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Sofia Vergombera

Verdi 2007 Oltrepò Pavese Bonarda “Possessione di Vergombera” (Lombardy) – Geez, is this the opposite of prosaic or what? Like some of the brittle northern Piedmontese reds, this makes a case for being a tinted version of riesling, but then subverts it with straps and lashes of tannin and an incisored chomp of reddish fruit. Now, I’ve gotten to this point in the note without mentioning its two dominant characteristics: residual sugar and aggressive, somewhat sloppy (like an overeager dog slobbering on your face) fizz. For me, honestly, there’s far too much distraction and flail in this wine for actual enjoyment, but at least the ride is on the breathtaking side. At a festive gathering, this might be a lot more appropriate than it was at my dinner table. (10/10)


[label]Verdi 2007 Oltrepò Pavese Vigna Costa Riesling Renano (Lombardy) – Less riesling character than in any previous bottle, and while I love the grape I’m not sure the diminishment is to the wine’s detriment. Sea salt and melon, limestone, slightly decayed flowers, and a textural wetness…it gets more intriguing with each sip. Yet I’m also not entirely convinced by the wine, which seems to churn and curl away from clear statements and wholeness. Needs time, maybe. (7/09)


[vineyard]Verdi 2006 Oltrepò Pavese Riesling Renano “Vigna Costa” (Lombardy) – Riesling turned far enough up on the volume dial that there’s feedback; the weight is similar to a very ripe Wachau, though the aromatics veer off in a different direction. Chalk dust on the wind, dried grapefruit zest, and glacial water. Finishes balanced but heavy. Quite enticing, but I admit I wasn’t quite prepared for the heft. (1/09)