Browse Tag


TN: The Nervi of some people

[vineyard]Nervi 1990 Gattinara Vigneto Molsino (Piedmont) – Crushed soy flakes, smashed roses, and blackened, crunchy cereal. A little crusty. This is sort of an angry old man, and yet somehow it’s compelling as well. Strange. (6/07)

TN: Here, here

[vineyard]Neirano Brachetto d’Acqui (Piedmont) – Simple strawberry and powdered sugar froth. More basic than these (already typically basic) wines tend to be, but with the vague sensation of something mineralistic underneath. If they could only bring out this character, they’d have a beauty on their hands. (6/07)

TN: Bass, baritone, alto, tenor

[vineyard]Aldo Conterno 1999 Langhe “Quartetto” (Piedmont) – Nebbiolo, barbera, cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Dense, structured, heavy and a little tedious. Graceful nebbiolo aromatics dance above the surface, but beneath are thick, somewhat anonymous black cherry, chocolate, thyme, toast and tar solids. The wine doesn’t lack acidity, but it seems unintegrated. As internationalized wines go, this is a good one. But I suspect the nebbiolo alone would have been better. (5/07)

TN: Ruché & roll

cascina ‘tavijn 2004 Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato (Piedmont) – I’ve had problematic experiences with this wine, but here’s one of the good ones: lurid red fruit with exotic spice and candy aromas intertwined, tuna jerky and an acid-to-the-fore finish. Pleasurable with food, a little bizarre without. (4/07)

TN: Freisa crane

Tenuta Migliavacca 2005 Monferatto Freisa (Piedmont) – Fabulously aromatic, with bursts of ripe summer berries and their spring flowers, dustings of freshly-ground pink and white peppercorns, and hints of mincemeat on the finish. Insistent acidity brings the wine into completely harmony with food. A delicious wine, with plenty of structure, and though I’d like to age some, it’s going to be hard to stay away from it in the interim. (4/07)

TN: Ginestra & tonic

Conterno Fantino 1989 Barolo Sorì Ginestra (Piedmont) – Baked rose hips over a foundation of granite and iron. Moderately tannic at the edge, with an apple (core and seed) tinge to the acidity and tar on the finish. With more air, the hips turn to crushed roses and the tannin dusts to mixed powdered peppercorns. Just gorgeous, and fully mature. (3/07)

TN: Bricco by bricco

[bottle]La Colombera 2005 Colli Tortonesi Bricco Barolomeo (Piedmont) – Very dry, almost to the point of dustiness, with a low hum of grassy energy but a reticence about bursting forth into springlike growth. Crisply acidic. Somewhat submissive to food. (3/07)

TN: Agata agita

[still life]Sant’ Agata “’Na Vota” 2004 Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato (Piedmont) – Neon-fragrant redness with mild but scraping tannin and aggressive (though not at all high) acidity, plus a dark, almost tarry note. As boisterous as the wine is, it cowers a bit in the presence of food, yet it needs something to counteract the structural rough edges. A strange wine. But then, it’s a ruchè, from which one learns to expect such things. (2/07)

TN: Hey, Marcarini!

[still life]Marcarini 2005 Moscato d’Asti (Piedmont) – Yet another perfume truck crashed through the window of a florist, though in this case both are carrying a higher-quality cargo than is the norm. There’s a little bit of translucent fruit flesh underneath, but despite the aromatics and/or the fruit I’ve come to experience these wines as frothy, delightful expressions of fermented light. (1/07)