Wine of the Day October 3, 2014

2008NadaCasot2008 Giuseppe Nada, Barbaresco Riserva “Casot” DOCG, Piedmonte, Italy.
This absolutely gorgeous, head turning Nebbiolo from Enrico Nada is succulent, detailed, silky and wonderfully sexy, one of the best Barbarescos from the vintage I have tasted to date and drinking fabulous already, this Nada 2008 Barbaresco Casot Riserva is the real deal. Nada’s Barbaresco plots are very near the famed Gaja Crus and while not as intense as those fabled “Sori” sites, this wine shows the terroir and quality with a true feline nature and delicacy that can only be delivered by a top Barbaresco. (Barolo is known as the King of Wines, while Barbaresco is the Queen, and Barbrasco is a much small area than Barolo, making the Queen wines that much more rare) As a huge fan of Nebbiolo, and of Asti, I adore Barbaresco, with La Spinetta, Giacosa and Gaja being wines that made a monumental impact on me, and this Nada has that same kind of glorious emotional affect, this is sublime wine with class, grace and stylish flare. The 2008 Nada Casot starts with light herbs, dried violets, rose water and basaltic dipped strawberries leading to a mineral laced palate with damson plum, kirsch, raspberry, minty/basil, black licorice, lavender tea, creamy cherry and fine woody cedar detail. The tannins hold firm, but are very supple in the mouth, there is a saline and dusty stones note along with the slightest hint of truffle, game and savory spice, making for positive background elements. Everything lifts and highlights the pretty core being of this fine Barbaresco and the lingering fruit, perfume and texture lay bare it’s magic. This is a medium weighted, none too dark, transparent Nebbiolo that will surely capture your attention if not your heart, it should age gracefully for another decade, even though it is quite alluring at present, best from 2016 to 2019. The Nada wines are well crafted and all worth a look at, the normal 2009 Barbaresco is a top value, the Barbera too, but this Casot Riserva is especially fantastic and fetching, tasted twice with very much the same thoughts.
($50 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

Wine of the Day October 2, 2014

2010BonipertiCarlin2010 Boniperti Vignaioli, CArLin, Colline Novaresi Nebbiolo DOC, Piedmonte, Italy.
This is superb Nebbiolo from Piedmonte’s northern reaches, I am so happy I was recommended this wine, it was a stunning choice, and I’m grateful for Stevie at Bay Grape in Oakland for intriguing me into this lovely ruby hued wine. This is a great value, I would say one of the finest under $25 examples of Nebbiolo I’ve had in recent memory and honestly this wine doesn’t get shadowed by Barolo or Barbaresco offerings at three times the price, this area of Piedmonte is on fire these days and the wines of the Novaresi area are really showing some class and are very compelling, especially this gorgeous Nebbiolo from Boniperti, imported by Oliver McCrum, a long time finder of Italian treasures off the beaten path. The 2010 vintage Boniperti Vignaioli CArLiN Nebbiolo starts with a rich nose of wild strawberry, roses and earthy spices and mineral leading to a pretty full palate of plum, strawberry, raspberry, cherry and mulberry fruits along with dried flowers, a hint of game, black tea like tannins, basaltic notes and tar plus a solid core of black licorice. As the wine opens and with food, multi layers emerge and silky refinement edges out the youthful fruit and a true Nebbiolo comes to live with lifting acidity, dusty red fruits, mineral/stony essences and a tangy minty note, along with lavender and cedar spice all bring a joyous union of secondary flavors. This wine is like drinking a Burgundy in many ways, it keeps your attention completely, you can’t wait for more, and it seduces with mysterious unfolding nuances with each sip. This Novaresi Nebbiolo is highly enjoyable, beautifully detailed and a wonderfully crafted wine, drink from 2014 to 2022.
($22 Est.) 93+ Points, grapelive

Wine of the Day October 1, 2014

2013FrisachVernatxa2013 Celler Frisach, Vernatxa, Garnacha Blanca, Terra Alta DO, Spain.
This is a totally new find for me, an all organic producer from the tiny Corbera d’ Ebre near in Terra Alta, in the very southwest of Spain’s Catalunya region. Imported by Andrew Yandell of Trumpet Wines in San Francisco (a new and young importer of organic selections from Spain), Celler Frisach is a young winery, with 26 year old Francesc Ferre making these natural/organic wines from his little cellar, where his family has been growing grapes on ancient sand dunes for more than 200 years. This area sits at high elevation, it’s saving grace to add acidity from cool breezes and chilly nights, even though it is one of the western most areas of Catalunya it is not far from the Mediterranean and is influenced by the coastal in flow. This is a great site for Grenache Blanc, and Francesc has a gifted touch, all of his wines are lovely, but especially standing out was this Vernatxa bottling of Grenache Blanc from 24 years old bush vines grown on the petrified sand dunes on this mistral swept area. This 2013 tastes like a Chateauneuf du Pape white with deep flavors, richness, but with nice lively force from the balanced acidity, it shows loads of stone fruit, hints of tropical essence, white flowers, citrus and spice with apricot, honeycomb, chalky/stones, lemon/lime, white peach and a touch of oily/clarified butter. This is a classy effort, and while not much has so far reached the US market, Frisach is a winery that I hope makes it here, these are very attractive wines that offer plenty of character, charm and I was very impressed by the superb quality and compelling nature of this hand crafted of this beautiful young and vibrant wine.
($26 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive