The 2020 Asciutto Rive di Colbertaldo Vigneto Giardino is remarkably airy and fresh yet deep; stone dust gives way to dried flowers, ground ginger and citrus-tinged pear. This is a luxuriously soft and round expression, with silken bubbles and a beautiful balance of saline acidity contrasting its pleasant inner sweetness. Ripe pear mixes with green melon and candied citrus throughout the long and incredibly refreshing finale, as a twang of granny smith lingers. Adami is a master of the Asciutto style, which the winery estimates leaves between 17-32 grams per liter of residual sugar; and yet, you’d be hard-pressed to notice it at all.
At each tilt of the glass, the 2019 Podium reveals something new. Initially showing gingery spice, white smoke and yellow flower notes, it evolves into sour melon, young mango and wet stone aromas. Finally, it turns flinty, with crushed apples and raw almonds. The silky textures are almost glycerol-like, even though it is seemingly weightless in feel. It hovers above the senses while being propelled by vibrant acidity and saturating mineral tones, as ripe orchard fruits and inner florals cascade across the palate. It leaves you with an achingly youthful impression, the combination of structure and lingering notes of bitter grapefruit rind and granny smith apples. 2019 Podium is a classic in the making; and while it can be enjoyed today, the best is yet to come.
Made with organically farmed grapes, this offers enticing aromas of camphor, blue flower, new leather and dark spice. The smooth, delicious palate delivers ripe Morello cherry, crushed raspberry, star anise and tobacco framed in taut, fine-grained tannins. Drink through 2027.
The NV Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Bosco di Gica punches well above its price point, boasting an intensely smoky and mineral expression on the nose that pulls you close to the glass. Beneath, I’m finding notes of pear and sweet herbal tones. It’s soothing and creamy yet balanced by brisk acids, as ripe orchard fruits satiate the senses, leaving a salty twang that resonates through the finale. Wow. This is a pleasure to taste. This was bottled in September of 2020.
The 2018 Barolo Brunate is a deep, layered wine that is going to need at least a few years to come together. Today, the Brunate is quite primary and backward, but all the ingredients are there. Sage, menthol, licorice, dried flowers and spice build with a bit of coaxing.
This is one of my all-time favorite Brunellos, and although personal tastes are fluid and may change from time to time, there is something timeless and solid about this wine. It's like a touchstone. The Casanova di Neri 2017 Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova is graced with a similar interlude of elegant rose or crushed flower that we saw in the annata wine. It appears more prominently here, and with more shape and focused intensity. Make no mistake, Giacomo Neri builds wines for pleasure and sensual impact, and this wine (helped by a hot growing season and 15% alcohol) ticks all those boxes. But it also shows floral elegance and sour cherry freshness that defies our expectations of the vintage.