Inky black wine, garnet wine, orange wine

When our friend and wine writer Alice Feiring came to Austin a few weeks ago for a series of events celebrating her and her book (The Battle for Wine and Love or How I Saved the World from Parkerization), she stayed with me and Tracie P: it was so great to see her, it was entirely awesome to see her in Texas (which, I believe, she enjoyed thoroughly), and it was fantastic to get to taste great wine with her.

A lot of great wine was opened in the short time she was here, but the two wines that I still can’t get out of my mind were the Laureano Serres Abeurador Macabeo (above, an orange wine and one of the wines in the Do Bianchi Thanksgiving Six-Pack) and the Els Jelipins Sumoll (below), both from Spain.

I loved both wines but the wine that completely blew me away was the Sumoll. As Alice wrote in a post on her visit: “The best moment for me [her], though, was when everyone put their nose in the Els Jelepins 2004 Sumoll and from the bottom to the top of the table, I heard an echo of ‘Oh, wow!'”

Alice has been to both properties and, together with the importer, her friend José Pastor, is probably the leading authority in the U.S. on these “impeccably natural wines,” as she puts it.

In my notes on the wine, I wrote: “The Jelipins 2004 Sumoll, mind-boggling good. Impenetrably inky and viscous on the palate, a stilnovo sonnet with alternating rhymes of earth and fruit.”

José and I call each other the “other JP” in Alice’s world… He’s been super cool and he let me have a small allocation of this remarkable wine. It’s not cheap but I can tell you that it’s one of those “life-changing” wines (please note that it is extremely tannic and needs a LOT of aeration, even 2-3 hours).

Check out Alice’s post on her visit to the winery and the Sumoll.

I still have a few bottles of the 2005 Els Jelipins Sumoll available (most are already spoken for) and they cost $67.

To order, please send me an email by clicking here.

Beyond orange and inky black, I also have a small amount of some of my favorite garnet wine: Castello di Verduno’s 2005 (classic) Barbaresco and the 2004 single-vineyard Barbaresco Rabajà.

I began following this winery when I first tasted with the winemaker at the Vini Veri natural wine tasting outside Verona in April 2006. To my mind and on my palate, these wines represent some of greatest values on the market today. Anyone who knows me or follows my blog knows that I LOVE BARBARESCO. In fact, if I were pressed to answer the age-old conundrum, what’s your favorite wine?, I’d have to say that my favorite appellation is Barbaresco. It’s here that the ineffable confluence of lightness (in body) and power (in structure and tannin) come together like no other terroir on earth (IMHO).

These wines aren’t cheap: they are most definitely “special occasion” wines in the Do Bianchi scale of days (Monday wines, Tuesday wines, etc., Saturday Night wines, Sunday Lunch wines, Special Occasion wines). But they do fall under my ceiling of wine price point and, like Produttori del Barbaresco, I am able to collect them despite my limited resources. That’s no apology: you will find earth and fruit in these wines, elegant body and nuance, and impressive backbone… After Montestefano, Rabajà is probably my favorite cru in Barbaresco and it is considered one of the most powerful in terms of its expression of earth, fruit, and tannin in a bottle.

Small amounts available:

Castello di Verduno 2005 Barbaresco $45
Castello di Verduno 2004 Barbaresco Rabajà $60

To order, please send me an email by clicking here.

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