GRAPE: Nebbiolo REGION: Valtellina COUNTRY: Italy AVE PRICE: $30
I’ve been off of reds lately and finding it a bit frustrating. Especially since I’ve been cooking a lot of gamey meats: elk, venison, and boar. But I knew I was missing a liquid partner. A couple of weeks ago I found myself on the West Side of LA (boos, hollers & hisses) so I decided to drop in @winehousela. I dig their Italian section. It goes on forever the way an Italian wine section should. But in a world of uncertainty one thing does remain constant, my love for Northern Italian wines. Oh wait, nothing against my Sicilian ancestors. But for Christ’s sakes, Northern Italy has stolen my heart, at least for now. If I remember correctly, the 2005 Balgera Sassella retails for about $35. And according to McCrum’s website it spends a year in tank then 10 years in large barrels. This math doesn’t make much sense to me, but alas, I’m not a businessman. One sniff, one sip and you’ll see this is an extraordinary wine for the price in comparison to much of the rotten juice floating around at this price point. Don’t bore me with economic rationalizations of why one wine cost more than another. I’ve been experiencing too many wines both domestic and imports at a similar price point that are either pretty damn boring and some that taste like dirty dishwater. I guess my point is, that this is a wine that is worth every dime and more.
The Balgera is liquid rock. There is something special about the wines from this region. Maybe it’s the decomposed morainic rocks. The tannins are gentle. The fruit is finessed. The acid is fresh. It was delicious with my pan seared elk and vegetables cooked along with boar bacon. This juice will cause a similar experience to what your brain experiences while staring at an expressionistic painting. It will enhance the beauty wipe away the ugliness in front of you and set fire to your imagination.
WEB: OM Wines