Open mike: Lombardia

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Open mike: Lombardia

Postby Otto » Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:29 pm

This North Italian area is a total mystery to me. I've certainly had tastes of wines from there in big tastings, but I don't think I've actually drunk a wine until I bought this recently. I hope others will help me understand this area better!

Today I had a sip of Plozza's basic non-sforza Valtellina, the Plozza Valtellina Riserva La Scala 1998 (13% abv, 24,30€). It has a rather unique and strange nose of cider and VA. I rather like it because it is earthy and savoury rather than spoofulated (and I like unspoofulated Cider also). The palate is sweet and fruity, but savoury despite '98 not being the most acidic year if I understood and tasted correctly. Nice drinking now and over the next decade or so. Though I hate to admit it, with my incomprehensible antipathies towards Amarone, I did find the Sfurzat more to my liking. This is good as well, but lacks the complexity.

-Otto-(hoping others will taste a little known area...)
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Re: Open mike: Lombardia

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Sep 16, 2006 7:39 pm

OK Otto, will have to look around town but will post on something by Monday at least. Good luck everyone, no rush eh.


http://www.made-in-italy.com/winefood/w ... bardia.htm
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Re: Open mike: Lombardia

Postby Bob Ross » Sat Sep 16, 2006 8:39 pm

Here you go, Otto; by chance I visite this wine last week.

1997 Bruno Verdi Buttafuoco Oltrepò Pavese Lombardy Italy. Chambers $12.00. 13% alcohol. Distributor: Select Vineyards, Rosenthal, NY, NY. Deep purple red color; deep hue; very intense aroma of fruit and spice, earthen notes; intense fruit and earthy notes; medium to full mouth feel; firm acidity; long, long finish with those intense fruit notes and an underlayment of earth and spice. A joyous wine, one made for food. 3*.

1997 Bruno Verdi Buttafuoco Oltrepò Pavese Lombardy Italy. Even better the second evening with a vegetarian pot pie: even more focused than the first night, fresh, complex, good length. At first I was smiling about the name, then I was smiling about the wine. A joy. 4*.

[I know I should have drunk it younger, I suppose, but old guys forget. :-(]

Regards, Bob
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Re: Open mike: Lombardia

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Sep 17, 2006 2:04 am

Got one right here in the cellar!! Triacca Valtellina Inferno `00. Thought I had some somewhere!!
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Re: Open mike: Lombardia

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Sep 17, 2006 9:05 am

Otto Nieminen wrote:(hoping others will taste a little known area...)


Like Bob, Otto, I've tasted a couple recently, so will start by re-posting them here. Maybe I can find another. First, another from the estimable Bruno Verdi, an even stranger wine:

Sangue di Giuda Bruno Verdi 2005 Oltrepò Pavese "Sangue di Giuda" Paradiso ($12.99)
Clear dark ruby with glints of reddish-orange, it pours with a quick froth, and tiny bubbles ring the glass. Dried plums and warm fruitcake spices provide aroma interest, and the flavor is softly sweet but not "sticky," very quaffable with low (7%) alcohol and a touch of bitter almond in the finish. Meant as a compliment, it's a Coke for grown-ups. U.S. importer: Rosenthal Wine Merchant, NYC. (Sept. 11, 2006)

Then, enjoyed with importer John Given at dinner when he was visiting here:

Tenuta Maggiore 2002 "Sentito" Provincia di Pavia Croatina
A relatively rare red grape whose name implies at least a legendary Croatian origin, Croatina is grown in Oltrepo Pavese ("Across the Po from Pavia") where Lombardia meets Piemonte in Northwestern Italy. It's a pretty garnet color, dark but clear, and breathes an attractive dried-cherry aroma that reminds me more than a little of a good Valpolicella. It's juicy and ripe on the palate, crisp and tart, with subtle leathery and "barnyard" notes appearing as a restrained, pleasant note of complexity. A pleasant touch of bitterness adds flavor interest in the finish. An impressive wine and a steal at $10 to $12 retail; it made a remarkable match with one of a trio of duck appetizers, rich duck confit stuffed into ripe dates.
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Re: Open mike: Lombardia

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Sep 18, 2006 1:46 am

Well, it`s 10.30 pm Sunday night and just starting to taste the `00 Triacca Inferno. For a very light coloured wine it sure packs a punch, but will make more sense of this one tomorrow I hope. May not evolve all that much maybe, but it`s different!!
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Re: Open mike: Lombardia

Postby Otto » Mon Sep 18, 2006 4:58 pm

I'm happy that so many found some wines or notes! It tasted (and reads) like an area I should become better acquainted with.

