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…spontaneously fermenting

A Tasting Note: 1904 Proprietà Sperino Nebbiolo

2009-10-06_2235Date tasted:  October 6th, 2009 at 17:00

Proprietà Sperino is located in the Northern Piemonte wine region and is owned by the De Marchi family of Chianti’s Isole e Olena. We were greeted and given a tour of the winery by Luca De Marchi, the son of the famed Paolo De Marchi.  Whenever possible, indigenous yeasts are used (which I am told is close to 100% of the time).

2009-10-06_22312009-10-06_2234I felt very privileged to have had the opportunity to taste a wine of this age, especially a wine made from one of my favorite grapes, the Nebbiolo. The bottle has been stored for many years without being touched and this was evident by the amount of mold and dust that had attached itself to the bottle. After cleaning the top of the bottle in preparation for the cork removal,  the cork screw was inserted and rather than using the lever system to pull the cork out, the cork came out with one pull. The cork came out in one piece and was in great shape considering the age.

2009-10-06_22402009-10-06_22412009-10-06_22422009-10-06_22432009-10-06_22442009-10-06_2246Tasting Notes:

2009-10-06_2255Appearance: As Luca De Marchi prepared to pour the wine for us to taste, he warned that the wine would no longer be red, and he wasn’t kidding!  The wine had lost all of the natural red color pigment. The wine was quite clear with orange, brown tones. Like a light colored orange wine, if you will, with brownish tones.  This was my first time seeing a red wine turn “clear” due to age.  Despite the age, the wine was quite clean with a few small pieces of sediment in the glass.  Medium minus intensity.

Nose: Medium intense and medium complex  wine with interesting aromas similar to a clean, young Sherry or Marsala. Slightly oxidized yellow apples, salted almonds. Pistachio nuts.

Palate: Clean and still quite fresh with medium minus acidity, medium minus, but still living tannins. Slightly oxidized yellow apples, with a nutty aftertaste very reminiscent of a Marsala. Reminded me of some of the Marsala’s I have tasted from Marco De Bartoli. Toasted almonds with hints of butter.  A very well integrated and balanced level of alcohol. Good concentration and balance overall. The finish is at least 20-30 seconds. Incredible!

The most incredible thing was that we only had a small glass each, put the cork in the bottle and took the bottle home with us. We popped the cork again at dinner around 4 hours later and incredibly the wine had improved slightly! It had become a bit more complex, but more amazing was the fact that the wine had not died after having been open for 4 hours! Incredible.

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Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, Italy, Lessona, Piemonte

Tagged: , , , , , , ,

6 Responses

  1. Tobias says:

    Fascinating, very cool account. Thanks.

  2. Jake Skakun says:

    Wow. What an experience…. the photos of the moldy and dusty bottle are amazing.

    Interesting how it no longer really had any Nebbiolo characters but still some structure.

    Jake
    http://www.CherriesAndClay.com

  3. WOW!!! 1904! WOW! Great to see fotos and read the account, yes, thanks!!! So interesting to read and see about the wine losing its color, but it still having wonderful characteristics. And still okay, better after 4 hours open, never expected!

  4. Joseph
    You never cease to amaze me. Quite an interesting analysis. I would have expected the wine to have turned brown but no, a bright orange. Unusual, no?
    The photos of the bottle made your account all the more real and not an “urban legend”. Unbelievable!!

    • vinosseur says:

      RJ,

      Well, what was amazing here was the wine. I also would have expected a brown, terribly oxidized wine, but instead the wine was orange and remarkably fresh!
      Thanks for the feedback!

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Vinosseur is the company name of sommelier Joseph R. Di Blasi. Vinosseur.com is his web page where he writes about wine, food, restaurants and other gastronomic experiences.

Joseph has a special place in his heart for quality wines from the old world, especially France & Italy, with a strong focus on Organic, Biodynamic and Natural wines.

Joseph grew up in Italy and California, but left The States in 2002 and now resides in Poland.

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