Saturday, June 20, 2009

Guidobono: friendly, approachable and affordable Piedmont wines


Dreaming of one day being able to produce Barolo, the Faccenda family purchased this winery in 2003. The vineyards lie just outside of Monforte d'Alba, a commune of the Cuneo province, located southwest of Alba. The vines are 30 to 40 years old for the oldest, planted on limestone soil.

Guidobono’s wines are textbook interpretations of the indigenous grapes of the Langhe. Bright, generous and well rounded for the Roero; fruit driven, juicy, soft and rich for the two Barbera(s); austere yet approachable for the Nebbiolo; and structured and traditional for the Barolo.

Overall, one can say that, Guidobono produces fruitier, more modern style of Barbera and Nebbiolo. However (and in my opinion), they still have one foot into the traditional style of Langhe, which makes them true to their terroir of origin and somewhat less intimidating for the fruit driven, rapidly evolving and trully eager to learn (young) American palate (think about all of these years of manischewitz or white I think that some people continue to believe that it is good wine....they don't know what they are missing).

2007 Guidobono Langhe Arneis Piedmont Italy
Suggested retail price $16-$18
Distributed by Jan d'Amore Wines in NYC

Made with Arneis grapes planted on clay-limestone soil, harvested in mid-September. The wine undergoes a Criomaceration (pre-fermentation cooling process*) then fermentation in stainless steel tank. Filtered then bottled in March of the following year. The wine is released about 6-7 months after harvest, to emphasize the freshness.

Lovely, round, well balanced, fleshy and fruity with peachy and zesty flavors complemented by a great acidity. Ideal for late afternoon drinks, as an aperitif or with Mediterranean flavored fish and white meat. A sipper and a crowd pleaser for party, and casual dinner.

2007 Guidobono Barbera d'Alba Piedmont Italy
Suggested retail price $16-$18
Distributed by Jan d'Amore Wines in NYC

Made with Barbera grapes planted on clay-limestone soil, with vines of 10 years old in average. The grapes were harvested in the beginning of October. The wine was then fermented in stainless steel tanks and matured for 6 months in large oak casks and used barriques where the malolactic fermentation usually takes place. It was bottled in July of the following year, and released about one year after harvest.

From the generous, and especially interesting in Piedmont, 2007 vintage, this Barbera possesses ripe red and dark cherry flavors, balanced by a great acidity and structured earthy tannins. here again, this wine is fleshy and fruity, in the same time round, soft and approachable yet it remains quite young and the tannins need a tiny bit of time. Decant it before serving to tame the finish or wait for it for another year or two.

2007 Guidobono Langhe Nebbiolo piedmont Italy
Suggested retail price $17-$19
Distributed by Jan d'Amore Wines in NYC

Made with Nebbiolo grapes planted on clay and sand soil, with vines of 20 years old in average. This wine spent 5 days under maceration and fermentation in stainless steel casks, then matured for about 8 months in large oak casks. It was bottled in June of the following year and released roughly one year after harvest.

The 2007 vintage is bringing a lot to this Nebbiolo based wine, that has almost the richness of a baby Barolo. It is still very young and the earthy tannins in the finish really deserve a bit of time. But here again, a little decantation will allow a better expression of the dark berry fruit, floral notes and spice hints. It still fairly approchoable and enjoyable now, but it will surely benefit of a few years of rest in the bottle.

In conclusion, I will say that Jan d'Amore is a great, humble and gentle Italian guy (another one...) who has a small portfolio yet full of small undiscovered (in the US market) producers and wineries like Guidobono that really deserve a bit more attention.

See you soon at the store Jan,


LeDom du Vin

Info taken from Jan d'Amore website at:

* - During a process called crio-maceration the grape musts (freshly and gently pressed white grapes still containing solids- pulp, skins, stems, and seeds) are cooled to a temperature of 40°F (4.5ºC) in stainless steel tubes or small tanks. The time and the temperature at which this process takes place greatly determine the texture and characteristics of the finished product).

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1 comment:

  1. I'd enjoyed a number of reds from this producer, and just the other night served the Arneis with a asparagus salad, which worked out nicely.