Friday, January 29, 2016

#WineStudio Online Session 32 with Tanaro River Imports Concludes with Tannins Galore

January's edition of #WineStudio featured George Tita and Tanaro River Imports, an importer specializing in small producers in northern Italy and France.  The first two segments covered excellent wines from Alsace as well as the Roero and Diano d'Alba regions of Italy's Piedmont.This week we finished with one more wine from the Piedmont as well as a Montefalco Rosso from Umbria.

Germano Angelo Azienda 2010 Nebbiolo d’Alba “Visette” Piemonte, Italy ($24, 14.5%) is "a Barolo without the price tag". Germano Angelo is the name of the winery's founder and a little more than a century later Davide Germano is now the winemaker. This is a baby Barolo as it is aged six months less than a traditional Barolo. The grapes are also sourced from three areas ( La Morra, Barolo and Monforte) where "Visette" is a name of a parcel in Monfort. And although once heavy farmed,  Nebbiolo now accounts for only 6% of Piedmont grape production. This Nebbiolo is a structured wine with many layers of dark black fruit, tobacco and dried figs. It finishes with long stringy tannins. At $24 this is a great value.

Azienda Agricola Romanelli 2012 Montefalco Rosso Umbria, Italy ($24, 15%) was made using the legacy Montefalco Rosso DOC regulations requireing 60-70% Sangiovese, 10-15% Sagrantino, 15-30% other authorized varietals. In this case Merlot and Cabernet. In 2015 these regulations were changed to remove the other varieties so that the final percentages must consist of 60-80% Sangiovese and 10-25% Sagrantino. The former grape is is indigenous to Umbria and is found only around the hilltop town of Montefalco and is tannic. And I mean tannic, the most tannic of all Italian varieties. Devis Romanelli is the young family winemaker and according to Tita is "doing important work on understanding terroir, skin contact, barrel use, etc. to push the quality of wine of Umbri". This wine shows plenty of structure starting with a leathery tobacco aroma, faint black cherry fruit, and very noticable dirty chewy tannins - finish is not harsh as in a Sagrantino di Montefalco. Pair with fatty meats.

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