Browse Tag

vallée d’aoste

Before the meeting

Institut Agricole Régional 2007 Premetta (Vallée d’Aoste) – Like drinking a mille-feuille, its dark-fruited minerality dense yet separable; one experiences this wine as a series of fine layers, each yielding to a moment of space before and after. (2/12)


La Kiuva 2007 Arnad Montjovet (Vallée d’Aosta) – I’ve called this wine “brilliant” in the past, if I recall my adjectives aright, and alas that I consume this one amidst enough distractions (aromatic and conversational) that I can’t get settled enough for a second opinion. In the space I’m allowed, it’s still awfully good, so I suspect more quietude would lead to a similar verdict. Chilly, columnar fruit…perhaps a familiar anchor might be blackberry, but honestly it tastes a little more exotic than that…and a textural integrity of simultaneous firmness and transparency, somewhere between fine-grained felt and the tiniest of particles. Long. Seems to stare at one though deep black pupils. I could drink a lot of this; good thing I bought a lot of this! (2/11)

Chanoines, chantwo, chanthree

Institut Agricole Régional “Vin des Chanoines” (Vallée d’Aoste) – As far as I can tell (the labels – front and back – are one giant furball of type, and this is probably the least commercially-viable packaging I’ve seen in my life [it could only be worse if the wine were in a bocksbeutel]…which, of course, makes me want to buy it) this is a non-vintage bottling, which is odd since most online references to the wine carry a vintage. It’s L.0119.7, if that helps sort it out. (I could email the importer and ask, I suppose, since she lives and works in the next suburb over, but it’s more fun to make purely speculative guesses.) As for what’s in the bottle? I always wonder if the chilly alpine character I get from this and similar wines is authentically-sensed or the power of suggestion, but it probably doesn’t matter; this is not “ripe” fruit in the modern, flabby sense, but instead linear and heavily-structured, dark without being opaque, and layered with strata of impenetrable minerality. There’s an herbal, almost quinine character about the edges. It’s not a wine one “loves,” exactly, but it does demand intellectual respect, and I’m glad I have more. (2/11)

At current Morgex rates

Cave du Vin Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle 2008 Morgex et de La Salle Blanc (Vallée d’Aoste) – 100% prié blanc (I think), but as to the percentage of the wine that’s delicious, I’m much more certain. Like drinking glacial moraine. Reserved generosity, a texture at once waxed and alive, bright and chiaroscuro. (11/10)

My jovet

La Kiuva 2007 Vallée d’Aosta Arnad Montjovet (Vallée d’Aosta) – Wow. Jittery alpine-red berries, tiny and bitingly crisp, chilly, and quivering into a nervous finish. Breathtaking in the fashion of a brisk downflow from icy peaks. Fantastic. (8/10)

Fat pants

[vineyard]Grosjean 2005 Pinot Noir (Vallée d’Aoste) – Stumbles and tumbles out of the bottle, showing a clumsy, almost sticky, light berry aroma with zingy acidity and a lot of disjointed seams of minerality. But as it airs it coalesces, melding fruit and stone, wrapping its structure about itself, and broadening the complexity of its finish. By the final glass, it’s a rather extraordinary study in the interplay of grape and soil. The lesson, I guess, is patience. (2/10)

Rovettaz main Ian, devil

[vineyard]Grosjean 2006 Cornalin Vigne Rovettaz (Vallée d’Aoste) – This is a wine that seems to propel itself along parallel tracks. On the left, there’s a rail of a gritty, steely structure; neither powerful nor dominant, but present and insistent nonetheless. On the right, a meandering weave of crisp (occasionally sour) flavors that are only related to identifiable berries by marriage rather than genetics, yet are unmistakably fruity nonetheless. For a reason I can’t quite identify, this wine reminds me of drinkable popcorn…not in flavor, but in contrasts of absorbent and crunchy structure, airy absence and lingering aftertaste. It’s much more interesting than it is good, but I suspect that this is a judgment that will prove highly malleable with time. (2/10)


[vineyard]Grosjean 2004 Cornalin Vigne Rovettaz (Vallée d’Aoste) – Aromatically difficult, and it seems like it should be more generous, so I may just have caught this at a bad time. There’s a tension between a sweet-fruited, earthy-floral core and a rougher, shouldery structure that reminds me a bit of the similar tension in Piedmontese dolcetto, but there’s decidedly more minerality here, and the structure isn’t quite as strident. Seems very promising, but now isn’t its time. (7/09)

Grosjean lady

[vineyard]Grosjean 2007 Gamay (Vallee d’Aoste) – Almost everywhere it’s grown, gamay is an appealing, “easy” grape, and where it’s lent complexity, the source is the terroir or meddling winemaking. Not so here, though I think the same is true of many Aoste wines; there’s no getting around the fact that this is a difficult wine. Reddish fruit takes on a grey hue as viewed through veils of layered minerality. Yet there’s a rough-hewn element as well, one that counters the rocky strata with an unevenly textured chunk of dirt-clad darkness. It’s a light wine, but it’s most certainly not a gentle one. I think age might bring greater clarity here. For now, the intellectual interest alone is enough to recommend this wine, though I can’t promise actual enjoyment; that will depend on the taster. (3/09)

Must’a got Aoste

[vineyard]Institut Agricole Régional 2005 Petit Rouge (Vallée d’Aoste) – Arctic red, restrained, and icy, with a chill wind racing through its core. Ground-up red fruit with hints of black minerality. It seems like it will never achieve full liquidity, but on the slowly devolving finish, there’s eventually a brief melt of succulence. An interesting wine, though not a particularly significant one. (12/08)

  • 1
  • 2