Wine of the Week – Pico Maccario Barbera d’Asti Lavignone 2010

Pico Maccario Barbera d’Asti Lavignone 2010:  The Pico Maccario vineyards and winery are set atop an eerily quiet and exposed hillside outside of Mombaruzzo, a small town nestled in the hills east of Alba and Asti.  But, behind the gates of this remote outpost lies 172 acres of vineyards and one of the most modern wineries in all of Piedmont.  The Maccario family’s uncompromising commitment to quality is evidenced by their investment in the study of new and old Barbera clones, the brilliantly efficient layout of their winery space, their appreciation for the most subtle details of winemaking, and of course, their delicious Barberas.  The Barbera d’Asti Lavignone 2010 features a translucent ruby robe, and starts with fresh aromas of violets, strawberries and raspberries dusted with powdered sugar, and orange pith.  With time in the glass the aromas become the essence of dried rose petals, which considering the 4,500 red rose bushes planted throughout the vineyard, is perhaps a testament to man’s ability to influence terroir.  The initial sip sparks the tongue with a perfect balance of acidity, tannin, soil tones, and deep berry flavors.  Impressively concentrated, with the intensity and spicy rose characteristics of the wine building from the midpalate through the moderately long finish.  13.5% alc.  Drink now-2015.  $17  (91 points)

Castello Di Neive Grignolino 2009 – From Italo Stupino, the Grand Master of Neive

Castello di Neive Grignolino 2009: Pictured to the left are Filippo Pistone, Bacchanal Wine Imports, & Italo Stupino, the Grand Master of the small village of Neive and its greatest winery, Castello di Neive.  The wines from this producer are well worth the hunt, including this wonderfully light Grignolino.  Pale garnet, bricking at rim.  Dusty cherry & ripe cranberry aromas have a subtle briar kick, and are followed by a deliciously light, tea-inflected attack and midpalate.  Light bodied and balanced from the first sip to the spicy finish.  A finesse driven red that pairs well with fig & prosciutto pizza.  Drink now-2014.  13% alc.  (88 points)

Wine of the Year: Fiegl Meja ’01 Passito 2006

Fiegl Meja ’01 Passito 2006: Burnt orange-gold in color.  A breathtaking perfume of brown sugar, walnuts, dried peaches, and golden raisins.  Searing acidity on the palate, where the thick nectar glazes over the tongue before the full explosion of flavor on the midpalate and never-ending finish.  A blend of 90% Traminer and 10% Sauvignon Blanc.  A legendary dessert wine from the Fiegl family based on the Italian side of the Collio region.  Drink now-2040.  (100 points)

Cascina Luisin Dolcetto d’Alba Bric Trifiila 2008

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 Cascina Luisin Dolcetto d’Alba Bric Trifiila 2008: Dark violet robe.  An enticing, delicate display of violet and black raspberry aromas leads to a balanced mouthful of distilled violets and black berry flavors, with a hint of plum and mushroom.  Medium-bodied, with moderate acidity that beckons light pasta dishes.  13% alc.  Drink now (with decanting) through 2015.  (88 points)

Wine of the Week: Domaine Piron Morgon Cote du Py 2009

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Domaine Piron Morgon Cote du Py 2009:  A great bottle of Morgon Cote du Py can express the haunting minerality of granitic soils as well as plush cherry fruit flavors.  The Domaine Piron Morgon Cote de Py 2009 captures this duality admirably.  Dark garnet in color, this bottling reveals aromas and flavors of crushed blue stones, red soil, and a fat dollop of cherry cobbler.  The fruit is somewhat frontloaded, allowing for a dry finish.  The round tannins provide for early consumption or cellaring for another 2-3 years.  If a wine can demonstrate poise, this is Exhibit A.  13% alc.  Drink now-2014.  (92 points)