Stumbling upon any of the late Barbaresco genius Signor Giacosa’s bottlings for under 30 at a wine shop should get a whole bunch of neurons firing in the brain of any wine lover. This beauty of a Dolcetto lives up to all the hype that comes with the name on the label. Deep ruby color with bright reflections. Blue and black frutti del bosco meet woodsy aromas of underbrush, mulch and drying violets. Medium-bodied, very dry but lush with fresh berry fruit, velvety tannins and a mouthwatering acidity. The finish is long and slightly bitter, making this an ideal food wine. Pair with churrasco-style hangar steak, sausage and peppers, firm cheeses and cassoulet. W.M.
Medium-concentrated garnet color with long, slow-forming legs. This is as “modern” as it gets in stately Barbaresco. Intense aromatics, dominated by sweet oak, coffee and cedar, but also showcasing raspberry jam, morello cherry, anise and moss. Big, rich and mouth-coating, with grainy tannins and a long warming finish remeniscent of mint and bitter herbs. This is wine meant for slow-roasted meats and cream sauce pasta. This definitely puts the lie to the myth that Barolo is always the bolder of the two famous Piedmont Nebbiolo appellations. W.M
Burgundy’s prized vineyards stretch from the city of Auxerre in the north down to the city of Macon in the south. In Auxerre we find the wines of Chablis, made with the Chardonnaygrapes, moving south we traverse Irancy and its red wines and Saint Bris with Sauvignon Blancs.
While moving south we reach the place where the most sought-after and expensive Pinot Noir and Chardonnay based wines are made, the Cote D’Or, where in fact all of Burgundy Grand Cru vineyards except for Chablis Grand Cru are.
The Cote D’Or is divided in two main sub-regions, Cote de Nuits and Cote de Beaune, that stretch south for about 70 kilometers from Dijon to Dezize-le-Maranges. This is where we find “Village” wine in the lower part of the slopes and “Premier Cru” to “Grand Cru” as we move higher. The Cote de Nuits contains 24 of the 25 red (Pinot Noir) Grand Crus, while the Cote de Beaune has all of the white (Chardonnay) Grand Crus.
Cooked red fruit, rose petal and rosemary all stand out on the subtly complex nose. Viscous and rounded on the palate with a nice undercurrent of minerality. Some savory bitterness on the finish. The weight and ripeness of fruit here call for a rich mushroom risotto. W.M
German wines fall into a classification depending on their quality, from Tafelwein, Landwein, Qualitatswein Bestimmter Anbaugebeite (QbA) to Pradikatswein. QbA and Pradikatswein are then subdivided in Anbaugebiet (wine region), Bereich ( a small area inside the wine region “Anbaugebiet“), Grosslage ( vineyards inside the small area “Bereich“), and finally the Einzellage ( single vineyard, situated inside the “Grosslage”).
Of the 13 major wine regions (Anbaugebiete) the most important that produce most quality wines are: Mosel, Rheingau, Rheinhessen, Pfalz, Nahe, Ahr. These 13 wine regions (Anbaugebiete) are divided into 39 districts (Bereiche) which are also divided into vineyard sites (Großlagen).
Grosses Gewachs wine of the Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) grape from volcanic soils in Germany’s Baden region. Serious intensity on the nose, remeniscent of red cherries and smoked meat. Rounded, smooth palate is dominated by a mineral undercurrent. This is a real wine of “terroir;” super earthy, persistent and very versatile at the table. W.M