2015 Piero Benevelli, Langhe Freisa “Alla Mia Gioia” Piedmonte, Italy.
Freisa is a very interesting and rare grape, similar to Schiava and or Trousseau with wonderful delicacy and bright flavors and like Ruche was a varietal that almost was lost, which is now making a come back in Piedmonte with a few exceptional examples available, like G.D. Vajra and now this one from Massimo Benevelli. The Langhe Freisa is all stainless steel fermented and aged, it’s fresh and easy, but has terroir character, it was grown on sandy/limestone on 25 year old vines, and with a warm year that adds a bit more flair and substance. While not as monumental as the Vajra, the Benevelli Freisa is a great value offering and delivers great purity and is very delightful with excellent freshness, almost zingy, but ripe and fruity in detail showing classic strawberry, tart cherry and plum fruits along with subtle mineral, faint rose petal, anise and frambroise notes. Lovely light to medium body, silky textures help this ruby/red hued Freisa perform with joyous harmony and elegance, it is a seriously fun wine that will please the senses and it’s graceful nature make it a great choice with lighter fare, especially nice with cured meats and melon, cheeses and wild mushroom dishes, as well as poultry and pork. Best when served a bit cooler than more hearty reds Benevelli’s lovely Freisa, imported by Kermit Lynch, deserves praise for it’s quality and style, it highlights the vintage, the place and grape to near perfection, drink now and often. Benevelli makes a surperb set of wines, be sure to check out the Dolcetto and in particular their stellar and value priced Barolo Ravera di Monforte Cru, with the 2012 being a top choice.
($18 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

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