-O-
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See Notes Below...

Postby TomHill » Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:07 pm

Otto,
Two weeks ago I posted some pretty extensive notes titled Reds of the OltrepoPavese. Last spring I did some on the Valtelline wines.
It's a vastly underrecognized area for some really good/tasty/affordable reds. In particular, I think the Valtelline region offers a far better model for Calif Nebbiolo than does the Piedmonte. Some of the Sfursats are terrific.
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Re: See Notes Below...

Postby Otto » Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:09 pm

TomHill wrote:Otto,
Two weeks ago I posted some pretty extensive notes titled Reds of the OltrepoPavese. Last spring I did some on the Valtelline wines.
It's a vastly underrecognized area for some really good/tasty/affordable reds. In particular, I think the Valtelline region offers a far better model for Calif Nebbiolo than does the Piedmonte. Some of the Sfursats are terrific.
Tom


Quite. I saw the report and that was indeed one thread that made me want to do an open mike on it. The other reason was that I just spotted two wines from there that I hadn't noticed were available here. Unfortunately now I've tasted all Lombardians available here. :(
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Re: See Notes Below...

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Mon Sep 18, 2006 9:56 pm

Otto, Tom...can you point me in the direction of Tom`s report? Thanks. I am unable to find.
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Re: Open mike: Lombardia

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Sep 19, 2006 2:56 am

Otto Nieminen wrote:I'm happy that so many found some wines or notes! It tasted (and reads) like an area I should become better acquainted with.

-O-


Here is another one for you Otto.............

WTN: `00 Triacca Valtellina Superiore Inferno.

Opened 4 hours, not decanted with very little sediment noted. 12.5% alc, Nebbiolo has to be 95% content. Have to admit this is a new area for me so here goes!

Colour. Very light ruby-red with lots of bricking.

Nose. Raspberry and some tea leaves. Touch of raisins and hard to sort out the herbs here-maybe rosemary?

Palate. Some puckery tannins, shortish finish. Medium bodied, good acidity with some dusty earthyness. Not a great deal of discernable fruit here (cherry?) and even after 24 hrs did not reveal much more. Very busy weekend, all over the place so not the best time to concentrate on what is happening in the glass! I am not a Nebbiolo fan but glad to take part in this open mike.

Cost was around $24.00 Cdn.
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Link...

Postby TomHill » Tue Sep 19, 2006 10:03 am

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Re: Link...

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Sep 19, 2006 2:41 pm

Thanks Tom. Any chance you might be able to reproduce your notes on Valtellina? Not too much Lombardy choices up here!! Do you know Triacca?
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Ask And You Shall Receive..TN: Valtelline Wines...

Postby TomHill » Tue Sep 19, 2006 2:49 pm

I'm sure they're buried somewhere on WLDG, but easier for me just to reproduce.
Tom

I tried with our SantaFe Wine Group this week (2/13/06) some Valtellina wines:

