Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

A quartet of naturals

with 3 comments

Among the many attractions of SAT’s Foodlab is the short, constantly changing selection of natural wines, most of them available by the glass. (Among the few downsides of SAT’s Foodlab is the stemware: heavy and small, meaning the glasses are filled nearly to the brim and allow no room for the wine’s bouquet to develop.) We ordered four to accompany this week’s excellent Russian Easter menu, the high points of which were a clear borscht, a coulibiac of halibut and salmon and the dessert, a slice of dry, cardamom-perfumed cake and a slice of a pressed cheese obelisk garnished with candied fruit and almonds.

Bourgogne Aligoté 2010, François Mikulski (c. $25, Vini-Vins)
100% Aligoté from two Meursault parcels planted in 1929 and 1948. Initially muted (possibly the fault of the glasses). The nose’s white peach, quartz and hint of lemon are joined by green fruit (gooseberry?) in the mouth. Acid-bright but not sharp; indeed, it sits softly on the palate. Finishes on a faintly lactic, ashy, leafy note. Not profound but wonderfully drinkable.

Burgenland 2009, Blauburgunder, Meinklang ($25.30, La QV)
100% biodynamically farmed Blauburgunder (aka Pinot Noir). Extroverted nose: berries, beet, cola, earth and smoke. Medium-bodied (13%) and intensely flavoured, the ripe fruit sharing the stage with spices, slate and dried wood. Fluid texture. Light, firm tannins turn astringent on the finish. A vibrant Pinot Noir, not at all Burgundian yet very true to the grape. A winner.

Cour-Cheverny 2009, La Porte Dorée, Domaine Philippe Tessier (c. $28, Vini-Vins)
100% Romorantin from 40- to 90-year-old vines; 85% is aged ten months in demi-muids and barriques. Dry but lightly honeyed. Round, supple and fluid. Acid blossoms on the deliciously sourish finish. Minerals galore and a preserved lemon aftertaste. Pure, clean, long. A beauty.

Colli Piacentini 2010, Dinavolino, Azienda Agricola Denavolo ($27.04, Primavin)
Hazy bronze to the eye. Wafting nose of honey-candied yellow fruit, spice and a whiff of musk (not knowing anything about the wine, I wrote “Malvasian,” so it’s true to type). Quite intense on the attack – fruity, grapey, semi-sweet – it downshifts radically on the mid-palate, fading and drying to rainwater and minerals with a hint of tannins. Intriguing.

Quebec agent Primavin provides the following information on the wine, which is penned by the owner-winemaker, Giulio Armani, who is also the winemaker at La Stoppa

Located at 500 m high, the vineyard DENAVOLO, named after the mountain upper the cellar and the locality where the vineyard is planted, spreads over 3 hectares in the Colli Piacentini area.

The vines are grown on limestone soil, the climate is hot and dry, but at this altitude, the temperature fluctuations between night and day are more than 10°C, explaining that freshness and minerality in the wines.

We only use local grapes : 25% Malvasia di Aromatica Candia, 25% Ortrugo, 25% Marsanne grapes and another not identified yet.

DINAVOLO and DINAVOLINO are produced as if they were red wines, the grapes are de-stemmed, crushed and then stay several months in skin maceration to release in the wine all the aromatic and phenolic components which are in the skin. The wines present a beautiful orange colour, a mineral and lightly flowerish nose, the mouth is well-structured with tannins and a good length.

The main difference between both cuvée comes from the location of the grapes in the vineyard. To produce DINAVOLINO, I selected grapes only located in the downer part of the hill, those grapes keep more acidity and the wine produced is completely different, freshner, younger and more aromatic.

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Written by carswell

April 14, 2012 at 14:14

3 Responses

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  1. […] finish. Not remarkably long but leaving an impression of purity. A bit less rich and sweet than the 2009 but, if anything, even easier to drink. Share […]

  2. […] helm in 1997. She and winemaker Giulio Armani (who also bottles wines under his own label, e.g. the Dinavolino I tasted last spring) are both committed to organic farming and the notion that wines are made in the vineyard, not the […]

  3. […] has been a Cour-Cheverny-free zone, forcing Romorantin lovers to turn to agencies like Glou and Vini-vins. Until last week, that is, when this showed up on SAQ […]


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