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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Is that? Could it be?


Yup. Nebbiolo in a barrel. Making Nebbiolo means no more sleeping. It is like raising a child that has a 10% of turning out well. This is also the Lampia clone (FPS 01) which has the least color of all the clones, but according to the man himself, Alberto di Gresy, Lampia has the best flavor but is the most difficult to work with. We are taking our cue from a forgotten book written in the 90's that followed the making of Gaja's Sori San Lorenzo, a modern-styled Nebbiolo but the cellar practices are the focus for me. Nebbiolo has largely failed in California, and whether it is the winemaking or the viticulture no one is really sure (it is probably both). I will just say that the flavor is incredible. Bob Parker would say: huge extract, loaded with glycerol, 45 second finish, low acid, fat, and all other sorts of things that make no sense and are better suited to Coca Cola descriptions.
As for harvest, the Dolcetto hasn't budged past 23 brix and it rained yesterday - hopefully giving a brief rest to the vines before a final push. Everything feels two weeks away, not counting our end of October rain-waiting game for the Aglianico and the rest of the Nebbiolo and (the half barrel above was from Dunnigan, hence the early harvest at a nice 24 brix with great flavor at 3.6pH and the bit of younger old-school complexity we hope to blend back in). In fact I am drinking Graziano's Enotria 2000 Nebbiolo from Mendocino right now, lamenting 36 months in french oak and a 13% Dolcetto addition - an absolute crime and a Nebbiolo disaster to me (but rather shocking at $18).

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