1. Balgera Chiavennasca TerrazzeRetiche di Sondrio IGT Frizzante (10.5%) 2004: Pale
yellow color, fragrant fruity light yeasty attractive nose; soft grapey/fruity
light spritzy fairly lush pleasant slight earthy flavor; med.short light yeasty
pleasant fruity finish; a nice/simple Prosecco-like fruity quaff. $13.00
_____________________
2. NadaFiorenzo Langhe DOC Nebbiolo (14%) 2002: Dark color; light earthy fragrant/floral/
lilacs/dried rose petal light pungent/tarry nose; very tart/lean light tarry/floral/
violets flavor w/ searing tannins & astringency; med.long tart/hard-as-nails tannic/
astringent light lilacs/tarry/pungent finish; a very hard/mean little Nebbiolo w/
mouth-searing astringency; needs age but I'm not going to be that gambler. $22.00
_____________________
2a. Triacca Valtelline Superiore Sassella (13%) 2002: Med.light color; attractive
fragrant/floral/lilacs slight pungent/tarry pleasant bit aged nose; tart bit lean/
astringent very light floral/lilacs slight tarry rather thin/weak flavor; short
lean/astringent light tarry/pungent slight floral finish; a pleasant Nebb nose
but lean/thin and unattractive on the palate, even w/ food. $25.00
_____________________
3. Balgera Ca'Fracia Valtelline Superiore DOC: Fracia (12.5%) 1999: Med.light color;
rather tarry/pungent classic Nebb/floral some earthy/dusty nose; rather tarry/
pungent rather lean/astringent light floral/violets/Nebb flavor; med. rather pungent/
tarry slight floral bit tired/lean finish w/ some hard tannins; rather attractive
nose but not so much on the palate; don't see this going anywhere. $20.00
_____________________
4. Balgera Valtelline Superiore DOC: Sassella (12.5%) 1999: Med.light color; stronger
more intense/floral/lilacs some spicy/salami fairly tarry/pungent nose; softer some
pungent/iodine rather Nebb/road tar somewhat richer/floral/lilacs flavor w/ less hard
tannins; med.long very light floral/lilacs some tarry/pungent/Nebb fairly tannic
finish; my easy favorite of these first three Balgeras; quite attractive nose but
not so much on the palate. $20.00
_____________________
5. Balgera Valtelline Superiore DOC: Grumello (12.5%) 1998: Med.light color; some tarry/
pungent/Nebb rather dusty/earthy attractive floral/lilacs rather perfumed nose; slight
funky/earthy light lilacs/floral/dried rose petal slight tarry/pungent fairly hard/
tannic flavor; med.long rather astringent/hard/tannic light floral/dried rose petal
some tarry/pungent finish; needs age but ?? $20.00
_____________________
6. Balgera Valtelline Superiore Il Fondatore (13%) 1995: Med.color; very attractive
fragrant light tarry/pungent/classic Nebb light floral light toasty/oak/pencilly
nose; softer slightly ripe/late harvesty light/pungent/tarry some spicy/smoked
meat light lilac/floral smooth/balanced/complex light pencilly/oak flavor; long
smooth/polished/balanced light floral some tarry/pungent/smokey complex finish;
a lovely elegant/polished wine that speaks strongly of Nebb. $35.00
_____________________
7. Sandro Fay Valtelline Superiore Valgella Cartoria (13.5%) 2002: Very dark color;
deep/intense black cherry/earthy very smokey/pungent smoked meats slight tarry
complex nose; beautiful black cherry/boysenberry slight tarry/pungent/smokey quite
smoked ham/spicy bit tannic flavor; long intense black cherry/plummy/boysenberry
light tarry/earthy/pungent smoked meats finish w/ a tannic bite; much like a
Refosco w/ black cherry & earthy character; terrific Nebb, very terroir driven.
$30.00
_____________________
8. Sandro Fay Valtelline Superiore Sassella IlGlicine (13.5%) 2002: Very dark color;
intense black cherry slight boysenberry/ripe some dusty/earthy slight smokey/smoked
meats loads of dark fruit nose; bit tannic/rough dark fruit/black cherry/boysenberry
some pungent/smokey rather tannic flavor; very long black cherry/dark fruit somewhat
hard/tannic bit dusty/earthy spicy/smokey finish; needs 2-6 yrs age; terrific rendition
of Nebb. $30.00
_____________________
9. Sandro Fay Valtelline Superiore Valgella Ca'Morei (13%) 2001: Med.dark color; more
pungent/tarry classic Nebb some black cherry/plummy bit menthol/fragrant complex nose;
softer/smoother light tarry/pungent lovely floral/violets/black cherry bit cedary/spicy
lovely complex flavor; very long/lingering floral/violets/black cherry some road tar/
pungent spicy/complex bit tannic/astringent finish; needs few more yrs age; lots of Nebb
character plus the dark fruits; terrific Nebb, my favorite of the whole bunch tonight.
$30.00
_____________________
10. Balgera Sforzato (14.5%) 1996: Med.dark color; interesting dusty/earthy/walnutty some
late harvesty/very ripe licorice/black cherry slight volatile beautiful/perfumed/aromatic
rather complex nose; soft/smooth/lush some hot/volatile/late harvesty smoked meat/charred
Nebb/floral/violets/dried rose petal bit tannic flavor; med.long road tar/pungent/smoked
