Wine Journeyman and Buyer for The Alice and The Looking Glass in Omaha
Brought from my cellar and opened just before dinner at Casa Bovina where it was decanted with the expectation that it would be paired with our “Della Terre” course of duck and our “Bistecca” course of Certified Piedmontese rib cap. In the glass, the 2005 Luigi Baudana, “Baudana” pours a gorgeous, almost youthful garnet with a transparent core. On the nose, oooof…be still my beating heart! Cherries, strawberries, and blackberries with tar, truffles, roses and earth. I could just sit and sniff this for hours; my God it is absolutely divine! On the palate, the wine is bone dry and the tannins are well integrated now; acid at medium+. The finish is long and silky. What a gorgeous, elegant example of the 2005 vintage that comes across as Burgundian as any I’ve had from Serralunga d’Alba. This is drinking well now and will continue to do so well past 2030 but unless you have a bunch of this in your cellar, why wait?
It should be noted that Luigi was still responsible for the winemaking back in 2005. Just a few years later, the Vajra family took over and they continue to carry on the tradition and spirit of this small, traditional producer as Luigi and Fiorina have since retired and have no heir. The Baudana’s holdings lie on opposite ends of the Baudana MGA. Production remains minuscule; maybe 300 cases a year. — 2 days ago
The 2019 Jean Claude Dagueneau “Domaine des Berthiers” pours a straw color with a slightly watery rim; medium viscosity no signs of particle or gas. On the nose, #flint4dayz, grapefruit, tangerine, asparagus, lemon. On the palate, the wine is dry with medium+ acid; confirming the fruit and non-fruit characteristics. The texture is super creamy no-doubt due to lees. The finish is medium+. Drinking well now with a little air but would no doubt hold for 3-5 years with ease…but why? — 7 days ago
Cascina Ornato is located in the southern portion of Serralunga d’Alba, right along the ridge. The elevation is higher here and the Ornato MGA falls to the west and south from there. Ornato is nearly a monopole for Pio Cesare would it not be for a couple of parcels that are controlled by Palladino. This bottle of the 1982 was generously provided from the cellar of a good friend; it was opened and enjoyed over two days. On Day 1, half the bottle was poured into a decanter and served immediately. The color was a slightly hazy garnet with an orange rim. On the nose and the palate, the wine came across rather tired. It wasn’t dead…and it definitely wasn’t vinegar, it just was...a bit dull. Since there were other wines open that were showing very well, we let it sit. At the end of the night, we poured what was left back into the bottle and I elected to take it home; hoping that it might wake up overnight. On Day 2, the wine had transformed. The color had deepened and everything had brightened up! The nose is loaded with tar, desiccated red fruits, sweet pipe tobacco accompanied by porchini, forest floor and dried, cracked leather ball glove…like after pitching 6 innings of baseball in the middle of July (IYKYK). On the palate, the wine is dry with surprisingly vigorous structure! The tannins are more pronounced than they were the day before and there’s also great acid to give everything a buoyant lift and some youthful energy. The fruit and non-fruit notes from the nose are confirmed with an added element of red rope licorice. Somehow, this is younger today than it was yesterday. At forty years old, this bottle clearly needed time to stretch its legs. Drink now with several hours of air but remarkably well-cellared examples could last for many more years. An illuminating experience in so many ways!
Something worth noting: Pio Cesare did not begin bottling single-cru Barolo “Oranato” until 1985. Curiously, this bottle was labeled “Vino da Tavola del Piemonte”. I reached out to Pio Cesare in hopes of getting some additional information and they were very kind to share some helpful detail. It turns out this bottling was an idea from their former importer, Terlato, with grapes for this wine sourced by Cascina Ornato. It was a traditional blend of Nebbiolo and Barbera! A long time ago they had a small amount of Barbera planted there. Now, Ornato is more or less 100% Nebbiolo. The “Vino da Tavola del Piemonte” was a sort of predecessor to the “Langhe Rosso” designation since there were not many appellations back in those days. The more you know!
— 18 hours ago
Popped and poured, consumed over the course of a few hours. The 2020 Carignane from Sandlands pours a deep ruby/magenta color with a translucent core. Medium viscosity with very light staining of the tears. On the nose, raspberries, licorice, and the smell of wet asphalt on a warm day. On the palate, the wine is dry with medium tannin and medium, bordering medium+ acid; confirming the fruit and non-fruit character on the nose. The finish is medium+ with loads of minerals. The words “fresh” and “pure” are two words that come to mind; two words rarely associated Lodi and yet, here we are. Leave it to Teagan…just wow. The source of the fruit comes from an own-rooted vineyard in the Mokelumne River AVA that was planted 120 years ago…which is crazy. This drinks so well right now with some air. — 5 days ago
Popped and poured, consumed over three days. Consistent throughout. The 2007 “Pagliaro” pours a deep garnet color with a near opaque core and a slightly watery rim. There appears to be a slight sign of sediment. High viscosity with significant staining of the tears. On the nose, the wine is high intensity and is absolutely mesmerizing with notes of ripe dark brambly fruit desiccated black cherry, beef broth, exotic spices, blood sausage, pipe tobacco, well oiled leather, red flowers and ferrous minerals. On the palate, the wine is dry with medium+ tannin and medium+ acid. Confirming the fruit and non-fruit characteristics. The finish is medium+. This baby is so grippy! An absolutely stellar bottle of Pagliaro that is strutting right now provided it gets some air and then after that, take your time. This has some real staying power. Drink now and through 2035. Bottle No. 5278/14100. — 7 days ago
This was opened a few hours before dinner; no formal notes due to the setting but what I do know is this was spectacular with our beet gnocchi and mushroom course. A kaleidoscope of tropical fruit. It’s in a perfect place and absolutely packed with complexity. Apparently I need to spend more time with Austrian Riesling…and then have the patience to sit on it long enough to deliver this kind of experience. Wow. Thank you, Tim! — a day ago
My last bottle of 2018 Zinfandel from Sandlands. The wine pours a deep ruby color with a translucent core; medium+ viscosity and moderate staining of the tears and no signs of sediment. On the nose, blue and black fruits with baking spices. On the palate, the fruits and non-fruits are confirmed though the fruits come across slightly desiccated and there is a dash of black pepper. Medium- tannin and medium acid. Long ass finish. I love how these wines show off what Lodi is capable of. Drinking really well now; drink through 2028. — 3 days ago
Popped and poured. The 2018 Produttori del Barbaresco classico pours a garnet color with a transparent core; slightly orange around the rim. Medium+ viscosity with very light staining of a tears; no signs of sediment. On the nose, a mix of deep black and red fruits and wow…loads of tar. It’s bone dry, high tannin and medium+ acid. High alcohol. This is a tar bomb right now and the structure is absolutely monumental. The first time I drank the 2018 Nebbiolos from Piemonte, I thought they reminded me a lot of the 2010 vintage when it was young. And when I think about Produttori specifically, this bottle really reminds me of the way the 2010 drank around 5 years after vintage. Only time will tell if these follow a similar trajectory…but I suspect, yes. Drink now but expect a pile of tannin for at least the next 5-10 years and they should drink well for at least 20. — 7 days ago
Popped and poured; no formal notes as it was enjoyed quickly due to the setting and our celebratory mood. What I do recall is that this is a very fine Champagne however, it comes across a touch rounder than most 2008's at this level. The acid is sneaky however and I suspect time will reward those with patience. — 16 hours ago