I often feel describing the textural experience of a wine is especially difficult. Whereas one can trot out a range of analogues when describing a wine’s flavour profile, capturing the nuances of a particular tannin profile, or the quality of a wine’s acid, strikes me as much harder. It’s especially frustrating when faced with a wine like this, whose tannins are very much a highlight and one of its chief pleasures.
Growing conditions leading up to the 2003 harvest in Piedmont were hot and dry, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from this wine. Happily, I found it excellent, showing no stressed flavours or unbalanced structure. In fact, it’s an elegant wine, with all the perfume one craves from this varietal. The flavour profile is typical, with heady rose, citrus peel and red berries. There’s a wildness to the way this smells and tastes that recalls the sweetness of a field on a hot summer’s day.
Flavour aside, though, I just love the tannins here. From mid-palate onwards, texture starts creeping over the tongue, drying the mouth with a light but firm hand, becoming more noticeable as the line progresses. These are abundant tannins yet, somehow, they possess a lightness of touch, a delicacy, that allows them to remain in balance with the rest of the wine. I tasted this again and again, enjoying its rough hand caress my tongue.
What a sensual pleasure, this; as much about touch as taste.
Price: $A164 (wine list)