I know it has been a while since my last post but it has been quite the busy month. However, I didn’t want to let more time pass before writing about this bottle, which I feel is an amazing value for the quality of wine. The 2012 Fontanafredda Nebbiolo is a fine example of the power of the Nebbiolo grape, this was a more difficult year for the vineyard as the spring was both cold and wet and August saw a spike in temperature that accelerated ripening. In all, the grape quality was exceptional in 2012, although the yields were down around 30%. The 2012 Fontanafredda is full bodied and ruby in colour, floral notes are immediate, strawberries and spice notes also prevail. This wine is very surprising for the price of approximately $20 per bottle and can be paired with barbequed meats, pasta dishes and aged firm cheeses. The Fontanafredda Nebbiolo is really produced in order to consume now, there is no real need to lay this wine down and give it some time to develop. The tannins are firm but aerating and decanting properly will help in a short period of time, allowing the fruit flavours to become more pronounced. Fontanafredda is an estate producing wonderful wines from it’s 133 acre vineyard, fully equipped with restaurant and hotel, why not stop by when you are in Italy next! Alla Salute!
The wines coming out of the Ascheri vineyard are simply fantastic, Matteo Ascheri truly has a thriving business and a delightful vineyard that are offering his customers an innovative take on wine and furthermore, wines that can be enjoyed by all at a reasonable price point. Located in Piedmont, Italy, the Ascheri vineyard is now a suburb of what was originally a well-known Barolo commune, La Morra. The goal of the Ascheri family is to make wines that are terrior of their region through the grape varieties it is known for, this is nice to see as the vineyard embodies pride rather than a winemakers prowess, individual accomplishments and capabilities. These grape varieties include Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto, commonly used in the production of Barolo, Barbera d’Alba and Dolcetto d’Alba respectively. Let’s take a moment to analyze some of Ascheri’s current offerings so that we can all be made aware of their composition, flavor profiles and price points in order to help us make more informed wine selections at our points of purchase. For more information on Ascheri wines check out their website, or better yet, stop by their hotel and osteria, what a trip that would be!
2012 Ascheri Barbera d’Alba DOC – An extra dry, medium bodied and slightly fruity red made from the Barbera grape variety, light ruby in color with highlights of deeper purple, dominant blackberry and plum aromas, a well balanced medium length finish with tight tannins. The Ascheri Barbera d’Alba comes in at 14% alcohol and better yet a $15 price point per bottle, this is exceptional value for the wine you are getting, try this bottle with your favorite cheeses and cured meats. I could have easily chosen the 2011 Ascheri Fontanelle Barbera d’Alba for $18 per bottle but to even the refined palate the difference is indistinguishable.
2013 Ascheri San Giacomo Nebbiolo d’Alba – A full bodied ruby red colored wine comprised of at least 85% Nebbiolo grape variety, most commonly used in Barolo’s and Barbaresco’s. The floral bouquet aroma’s are very evident, particularly the scents of violet’s and rose. This is a 14% alcohol wine that is dry on the sweetness descriptor, the finish is soft yet harmoniously persistent, this wine could be kept for another 10 years under proper storage conditions. Coming in at a price of $25, this is true value and adequate for any occasion, best paired with barbequed meats.
2010 Ascheri Pisapola Barolo – An extra dry, full bodied and firm Barolo, true to its form. Deep red in color with intense aromas of dark fruits, violets and spices, comprised 100% of the Nebbiolo grape from Ascheri’s best vineyards, Pisapola and Verduno. This is a 14.5% alcohol wine with a persistent finish, it is best to decant and give the wine some time to open up, some cellar time would increase the profile of this wine, but it is most certainly accessible now. Best served with tomato sauce pasta dishes and roasted red meats. For a price of $45, the 2010 Ascheri Pisapola Barolo delivers great value in a competitive and collectible category of Italian red wines.