I am in Santa Monica, California today, about to drive up the Pacific Coast Highway to Santa Barbara as I continue my swing along the California Coast with my son, Nathan. We are looking at a few of the colleges where he has been accepted to try and pinpoint where he might want to spend the next four years of his life. Not an easy task for a kid who is, at times, steadfastly averse to making even the most mundane decisions.
Before I pack up and leave this lovely hotel with a fantastic view of Santa Monica Beach, I thought I would leave you with another installment of Gabe Sasso’s One Bottle Each. This time, Gabe and I each chose a bottle from our recent Gambero Rosso tasting–a three-day online tasting of 36 wines from across Italy–and we recorded our thoughts. Why? Well, we do not have a lot of other things going on right now….
2019 BiancaVigna Prosecco di Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Superiore Extra Brut Rive di Soglio: Retail $23. 100% Glera. I received this wine as part of the Gambera Rosso “tour” for a handful of journalists (why they included me?) instead of the “normal” tour at several stops across the country. This wine is a DOCG Prosecco Superiore Conegliano Valdobbiadene Rive Soligo. There is a lot to unpack there. First, this is not your run of the mill Prosecco–this is the really good stuff. Really really good. The two aforementioned towns produce, by far, the best wines from the region and within that appellation, there are 43 Rives (essentially vineyard designates) that are yet another level above (there is yet another level–Cartizze, essentially the best Rive). This wine is quite dry, with green apple, white flower, under-ripe peach, and a touch of wet rock. Yum. The palate is slightly more austere than I expected with the acidity driving the bus. Sure, there is fruit, but it is balanced by the acidity and considerable depth. If you have a pre-conceived notion of Prosecco, this will shatter that. On the first sip. Excellent. 92 Points.
2016 Caiarossa Aria di Caiarossa Toscana IGT, Italy: Retail $36. 42% Cabernet Franc, 25% Merlot, 15% Syrah, 6% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot, 5% Sangiovese, 1% Alicante Bouschet. Quite the kitchen sink of a Super Tuscan, but it does not have the “normal” Super Tuscan feel. It is fruity (blackberry, plum) but not overly so. It is rich, but certainly in balance. It is not, however, big, nor over-the-top in a “Look At Me” kind of way. No, this is more reserved than fruit bomb or muscular powerhouse. And I like it. This wine is great on its own, but it screams “food.” A delightful quaff. Excellent. 91 Points.