape.  Bottle weight is 1.5lbs. Tastings were aerated as well as not aerated to compare. Both have a black cherry colouring on pouring with a subtle black cherry aroma. Both have an even blend of sour cherry juice tainted with a brambly forest flatness. A slight tang differentiates un-aerated from aerated although both quickly finish long, dry with flat tannins. Not a pleasing sipper needing meaty entrees to mask fading flavours. Did not pair well with lamb souvlaki on pita although souvlaki didn't contribute much. Lacks depth and varietal character as a drink now or cellaring - discard or use in sauce. Not recommended. 81

LA CHIARA GAVI DI GAVI 2013, Piedmont, Italy, 12.5%  XD  5g/L, #383612  $15.95  (Tasted November 5, 2014)

Released by Vintages on October 11, 2014. Beppi Crosariol gave it an 88.  Made from the Cortese grape.  My notes:  A pale yellow, crisp and clear with an indistinct blend of woody apple, citrus and clover honey as nose. The first sip is bipolar, ie. a dry mineral attempting to parch the palate and an apple/citrus zest flavour. Paired beautifully with rainbow trout filet grilled in butter and a baby spinach, blueberry and pineapple salad - also seared shrimp and mushroom risotto. A thin film that recedes quickly showing a frilly edge. An interesting alternative to Chardonnay. A drink now. 88

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