Maybe you guys out there have already noticed that the Italian wine population on this blog has increased over the past two months. This year I intend to drink more Italian, in particular Piedmontese, stuff. The reason for this intention? Well, probably because I am not so much familiar with most Italian viticulture areas, in particular the Piedmont, and even more probably because I never really felt the inevitable urge to get too familiar with them. Today it had to be something from Piedmont. Over the years I had some, or a bit more than just some, really good and unfortunately really expensive Piedmontese wines which were predominantly made of Nebbiolo. In the more reasonable price range between 10 to 30 Euros I constantly had problems to find intoxicating, memorable or mentionable stuff. I experienced plenty of hard, acidic and vicious encounters with grape varietals like Nebbiolo, Barbera, Moscato, Dolcetto, Arneis etc. and right now I'd like to give them another chance.
Today's wine might not be the best kind of wine to start my personal remission misson. Simple reason! I never ever had a Freisa so far! I have read some stuff about this alleged highly acidic varietal and wasn't really intrigued to give it a shot. Anyway, it happened and it wasn't that bad!
A few words to the producer of today's wine: Aldo Conterno = super big name and perhaps legendary Barolo and Langhe producer from Monforte D'Alba! Today's Langhe is a blend of Freisa (80%), Cabernet Sauvignon (10%) and Merlot (10%) from the pretty decent vintage 2004.
The colour seemed really dark for a Freisa based wine. Hardly any transparency. Those French companions provided quite a lot of colour, I guess. The the coronal discolourations were evident, but absolutely expectable!
The nose showed whiffs of tart, dark and very ripened forest berries, tart dark chocolate, hints of tar, diffuse spices, traces of manure and probably some dark rotting wood. An interesting, but not really overwhelmingly inspiring bouquet.
The taste wasn't as controversial or polarizing as I expected it to be. The acid seemed very well integrated (almost a bit too flat), the alcohol was totally confined to solid proportions (those 14% did not mutilate my palat or brain (?)), the tannins seemed really smoothed and the fruit surprised me with its astoundingly fresh and vigorous condition. There was a lot of balance and still totally enough life in this Freisa. To be honest, it was a good, but a bit boring, gaunt, hardly rough and convertible wine. Probably a bit monotonous, but definitely solid and without any big issues downright pleasing. I am not sure if Freisa based wines taste like this in general. I very much do have plenty of doubts about that. I assume the French fellows provided once more a bit of too much streamlining. For me, still a decent **** wine without a lot of demand or complexities or complexes. Sorry, a bit dull today. I expected a far more controversial beast! Perhaps next time!