Vinosseur.com

…spontaneously fermenting

A Tasting Note: Valli Unite Dolcetto Diogene 2009

What?! A cooperative making wines without the addition of Sulfur?! Is this possible? Yes it is!  The Valli Unite coop in Alessandria, Piemonte was formed over 30 years ago by three men who merged their vineyards and built stalls for their farm animals in order to use organic manure.  They saw organic farming as the way of the future, and from this was born the Valli Unite coop.

Today, they are a group of 25 people working together.  Their viticulture follows closely the belief that wine drinkers should drink  little, but well.  In their wine production, the aim is to let the wine remain as alive as possible so that it is the true reflection of the grape.  They use old cement vats to ferment their reds later transferring them to barrels.  This wine was bottled without filtration. No sulfur was used from the beginning of fermentation to time of bottling.  Here are my thoughts:

Date Tasted:  November 7th, 2010 20:42 (8:42pm) – decanted after 5 minutes

Appearance: Dark purple with light purple edges. Great color extraction and very young in appearance.

Nose: Dark berries, especially black berries with fresh red fruits in the background. «frutti di bosco» (forest berries). Slightly reductive… will decant… purple gooseberries and hints of barnyard and crushed, dried leafs. Smells like a freshly fermented wine.

Palate: slight fizz on the tongue, very slight. Frutti di bosco all the way with tremendous structure, medium (ripe) acidity and gripping tannins. Medium length finish (approx 20 seconds). A very structured wine that has lot’s of mouth feel. I don’t mean «velvety» –  rather chewy, rustic and a bit «rough». Well integrated 13.5% alcohol.   Not an elegant wine, but a very honest wine which begs for grilled sausage.

21:10 (9:10pm) almost half hour in decanter

Nose: The wine is much more floral (roses) now then before. The reductive notes have fallen to the background and are no longer as noticeable.

Palate: some sour red plums on the finish now. Tannins have stepped up a bit and now dominate a bit.

November 8th, 21:52 (9:52pm)

Nose: more fruit showing and less reduction. Tree bark.  Blackberries and raspberries. Also some black currants and purple gooseberries. Very slight hints of dark licorice and bitter almonds (like found in the pit of a peach)

Palate: Still has very grippy tannins, really feels like you are chewing on the pips of the freshly picked grapes. Pure fruit quality in my opinion. Mostly dark berries, but yet a fresh wine. Hints of licorice and dried leafs. Again, really strong character of pure grapes and the pips. Really more open then yesterday. A slightly bitter finish. Really enjoying this wine today – just like eating the grapes off the vine. Picture this – you walk into a vineyard and grab a handful, and I mean a handful, of healthy, ripe dolcetto grapes and just pop them in your mouth. This should give the idea of the how this wine is every time I take a sip. This is one unsulfured wines which I feel could benefit from some storage – let’s say a year or two?  And you know I love my wines young.

November 9th, 18:15 (6:15pm)

Nose: More earth and dark berries. Hints of lavender. Alcohol also more noticeable on the nose than it was in previous days.

Palate: A bit rounder today. Tannins  softened a bit. The finish is a bit more leafy. Just as fresh as the first day opened, but the tannins seem a bit more integrated today and the finish is more «almondy» now, which I love.  Alcohol still not noticeable on the palate, well integrated.

I drank the last glass and a half with a homemade burger topped with white cheddar, caramelized onions and avocado… gotta say that the wine was a bit too much for the burger, even with the cheese and onions. Although Dolcetto’s are often paired with «carne cruda» (or beef tartare) with the raw egg and the fixings in Piemonte, this dolcetto would be too much in my opinion. Try this wine with another Piemontese speciality,  fresh pasta with rabbit ragu. Or if you are in Norway, like I am, try with some duck confit. With the wild flavors of the duck, this wine should pair well.

Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, Alessandria, Italy, natural wine (just about), Piemonte

Comment



A tasting note: 1995 Champagne Fleury Extra Brut

Champagne Fleury S.A.
43 Grande Rue
10250 Courteron – France
tel:  (+33) 03.25.38.20.28

The Fleury family used to grow grapes to sell to other Champagne houses.  They stopped doing this in 1929 due to the financial crisis and produced their first vintage that year.  In 1989 they converted to Biodynamic viticulture – the first house in Champagne to do so – the first plot to convert being a small 3ha plot.  They were officially certified in 1992 and they had their first certified biodynamic vintage in 1995.  Today, they own about 15ha and purchase another 12ha of biodynamically farmed grapes. They have an annual production of approx 200,000 bottles. Read the rest of this entry »

Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, Aube, biodynamic wine, Champagne

Comment



A Tasting Note: 2005 Maison Pierre Overnoy Arbois Pupillin

Located East of Burgundy approaching Switzerland, the Jura is perhaps more “known” for it’s white wines made with the Chardonnay and Savagnin grapes.  For example, the slightly oxidized, “flor-enhanced” Vin Jaune.  However the “reds” made with the Poulsard grape (as found in this bottle), are perhaps more interesting.. At least to me..

After Pierre Overnoy retired, the Houillon family took over the domain. They have continued in the same manner as Overnoy (from what I understand). That is, as close to natural viticulture as possible and the same goes for the wine making.  No added anything here, not even my least favorite friend, Sulfur Dioxide.  I have tasted both the reds and the whites of Overnoy and I have to say they are amongst my favorite wines… of all time, placing comfortably in my top 9 list (coming soon!) of all time favorites.

For many years, the only wines of the Jura I had tasted had been those of Tissot. Although the wines of Tissot are good, they don’t approach the quality of Overnoy’s wines in my opinion. Tissot’s wines can seem a bit “dirty” by comparison (again, my opinion).

Date tasted:  Sunday February 21, 2010 18:45 (6:45pm) – Decanted

WOW!!!!

and…… 1 hour and 15 minutes later @ 20:00 (8pm)

HUH???

When I first opened this wine – it was exactly as I remembered it and expected it to be. A gorgeous, light red color not unlike what fresh squeezed raspberries or cranberries might look like. In fact, the similarities don’t stop here. The nose was of pure, fresh raspberries and cranberries with delicate spices.  Background aromas of cherries, stems and pits.  It had that typical “sponty” (spontaneous) nose and  was slightly volatile , in that way that we natural wine lovers really appreciate, helping those aromas float up to our noses.  Slight animal and mineral tones also noted on the very back. The same was found on the palate.

This wine was very alive and it was making me jump out of my chair with every smell and with every taste.

BUT, within a little over an hour, my friend and I were looking at each other and asking “huh??”. What the hell happened! The wine was almost completely dead.  I don’t normally decant a wine like this. So why the hell did I do it tonight? Was that the problem? First of all, I will never decant this wine again, just in case. Second, I will continue to drink the wines of Overnoy because they are so incredibly seductive. Finally, in the future I won’t take an hour to drink a bottle of Overnoy again!  Oh, I should mention that I had only brought the wine back with me from France two weeks prior – travel sickness??

Cheers!

Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, Arbois Pupillin, France, Jura, natural wine (100% living wine)

Comment



A Tasting Note: 2000 Domaine Gasse Lafoy Côte-Rôtie Cuvée Vieilles Vignes

2009-10-08_02009591Date tasted:  October 8th, 2009 at 23:00

The Philosopher Grower Vincent Gasse lives just outside the main village of Ampuis, in the northern hamlet of Verenay, in the AOC Côte-Rôtie.  From here he conducts his private campaign – to solve the conflict of making truly organic wine off slopes that crumble when you hand work their soil. Read the rest of this entry »

Category: 1 WINE, 3 TASTING NOTES, Côte-Rôtie, France, Northern Rhône, organic wine

Comment



Categories

About

About
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.

Get in touch

Joseph would love to hear from you! You can contact him by email at vinosseur@gmail.com