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cascina degli ulivi

Ulivi green

Cascina degli Ulivi 2007 “Montemarino” (Piedmont) – NB: this is technically a Vino da Tavola and non-vintage, but as the footnote to the wine’s name is “duemilasette,” I’m going to go ahead and en-vintage the name. There’s also a pretty involved declaration of practices on the back label, which I love to see (at the least, I wish most producers would put this information on the web somewhere if they don’t wish to clutter up their packaging in this fashion). The wine? Not for everyone, and even more so than it has been of late. Like layers of bronzing around an ambered core, there’s so much burnishing and abandonment of “fruit” as a primary oenological concept that it’s hard to put this in the context of anything but other wines of this type, many of which come from places where more oxidative wines (the Jura, certain stretches of the Loire, Friuli) are more common. But to this, I ask: who cares? The wine’s delicious. It tastes like very little else, but it has soul streaming from its discontinuities. It’s labeled in such a way that one can’t say they weren’t warned. And it’s really, really interesting. (2/11)

If Ulivi now

Bellotti “Cascina degli Ulivi” 2006 Monferrato Bianco “Montemarino” (Piedmont) – Semi-oxidative and deliciously so, bringing wax, rinds, peels, and light green herbs together in a heady-yet-light broth. (5/10)

Ulivi no choice

Bellotti Cascina degli Ulivi 2007 Gavi “Filagnotti” (Piedmont) – Spiky, extremely volatile, and with those fetid, cheesy notes that – together with the other qualities – indicate a wine that has undergone some sort of refermentation/spoilage process. There’s a soft but audible pop the first time the cork is removed, and every time thereafter, and the texture has a discernable prickle to it. Alas, because this is a fascinating (albeit somewhat atypical) wine when it’s intact. (2/10)

Ulivi oil

[vineyard]Bellotti “Cascina degli Ulivi” 2006 Gavi (Piedmont) – Asian pear overwhelmed with spice (turmeric, white pepper, mace, clove), zingy and attention-dominating, yet somehow energetically affable and mild-mannered under study. This is a gorgeous, life-affirming blend of complexity and ease, simplicity and sophistication, appeal and mystery. And it’s only the basic bottling; the winery has “better” stuff in reserve. That’s tremendous work. (10/08)

Dan Montemarino

[vineyard]Bellotti Cascina degli Ulivi 2005 Monferrato Bianco “Montemarino” (Piedmont) – Saline, with intense citrus turning almost to redder fruit, especially quince, but not quite getting there. This flashes and bites, seeming to yield everything and then jamming itself throatward. A really striking wine. (6/08)

If Ulivi now, you’ll take away the biggest part of me

Bellotti “Cascina degli Ulivi” 2006 Gavi (Piedmont) – I misjudged this at a recent tasting, thinking it more simple and easily understood than it actually is. There’s an awful lot going on for a relatively inexpensive, “basic” version of a wine that receives a more elaborate elsewhere at this house. Melon, a swirling blend of white and green tea leaves, full of light and life but with the gentle swish of a foamy, early-morning wave in the mix as well. Really nice. (3/08)

Sunbeams & Mounbè

Bellotti “Cascina degli Ulivi” 2005 Barbera “Mounbè” (Piedmont) – Soft but still somewhat wild, with huge red fruit married to shocking acidity. Long, gorgeous, and intense. A stunning throwback to an almost-lost style of barbera, but breathtakingly of-the-moment as well. In other words, neither traditionalist nor modernist could fault this wine. Wow. (1/08)

Nibiô & tuck

[bottle]Bellotti “Cascina degli Ulivi” 2005 Monferrato Dolcetto Nibiô Terre Rosse (Piedmont) – Nibiô is, essentially, what we might call an heirloom dolcetto in the States. Barky, sour, and wild; full of meadow flowers, charred forest, and dark soil. There’s a fascinating complexity here, with a long finish deep into its crescendo before it finally comes to a halt. Raw and untamed, for sure. (1/08)

Dan by the sea

[bottle]Bellotti “Cascina degli Ulivi” 2005 Monferrato Bianco “Montemarino” (Piedmont) – Reserved and tight, showing almonds and little else. It seems to be balanced, and it feels “big” under the clamping structure, with a long, chewy finish…though what one masticates is unidentifiably insubstantial. Highly ungenerous. Time? A lot of it, if so. (1/08)

Gavi to get

[bottle]Bellotti “Cascina degli Ulivi” 2006 Gavi (Piedmont) – An intense nose of tropical fruit that drifts away on a salty breeze, to replaced by white melon. The finish is, itself, fairly saline. There’s an interesting, twisted form to the wine that I can’t quite grasp. (1/08)

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