Brett happens

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More research required

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IGT Emilia Rosso 2013, Trebbiolo,  La Stoppa ($21.80, 11896501)
A blend of Barbera (60%) and Bonarda (40%) from organically farmed six- to 23 year-old vines. Fermented with indigenous yeasts. Matured five months in stainless steel. Unfiltered and unfined. A small squirt of sulphur dioxide is added at bottling. Reducing sugar: 7.9 g/l. 13% ABV. Quebec agent: oenopole.
Earthy nose 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 acidity and a soft astringency that lingers through the medium-long finish. Still, even when drunk with food (in this instance, an onion and meguez pizza), the wine’s residual sugar is apparent; it’s not enough to be disagreeable but it is enough to be distracting. I suspect and hope it’s an artefact of the vintage and not a concession to the North American fad for off-dry red wines. (Buy again? Another bottle to see what’s up. And bottles of the 2014 when it rolls around, for sure.)

Trebbiolo and its predecessor, Gutturnio, have long been among my favourite everyday Italian reds, so I jumped on this new arrival when I ran across it at the SAQ. On opening a bottle, I was surprised to find it sweeter than expected – enough that I immediately went to to check the wine’s reducing sugar content, which turned out to be nearly double the 4 g/l widely considered the upper limit for dry reds. Not finding the wine really compatible with the savoury pizza, I drank half the bottle and saved the other half, which I tried a couple of days later with a roasted rack of suckling pig. And, indeed, the wine showed better, though whether that was due to the dish, my mood or two days’ carafing is unclear to me. What is clear is that the two wine advisors I’ve since spoken to at two SAQ stores both loved the wine and claimed not to have noticed any sweetness; one of them even described it as food-friendly and un peu rustique, which is exactly how I would have characterized the 2010, 2011 and 2012. Obviously, more research is required.

Written by carswell

November 6, 2015 at 15:44

5 Responses

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  1. Had the same reaction but didn’t think to look up the sugar, just thought this is not as I remember it from previous vintages, almost cloying. I needed to take a break and switch to a different wine.


    November 7, 2015 at 00:21

    • Thanks for the data point, andrewm. Good to know I’m not imagining things.


      November 7, 2015 at 11:58

  2. Alas, I too found the wine disappointing. Unbalanced with little structure to offset the sugar and cherry notes.


    November 7, 2015 at 14:27

  3. […] Diamantis’s pairing of La Stoppa’s 2013 “Trebbiolo,” whose residual sugar levels I’d previously found disconcerting, was far more successful). Post-meal, Steve said he’d be curious to try the […]

  4. […] with aplomb. Just don’t serve it too warm. A return to form after the verging on off-dry 2013, this has some of the rustic appeal of the much missed Gutturnio, which cuvée it replaces. (Buy […]

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