Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Domenico Wines 2005 Nebbiolo  (Amador County)

Domenico Wines

2005 Nebbiolo
(Amador County)

This wine is a fine example of Italy’s most noble red grape from Piedmonte, Nebbiolo. There, it is makes up the most majestic and punch-packing of boxing dudes, Barolo and Barbaresco. So big are these wines, and so well-endowed with tannins, that they typically require a decade of aging to be presentable. Aha! Some CA growers thought: we can get this thing ripe here in sunny California, and the results will be magical. Not so, big boy.

Some tried and few succeeded, and, much like Sangiovese, growers threw in the towel on this very site-specific varietal. Fortunately, there are still vineyards in the USA producing this elusively wonderful grape. Amador County is probably as good as it gets for Nebbiolo, given the elevation and the tendency towards very warm days and coolish nights, punctuated by some cool fog in the autumn. (Nebbiolo comes from the Italian word for fog, “nebbia.”)

This wine possesses a delightful well-rounded body, a bit like a Boticelli “Venus,” and a very passionate soul. The wonderful aromas of dried cherries, pomegranate, fennel and other vermouth-like herbs, commingle with delightful hints of suede and vanilla. It was aged for 18 months on French oak, which gives it even more of that French vanilla overtone. The flavors are predominately dried cherries, with dollops of tobacco and anise. This wine has plenty of tannin and acid and would be exceptional with Pecorina Toscano and boar meat sausage.

Reviewed February 6, 2008 by Laura Ness.

The Wine

Winery: Domenico Wines
Vintage: 2005
Wine: Nebbiolo
Appellation: Amador County
Grapes: Nebbiolo (77%), Merlot (14%), Cabernet Sauvignon (9%)
Price: 750ml $26.00

Review Date: 2/6/2008

The Reviewer

Laura Ness

A wine writer and wine judge for major publications and competitions around the country, Laura Ness likens wine to the experience of music. She is always looking for that ubiquitous marriage of rhythm, melody, and flawless execution. What is good music? You know it when you get lost in it. What is good wine? It is music in your mouth.