With my Bride drinking a Negroni, I had to find to keep myself amused at lunch sitting in a glass enclosed old train station in Ann Arbor. The architecture, the details of brick, wood and metal could easily made up several pages of photographs. There were several interesting wines by the glass being offered by the use of the Coravin System, but we were there for a lunch, and I was having a burger, which I do crave now and then. I decided to try their wine flight of three and my Bride wanted to taste each wine with me. The first wine was Azienda Agricola Viberti Giovanni Langhe Nebbiolo DOC 2019. The winery’s history began in 1923 when Cavalier Antonio Viberti buys the Locanda del Buon Padre. He started by producing wine in the basement to serve to his guests and originally, he offered wines of Dolcetto, Barbera and Nebbiolo. Langhe Nebbiolo is a subset of the Langhe DOC of the Piemonte region. It is viewed as a junior version of Barolo and Barbaresco, usually a bit lighter compared to the bigger siblings; and there is no regulations or minimums for the winemaking. The wine is pure Nebbiolo from vineyards in the Barolo region and the first year of production for this wine was 2000. The initial fermentation and maceration are for about fifteen days on the skins in Stainless Steel. This is followed by aging for one year in wood, and then another year in Stainless Steel. The light ruby-red wine offered notes of red fruits. On the palate, the tones of red cherry and strawberry was noted with soft tannins and a medium finish of fruit.
The second wine of the flight was Marchesi Antinori Tenuta Guado al Tasso Vermentino di Bolgheri DOC 2021. The Antinori family has been making wines since 1385 when Giovanni di Piero Antinori became a member of the “Arte Fiorentina dei Vinattieri,” the Florentine Winemakers’ Guild. Twenty-six generations later the family is still making wines in Italy. Tenuta Guado al Tasso is a Tuscan wine estate in the Bolgheri region and is part of the Marchesi Antinori group. The estate is three-hundred hectares predominately red varieties and the white Vermentino. The former owners of the estate the della Gherardesca family, began wine making in the latter half of the 17th Century. In the 1930’s it came under the control of the Antinori family through marriage. The first vintage of Vermentino was 1996 to take advantage of the alluvial soil and the proximity to the sea for the notes of minerals. Each vineyard parcel was harvested separately. The fruit was destemmed, delicately crushed and gently pressed and the juice was transferred to Stainless Steel vats for fermentation, then the different parcels were blended and bottled in January after the harvest. The wine is straw-colored and offered notes of citrus fruits, tropical fruits and flower blossoms. On the palate the different fruits were blended in a dry savory wine, nice and crisp with a finish of citrus fruits. This was my Bride’s favorite.
The final wine of the flight was Vinosia by Luciano Ercolino Taurasi DOCG Santandrea 2014. Luciano Ercolino comes from a century old winemaking family, but this winery was founded in 2004. The winery is located in an ancient part of Italy that was once Greek, known as Irpinia, which in Latin means “land of wolves.” Irpinia is a sub-region of Campania in southern Italy and the wines are base on the native varietal of Aglianico. The best come from the higher altitudes of the Taurasi region showcasing volcanic deposits and limestone. Taurasi was recognized as a DOC in 1970 and DOCG in 1993. This wine is pure Aglianico with maceration and fermentation for fifteen days, followed by fourteen month is French Oak barriques and then another twenty months in bottles. A deep red wine offering notes of dark fruits, spices and tobacco. On the palate, there were tones of black cherry and plums, layered with black pepper, leather, mushrooms (what some called bramble) with a nice finish of terroir and some smokiness. I have to admit that I have only had a few Aglianico wines, but I have been impressed with each one.