Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The most enjoyable current release Napa Cab I've had in a while is:

- marketed by Gallo
- not overextracted, over-oaked, sweet, or otherwise unnatural tasting
- an historic California producer


Yes, it's far from a cool wine to like, it's a Gallo product, is probably not made from organically farmed, hand picked grapes, and is probably made in massive quantities. Doesn't matter as I think the wine is fun, quite natural tasting, reasonably priced, and reflective of a type of style all but lost in Napa Valley. Go buy a bottle (it's probably a very easy find) and see what you might be missing.

Three days with 2004 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco, or, my continuing efforts to predict the future

Known by many as the best co-operative in the wine world, and as the main reason why Barbaresco became a separate D.O.C.G. from Barolo, the Produttori (as they are often called) have for a long time been one of the great producers of traditional Barbaresco. Their basic Barbaresco is typically solid and attractively priced. Their single cru offerings can also be quite good, though I have less experience with them. This post will only touch on the entry level Barbaresco.

Produttori del Barbaresco 2004 (Day 1)

I was not quite sure how to feel about the '04 Produttori. Upon first sip, there was all of the requisite red fruit and rose petals on the palate, with licorice notes on the finish. Very good acidity and fine grained, drying tannins completed the package, but somehow it seemed like something was missing. A bit of weight and gravitas maybe? Not that good, traditional Barbaresco should be a weighty, mid-palate staining wine. Somehow, though, I expected something more akin to my memory of tasting the '01 upon its release. This had been my introduction to the Produttori and my first taste of traditional nebbiolo from the Piedmont. And from a terrific vintage at that. '02 of course was dilute and tough to drink, '03 a little bit more meaty and savory, but also more simple and less edgy. So where was my return to form on the '04? Maybe the wine would show better on day 2?

Day 2

The wine opened up, but went a little bit tooty fruity and candied on me. More roses, manifested as turkish delight, but also a real confectionary quality as well. Tannins are still similar to day 1.

Day 3

Surprisingly, the wine seemed to close up and shut down. Red fruit became dark, licorice turned more prominent, inner-mouth floral aromas were slightly muted.


Hell if I know. As far as aging I'm somewhat stumped. This might be merely 5 year material but somehow I am withholding hope that it could be wine to drink in a decade. Guess I'll have to buy a few bottles and drink at 5, 7 and 10 years from now.