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November 2011
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January 2012

December 2011

La Mancina Barbera "Foriere" 2009

2011-12-12 17.38.41

La Mancina is a family winery south west of Bologna in Emilia Romagna. Emilia Romagna is south of Piedmont and the vineyards here are in the rolling foothills of the Apennines. The sun is warmer, it's less foggy than Piedmont and this Barbera really benefits from the extra warmth. The Zanetti family founded the winery back in the 60's and have slowly built a reputation as a local star and naturally farmed winery.

I personally have always had problems with Barbera from Alba. I feel a lot of it is just too thin and unripe for my tastes. The cooler climate results in lighter simple wines that would be just fine if they didn't run $15-$20. This example is the most personally pleasing Barbera that I've run across over my career.

The aroma is dominated by fresh cherry, but underneath there are also hints of roasting meat and wood smoke. It's very forward and earnest but has those darker tones under the fruit balancing things out.

The taste of this wine is classic Barbera: fresh cherry, plummy, and bright acidity, but it's riper and more developed than most Piedmont examples of the grape. This Barbera has more fruit to it that you can kind of sink your teeth into. I wouldn't call it chewy, it's not really tannic, but it is fleshier. This is honestly the most satisfying Barbera I've ever had. It's not super complex, but it is very integrated and delicious!

This is priced in the mid teens at the Freeport Cheese and Wine Shop, Vic and Whit's in Saco, The Blue Hill Wine shop, and Black Cherry in Falmouth.

Corte Le Marsure Refosco 2009

2011-12-12 18.58.19

Friuli is a small and well respected wine region in Italy's north east corner.  Though it's long been established in Italy, America is still discovering it.  Part of this is due to Friuli being up in the cooler climate of the Dolemite mountains.  That cool mountain climate makes the region ideal for producing cleanly complex white wines and lighter refreshing reds; unfortunately that's not at all what Americans think of as classic Italian wine.  That's starting to change though and Friuli is starting to build on the success of cheaper Pinot Grigio to get more of their fine wines into the US.  I've had some fantastic white wines from Friuli, but also some great reds.  Refosco is the predominant local red variety and makes wines reanging from bright and simple to gamey and smokey. 

Le Marsure is made by the Teresa Raiz winery, a family winery founded back in the early 70's.  Paul Joseph Tosolini farms more naturally and plants his vines at significantly higher densities in order to limit their yields.  Paul has been making wine here for over 35 years now and has gone watched the region's wine culture evolve and establish itself internationally.

The aroma of this Refosco is very bright, very pretty, and particularly floral and vivid!  The aromas of black raspberry are intense but there's also violet and just the barest hint of peppery basil leaf.

The palate is vividly juicy, but also balanced.  The intense blackraspberry, fresh acidity, and light touch really evokes Cabernet Franc in the best way for me.  This is a fun and playful wine, that's silky smooth textured and has seductive undertones of pepper.

This is under $15 at the Freeport Cheese and Wine Shop and Aurora Provisions.

Moretti Omero Terre di Giano 2010

2011-12-12 17.38.50

I describe this wine as deliciously rustic.  That's about the best reduction of how this wine tastes that I can really put together.

This is a blend of: 50% Ciliegiolo, 25% Sangiovese, 25% Merlot. 

Moretti Omero's organic Umbrian blend manages to combine lush texture, and juicy black cherry fruit with undertones of pepper and wild herbs and a slightly chewy character.  It's totally approachable and easy to drink, very expressive, and over flowing with aromas of violets, cherries, and plummy fruit.

Moretti Omero produced about 800 cases of this.  I got 17.

This is available for about $17 at the Freeport Cheese and Wine Shop, Black Cherry Provisions, Vic and Whit's, Cinque Terre, and the Blue Hill Wine Shop.