Category Archives: Piedmont

2007 Renato Ratti Barolo Marcenasco

2007 Renato Ratti Barolo Marcenasco

I can’t believe it but this is my 100th post since Moby and I started Grapestorm last year…thanks to everyone who has followed us! I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have. On to the wine:

Last week we went into town to check out a Polish deli and Pig Fest at a local restaurant. We got kielbasas and blood sausage then went and had a great pork themed meal. We started with meatballs and pork belly then I had roasted suckling pig while moby had the braised pork and garlic polenta. A delicious meal and a fun evening.

colonelgrape: 75. Let me start by saying that this is not a bad wine…I just think it’s mislabeled. If I were drinking this blind I would have said it was a very nice Nebbiolo for $20-$25 a bottle. Great nose and flavor profile I like in Nebbiolo: licorice, leather, earth, red fruit however it was really lacking in body and finish. It was good up until you finished the sip then it just disappeared. I like my Barolo to be big, robust, and have a long finish and I like my Nebbiolo to taste similar but be a “smaller” wine. If this were a $20-$25 Nebbiolo I’d have given it a 92 however as a Barolo it falls short. Tasty wine, just not worthy of being a Barolo or $50+.

MobyGrape: 93. This is the cleanest dirty wine I’ve had in a while. Smelled a bit licorice-y and leathery and musty.  Had a velvety texture with a little tannic kick at the end, it was very pleasant with a pork-centric dinner.  Can’t seem to go wrong with this producer, The Rat makes a great everyday Barbera, and a great Barolo to match.

2011 Dell’Oltrepo Pavese Bonarda

2011 Dell'Oltrepo Pavese Bonarda


Despite the creepy cat label this was actually a good wine. We tasted our first Bonarda at the annual Vin Bin tasting last weekend. It’s a fun, light, and fruity grape that reminded us of Barbera only less “serious” which makes sense since they grow side by side in Piedmont. I wouldn’t pair this with a heavy meal but for something light that you don’t want to overpower this could work. We’ll have to taste more Bonarda before we add it to the weeknight wine menu. I tend to prefer more mature, heavier wines during the winter but I could see this working during the summer.

Fall NJ Trip

Moby and I took a half day Friday to take a trip down to visit Aunt, Uncle, and Cousingrape last weekend. We ate great food and drank fantastic wine making a perfect weekend. We also stopped by wine library and stocked up on Champagne and Cotes du Rhone. Here’s the wine lineup along with a few blurry pictures in here and some wonderful hand modeling by Auntgrape and Mobygrape:

2007 Domaine Bruno Clain Corton-Charlemagne

2007 Domaine Bruno Clain Corton Charlemagne

NV Albert Boxler Cremant

Albert Boxler Cremant

2010 Domaine Blain Gagnard Chassange-Montrachet

2010 Chassange-Montrachet Domaine Blain-Gagnard

1988 Chapoutier Cote Rotie

88 Chapoutier Cote Rotie

1990 Campo Delle Piane Boca

90 Campo Delle Piane Boca

1989 Chateau Pichon-Longueville Baron

89 Pichon

1990 Chateau Leoville Barton

90 Chateau Leaoville Barton

For me the wine of the night was hands down the 1989 Pichon. With the wine market the way it is Moby and I do not have the luxury of drinking mature Bordeaux regularly but thanks to Unclegrape it’s a special treat every so often. The tannis had melted away leaving structured and delicious fruit. From nose to finish you get a complete wine experience, just outstanding. I’ve developed a taste for younger Bordeaux but honestly it’s not even close…if you have the will power age your Bordeaux. Be patient, it’s worth it. Moby really enjoyed the Cremant as well. Light, refreshing, not as big as a Champagne it’s a great aperitif. We’ll definitely be having more Cremant in the future.

You may have noticed the oddball Nebbiolo in our otherwise French theme. I found this bottle at Vin Bin recently and brought it along. We enjoyed it quite a bit and will be purchasing a few more bottles. It wasn’t a fair fight vs. the 89 Pichon however a delicious mature Nebbiolo at $65 is a steal.

Plate of the Trip:

foie gras NJ

Foie Gras from Le Rendez-Vous Bistro. Wow. Perfectly cooked, creamy, melt in your mouth liver with a balsamic reduction and carmelized apple. There’s a strong possibility this was the best plate I’ve had all year.

Purchase of the Trip:


Completely unnecessary yet completely necessary at the same time. Aunt and Unclegrape have two parrots so this was the perfect purchase. Does it work? Who cares…It’s a Corkatoo and it’s hilarious.

2011 Silvio Giamello Nebbiolo Vila Gentiana

2011 Silvio Giamello Villa Gentiana

This past week we’ve been introduced to younger Nebbiolo and I’m on board for the long haul. I used to always think of Nebbiolo like Cabernet in that it needed time for the tannins to mellow out but that’s not always the case. It’s true that Good Barolo and Barbaresco will often be more approachable with age like a good Cabernet however there are young Nebbiolos to be found at bargain prices that make great weeknight wines. This 2011 Silvio Giamello Nebbiolo is a perfect example. It does have some tannin but it’s very approachable and full of floral, earth, spice, and dark fruit notes. It’s young and alive on the palate and a little in your face vs. an aged, sophisticated, and complex Barolo. The best part is it’s only $20 wheras a quality Barolo or Barbaresco is going to run you at least $50. This is a very differenet way to experience Nebbiolo and something you can keep in your cellar for a nice hearty Italian dish on a weeknight where you don’t want to go crazy.

1999 Martinetti Barbera d’Asti Montruc

1999 Martinetti Montruc Barbera

For dinner last night we made sweet Italian sausage in a tomato meat sauce with some rigatoni and garlic bread and opened this gem from Wine Library. This is by far the oldest, most unique, and on of the the best Barberas we’ve ever drank. It’s perfectly normal to question a 14 year old Barbera but Ian told us it was fantastic and he was right.

colonelgrape: 97. I have to give this the nod over the 09 Tenuta Olim we had last month as Barbera of the year so far. This is a spectacular wine. The first thing that stood out was the color was a combination of crushed brick and dirt, not much purple left. Earth, red fruit, and minerals on the nose. It was bigger than I expected on the palate, rich, decidedly full bodied, yet not overpowering. The acid was there but it had mellowed over time into a delightful yet background experience. The structure reminded me of a well aged Rhone or Bordeaux but the flavor was decidedly Piedmont. This was a unique Barbera experience. The best part is the price has bottomed out from $60 to $35 yet the wine still has life. I bought 6 more bottles for our cellar and UncleGrape picked up 3…if you find it (Ian has 4 left) and love Piedmont you need to experience this bottle.

MobyGrape: 95:  Sweet merciful crap, this wine has forever changed the face of Mondays for me.  Seriously, this wine is powerful.  It was earthy and rustic (which is very much my thing right now) and looked like a glass full of brick-purple mud.  It had a cherry flavor to it and I didn’t find it to be very acidic at all, or at least not annoyingly so (guess what isn’t my thing right now).  Then again this wine could have convinced me that I was a goat, I would have believed it.  I think this wine glamoured me, I looked into its eyes and I was helpless to resist.  It’s sexy vampire wine.  I’m thinking less Count Chocula and more Eric Northman.