Saturday, January 26, 2008

Case Corino-Organic Barberas

This past Thursday, I went to the Lower Falls Wine Co. to attend another of their special tastings. This time, they had a couple special guests, Lorenzo Corino and his son Guido, there to showcase some of their Case Corini wines, all-organic Italian Barbera wines. These wines are imported by Adonna Imports.

I attended a previous wine tasting at Lower Falls for these Case Corini wines but Lorenzo had not been there. You can check out my prior review. I very much enjoyed their Barberas and wanted to taste some of their other wines. Eileen Wright, of Il Capriccio and Adonna Imports, accompanied Lorenzo and Guido.

Lorenzo Corino makes organic Barbera d'Asti in the town of Costigliole in Italy's Piedmont region. He is the fifth generation that has lived amongst the vineyards. Lorenzo is a soil scientist and is concerned about the health of the ecosystem in his vineyards. He believes that much of the wine is made in the vineyard so he does not subject his wines to lots of technical manipulation.

The wines at the tasting included:

2001 Barbera d'Asti "Bricco" ($55): This is 75% Barbera, with a few other rare, indigenous Italian grapes. This had a fragrant nose and lots of fruit on the palate as well as a bit of a tannic structure. It was an easy-drinking wine, lacking some complexity.

2003 Barbera d'Asti "Bricco" ($55): This vintage was a mild but hot summer. This wine was fruitier and less tannic than the 2001 vintage. It certainly would be very approachable now and would not need any cellaring.

2003 Barbera d'Asti "La Barla" ($85): This was my favorite wine of the previous tasting. It is 100% Barbera from old vines. This time, the wine pleased me as it did before. It had great structure, lots of complexity and was a silky pleasure. Nice concentration and a very lengthy finish.

1999 Barbera d'Asti "La Barla" ($85): I found this vintage to be even smoother and silkier than the 2003. The tannins were very mild and the fruit flavors were subtle and complex. There was a taste of cherries, strawberries and a bit of raspberry. There were hints of spice and a lingering finish that tantalized my senses. An exceptional wine that thoroughly impressed me. And I did have to buy a bottle, despite its price.

1996 Barbera d'Asti "La Barla" ($85): I heard several people at the tasting state that this was their favorite wine of the tasting. Yet it turned me off. It had a very funky nose, a barnyard smell that put me off. The taste contained elements of that funk as well as stewed tomatoes. I just did not like this wine though it certainly was popular with others.

Overall, these were excellent wines. They were Old World style, well balanced and had lengthy finishes. They would be fine on their own, or paired with food. They probably could be paired with many different foods as well, from Italian food to game like duck or even venison. Though I could also just sit and drink these wines on their own, savoring their flavors.

Another great tasting at Lower Falls and another worthy selection from Adonna Imports.

Lower Falls Wine Co.
2366 Washington Street (Rt. 16)
Newton Lower Falls, MA
Phone: (617) 332-3000

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