Friday, January 7, 2011


So, now that I'm hitting 2011 and a new milestone number on The List, perhaps a hopeful resolution should be taken on. A goal to catch up on the blog postings and to try to stay more up-to-date - than I've been able to thus far with this Odyssey - sounds promising (even if it's somewhat ambitious). However, if I'm going to have any chance at all - and I've got a ways to go - I'd best get on with it.

700. 2004 Fontanafredda Barbaresco (DOCG Barbaresco - Piedmont - Italy)

When I chose this wine for dinner, I didn't realize that it would be the #700 wine on this quest to hit 2001 Bottles. I kinda think these century marks deserve a bit of a celebration. So, it's fitting that I grabbed a Barbaresco because we don't get to try them very often - and, when we do, it always brings back memories of our second "honeymoon" which included some wine times up in Piedmont.

We didn't get the chance to tour or taste at many wineries while in Italy and Fontanafredda wasn't one of the ones that we did visit. I found that it's a bit of an effort to set tastings up in Italy. Plenty of wine. That's without doubt, but it's not quite the same as visiting the Okanagan or Napa. I know there's bound to be a way to fit in a lot more than we managed, but we'll have to look at setting up more of a co-ordinated tour - like we recently did in Mendoza and Argentina - should we ever make it back to Bella Italia.

Fontanafredda is a major player in the Langhe and Piedmont. They have over 170 acres of their own vineyards; plus, they have hundreds of farmers growing grapes for them on consignment as well. Their Barbaresco vineyards surround the eleven towns just to the North-East of Alba and the grape of choice for Barbaresco is Nebbiolo. Actually, it's the only grape that can be used in making Barbaresco under classification regulations.

Barbaresco is often referred to as the baby brother of the renowned Italian Barolo wine since Barolo is also made from the Nebbiolo grape in a neighbouring district. In fact, a large number of wineries produce both wines. Although the two districts are only short miles apart, the grapes tend to ripen slightly earlier in the Barbaresco region and this can allow a shorter fermentation period. The resulting wine generally has softer tannins which make it more approachable, and earlier than a Barolo, after bottling. Barbaresco regulations also have more lenient minimum aging requirements before the wines can be sold.

More approachable than a Barolo or not, I'm not sure that we were overwhelmed by the wine. The profile was perhaps a little too Old World for our palates. It was well-matched with the pasta, but it didn't quite drink as nicely on its own once the food was gone.

There was one additional bonus to the wine though. It seems that I haven't actually added a Nebbiolo wine to my Wine Century Club application yet. I know I've had them before, because they're on The List, but I must have missed adding to the WCC list. I think that's got me either at or close to 90 varietals. I think it's safe to say that I could resolve to hit my century mark this year.

At least that could be one resolution I'd be willing to follow up on at the end of the year.

No comments:

Post a Comment