meats/slight charred dried rose petal/floral finish w/ bit tannic/astringent finish; very
interesting w/ lots of smoked meat character. $55.00
_____________________
11. Conti Sertoli Salis Canna Sforzato di Valtelline (14.5%) 2001: Med.color; beautiful/
fragrant toasty/Fr.oak black cherry/blackberry/dark fruits slight Cab/herbal/porcini
very complex light tarry/pungent nose; tart but smooth/polished cedary/oak/toasty light
floral/violets/lilacs/Nebb rather toasty flavor; very long/smooth toasty/Fr.oak some
lilacs/floral/Nebb/dried rose petal slight pungent/tarry slight astringent finish;
a lovely/complex Nebb w/ some international style; terrific Nebb. $48.00
____________________________________________________________________________________
The usual pontifications from the BloodyPulpit:
1. The wines all came from WineExpo in SantaMonica save the Triacca.
_____________________
2. I first became entranced by the Valtelline Nebbiolos back in the mid-'70's when
PhilReich brought a bunch of the ArturoPellizattis into the LiquorMart in Boulder.
They were pretty big & rich & lush w/o those searing/mean tannins that Nebbiolo from
the Piemonte often show. I've not seen the Pellizattis in this country since those
early days, though the firm still exists and produces wines. Since that time, 'bout
all you see are the NinoNegri and Rainoldi Valtelline wines; which have never measured
up to my expectations based on the Pellizattis. But, then, I was younger and my palate
somewhat niave/different (egaads...I loved Calif Cab then!!) and 30 yrs between may
made my view of those Pellizattis being seen thru rose-colored glasses.
I, like most other folks, have long thought that Nebbiolo should be able to make
great wines in Calif; but real successes have been painfully few & far between. For
me, the Calif producers persist because the absurd prices of PiemonteNebbiolo is one
of the attractions that they hope to achieve. I think they would better look to the
Valtelline for their Nebbiolo model, rather than the Piemonte.
_____________________
2. Balgeras: The three regular Balgeras I, and most of the other tasters, did not find
particularly exciting. They had attractive noses of Nebb, but they were pretty lean/
hard on the palate and seemed a bit aged. Both the Fondatore and the Sforzato were,
OTOH, very attractive wine; yet w/ that usual Nebb bite to them.
_____________________
3. SandroFays: These, OTOH, were very/very exciting wines to me. This is very much what
I recall the Pellizattis being like; intense/rich/textured w/ lots of deep fruit. The
wines would probably never be mistaken for Piemonte Nebb. That be good. They were not
characterized by that ethereal Nebb floral perfume, but more like a plummy/black
cherry character you can find in Refosco or Toreldego. Maybe even a bit like some of the
bigger Calif cold-climate Pinots. Exceptional wines I thought.
_____________________
4. Sertoli Sforzato: This wine, which I liked quite a lot, walked a very fine line
between speaking of the Valtelline and being soundly in the international-style
camp. It had a fair amount of toasty/new oak I thought, but yet spoke loud and
clear of Valtelline Nebbiolo. Terrific wine.
_____________________
5. Nebbiolo: Oyyyyyyy....this is one variety that I struggle mightly with. I know that I'm
supposed to like it because it makes great & classic wines. Everyone tells me that Nebb is
one of the worlds great varieties. Sometimes I'm certain that the emperor wears no clothes.
I like Nebb because of that ethereal nose it often has of slightly tarry and violets/lilacs/
floral character. But then it often hits the palate w/ this hard/tannic/astringent blow; sorta
like stickin' your tongue between the jaws of a vise and torquing that sucker down. It hurts!!
So...everyone tells me you HAVE to let Nebb age to be attractive. And when you do, I often
find them to be dried out/lacking fruit and still painfully astringent, with this dried rose
petal fragrance like the buttonaire that was stuck between the pages of a thick book from
my high school prom (Ha!! You think I could really get a date for my high school prom??..
in my dreams!!) that I'm not that fond of. You would think that the technology exists to
deal w/ the tannin problem of Nebb. Micro-bullage perhaps??
These Fay Nebbs were some of the best Nebbs I've ever had. They had loads of dark fruit,
yet still had the things I like in Nebb. Terrific/terrific wines I thought.
Maybe my Calif palate is too wacked out to truly appreciate Nebbiolo. Maybe I should
give up on the variety. Yet I know I'm SUPPOSED to love Nebb for the great wines they make...
so I keep trying. Been kissing a lot of expensive frogs to find that rare prince.
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Re: Ask And You Shall Receive..TN: Valtelline Wines...

