Shana Speaks Wine

Wine Journalist, Copywriter, and Marketing Consultant

Drinking out loud. 

An Ode to La Spinetta

One of wine's most important elements is its ability to evoke memories. We tend to gravitate towards particular wines not only for the way they taste but for the way they can transport one to a particular moment. You may remember that beautful bottle that was served on your birthday and now, whenever you see it on a menu, you may smile with recollection.  Or what about that bottle of rose that you drank at dinner on a beach vacation, overlooking the ocean?  I'm sure you are more apt to select that bottle over any other in a wine store.

La Spinetta wines hold that special memory for me.  With that first sip, I'm instantly transported to our first dinner on the patio at La Villa, our hotel in Piedmonte, on what was to become a pinnacle trip in my burgeoning passion for wine.  Sitting amongst the vineyard-covered hills, the setting sun alighting the mountain peaks like small volcanoes, I felt an ease and fluidity in my being I had never experienced before. The marriage of land and wine became a crystalized concept and I knew this was the beginning of a passionate journey.

Now, at a crossroads in my life, La Spinetta brought me back to a place of peace. Recently, Eataly hosted a tasting of four La Spinetta wines, including a first vintage rose. Tasting through these, I was transported to that moment of happiness, felt in its purest form

Langhe Bianco, Sauvignon Blanc, 2009 ($46.80)
This was a gorgeous, old-world style sauv blanc, a must-drink alternative to the popular Italian pinot grigio. A bit pricey, yes, but it oozed character. Green apple, citrus and a brisk minerality announced themselves right away on the nose and palate. The acid, high and bright, was somehow tempered by a softness and roundness that is often found in Sancerre. I adore this wine.

Il Rose di Casanova, 2012 ($14.80)
This was their premier effort at rose and I hope they continue production. This wine came from their Tuscany estate and was 50% Sangiovese/50% Prugnolo Gentile. More Provence in style than the full-bodied deep Rosatos of Italy, this one had fresh-picked wildflowers, light cherry, strawberry fields and an overall brightness. Again, there was a good amount of acid on this fresh vino. Summer, where are you already?

Ca' Di Pian, Barbera, 2009 ($27.80)
Looking back at old posts, I'm shocked I haven't written about this one yet, considering it's offered by the half bottle at many wine bars in the city and I drink it all the time. At any rate, this is what I consider to be a textbook example of a good Barbera. On the nose, black cherry, plum and violets give way to cherry, raspberry and a solid earthiness on the palate. Again, acid is very prominent and some moderate tannins. Classic, classic, classic.

Vigneto Bordini, Barbaresco, 2005 ($53.80)
This was a lighter, refined style of Barbaresco. Violets, cranberry and an almost strawberry note wafted in the glass, layered with tones of chocolate. On the palate, the cranberry was even more noticeable, along with well-structured tannins and acidity. This is a barbaresco that I think could be sipped on by itself, along with being a great food wine.

Dedicated to S.P.