Thursday, October 18, 2018

Vietti Tre Vigne Barbera d'Asti, 2015

A glass of this Barbera d'Asti from Vietti cost me only $8 at Tratorria Funistrada in Burdickville, MI. And it was particularly large fill--close to a third of a bottle. I got my money's worth plus plus.

Deep dark ruby. Has all the traits of Barbera from Piedmont--cherries, berries, spice, licorice and flowers. More finesse and less rusticity than the Barbera d'Alba wines I am used to drinking. Open for business now but should age well. Lots of depth. Ripe, moderate tannins, moderate acidity.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Cascina Pace Langhe Nebbiolo, 2016

My tendency is to give Langhe Nebbiolo a few years in the bottle. But this wine is so approachable that I was surprised to learn that it is from the 2016 vintage. Even though it will probably get more complex with aging, it is drinking beautifully right now.

Beautiful deep ruby red. Fresh scents of red fruits, flowers and spice. Nebbiolo at its best. Very full on the palate, but tannins are ripe, framing but not obscuring Nebbiolo fruit. The finish gets better with every sip.

I had this as a wine-by-the-glass at Trattoria Stella in Traverse City.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Domaine Bois de Boursan Chateauneuf du Pape, 1995

1998 Bois de Boursan Chateauneuf du PapeChateauneuf du Pape on a Tuesday night? With smells of roast pork on a bed of onions and garlic wafting from the oven, why not? Bois de Boursan is one of my favorite Chateauneufs but it's easy to overlook it on the shelves. It's not a wine that shouts at you, but it has much to offer.

The color has taken on some amber tones, but smells and flavors are as fresh as wild strawberries growing alongside a path in the woods. Grenache red berry along with Provencal herbs, flowers and a touch of mint. For a 23-year-old wine it's not lacking in fresh fruit. On the back end, black licorice emerges, a hallmark of Bois de Boursan, at least in some vintages. Lush red berries on a bed of licorice. Long finish.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Pontificis Vin de Pays d'Oc, 2015

Cotes du Rhone was my go-to wine for many years, but today I have a hard time finding one that I can drink. Wine consultant Phillippe Cambie has emerged as a central figure in this area, coaching traditional winemakers to join the international crowd with the use of new oak barriques for Syrah and, in some cases, Mourvedre. Some--maybe the majority of wine drinkers--welcome the change. I do not. Pontificis is not a Cotes du Rhone; the grapes are well selected from Languedoc vineyards. But it tastes like the Cotes du Rhone wines I love. And it's only $6 to $8 from Trader Joe's.

Nice crimson tones, medium deep. Beautiful scents of red and black fruits, Provencal herbs, spice and black pepper. Perfect. Slides smoothly across the tongue but lots of depth and concentration for a wine of this price range. 48% Grenache, 32% Syrah, 20% Mourvedre. I have been buying and drinking this wine often. And plan to continue.