July 18, 2012

More Nebbiolo Vecchio

I finally opened another of the bottles of old nebbiolo from Chambers Street Wines in NYC. This one I'll admit I bought because of the label. Of course I trusted a Chambers recommendation, and Spanna is always good to see on a label. Riserva 1967, too. Apparently that was a good year in northern Italy and reserve should mean something, no?

But look at that label. That's what really got me. I liked it so much I bought two, and I'm glad I did.

The Guild crew met up at a house on Mt. Hood a few weeks ago to catch up on business. With the alpine air, the wine geek factor in the house and surely good food, I figured there would be good conditions for enjoying a wine like this, the 1967 Francoli Spanna Riserva.

I'm not sure if my co-conspirators felt the same, but I really liked this wine. It's not cocktail wine. It's something you savor a bit more, with a crowd so everyone can taste but no one has to drink the whole thing. A nice glass with a plate of egg pasta with mushrooms and cream? Really good.

This wine seemed more advanced than the '69 Berteletti Sizzano I had a few months earlier. Strange, '69 is considered a very difficult year and Sizzano is hardly a household name in towns known for their nebbiolo-based wine. Nevertheless, the color was no more than brick, the wine freshening up with air time. I find this commonly with old wine - give it air and you'll coax out more freshness and fruit than is often usually apparently right when you open a bottle.

I loved the tobacco leaf and strawberry preserve aromas, with aged notes of soy and mushrooms in there as well. Wines like this are often most enjoyable aromatically. That was true here. The flavors were delicate and holding together, but not as full and enticing as the fragrance. Still, a lovely drink with a simple dinner, a lovely 45-year-old drink that is.

No comments: