2015 Curto Marco, La Foia Barolo, $71.50
Winery info: Curto is located in the commune of La Morra in the heart of the Barolo zone, in northern Italy’s Piedmont region. They are a traditional, family-run estate that has been handed down for three generations. Current winemaker Nadia Curto learned her craft from her father Marco and her uncle, the legendary Barolo producer Elio Altare. Importer Small Vineyards describes Nadia as a “woman amongst men.” Her wines strike a balance between modern winemaking and the classic style of Barolo, powerful, yet with great finesse.
Grapes: 100% Nebbiolo. Aged two years in oak barrels, plus a year in bottle.
Vineyard: From their small, four-hectare estate in the heart of La Morra.
Flavor Profile: Powerful and robust, yet quite accessible, with lush, concentrated flavors of dark cherry, and subtle notes of earth and truffles. The intensity is balanced by an elegance and finesse that will continue to develop with further aging.
Availability: As a direct import through Small Vineyards, this wine is very limited.
Drinkability: Give this one at least a couple of years, then enjoy it anytime over the following five years.
Food Pairing: Hearty meat dishes like wild boar or prime rib, game, or a risotto with truffles.
2017 Palacio de Fefiñanes, Albariño, $28
Winery info: Fefiñanes is located in the small municipality of Cambados in Spain’s northwest Galicia region. The estate was founded in 1904 in a beautiful baronial palace built in 1647 by the viscount of Fefiñanes. (The label shows an engraving of the palace.) They were the first winery to produce wine under the D.O. Rías Baixas denomination and today they rank among the top producers of Albariño in Spain. The wines are made by Cristina Mantilla and this is their flagship wine.
Grapes: 100% Albariño from 40-plus year old vines, with some up to 100 years old. Fermented in stainless steel.
Vineyard: Situated almost at sea level, with sandy limestone and clay soil and a windy, damp Atlantic climate. This terroir imparts characteristic acidity and freshness to the wines.
Flavor Profile: This is a serious, sophisticated Albariño, with clean, fresh aromas of oyster shells, lemon zest, and crushed rock, and concentrated flavors of white stone fruit. It is a very elegant expression of the grape, with layered complexity and a long, savory finish with a touch of salinity.
Availability: The winery’s total annual production is 11,000 cases. This one is generally in pretty good supply.
Drinkability: Not meant for long-term aging, enjoy this one now, or over the next year or two.
Food Pairing: Shellfish (clams, lobster, mussels, or oysters) or other seafood, or with Asian cuisine.