2004 Eugenio Bocchino Barolo “Lu”
Eugenio Bocchino is a true “garagiste,” working his 5.5 hectares of vineyards with just his wife Cinzia and their three dachshunds. He makes only about 1,500 cases of wine in total, and just 105 cases of this top-flight Barolo. West Seattle Cellars customers have enjoyed several vintages of his “Suo di Giacomo,” a full-bodied ready-to-drink blend of Nebbiolo and Barbera. The 2004 “Lu” is just the second vintage from a vineyard planted in 1999 to produce ageable Barolo. It is relatively soft and fruity for Barolo, with lush, velvety tannins, the usual Nebbiolo notes of tar and wet tobacco leaf, and a wonderful spiciness and complexity. While you could let the wine develop for 20-30 years, our judgment is that it will begin to reach its peak in two to five years. It costs $70, and we have bought enough extra from Small Vineyards to have a decent supply.
2006 Falesco Ferentano Bianco Lazio
For this month’s white wine, we stay in Italy, but we move from a relatively unknown but upcoming star with a tiny winery in a famous place to an internationally acclaimed winemaker with a large winery in a completely unheralded region. With his brother Renzo, Riccardo Cotarello founded Falesco in 1979 in Montefiascone, a little village in the Lazio region, the province around Rome. While they made their reputation with “international” varieties like Cabernet and Merlot, the Cotarello brothers have spent the last five years reviving grapes indigenous to the area. This wine, for example, is 100% Roscetto, and, as far as we can tell, it is the only wine in the world made from this grape. Although it sees oak barrels for only three months, it is a worthy match for any big California Chardonnay, particularly at $29.75. It is lush and full-bodied, with wonderful tropical fruit aromas and hints of fresh herbs and vanilla. Ready to drink, it will nicely complement risotto, white meats, and vegetable dishes. Although imported in tiny quantities, we were able to obtain a good supply for the holiday season.