Special thanks to Tom H, who hipped me to this place.
Above: Classic-method Petit Rouge “Caronte” by Morgex et de La Salle (Val d’Aosta)? Hell ya! Caronte is Dante’s Charon, as the label reveals with these lines: Charon the demon, with eyes of glowing coals/beckons to them, herds them all aboard/striking anyone who slackens with his oar (Inferno 3, 109-11). This wine had elegant structure and citrus fruit balanced by a savory minerality. One of those, I-could-drink-everyday-and-never-get-tired-of-it wines.
Posting hastily as I head out for meetings in Alba and Grinzane this morning and then to Milan to reconnect with friends, old and new, and hopefully to visit a bookshop or too before dinner.
Above: “Natural wine” is a touchy subject in Italy and the term “natural” really refers here, as Thor pointed out the other night, to a philosophy, loose but honest, rather than a rigorously enforced code. Owner Claudio called this a “natural” Barbera. 2006 Piemonte Barbera (although actually a Barbera d’Asti) by Hohler. It was earthy and savory, meaty but not over rich. I completely dug it.
After everyone left yesterday, I spent the day alone, catching up on correspondence, doing a little translating for a client, and resting. Tom H had mentioned TastéVin Vineria, a fantastic wine bar near Asti’s city walls, and so I headed out for a little walk and then took a seat at the tiny counter and chatted with owner Claudio, munching on charcuterie and cheese and tasting wines he recommended.
Above: I was completely floored by this wine. 2004 Aglianico d’Irpinia Drogone by Cantina Giardino. No sulfite added. Rich and savory, gorgeous tannin (slightly mellowed after having been opened the night before), rocks and red fruit, and impressive acidity. Definitely a great candidate for aging. My one word tasting note? Wow.
Okay. That’s all I have time for today. Gotta run. If you ever make it to Asti, please check out TastéVin Vineria. That’s a photo of owners Claudio and his fidanzata below (I’m so sorry, Claudio! I lost the card you gave me last night with your last names!).
Via Carlo Vassallo, 2
14100 Asti, Italy
In other news…
Only my love holds the other key to me…