It’s holiday in the Americas. Or stateside, anyway. Here are notes on two wines I opened the day before Thanksgiving, and tasted again the day after, just for the heck of it.
The wines on Thanksgiving were nothing to write home, or you about. Poo.
Also just for the hell of it, here’s a photo from my toddler years. That’s me doing the toddling, my dad winning Movember, and my pretty Aunty being smart and reading things. Also, just to be clear, my family is so not Italian. Just awesome. My favorite parts of this photo include my belly, my dad’s shoes and smile, the weird portrait on the upside down newspaper, the obviously 70s decor, and the authentic Eskimo hanging in the hallway. Of course she’s wearing a fur collar–it gets fricking cold outside in Alaska.
Sottimano Maté 2010 100% dry still Brachetto
A bright pink, rose potpourri tinged aroma surrounded with spicy pungency. The spice, dried rose palate continues, wrapped in a juicy soft palate stimulation, and pleasing mouth grip. The finish is long here, stretching itself into a gentle squeeze sensation of a vibrant medium-light bodied red wine, leaving a late post-finish nuttiness I can’t help but enjoy. The vibrancy on this wine is stunning. It starts perhaps a little lighter than I feel like but each sip starts me with surprise, each swallow moves into a longer finish than I expect. Drink this wine and try not to wiggle.
Day 3: The wine is pert. There are ripe rose floral qualities on the nose and mouth blended through with canteloupe, now with a weighted belly of light leather and spicy pricks across the palate. If you want fresh, light, and zesty with a floral-fruit focus, this is your wine.
Poderi Elia Barbera d’ Asti 2009 100% Barbera
The focus of this wine seems to be ‘thickening up’ Barbera. The French oak spice here dominates much of what else the wine has to offer, though in a general sense the red fruit, oak spice, and alcohol heat do arrive together. Still, the ultra long finish form primarily in spice carry through. How will this wine age? The nose rushes a mixed floral potpourri that carries over into the palate, along with red fruit, and exotic spice. I appreciate the nuttiness of the initial finish, but it cascades into a predominance of spice that feels overdone. Too much new oak. My hope is that with a bit of age it will calm. That said, at $17 per bottle, I’ve got to keep things in perspective. You get a damn lot of wine and flavor for your money here. There is a generally smooth polish to the texture of this wine, upset to some degree by the spice pinprick of the oak. I just prefer a little less focus on spice.
Day 3: The spice has mellowed and moved alongside a nutty smoothness in both the midpalate and finish. The red fruit persists. There is a real top-note, soft palate focus on this wine balanced by heat in the throat and a long spice resonance.
Thank you to Michael Alberty, Storyteller Wine, Portland.
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Not only do I appreciate the untraditional wine choices, but the traditional semi-embarrassing/semi-nostalgic photo that seems to pop out once a year when Mom and Dad are hanging out.
I’m thankful for you, too, this holiday season, Miss Hawk.
Dear Randy, I am quite thankful for you too. Thank you for this comment. It’s a joy to find it here. Thank you.
I am a huge fan of the Sottimano wines. They are always great expressions of variety and vineyard. Give their nebbiolo a try. It comes from a vineyard that could be Barbaresco, but they feel the vines are still too “young” as they are not over twenty years old yet. It’s a tremendous value.
Hi Craig, Agreed! The Sottimano Nebbiolo is an excellent value. The Mate Brachetto held up great open for days too–finished it on day four finally with it going strong and beautiful. I reviewed the 2009 Nebbiolo months ago now, but here is the link, in case you’re interested. http://wakawakawinereviews.com/2011/11/23/wine-review-sottimano-2009-langhe-nebbiolo/
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