The Cellar: The King of Wines
Friday, September 05, 2014
This week I am going to do something unusual and focus on a region and its wine, which is not available for under $20. In fact this week’s wine retails for more than 3 times that. While not inexpensive I still dare to call the 2008 Barolo from Damilano’s holdings in the famous Cannubi vineyard an amazing value. To find value in a $60+ bottle of wine one has to know what to compare it to. In this case I believe something like a ‘Boutique’ Napa Cab, a Grand Cru Burgundy or a Classified Growth Bordeaux are reasonable comparisons.
Barolo & Nebbiolo
Damilano & Cannubi
The Damilano family has been making wine in the Langhe region since 1890. Today, the family business is run by the fourth generation of Damilano’s Paolo, Mario and Guido who makes four single vineyards Barolos as well as one ‘mixed vineyards’ Barolo (not to mention other wines made from Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto, Moscato and Arneis). The Barolo made from their 25 acres planted in the Cannubi vineyard is the Estate’s premier bottling. The Cannubi vineyard dates back to the 1700’s and is by many considered one of the top sites for growing Nebbiolo in all of Italy. Like Damilano writes on their website: “If there was a classification of Grand Cru in Piedmont similar to the one in Burgundy, the Cannubi vineyard would be considered as one of the very few true Grand Crus that exist in the Barolo area.”
The ’08 Cannubi Barolo from Damilano is very young. If you absolutely have to open it now (which I had to) make sure to aerate it for a few hours before taking your first sip. There is so much going on in this wine - aromas and flavors of red cherries, bitter chocolate, tobacco, herbs, roses and dirty soil comes to mind. When I say this wine is ‘powerful’ what I am referring to is the structure: noticeable tannins and pronounced acidity. But this is all part of what makes this wine absolutely stunning and worth its price. It drinks absolutely fantastic now, but will also age gracefully for a decade or more.
Steffen Rasch is a Certified Sommelier and Specialist of Wine. Feel free to email him at [email protected] with any wine-related question or learn about wine in person by signing up for one of his tastings through the Providence Wine Academy.
Related Slideshow: 10 New England Wine Getaways
Carolyn's Sakonnet Vineya
Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyards in Little Compton is much more than just a winery—it is a place to get away from the stresses of life and indulge your senses, a place to try new things, a place to focus on you. The vineyard is open every day, and invites you to come for a tasting and tour. Try their Petite Red, Vidal Blanc, and many more of their distinctive wines.
162 W Main Road, Little Compton, RI. (401) 635-8486.
Visit Greenvale Vineyards in Portsmouth to sample their estate grown and produced wine, made in small batches. While at the estate, try seven different wines and keep the wine glass for only $12. While you are tasting, take in the gorgeous views of both the vineyard and river. Besides tasting the wines, Greenvale also invites customers to tour the winery and learn about the history and process of winemaking at the vineyard.
582 Wapping Road, Portsmouth, RI. (401) 847-3777.
Maugle Sierra Vineyards
For a trip to a vineyard that includes much more than just wine, hop over the border to Ledyard, CT, to check out Maugle Sierra Vineyards. The vineyard hosts live music on Fridays and Sundays to compliment your wine tasting experience. Pack a dinner or light fare and enjoy a tasting session in the Sierra Room while you take in the sunset.
825 Colonel Ledyard Highway, Ledyard, CT. (860) 464-2987.
Nickle Creek Vineyards
Nickle Creek Vineyard is a family owned and operated Rhode Island wine treasure. The winery, located in Foster, makes it their mission to handcraft the most unique, high quality wines in the business. All wines are created in small batches, giving them a distinctly unique taste. This weekend, visit their tasting room to try their variety of wines. On your way out, be sure to pick up a bottle of Foster Nights to get you through those chilly New England evenings.
12 King Road, Foster, RI. (401) 369-3694.
Nashoba Valley Winery
Take the bite off the winter chill this weekend and take a drive to Nashoba Valley Winery in Bolton. The winery hosts tasting events everyday from 10am-4:30pm For $5, receive a free tasting glass and samples of up to five different wines. Some favorites include Strawberry Rhubarb Wine, Holiday Special Cranberry Apple (a new release in November 2013), and New English Cider. If you are in the mood for something other than wine (if that’s possible), check out their beer selection as well!
100 Wattaquadock Hill Road, Bolton, MA. (978) 779-5521.
Bishop’s Orchards Winery
The wines from Bishop’s Orchards Winery and Farm Market in Guilford, CT, have won over 179 medals since the winery opened in 2005. The tasting room at Bishop’s is open seven days a week year round, so no time is off-limits for wine tasting. Head over on the weekend to enjoy a winery tour pre or post tasting session. While visiting the winery, also be sure to check out the market for fresh baked goodies.
1355 Boston Post Road, Guilford, CT. (203) 453-2338.
Diamond Hill Vineyards
For a cool twist on classic wine labels, look no further than Diamond Hill Vineyard in Cumberland. At Diamond Hill, you can get custom designed wine labels perfect for any occasion. If you’re interested in tasting the wines, visit their elegant tasting room for samples of their high quality wines such as Cranberry Apple, Estate Pinot Noir, or Blackberry.
3145 Diamond Hill Road, Cumberland, RI. (401) 333-2751.
Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery
Tucked away on the southern coast of Massachusetts, Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery, located about an hour’s drive from Worcester, is worth the trip. For only $10, you can take home a special edition etched wine glass and enjoy a tasting of up to six of their award-winning wines. While the tasting room is open Monday-Saturday, free winery tours are also offered to the public every Saturday from 1-3pm.
417 Hixbridge Rd, Westport, MA. (508) 636-3423.
Found on the southern Massachusetts coast about 30 minutes outside of Providence, is Travessia Winery in New Bedford. This micro-winery puts a twist on traditional wine culture with its cool urban flair. Travessia is open for sales and tastings Wednesday-Sunday, and invites customers to come in and enjoy their unique variety of wines.
760 Purchase Street, New Bedford, MA. (774) 929-6534.
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