Browse Tag


Screamin’ Pajé Hawkins

[roagna pajé]Roagna 1999 Barbaresco Pajé (Piedmont) — This takes an half-hour or so to unwind, and then improves steadily for well over an hour; I’m sure it would have continued, but the recipients of such beauty were greedy consumers. Dried flowers, dried bark, faint woodsmoke upon a parched sunrise. Fullness with delicacy, hardness with yield. A lovely, lovely wine. (7/16)


[produttori]Produttori del Barbaresco 2012 Barbaresco (Piedmont) — Particularly…perhaps even unusually…approachable. Mostly crushed and dusted flower petals, with some soft earth. By general standards it seems beautifully in balance, which of course makes me wonder if it’s in nebbiolo-balance. In any case, it’s one that will be hard to not drink, because it’s so appealing right now. And finding nebbiolo that requires patience isn’t exactly difficult. (5/16)

Thick as a Brich

[albino, eunaudi, zenato]Albino Rocca 1995 Barbaresco Vigneto Brich Ronchi (Piedmont) — Floral dust, which is usually a beautiful outcome for aged nebbiolo. And it’s nice, but it seems muted…either from a little too much age or a little too much effort in the cellar, back at conception. I’m carping; this is a nice wine from which I apparently expect more than it’s willing to give. (4/16)

Almondo Wilder

Almondo 2008 “Fosso della Rosa” (Piedmont) – 5% alcohol. A sweet, sparkling wine made from brachetto, but unlike the (enjoyably) sweet familial cousins named brachetto d’Acqui and so forth, this has an exciting bitterness to it, almost as if it’s being groomed to be a chinato. It’s positively electric with food, great without, and I very much adore it. (7/12)

For he’s a jolly good Chicchivello

La Querciola 2007 Langhe “Chicchivello” (Piedmont) – Dolcetto, barbera, & nebbiolo. I usually find such blends a confused jumble, and as a rule have little use for the vast majority of such Langhe rossos that employ this trio, but this isn’t bad. It takes the fine-grained adhesion of nebbiolo, chunks it up with bold dolcetto, and then gives it a little airspace with barbera. It’s a dark-fruited wine, leaning heavily on its tannin (which is, I fear, an unavoidable consequence of this particular blend), but it’s an amenable partner with food. There’s even some minerality. Maybe time will bring more? I wouldn’t place a large bet on it, but I’d probably wager a bottle or two. (7/12)

Ettore Amos

Ettore Germano 1999 Barolo Cerretta (Piedmont) – Gritty tar in dark-fruited runoff water. Hints of fine tobacco and bark. There’s a fist here, but the glove isn’t velvet, it’s medium-grit sandpaper. I waver between liking this and thinking that the materials other than tannin just aren’t quite interesting enough. But it’s long, the coal-like minerality turns somewhat crystalline on the finish, and had I another bottle I’d be willing to wait it out. (6/12)

Semper vino

Bellotti 2010 “Semplicemente Vino” Bianco (Piedmont) – Ah, if only the name were true. Not in this case, but in others. Icy, crisp, refreshing, aromatic, yellows and greens microbursting like grapey pop rocks. I can imagine this studding giant tubs of ice, bottle after bottle. Supply your own preferred outdoor scene. (5/12)