Blends are one of my favorite wine styles. I picture the winemaker as an artist - creating an abstract portrait to be interpreted by the public’s palate. I always say no one should tell you what you taste in a wine. I will never tell someone they are wrong about what they taste (unless they tell me they’re tasting something crazy like peanut butter.) One of my favorite blends is by the winemaker (artist) Filippo Rizzo called Lamoresca Vino Rosso, a blend of Nero d’Avola and Frappato.
Last May I had the opportunity to taste with Filippo at RAW Fair. I started with the 2012 Vino Rosso and found it to be very lush and supple with integrated tannin and a floral quality from the Frappato. Plenty of dark fruit, some spice and a slight mineral salinity. The 2013 Vino Rosso was bigger and had a richer, muscular feel to it. The 2013 had only been in bottle a very short time but it had the tannin structure that I love: big and grippy. There was also the floral quality of the Frappato, but much later on the palate as the tannin subsided. One of my favorite things about the Lamoresca wines is that they use ZERO sulfites in their wines.
One thing to keep in mind about natural wines is that they can be long-lived once they’re opened. I would keep this one open for 4-5 days with just the cork in it and come back and pour a small glass each day. When Isabelle Legeron MW was visiting, she brought us a bottle of Gilles et Catherine Vergé - and she’s had a bottle open for more than 20 days in her cellar. Chris and I usually have 3-4 open bottles of wine at home. We just write the date that we opened the wine on the back label and we always have a glass to go with whatever we decide to cook for dinner.
If I were to compare the 2012 and the 2013 vintages to a movie star, the 2012 is like George Clooney in Gravity (very precise and direct) and the 2013 is more like George in Batman (bigger, bolder but with the Bruce Wayne richness.)
Lamoresca Vino Rosso $42
For more on Nero d'Avola: read this post.