On trips like these, there will inevitably be times when you walk into a winery or someone’s home and have no idea what to expect. Or you expect the worst. I should know by now not to have any expectations at all, but so it goes. We arrived at Specogna, which none of the group had heard of before, on a rainy night and were all a little tired and really hungry. Or really full and not at all in need of food. This week it’s been hard to tell the difference, oddly enough.
You visit one cellar, you visit them all. Well, that’s not entirely true, but you get to the point where you don’t want to see another barrel or steel tank for crying out loud. You just want to get right to tasting the wines. We met the very charismatic and energetic Cristian Specogna and his older bother Michele in the driveway of the Azienda. They took us into the cellar…
But then. But THEN.
He took a barrel sample of their 2008 Pinot Grigio for us to drink at dinner. It was this color.
Our first Ramato of the trip. Finally! A style of, historically pinot grigio, production where skin maceration is employed. It’s named for the resulting coppery tinged color. When this happened, we knew things were looking up. I think we all grew about 2 inches with excitement and energy.
We all ended up loving this wine as well as their fresher 2010 Pinot Grigio. You know what else we loved?
Their 1998 Chardonnay. It was the very last vintage Crisitian and Michele’s father made. Aging beautifully!
I really enjoyed the reds as well! We’ve tasted many Schioppettino on the trip and this is one of my favorites- the 2009 Toblar, a joint project between Michele and a winemaker in Ramandolo. Great balance with pure fruit and that classic black pepper spice that hit me right in the back of the throat. The 2001 Pignolo wasn’t too shabby either.
It reminded me of my childhood. Horse barn, sweet oats, weathered saddles, wild mushrooms and musk. Iron and blackberries. There are those times when tasting wine that sense memory grabs your heart strings and unfolds a bundle of memories. It’s these moments you hope for and relish, whether expected or not.
Specogna will soon be imported to the States, only in New York at this time, through VOS Selections…you lucky bastards.