Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Nerello del Bastardo Vino di Tavola Rosso, 2000

 labelThis looks like a Barolo, smells like a Barolo and has the glorious flavors of mature Nebbiolo. It's not a Barolo, of course, but rather a simple table wine purchased for $5.99 many years ago at Trader Joe's. The back label refers to the wine as a "Super Piedmontese" made from grapes that didn't make the cut for Barolo or Barbaresco. The strict appellation rules require that "only a certain quantity after aging (minimum 4 years) to be classified Barolo or Barbaresco DOCG. (The excess) can only be sold as table wine." In this case, the winemaker added "just a touch of something secret." Hence, the term "Bastardo." Sensing the quality, I bought a case of Bastardo, and this is the last bottle.

Rusty, bricky color of traditionally aged Nebbiolo. Scents of cherries and flowers--bright and lively. On the palate, the wine sings. The crust of sediment reveals that the tannins have subsided, letting the deep, concentrated flavors shine through. More than just a table wine; wish I had more.

To my knowledge, Trader Joe's no longer carries this wine (although I have seen it at World Market). More recent vintages probably contain very little, if any, Nebbiolo but are decent wines for the price.

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