Wine Tasting

We had a great time last week with our friends at Sovereignty Wines and their distributor Volio Vino!  They were kind enough to help the Colorado Springs Italian Culture Meetup group host a tasting of Italian wines (followed by a movie night), and a great time was had by all.

First up, some snacks to get the palette ready:


And then it was on to Montecucco, where this lovely Vermentino from Azienda Peteglia was offered.  Crisp but rounded, it immediately reminded of Lugana style Trebbiano, but didn’t let you forget its Tuscan origin; grown in the southern part of Tuscany, it would be a perfect mate for white sauces and fresh seafood dishes.  If you see it, buy it!


Up next was a trip north to taste a Dolcetto and a Barbera from Cantine Povero (from the description from the wine rep at Volio Vino, “povero” is a bit of a misnomer for what is apparently a fabulous estate in Piemonte, one to add to our list to go visit):


A ridiculous bargain for a Piemonte red at around $10 a bottle, this one didn’t disappoint.  Dolcetto gets overlooked by stuffy wine connoisseurs because it isn’t ostentatious; it doesn’t boast lofty or obscure floral notes and syrupy fruity complexity that requires a thesaurus to describe–it’s straightforward, savory, and wholesome, a fulfilling wine that doesn’t require effort to enjoy, and this iteration would be perfect with some porcini mushroom gravy or any savory dish.

Not generally a fan of Barbera’s occasionally bracing acidity, but Cantine Povero’s won me over; I had some with some spicy, fatty foods and it shone through nicely.  Not something you’d cork to drink on its own, but that’s okay–most of the Italian wine spectrum is meant to be had with grub and this is no different.


 The last wine of the night was in many respects the most compelling; from the small but remarkable DOC Bolgheri appellation, Tenuta Argentiera’s Villa Donoratico was a revelation.  Here on the Livornian coast, the microclimate suits growing non-native varietals like Cabs, Merlot, Petit Verdot, etc, and this wine’s blend hit a lot of the right notes.  It took about 30mins in the glass to really open up, but the wait was worth it.  Not an everyday drinker at $25 a bottle, but it was a special treat to get to try this cousin to the super Tuscans.


Fun With Wine And Google, Sinio Edition

We’re back in Piemonte, enjoying Azienda Agricola Rivetto‘s nebbiolo thanks to our friends over at Sovereignty Wines.  Nebbiolo is simply the best varietal in the world, whether its expressed as a top dollar Barolo or just an every-day drinkable nebbiolo offered up at not-so-stratospheric prices, and the Rivetto shows why:  straightforward, just a touch of the typical ripe dark cherry and similar fruit, great strong tannins that take about thirty minutes to round off, and the rusty dark translucent color you’d expect.  It’s fabulous.  And nice to look at:

rivetto_2 rivetto_3

So where does this beauty come from?  Let’s dig in:

rivetto 1

Close to our friends in Rodello, Rivetto’s azienda is just outside Sinio and south of Alba, near Serralunga d’Alba on the eastern edge of Barolo country.

rivetto 2

Just off a narrow road winding its way through Piemonte’s prime real estate, from this altitude you already know you’re in for a treat as you click through the Google map for Rivetto.  Such a great collection of greens in those fields and rolling hills.

rivetto 3

A little closer and you can see Serralunga just to the west of Rivetto…if you click around the Google Earth views for Serralunga you’ll fall in love immediately.

rivetto 4

Fantastic:  neatly trained vines, lush woods, and a rustic country feel; Rivetto runs an agriturismo and has very reasonable rates for a stay that we are hoping to take him up upon very soon.  Imagine waking up and having to contend with the view he encounters daily:

rivetto 5

Ah, the life of the Piemontese wine maker.  Not bad eh?  We cannot wait to visit.