Saturday Wine Gathering (France Gonzalvez, Vallana, Terre del Barolo)
338 College St., Amherst, MA 01002
Tomorrow we taste a flock of new arrivals: an old vine Jacquère from Savoie; a La Morra Rosato from Nebbiolo and a Spanna (local name for Nebbiolo) from Alto Piemonte, as well as a Barolo sourced from all eleven townships within the greater Barolo region; a “natural” style, Parisian cult Beaujolais Villages; and then two additional red wines from importer Kermit Lynch – a Corvino from Italy's Ligurian coast and a Terrano from Venezia Giulia. Seven wines make up our Saturday afternoon.
If the return of the green in the grass, of the hinting of red in the bud-break maples, of the about to explode yellow of the daffodils' bloom touches your soul, then our first white from Andre et Michel Quenard of the Coteau de Tormery southeast of Chambery in Savoie will refresh your winter palate with its irresistible fruits from 50 year old Jaquerre vines in this small, stony but also clay-rich plot in the village of Les Abymes [$16.99]. Hand harvested, temperature controlled fermentation, lees aged - details that make for a delightfully scented, snappy wine with a nice saline touch. Never mind that a humongous landslide occurred in November of 1248, making the land unfit for several centuries, giving name to the pile of rocks and marl nicknamed Les Abymes...
The 2018 Langhe Rosato from Trediberri [$14.99] of Nicola Oberto, a young, passionate and knowledgeable Langhe producer of a Barolo “normale” and a Rocche Dell'Annunziata, is our second wine. Then our 2013 Spanna from Vallana [$23.99], an excellent traditional producer who farms organically and whose wines we have not had in Haus for ten or fifteen years. We welcome them back. Here is an Antonio Galloni review from Nov 2017:
Vallana – Spanna 2013 Colline Novaresi, Piedmont
Vinous: The 2013 Spanna is a strong entry-level offering from Vallana. Aromatic, bright and yet also quite deep, the 2013 offers exceptional quality at its level. The flavors are bright, precise and nicely lifted, with plenty of sweet red cherry, tobacco, mint, rose petal and orange peel overtones. What a pretty and delicious wine this is. Drink: 2017 – 2023. 90 points.
Then for comparison we'll taste the 2013 Barolo Undicicomuni from Arnoldo Rivera [$31.99], a wine that caught the attention of the Wine Spectator experts who ranked it #54 in their top 100 wines of 2018. Here is their review along with Monica Larner's of the Wine Advocate.
Arnaldo Rivera – Barolo Undicicomuni 2013
Monica Larner, Wine Advocate, Aug 2018: This wine is an achievement in the fact alone that it represents Nebbiolo sourced from all 11 townships within the greater Barolo appellation. I can't think of any other producer capable of such a feat. The 2013 Barolo Undicicomuni is a dark and savory expression with black currant, plum, spice, tar and licorice. The mouth feel is textured and balanced, with sweet cherry on the close. Drink: 2013-2030. 90 points.
This is a new set of wines (from a new estate) introduced with the 2013 vintage. It operates on a unique model, similar to a co-operative, in which fruit is sourced from a large number of growing partners across 181 official crus in all 11 comuni (villages) of the Barolo appellation: Verduno, La Morra, Castiglione Falletto, Roddi, Grinzane Cavour, Diano d'Alba, Serralunga d'Alba, Monforte d'Alba, Novello, Barolo and Cherasco. This estate even makes a wine called Barolo Undicicomuni that sees fruit sourced from all 11 villages. I may be wrong, but I don't believe that has ever been done before.
Wine Spectator, Nov 2018: The sweet fruit and solid structure play off each other as this evolves. Starts with floral, cherry, strawberry and licorice flavors, melding into the firm, resonant tannins as the finish extends. Complex, balanced and set for a long life. Best from 2022 through 2036. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 93 points. Top 100: 2018, Rank: 54 –BS
Our other three wines tomorrow are France Gonzalvez's 2016 'G' Beaujolais Villages [$27.99], an organically farmed, virtually no intervention, “natural” wine from Gamay grown in granite soils; the Cruvin from Punta Crena [$23.99] in the Colline Savonesi appellation a kilometer from the Mediterranean, right near Italy's border with France, our first Crovino; and Kante's 2014 Terrano [$26.99]. our first Terrano, a sub-variety of Refosco from just outside of Trieste native to Venizia Guilia and Western Slovinia. The Crovino, nicknamed Cruvin, is a fussy grape with tiny yields that easily falls off the vine when ripe. The Terrano macerates for 3 weeks and ages in old barrels for 36 months. We thought it might be fun to try out these three unique wines.
So, some that are familiar and some that are new and less known, seven in all, make up our afternoon, beginning at 2 pm. accompanied by salumi, cheese and a baguette with the paid portion being $4.
Again, thank you all for your time and interest.