2010 Curto Marco, La Foia Barolo, $65
Winery info: Located in the commune of La Morra in the heart of Barolo, Curto is a traditional, family-run estate that has been handed down for three generations.
Winemaker: Nadia Curto. Importer Small Vineyards describes Nadia as a “woman amongst men.” She learned her craft from her father, a grape grower, and her uncle, a legendary winemaker in the region. Her aim is to strike a balance between modern winemaking and the traditional style of Barolo.
Grapes: 100% Nebbiolo, from the highly rated 2010 vintage.
Vineyard source: From their small, four-hectare estate in the heart of La Morra, in the hilly Arborina region.
Flavor profile: Powerful and robust, with concentrated flavors of dark cherry, and notes of earth and truffles. The intensity is balanced by elegance and finesse that will reward aging.
Production/Availability: About 500 cases, and very limited as it was a direct import through Small Vineyards.
Drinkability: Give this one at least a couple of years, then enjoy anytime over the following five years.
Food Pairing: Hearty meat dishes, game, or a risotto with truffles.
2014 Domaine de la Tour du Bon, Bandol Blanc, $38
Winery info: Located in Provence in the northwestern corner of the Bandol AOC, situated atop a limestone plateau 150 meters above sea level. A full time farm since 1925, it was purchased by the Hocquard family in 1968 and is now run by their daughter, Agnès Henry.
Winemaker: Agnès Henry, who met importer Kermit Lynch because their children went to the same kindergarten. Of course, Kermit is besieged by wineries who want to export their wine to the U.S., but the Domaine de la Tour du Bon wines truly impressed him.
Grapes: Typically 85% Clairette, with 10% Vermentino (aka Rolle), and 5% Ugni Blanc.
Vineyard source: The winery owns 14 hectares of rocky vineyards consisting of red earth, clay, sand, and gravel, over limestone. It is an arid site, cooled by the coastal maritime breezes. Agnès practices organic viticulture.
Flavor profile: The limestone soil instills great complexity, long length, and fresh elegance in their wines. Their Bandol Blanc has aromas of citrus, white flowers and exotic fruits, with a full mouth feel balanced by lively minerality.
Production/Availability: The estate’s total production is around 3,700 cases a year. Over half of that is rosé and a just a tiny bit is the white. As such, it is very limited and there is just a bit left with the distributor.
Drinkability: Ready to drink now or anytime over the next few years.
Food Pairing: Lovely as an aperitif, or with grilled fish or chicken, bouillabaisse, or couscous.