Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Stems and Seeds Again

 Luca Ferraris Grignolino d'AstiAin't talking 'bout no reefer, I'm talking about the 2007 Luca Ferraris Grignolino d'Asti. What an interesting wine — what with all the seeds that are apparently present in the grignolino grape, this is a tannic little number. Yet the Ferraris is delicate and stony like a Moulin-à-Vent. And then yet again, there's very little fruit here. There are suggestions of orange and cherry, but only suggestions.

The nose is quiet and mysterious, showing mere hints of bitter greens and underbrush; wines that come from sandy soils are often well-perfumed, but not this one. It's sure forceful on the palate, though. The acidity is strong yet fine, and there's a distinctive stemmy bite. The stemminess is in fact its calling card. The lovely tannins are reminiscent of raisins, both slightly sweet and slightly bitter. Again, echoes of fruit, not the direct experience. Still, the wine is nicely balanced and so expressive that I hardly miss the fruit.

Ferraris (who makes a terrific ruchè, by the way) recommends this with light, non-fatty fare. For me, this worked well with a basic homemade pizza. I should also mention that my experience with this wine was exactly — and I mean exactly — the same on night two as it was on night one. No better, but definitely no worse. Unless it was imbued with some sort of magical anti-oxidation mojo, I'll chalk it up to the acid structure and toothsome tannins.

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