Visited some 2010 Ribolla Gialla from Ronchi di Cialla (located in Prepotto of the Friuli region) over a light lunch here in Brooklyn this week. One of the more mineral expressions of Ribolla Gialla I have tasted but balanced with its generous acidity very well. Not super expressive on the nose although containing just enough fruit to seal the deal. Ribolla Gialla is one of my favorite wines to have with fish, but this can go with a number of lighter dishes. When we visited Paolo Rapuzzi and the Ronchi di Cialla house hold with the COF2011 in February we tasted a vertical of some awesome Schioppettino, but this was the first run in with their Ribolla Gialla.
Bello fresco, e veramente buono!
above, a view of the vineyards that surround the house of the Rapuzzi family.
With the never calming argument of traditionalism vs modernism in the land of Barolo it is easy for one to make a prejudgment on the wines of the Conterno brothers. Giacomo Conterno making the classic traditional wines, while Aldo Conterno after traveling to California separated from his familys label to make his own wines in 1970 with a more modern approach. Last week I was sipping 2006 Nebbiolo from Cantina dei Produttori Nebbiolo di Carema. What an amazing value and a beautiful expression of traditional Nebbiolo. A few minutes later I was given a pour of 2003 A. Conterno Il Favot which at the time I thought was barriqued. The 2003 vintage however is the one exception as Aldo didn't produce any Barolo and declassified everything to the Il Favot label. While tasting it later he realized his mistake and its potential as becoming a beautiful Barolo and refused to put it in barriques as it normally would have traveled to. The 2003 didnt settle with me so well though and maybe it was the short maceration period that gave it an uneasy modern drinking style. Being very concentrated and rich, I dumped the glass and reached back for the Carema.
Two nights ago we were able to uncork an A. Conterno Barolo Granbussia 1971. I didnt have a great knowledge of Aldo Conterno wines and spent most of my energy in the past learning about Giacomo Conterno wines as I usually side with the traditionalists... so the hell with the modernists right? But Granbussia is an excellent display of Nebbiolo and is bottled only in the best years. From 1970 up until 1985 the grapes were sourced from the Colonnello and Cicala vineyards in Monforte d'Alba. After 1985 the grapes are coming 70% from the Romirasco vineyard. Granbussia has a relatively long maceration period of 2-3 weeks depending on the vintage and is always aged in large Slavonian oak barrels.
The 71 is the first commercial bottling of the Granbussia. How glorious it always is to unwrap and uncork the dirty moldy top of old Nebbiolo! At first whiff this wine had crazy aromas of asian spice, ginger and peperoncino. On the palate it was long and delicate showing off nice terroir and notes of roses, fig, truffles and dark chocolate while having a touch of silkiness and elegance to it. Yes at first choice I would drink Giacomo Conterno, but this old Granbussia was intriguing and a wine worth pondering over.
For an interesting post on 1937 Aldo Conterno Barolo coming originally from 12.5 liter quarto di brenta check out Rarewinoco.com
Watching instragram posts pop up all today (including the one above from my friend Pizzle) of the opening day at Mammoth Mountain, I cant help but to feel empty inside all the way over here on the east coast. Being a traveling man is the most incredible feeling in the world but comes with the uneasiness of wishing you were somewhere else no matter where you are.
In Brooklyn tasting news...
A new oldest wine I have ever tasted 1947 Huet Vouvray Moelleux Le Haut-Lieu -What an insane wine this was the other night
For now I'll settle into Brooklyn and hope to find an escape onto the snow whenever possible.... or at least a mental escape from time to time with amazing wine like this Champagne from Laurent-Perrier (Grand Siecle).
Ended a night at the 'ol Maialino with a swig of the above 2008 Porta Del Vento Saharay (photo: vinosseur.com) which is on the Sicilian wine by the glass program. The most cider-like out of the Italian skin contact white wines I have tasted (Rusticum, Angiolino Maule etc) some surprising tannins as well. What a terrific autumnal beverage right here, by itself or with most fall style dishes. It is made from the Catarratto grape which is planted mainly in Sicily.
As I shlug down a last refreshing sip of Moretti before turning the lights off here in my Brooklyn Cabin, I have King Kong eyeing me from a short distance... The below painting is from Walton Fords exhibit which opens tomorrow at the Paul Kasmin Gallery. Walton lives in the Berkshires where I was coming from a about week ago.