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Nigolosu Cage

Dettori “Badde Nigolosu” 2007 Romangia Bianco (Sardinia) – 15.5%. Let’s get the volatility out of the way first: yes, there’s some, but it’s well-managed (and since I’m very sensitive to the stuff, normal human beings probably won’t even notice it). And to deal with the second plumptious elephant in the room, the alcohol is very perceptible as size but not as heat, which is – this is a pet theory of mine, but increasing experience bears it out – largely due to the orange wine-like structure of this particular beast, which seems to block or otherwise mask the booze. As for the rest, it’s sun-drenched, rich with kaleidoscopic flavors nudged in the direction of stone fruit, and texturally adhesive. This is a delicious wine, but far too powerful to just open willy or nilly; it needs the right sparring partner. (12/11)

Romangia the stone

Dettori 2007 Romangia Bianco Badde Nigolosu (Sardinia) – 100% vermentino. Looks, tastes, and feels like an orange wine, though the maceration isn’t all that long (ten days). It’s perhaps that it’s unfiltered and un-everything-else that leads to an orange sort of palate impression, though there is evident tannin. The luxuriant yet not overly polished texture is the wine’s primary highlight (among rather a sea thereof). Dried white flowers, some fresher buds, grasses, herbs, dried citrus, leaves, minerality to spare, and gravity without weight, density without concentration. Brilliant wine. Absolutely brilliant. (11/10)

Friends, Romangia, countrymen

Dettori 2006 Romangia Rosso Badde Nigolosu (Sardinia) – 100% cannonau (grenache). Subtle, seeming to rise from its lotus position with a slow unfolding of limbs. The subtlety never really goes away, though, and those expecting a more standard Sardinian cannonau – that is, one with a big and fruity palate impact – might be disappointed. Well, their loss. This requires attention to its graceful swirls of dusty berry and rich, semi-volcanic earth. The finish is so quiet that the inattentive will consider it to have departed long before it actually does. Not as showily brilliant as the white, this has more peaceful charms, and they’re more than OK. (11/10)