Happening Now Tasting 34: Sella & Mosca Torbato Terre Bianche Cuvée 161 2014, Alghero

One thing is more than just sure: there are doubtlessly niente problemi to find wines from super scarce, super autochthonous and super great grape varieties in super bella Italia! In combination with the right – well, actually not the best term to use in this case, I guess ;-)music, this Happening Now Tasting must be a real ripper! Like last year I'd like to pay a visit to bellissima Sardegna. More precise, to Alghero on the north western coast of the island. This area of of Sardinia was, and still is - at least in respect of the local language, influenced by Catalan-Aragonese culture. This certain influence even applies to today's super scarce varity called Torbato. Some wine historians suggest that Torbato,was brought to Sardinia in the middle ages by settlers – or, if you like conquerors - from Aragon. Today just about 50 hectares of Torbato are still alive and kicking, Besides Sardinia it is only cultivated on a few hectares in Côtes du Roussillon area. There it is called Tourbat or Malvoisie du Roussillon. My Torbato was produced by the local wine giant Sella & Mosca. Actually so far the only producer who dedicated itself to the "restoration“ of this old traditional variety. The vines for today's Torbato Terre Bianchi Cuvée 161 2014 were cultivated on highly meagre coastal white limestone and assorted white marine sediments. Well, after all it is called Terre Bianchi. Harvest was between late September and early October 2014. Plenty of skin contact and temperature controlled fermentatio for 20 days in stainless steel (approx. 90%) and used oak barrique barrels (approx. 10%) were the next steps of vinification. The subsequent aging in stainless steel was quite short. Let's have the first sip ... 

5:14 pm (popped and poured and probably a bit too chilly)

Colour: 99.999 Canadian Gold Maple Leaf with a few minor rather spawny appearing particles

Nose: elderberry, sea smoke, khaki, maybe some underlying white flowers, a scent of honey (acacia), white pepper, mashy yellow kiwi, hint of oak; rather lush (but crisp), resolute and kind of expansive

Taste: plenty of juvenile sturdy charm, surely a bit snappy (crisp acid), acacia honey, shy impression of oak, elderberry with an addition of certain exoticism, heavy touch of smoke, sea salt, chalky water; so far very robust and convincingly complex

7:56 pm

Nose: character of chalky water is showing some evo in the nose as well, everything is appearing a bit more firm and serious, the fragrances of exotic fruits are performing a bit weaker, same for the acacia honey, besides the elderberry more an more lemon (zesty) aromas are evolving; overall far less lush and expansive

Taste: so far lushness is still prevailing, aromas are pretty much the same, the impression of „detectable“ alcohol (14% on the bottle, on the web page 13,5%) including a mild subliminal rock sugar sweetness is evolving, its crisp punch is keeping up, same for the earlier mentioned distinct smokeiness and my admittingly slightly weird challky water impression (perhaps even a bit more vigerous), some shy assorted green herbs are evolving as well; strenght and charcter are holding up – I am interested how this one will evolve

6: 32 pm (the day after)

Nose: still elderberry, white flower are gaining ground, same for chalkishness, mild acacia honey is gone, fruitful exotic fragrances as well; overall more integrated, less resolute and snappy – however a bit dull as well

Taste: creaminess is hitting the palatal stage, all aromas - but the smokiness – appear more settled, elderberry even a bit stronger, same for the zesty lemon, herbal character a hint more refined, alc. still a bit too dominating, limestone and lushness in the retreat - should go well with mussels, other seashells and similar stuff, however now I am missing the spark of excitment and well fitting shy rebelliousness (which I felt on the first day). In the end a fairly decent **** wine. Better drink it two to three hours after popping. Much more exciting that way

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