of course, we had wine, plenty of it. our tour brought us to some fine wineries indeed:
- poderi colla:
the first winery of our tour where we tasted a tough, very tannic nebbiolo d'alba 2004. a fine color and aromas alright, but a palate that is almost unforgetable so much it gripped to the gums, tongue, and palate... i was told that such wine need food to be appreciated at its just value - this always makes me cringe...
we then had a much easier to drink barbarera d'alba 2004 which gave us a fine representation indeed of its kind. it is at this point that, while trying to concluded our tasting, our host perhaps realised that he underestimated our ability to differeniate between common and good and so we launched into a serious discussion about tannin and balance and how the nebbiolo we had just tasted had much too much of the former and seriously not enough of the later.
and so, he hurried to the cellar and brought back a very decent bottle of barbaresco roncaglia 2004 which shows much promises as its fruit, acidity and tannin was showing a much better balance and complexity of aromas and palate.
i am still learning and this tasting was certainly an eye opener for me to realise that i know much more than i thought and that this kind of tasting helps much in building the confidence necessary to evaluate and discuss a wine versus another.
- valter bera:
a very special experience firstly because the location of this winery is absolutely stunning and secondly because the lack of pretention shown by valter bera was so refreshing - after-all, i was told and read that he makes some of the best moscato in italy and so, i was pleasantly surprised. we arrived in the middle of a lunch they were hosting for rai television and so did not know too much what to make of us even though we had confirmed our appointment weeks before.
nevertheless they were good enough to arrange one of their colleague to take good care of us and he started by pooring a nice bottle of dolcetto d'alba 2004. however, we had come specifically for their moscato d'asti and their asti. in particular, i wanted to see for myself the method of production that i just learned in my diploma classes in this last semestre.
we tasted and we experienced. moscato d'asti had a nice pale straw color with fine persitent bubbles, medium intensity aromas of flowers, white peach, lightly sweet with low levels of acidity, fresh, fruity flavours of apple skin and hints of honey with a nice delicate soft mousse and medium (+0) after-taste. a nice good quality wine. the asti was much the same s the moscato but a little drier with more tropical fruits qualities and slightly more agressive mousse although, as the moscato, persistent and fine.
i was explained later that they obtain such fine mousse because they close the tank as soon as they fill it up with the moscato and use a special yeast to obtain delicatness and complexity.
we left with much moscato, asti, and also a moscato passito they make on the side which i am told is wonderful.