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Sep 19, 2006 3:00 pm

Thanks Tom for all this. Your notes and thoughts are excellent as usual.
The tasting notes on the Triacca are spot on in my mind. Nebb is a great mystery to me too!! Maybe in time, I will get there.
This has been a very educational Open Mike eh.
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Re: Open mike: Lombardia

Postby Agostino Berti » Thu Sep 21, 2006 5:51 pm

Monte Cicogna - "Don Lisander" 1999 - Garda Classico, Rosso Superiore -Alc.13,5% - Euro 14,5 at winestore

This is from Lombardy. From Moniga del Garda, therefore near the Garda Lake.
60% Groppello Gentile, 20% Barbera, 10% Marzemino, 10% Sangiovese

Heady nose with some anise, sangiovese-like color.
The mouth is great. Full of subdued fruit, the flavor surges and intensifies, the wine coats your mouth and the flavor lingers. Balanced with enough acidity and elegance to accompany a good plate of pasta. Classy wine, interesting flavor profile, overall very good and a pleasant surprise.

I just happened to be near Brescia, so it was a nice chance to find a fairly obscure Lombardian DOC. Next I'd like to try a 100% Groppello gentile wine from the Groppello DOC.

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Re: Open mike: Lombardia

Postby Otto » Sat Sep 23, 2006 4:59 pm

Thanks Agostino! I've never had Groppello. I love to try grape varieties that I haven't had before. I'll have to ask my sister's Italian boyfriend to find me some the next time he goes back to Italy for a visit.

When I was 14 our family visited the Garda. We visited some winery there (can't remember which: wasn't too interested back then). I do remember that the wines were unlike anything I'd tasted before (my parents did let me take a taste of all wines they opened). Your notes read just like what I remember I tasted.
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Re: Open mike: Lombardia

Postby Agostino Berti » Tue Sep 26, 2006 6:15 pm

The wondeful thing about Italy is that it has these tiny DOC's that are hard to find even within its own region. Groppello is hard to find even in Milan (which is Lombardia). That's why I took the opportunity to buy it when I was in nearby Brescia. People look to heralded regions of Italy to buy wine without realizing that these smaller regions, although not well known, have been making wine for hundreds of years so they are fully worthy of consideration. That odd blended wine I drank was great and stayed true to its area by mixing in not cabernet or merlot but marzemino, schiava, and barbera.
Where the heck are you anyway? I should know, I've read your posts enough, but I'm guessing Scandinavia. Sucks you had to pay 40 Euros for that Teroldego. Anyway, good luck having your sister's boyfriend find a Groppello!!

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Re: Open mike: Lombardia

Postby Otto » Wed Sep 27, 2006 2:04 am

Agostino Berti wrote:People look to heralded regions of Italy to buy wine without realizing that these smaller regions, although not well known, have been making wine for hundreds of years so they are fully worthy of consideration....
Where the heck are you anyway? I should know, I've read your posts enough, but I'm guessing Scandinavia. Sucks you had to pay 40 Euros for that Teroldego. Anyway, good luck having your sister's boyfriend find a Groppello!!


Agostino, I think on this board we actively seek out wines of the lesser known regions - at least I try to taste them whenever I can because I've had such good experiences with many of them. But I think the reason we hear so much more on Veneto, Piemonte and Toscana is that they are readily available unlike the little known gems.

I'm in Finland. One of the most expensive countries in the world....

-O-
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