by Zoltan Szabo

2007 ‘Aria’ Nebbiolo, Alvento, Niagara Peninsula
My dear friend, Virgil Dan Comsa, came by for lunch today and brought a couple of nice pieces of West Grey Beef Inc. filet mignon and dozens of king mushrooms. We cooked them, rare, and sautéed the mushroom in garlic and good butter, decanted a bottle of 2007 ‘Aria’ Nebbiolo by Alvento in Niagara Peninsula. Conversation was not only about good old times, given Virgil and I worked together since the days at Louis Jannetta’s Place, but also about shape of glasses and if certain stems emphasize the aroma and flavour aspect of wine, the acidity and tannin components, or don’t. We quickly came to the realization that it’s all a matter of aesthetics and personal beliefs. What is important, the enjoyment factor (do you like the wine or not?), the company and the occasion, memories that wine can enliven, the food, the season. Never mind the glass brand, shape, price and quality; even if you drink from a plastic mug or coffee cup it can be good. We were both truly impressed by the Nebbiolo. It was so Nebbiolo, from colour to finish. Red currants, cherries, pink peppercorn, floral – tar – leather aroma mixture. Medium to full bodied with great ripeness and opulence, lively acidity and velvet tannins. Pure, smooth and elegant with 13% alcohol, unnoticeable oak and citrus – pink grapefruit – pomegranate seed notes on its extremely long finish. After a while, soft, fresh – turned earth – tobacco, animal and limestone – graphite nuances started showing in between the fruit, with spicy nutmeg accents on the finish. We debated if this is the best Nebbiolo we tasted outside of Piemonte and listened to an aria, “Ah perfido” by Beethoven. Decant at least 2 hours before consumption if you drink it now. It will age 6 to 8 years easily.

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