Elio Grasso Gavarini Vigna Chiniera Barolo 2008
Nebbiolo from Piedmont, Italy
#24 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012
The size of this wine begins with the intense ruby color. The nose shows delicate aromas of tobacco and leather as a backdrop to its fruity opulence. The hint of toasty oak is a tribute to Elio's skillful and judicious use of barrique aging. The tannins meld into the structure, allowing it to finish with length and consistency.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2008 Barolo Gavarini Vigna Chiniera is flat-out great. Sweet roses, spices, mint, flowers and red berries are some of the notes that emerge from this profound, utterly moving Barolo. The 2008 possesses dazzling inner perfume, endless layers of bright red fruit and stunning overall balance. Fine, silky tannins frame the extraordinarily elegant finish. This is a fabulous wine from Gianluca Grasso and his family. Chalky notes frame an energetic, brilliant finish sprinkled with shades of the 1989. Anticipated maturity: 2018-2033.
Wine Spectator - "Hints of coffee and sandalwood mark this rich yet racy red, whose core flavors are cherry, strawberry and underbrush. There’s some muscle and density, firming up on the finish, with adequate sweet fruit for balance. Best from 2015 through 2030."
International Wine Cellar - "Good bright, deep red. Knockout nose offers pungent flinty minerality, white pepper, rose petal and spices; at once explosive and pure. Wonderfully intense, sappy and spicy on the palate, with a suave, fine-grained texture and great perfumed, floral delicacy. I might have picked this blind as a Chambolle cru. Less plush than the Ginestra Casa Mate but wonderfully tight and vibrant on the back end, in need of extended cellaring.
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Elio Grasso Winery
Currently, the Elio Grasso estate has a productive vineyard holding of 14 hectares. The cellar uses only estate-grown grapes from varieties traditionally grown, with excellent results, in the Langhe hill country near Alba.
Reflecting the imprint of the vineyard where the fruit was grown in order to give our wines their unique personality is the goal that we - myself, my wife Marina and our son, Gianluca - strive to achieve, with the invaluable assistance of our consultant wine technician, Piero Ballario.
We believe that to be acknowledged first as grape farmers, and then as wine producers, is the best way to honour, and continue the labours of, those who have faced before us the challenges that working with nature and her products, like wine, entails. This, and a desire to be true to ourselves, prompts us propose, without presumption, the convictions and conduct shared by all Langhe farming families, characteristics worth preserving and which we believe make the difference. View all Elio Grasso Wines
Notable FactsNot just regulated to red wine, Piedmont also produces some notable whites, particularly those near the district of Gavi and Asti. Gavi produces still white wine from the Cortese grape. The wine is dry with a crisp, citrus-like acidity – fairly neutral but pleasant. Arneis is another grape/wine made in the area, creating a fuller wine that displays some nuttiness in the aroma and taste. Asti is well known for its sparkling wine – in particular Asti Spumante and Moscato d'Asti. Asti Spumante is typically higher in alcohol, sweetness & fizziness, while its higher-class cousin, Mostcato d'Asti, contains lower alcohol levels, a few less bubbles, and a more restrained and delicate representation of Moscato fruit.
A little ditty about Italy...This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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