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2004 Beni di Batasiolo Langhe Nebbiolo**
batasiolo.gif Region Price Purchased Drank
Piedmonte, Italy $18 K&L Wines 4/16/08
A pale, ruby/garnet with a subtle nose of red fruit and sweet spice with additional aromas of smoke and violets. The palate was well-integrated once the initial acidity settled down and filled with flavors of strawberry, red cherry, spice, oak and hints of leather in the finish. The tannins were soft and dusty adding to the wine's earthy appeal. A nice, medium-bodied effort that showcases the varietal for a decent price. This wine still has a bit of life to it and could age for at least another 6 months. Though not nearly as complex and powerful as Barolo, this is a good wine to try for the uninitiated, as it showcases the basic flavors of the Nebbiolo grape.

2004 Caparone Winery Nebbiolo*
CaparoneNebbiolo.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Paso Robles, CA $14 @ the Winery 10/29/09
A pale, brick red colored wine with an aromatic nose of bitter cherry, earth and spice that doesn't quite translate to the palate. Light-bodied and acidic upon first opening, it wasn't helped all that much by aeration. Unfined and unfiltered, so it was a bit cloudy as well. The flavors of cherry and strawberry, along with some earth and herbs tried to peek through, but just never came together in an enjoyable way. Nebbiolo is known as a very tannic grape and perhaps that was what was at play here. Maybe too young, but I don't really see this getting better. It lacked depth on every level. Wanted to like it, as the winemaking family is really trying to do something different in Paso and keeping their prices very reasonable. I've enjoyed this wine in past vintages, so will have to see what the future brings. (ABV 13.6%)

2003 Stolpman Vineyards Nebbiolo***
stolpmanneb.jpg Region Price Purchased Drank
Santa Barbara, CA $32 @ the Winery 4/1/08
A bright, medium-colored garnet in the glass with a subtle bouquet of red berries and herbs with hints of cedar and spice. Initial sips were filled with noticeable amounts of acid and tannin. Once the wine was aerated the palate was smooth and round filled with red fruit, a touch of vegetalness and notes of sweek oak. The medium finish was full of vanilla and herbs. At five years old this wine still has quite a few years left in the bottle. Leave it there unless you have an aerator. Has some typical Italian/Barolo-like qualities, but is too ripe to really compare. This is not your typical grape variety and tasting this wine brought to mind the word "funky." Was great with our Sausage, Thyme & Mushroom Risotto, however, this is not one most people would probably enjoy if it was drunk alone.

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**** Outstanding | *** Delicious | ** Enjoyable | * Drinkable
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