Wine of the Week: For your Thanksgiving table serve the European Wines of the Year
Dwight Casimere | 11/22/2018, noon
Fontanafredda, the largest certified organic producer in Piedmont, presented its Barolo DOCG wines to a distinguished gathering of wine professionals in Italy's La Scuola (the school).
Fontanafredda was awarded the title of European Winery of the Year 2017 during the Wine Star Awards in Wine Enthusiast Magazine. The award is considered the "Oscars of the wine industry." It recognizes innovators in the wine industry, who, through their vision, have a major impact through their significant achievements.
Here are some impressions shared from my personal tasting notes:
Fontanafredda Vigne La Rosa, Barolo DOCG 2010
This is a classic vintage from the Serralunga (the lower Langhe) made of 100% Nebbiolo. It is a single-vineyard wine from the historic La Rosa vineyard. The wine has a distinctive fragrant quality. It almost like smelling violets or rose petals that have been crushed in the palms of your hands. There are abundant flavors of bright red fruit, ripe, almost macerated raspberries, red plums and a hint of Maraschino cherry. This is a vibrant, elegant wine with refined tannins that is ready to drink immediately. Have it with that rare, aged steak you've been eyeing at the Whole Foods meat counter. Tell the butcher slice is extra thick. Be sure to buy an excellent selection of Italian cheeses, olives and salumi to enjoy with a glass before dinner.
Fontanafredda Barolo del Communne di Serralunga d'Alba DOCG 2014
Also from the Serralunga. This too is a single vineyard Barolo. The wine is well structured with firm tannins. Its designed to be cellared for a long time, but is drinkable now. Its best to let this wine breath a bit before drinking. The soil is rich in limestone, forcing the vines to dig deep for nourishment, giving the grapes an intense, lean flavor. The wine is still quite vibrant, with intense fruit flavors. This isn't your stereotypical Barolo. Although it can age for a decade or more, it tastes just great right now. This is a true dinner wine that would enliven any Holiday table.
Fontanafredda Pinot Brut Rose
The best is saved for last. A real treat in a glass, bringing with bright fruit flavors of ripe strawberries, a touch of lemon and some lovely notes of honey and ginger. Great as an aperitif, but flavorful and with enough body to last right through the Holiday meal and through dessert. This is an absolutely delicious sparkling wine. Well made in the traditional method and moderately priced. I won't bore you with the technical. You deserve to treat yourself this Holidays. Drink and enjoy responsibly!
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!