Paolo Scavino Barolo 2005

Paolo Scavino Barolo 2005, DOCG

Use paint, if you like. Perhaps charcoal or marble.

Guitar or piano, depending.

Brush, chisel, strum or bow.

I make no judgment of art or artist based upon choice/s of media or technique.

What counts is the Result: is it art, or is it not?

paolo-scavino-barolo-2005At the wine estate of Paolo Scavino, they have “…made some extremely modern choices in their production techniques…”*. In times when the traditionalist vs. modernist debate still causes wine lovers to choose sides, I find it increasingly important to turn exactly away from such drama, preferring to focus my attention on the Result.

I escape to a pleasant evening spent in the company of Paolo Scavino Barolo 2005, a one bottle exhibition of Taste and Style. Yeah, it’s modern. It’s art. And it’s very, very good.

Established in 1921 by Paolo Scavino, the estate is located in the heart of the Langhe in Italy’s Piemonte. Although known as an innovative wine estate with a modern approach to production, the estate’s cornerstone philosophy remains solidly old school: good wine is made by taking great care in the vineyards – in this case, attentive care to vines, uncompromised thinning of clusters and fruit of the highest quality.

Paolo Scavino Barolo is made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes grown in the townships of Castiglione Falletto, Barolo and La Morra. Vineyard altitudes range 210-300m.

Fermentation / maceration takes place in temperature controlled rotary fermenters. Malolactic fermentation is carried out in oak barrels. The wine is then matured in French barrique for 12 months, a course of 12 months in French cask, followed by one year of bottle aging.

Tasting Notes / Impressions:

A deeper ruby-colored Barolo, a contribution of the rotary fermenter, I suspect. Cherries, raspberries, dried roses, tobacco, hints of lapsang souchang tea, with grace notes of orange peel and mint. A stylish, sexy, beautifully articulated core of fruit commands the palate. The wine comes together like a puzzle, a new piece appearing every 7 or 8 minutes, staying always completely in balance, always making sense, as each new piece finds its place in the composition. Still young, of course, will continue to improve with cellaring.

Food Pairing Suggestions:

MEATS: hearty stews of veal, beef, or game; roasted red meats; roasted herbed chicken, roasted duck, or game birds; RISOTTO: earthy, mushroom risotto; PASTA: pasta with rich, meat-based red sauces; pasta with mushroom cream sauce; pasta with butter and shaved morel or truffle (if you can get it); POLENTA: polenta with rich meat or mushroom sauce; polenta with butter and cheese; VEGETARIAN: pumpkin or squash ravioli; grilled tofu or tempeh; pasta with mushroom cream sauce or buttered with either mushrooms, shaved morel or truffle; CHEESES: aged cheeses such as Parmigiano Reggiano and blue cheeses like Roquefort and Gorgonzola.


* quote from Paolo Scavino website

Le Fraghe Bardolino 2009

Le Fraghe Bardolino 2009

There is something exquisite about a thing that is well made and performs its duty without difficulty:

fine drawing compass
pair of handmade leather shoes
favorite pen

To our list I must add:
Bardolino produced by Azienda Agricola Le Fraghe

le-fraghe-bardolino-2009Le Fraghe proprietor Matilde Poggi’s 28 hectares of vineyards are located in Italy’s Veneto in Cavaion Veronese, heart of the Bardolino production zone, surrounded by morainal hills on Lake Garda’s eastern shore.

Le Fraghe’s Bardolino is made from Corvina and Rondinella grapes grown in south-facing vineyards at an altitude of 190m in the communes of Affi and Cavaion Veronese. The Corvina and Rondinella are vinified separately with maceration taking place across 7-8 days. The wine rests in stainless steel tank until bottling.

Tasting Notes / Impressions:

Medium-light ruby color with refractions of aubergine. A crystal-clear cherry nose, lively, with subtle hints of baking spice. On the palate, fruity sensations of beautifully balanced tartness / ripeness and delicious acidity. This wine correctly captures the light character of Bardolino while communicating a desirable sense of good body and structure. Overtones of cherry kirsch follow through on a softly tannic, persistent, elegant finish. A Bardolino of exquisite character and charm.

A great value-for-money.

Recommend to serve slightly cooled, about 60F / 15C.

Food Pairing Suggestions:

MEATS: lighter-flavored meat and poultry dishes…try pan fried veal cutlets with lemon, butter and parsley sauce; FISH: fish steaks of tuna or salmon, perhaps encrusted with pepper or panko crust; whole fish or fillets pan fried, grilled, broiled, or baked will all work well; Asian style whole fish scented with scallion, garlic, ginger is a special treat with this wine; PASTA / PIZZA: All types of pasta and pizza, providing the accompanying sauce is not too aggressive. VEGETARIAN: Polenta triangles fried in olive oil, topped with pomodoro fresco sauce or classic Pasta e Fagioli; CHEESES: younger cheeses preferred, such as Asiago, Brie, Chevre, Mozzarella, even young Provolone; CURED MEATS: gorgeous paired with mortadella with pistachio.

We enjoyed this wine with:

Sea bass, pan-fried whole, scented with ginger, scallion, garlic, soy sauce, a touch of vinegar and sugar
Pork spare rib pieces with salted black bean
Fresh garden cucumber with soy sauce & hint of sesame oil
Shanghai bok choy
Japanese eggplant with miso sauce


Pavese Ermes Blanc de Morgex et de la Salle 2008

Pavese Ermes Blanc de Morgex et de la Salle 2008, DOC

Liquid…is a substance that flows and takes on the form of its container.*

The liquid known as Pavese Ermes Blanc de Morgex et de la Salle flows through my senses. Smooth-spoken and talkative, it tells a mountain story, buzzing through my human form with impressions of nature’s purity, mountain air, alpine flowers, and a brightness one finds in the quality of light at higher altitudes.

pavese-ermes-blanc-de-morgex-et-de-la-salle-2008In the high Alps, beneath where Mount Blanc casts its shadow, Ermes Pavese produces his wines in the commune of La Ruine near the town of Morgex in Italy’s Vallée D’Aoste. Working less than two hectares planted only to Prié Blanc, aka Blanc de Morgex et de la Salle, Pavese produces three wines: the Blanc vinified in steel, its barrel-aged version, and a sweet wine from made from late harvest grapes. A young winery established only in 1999, Pavese’s first vintage was released in 2005.

Pavese Ermes Blanc de Morgex et de la Salle 2008 is made of 100% Prié Blanc from high altitude [ 1200m ] vineyards. Reportedly, the high elevation had provided vines protection from Phylloxera: vines are not of American root stock.

Tasting Notes / Impressions:

Translucent, luminescent pale yellow-gold highlighted with overtones of granny apple green. Massively fresh nose of apples, lemon balm, grass and floral tones. A light and super clean mouth with wonderfully crisp acidity and laser focus minerality. The wine reflects the elegance of nature and the beguilingly subtle contradiction that is simple complexity. Good grip and length on a pleasingly tart finish. Modest 12% alcohol.

Food pairing suggestions:

Delicate white fish, especially baked trout; Spaezle, perhaps seasoned with mountain herbs; Knödel (dumplings) served with chicken gravy; Fontina fondue; Quiche; French-style jambon / ham, prosciutto; Cheese course/s, especially Fontina, Robiola, Brie. For a more eclectic table, this wine is a natural with delicate Japanese maki (cut rolls) and sushi, as well as courses of Chinese-style emerald green vegetables such as bok choy, summer “melon”, Chinese broccoli.

* from, liquid