Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

oenopole trade tasting (4/4): La Stoppa

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Located south of Piacenza in westernmost Emilia-Romagna, the 58-hectare La Stoppa estate was acquired by the Pantaleoni family in 1973. Daughter Elena took the helm in 1997. She and winemaker Giulio Armani (who also bottles wines under his own label, e.g. the Dinavolino reported on last spring) are both committed to organic farming and the notion that wines are made in the vineyard, not the cellar.  The 30-odd hectares of vines are planted to local varieties as well as Bordeaux red varieties and Pinot Noir (in contrast to Tuscany, the international varieties have been in the region since the 1800s).

Since, after the blog’s name, La Stoppa Guttunio is the search string that most often brings visitors to this site (with gutturnio La Stoppa and Gutturnio also among the top ten search strings), I should mention that, as of the 2010 vintage, La Stoppa has stopped making Gutturnio per se. (I’d meant to ask Elena why during her visit but didn’t have the opportunity to speak with her.) Apparently, both the frizzante and still versions have been replaced by an IGT Emilia dubbed “Trebbiolo” (see below).

IGT Emilia 2010, Trebbiolo Rosso, La Stoppa ($18.90, 11896501)
Barbera (60%) and Bonarda (40%) from three- to 20-year-old vines. Macerated on the skins for about 20 days. Fermented with native yeasts. Made and matured in stainless steel vats. Unfined, unfiltered. A little sulphur is added on bottling. 13% ABV
Intriguing nose: red fruit and sweet spice with earthy and savoury aromas only just beginning to unfold. Medium-bodied. Ripe fruit over an inky substrate. Structured by acidity as much as tannins. Turns a little astringent on the finish. Intense, pure, long. Great QPR. A wine to buy by the case.

Colli Piacentini 2004, La Stoppa ($43.75, oenopole, NLA)
Cabernet Sauvignon (40%), Merlot (40%) and other minor Bordeaux varieties such as Petit Verdot. Macerated on the skins for 30 days. Fermented with native yeasts. Aged 14 months in neutral barrels and two years in bottle. Unfined. 14.5% ABV.
Bordeauxish nose of cassis, tobacco, mint, graphite. Intense and heady. More extracted than your average Bordeaux but retaining an Old World balance and austerity. Ripe tannins and acidity provide structure, the layered flavours depth. Long, savoury, dark-minerally finish with cherry overtones.

IGT Emilia 2008, Ageno, La Stoppa ($39.00, oenopole, NLA)
Malvasia di Candia Aromatica (60%) with Ortrugo and Trebbiano. Macerated on the skins for 30 days. Fermented with native yeasts. Aged 12 months, 50% in stainless steel vats and 50% in used French oak barrels, followed by another two years in bottle. Unfined. Lightly filtered but no added sulphur. 13% ABV.
Complex nose: flowers, white and yellow fruit, citrus zest, spice and more. Pure, fresh and equally complex in the mouth: dried apricot, straw, minerals, herbs. The lively acidity, light airframe structure and rich extract give the wine a real presence. A light tannic astringency appears on the finish. In contrast to many other orange wines, as kaleidoscopic on the palate as on the nose. A treat.

IGT Emilia Malvasia Passito 2008, Vigna del Volta, La Stoppa ($51.00/500 ml, oenopole, NLA)
Malvasia di Candia Aromatica (95%) and Moscato (5%). The grapes are partially dried on sheets and pressed in a wooden press. Aged ten months in French oak barrels and two years in bottle. 13% ABV.
Fragrant nose: raisiny and candied but fresh. Sweet but not saccharine, rich but not heavy. Honeyed fruit flavours are layered over a savoury, dry substrate. Long finish with just a hint of bitterness and astringency. Another treat.

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Written by carswell

November 12, 2012 at 17:22

One Response

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  1. […] of spicy red fruit with slate and leather overtones. Medium-bodied. Rounder and less dry than in earlier vintages. A little hard-candied on entry, the fragrant fruit is savouried by dried herb notes, souring […]


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