Sunday, July 1, 2012

Cellarmistress Goes To Italy, Part One

In an effort to get back to my Italian roots, I decided I needed to learn more about Italian wines. But where was I to start? A person could seriously spend years learning about the wines of Italy and not even touch the surface! When an opportunity came up for me to sample the wines of Beni di Batasiolo, a winery in the Piedmont region of Italy, I embraced the opportunity! The experience left me tantalized and excited to learn more!

Beni di Batasiolo is located on 345 acres and is estate-owned. The Dogliani family have been farming this land since 1978 and their dedication to quality is impeccable. I sampled four distinctively different wines, all great values and much to my surprise, I found them a delicious alternative to the California wines I always write about.

The first one I sampled was the 2011 Gavi di Gavi Granee DOCG. I wish more of the American public would discover Gavi. It is an amazing white wine! Made from 100% Cortese grapes, it is food-friendy, crisp with floral aromas and citrus flavors! Just a breath of fresh air and perfect for Summertime sipping. I love it and going forward, I am going to seek out this varietal and make it a staple in my wine rack! $18.99.

My next bottle was the 2008 Barbera d'Alba Sovrana DOC. Barbera was a varietal I had tried before, but I was used to its rugged and rustic California counterpart. This Barbera was fruity and smooth. Delicate but with ripe fruit flavors and a beautiful ruby red color. This wine, also very food-friendly, is the perfect accompaniment to any meal. Average price around $18. Great value!
This was the first time I had ever had a Barolo. Yes, in my short 13 year history of drinking wine I had never once tried a wine made of 100% Nebbiolo grapes! (My counterparts out there are probably shaking their heads right now!!) Barolo is the KING of Piedmont and its pride and joy and I can see why. This wine is almost regal! The 2007 Barolo DOCG is huge, rustic, spicy with a velvet finish. I would love to taste this one again after a few more years as it is so ageworthy! Firm tannins will give it a lot of future life! So impressed I am with this wine that I cannot wait to sample more of them. Average price $48 (and a bargain at that!)

And now for the big surprise of the day!! Everyone who knows me knows I am not a fan of sweet wines. I make a face everytime I think about it. Something made me change my mind recently and of course it had to be Italian!

There is a huge Moscato craze here in the US. Most of the ones I've seen and tried are of the sticky sweet variety. I call it a "girly girl" wine for those who don't really drink wine, almost likening it to a wine cooler. The Italians, however, know how to do Moscato correctly and even though the alcohol level is low (around 8%), guess what? You would never know when sampling this one! The Moscato Spumante Rose is absolutely delicious! Not only does it taste dry but the lovely strawberry flavor reminds one of Summertime! It's also a very romantic kind of wine. Hot tub wine, I call it. For you and your sweetheart! $15.99.

I want to thank Katie Hunter of Charles Communications for turning me on to such lovely wines and sending me the samples! It definitely was a great experience and I look forward to exploring a lot more Italian varietals in the future! Hopefully some day I can go back to Italy and maybe even visit Beni di Batasiolo. These are great wines worth exploring!

Beni di Batasiolo wines are distributed nationwide through Boisset Family Estates. For more information on Beni di Batasiolo, please check out their website,

"You Saw It Here First"...This post was created solely for"Cellarmistress' Cellar Talk" by Grace Hoffman. Grace is an Italian-born, American-bred wine blogger/educator with an all-consuming passion for wine and all it encompasses.

1 comment:

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