This Saturday we’re experiencing the pure flavor of five Italian grape varietals. The wines are focused and fresh, and very distinct. Join us as we taste our way through Trebbiano, Verdicchio, Barbera, Dolcetto and Lambrusco Grasparossa.
2017 Vallevo, Trebbiano $10
From a small co-operative winery in the Abruzzo region, this Trebbiano has aromas of almond, citrus and a hint of herbs. It is bone dry and finishes with a very attractive hint of apple-skin.
2016 Marangona, Lugana, Tre Campane $18
The Lugana appellation is around the base of Lake Garda, one of the most beautiful places in Italy. Lugana is in fact made of a kind of Verdicchio, which is known near Lake Garda as Trebbiano di Lugana or Turbiana. Tre Campane means ‘three bells,’ signifying the three communes of Lugana where the grapes for this cuvee are grown. The Tre Campani has the aroma and flavor of almonds, herbs, citrus and a hint of apricot. It is long and medium-bodied, with very fresh acidity.
2015 Agostion Pavia, Barbera di Asti Moliss $20
Agostino Pavia and his sons Giuseppe (‘Pino’) and Mauro make this single-vineyard Barbera from old vines and aged in large Slovenian oak ovals (‘botti’) and 500L barrels; it is the closest thing to a traditional Asti but cleaner and more concentrated. (These larger oval barrels, usually made of Eastern European oak, give the wine only a hint of oak aroma, when new, and a different texture.) This Barbera has the aroma of raspberries with a hint of herbs. The palate has a broad, meaty quality from the aging in large barrels and good acidity, not to mention a long, persistent finish.
2017 Anna Maria Abbona, Dolcetto di Dogliani Sori Dij $21
The quality of Dolcetto from the village of Dogliani has been skyrocketing in the last few years, and Anna Maria’s work is a good example of this. Her oldest vines were planted by her grandfather in the thirties, and the vineyards are steep and perfectly exposed. Sori’ is Piedmontese dialect for the sunny south face of a hill. This is classic Dogliani Dolcetto, fermented and aged in stainless steel. It shows great color, reddish purple and violet-tinged, aromas of blueberries and tealeaf, and some tea tannins to go with the abundant fruit on the palate.
Barbolini, Grasparossa di Castolvente Lambrusco $15
Lambrusco is a family of grape varieties, Lambrusco Grasparossa is the particular variety of Lambrusco, and Castelvetro is where it’s from (near Modena). The grapes are estate grown and fermented into a dry red base wine, then batches of the base wine are re-fermented in special reinforced tanks to add bubbles. The wine is bottled in a champagne bottle with a champagne cork. This wine bears no resemblance to the mass-produced Lambrusco that was popular some years ago. The wine is an attractive purplish red with vigorous purple foam when poured. The aroma is of plums and black fruit; medium weight on the palate, dry and plummy, with a faint bitterness at the finish.
Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday, we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5.