January 22, 2008

2003 Brezza Nebbiolo d'Alba Santa Rosalia

I wrote previously about finding this wine on close out locally for $6. This wine normally sells from $15 to $18, so at such a bargain price I bought six bottles on the spot.

Sadly, the first bottle was oxidized. It just tasted flat and to my mind "papery." Not "wet cardboard," which people often refer to when a wine has TCA cork taint. More like the way brown paper bags smell. Whatever it is, not good.

Of course I thought the remaining five bottles were equally shot. But the next one I tried was a real surprise. At first the aroma seemed a little flat. Then the wine began to open up, with ripe fruit aromas and a real nebbiolo perfume. All the dried flowers, tar, and spice you want in good Piemontese wine.

In the mouth, the wine was finely tannic and brightly acidic as nebbiolo tends to be. The flavors were cherry and spice, with a bit of jammy ripeness from the warm 2003 vintage. If you don't like dry wine, don't try this. And if you think that saying a wine was better with food is damning with faint praise, don't try this.

But I liked it. And more importantly, my wife liked it too. So I'm going to buy a few more. At this price, I'll take another clunker to find good wine this cheap.

If you try it, remember. Food. Very nice.

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