Featured in this issue

Barolo and Barbaresco are not the only Italian regions for great Nebbiolo that can claim the elevated status of DOCG -- try Roero.

Piemonte (Piedmont), located in North West Italy (where the shroud of Turin and the last winter Olympics come from), is, of course, one of the top wine growing regions in the world.  And the Nebbiolo grape makes some of the noblest, complex, and age worthy wines, most notably from the mighty Barolo and Barbaresco appellations.  These have long been recognized by the Italian government as worthy of their highest labeling status, DOCG (not just controlled, but guaranteed – we won’t get into the politics of this system – suffice it to say that DOCG really does mean the best in most cases.)  Joining the two B’s (and the two G’s – Gattinara and Ghemme) is Roero, which was promoted in early 2005.  Roero’s sandy, steep and forested hills lie to the North-West of the town of Alba.  The red wines are made from Nebbiolo, with a small percentage of the white Arneis grape allowed into the blend.  Roero Arneis (called “White Barolo” by its fans) is also the specialty white wine of the area, and is developing an international reputation. Roero (formerly known as Nebbiolo d’Alba) can be a nice introduction to Nebbiolo, as it is often softer and more approachable in its youth than its siblings, the King and Queen of Italian reds, Barolo and Barbaresco, but can age quite nicely beyond 5 or 6 years.

The Blend’s Monthly Featured Producer: MONCHIERO CARBONE

"Ogni uss a l'ha so tanbuss." This piemontese proverb is on all of the Monchiero Carbone labels. Literally, it means 'every door has its clapper' but the symbolic meaning of the phrase is 'behind every door there is a secret' and for the Monchiero Carbone family, the secret is their winemaking. Monchiero Carbone wine production began during the beginning of the 1900’s when Clotilde Valente (the grandmother on the Monchiero side of the family) purchased the Monbirone vineyards with her dowry. She focused on making high-quality wines intended for ageing, something very unusual for Roero at the time.  The wines are made in a “modern” style.

Recommended Wine:

Grapes for the Roero Printi Nebbiolo are grown on the southwest slope of the hills outside Canale in Northwest Italy. Picked in late October and handcrafted to be fruity and ample on the nose, long and full-bodied in the mouth with an ability to be enjoyed now or in the coming decades.  Words like rich, sweet, silky, sumptuous, stylish, delicious and soft have been used to describe this stand out Roero.  Try it with aged Banon cheese, smoked ham, grilled mushrooms, or simple veggie burgers. Retails for about $50 USD.

Catalog this wine in The Personal Wine Curator cellar software like this:
  • Producer: Monchiero Carbone
  • Wine Name/Appellation: Roero, Printi
  • Vintage: 2001
  • Varietal: Nebbiolo
  • Type: Red
  • Vineyard/Sub-sub:
  • Sub-region: Roero
  • Region: Piemonte
  • Country: Italy
  • Body: Full
  • Drink after: 2004
  • Drink by: 2016

PWC Tips and Tricks

We know a lot of folks don't take time to explore every single facet of The Personal Wine Curator cellar software. Who has the time, right? So we thought we'd give you a quick reference guide showing you some of the coolest and most helpful features of PWC. CLICK HERE to see this month's Tips and Tricks.

Did you know: Château Mouton-Rothschild was once occupied by the Third Reich?

During World War II, the Vichy government protected the estate of Mouton-Rothschild from being declared a Jewish asset (and therefore making it German property) but was unable to keep it from being occupied and used as a communications command center.  The Germans were not tidy house guests, needless to say, even using the paintings for target practice.

During most of the war, when Baron Philippe de Rothschild was off fighting with de Gaulle’s Free French Forces, his non-Jewish wife, Comtesse Elizabeth de Chambure, and their daughter were forced to make a life for themselves in other parts of France.  Sadly, in the waning days of the Gestapo, Elizabeth was abducted in Paris and sent to Ravensbrück camp where she was killed days before it was liberated.

Amazingly, after the war, the Baron returned to his château to find his wines untouched.  He was granted permission by the local authorities to use many of the same German POWs who once occupied his property to rebuild it, putting them to work for months, repairing the château, ripping up miles of communications cables, dismantling anti-aircraft gun emplacements, and erecting a new park.

Cataloging your wine collection - Part 1

Nearly a quarter of a million people in the U.S. have wine collections of at least forty cases. How many of them actually know what they have and where it is? If you’re someone with even a fraction of that many bottles of fine wine, you’re familiar with the challenges of keeping up with keeping track of it all. Maybe you have a temperature controlled cave at home, or a passive cellar in the basement. Maybe you keep most of your wines in a locker (or two) at a professional wine storage facility. Whatever the case, thoughtful organization and careful cataloging with consistent inventory upkeep will serve you well in the long run by ensuring that you drink your wines in their prime (and thereby protecting your investment) as well as getting more enjoyment out of your collection because it’s just plain easier to deal with.

When approaching how to organize your wines, you’ll want to determine your individual needs in terms of space, taste, cost, and usage. Ask yourself, "Do I have enough room in my apartment to properly store those top flight Napa Cabs I bought on my last trip to California? Should I rent a locker? Should I buy a small wine refrigerator for the kitchen? Do I even like Sangiovese? Will my dinner guests like Sangiovese? Will anybody I know drink all that Sangiovese? Can I afford another locker so I can actually access my wines that are currently in boxes stacked on top of each other? Will I be drinking those bold Brunellos every night? Would it be more practical to have my everyday Zins a bit more accessible?"

There’s an expression that quality wine in Bordeaux is more about "brand than land." Similarly, organizing wine collections is more about the collector than the collection. The more you consider your needs and habits, rather than the regions or grape varieties of your wines, the happier you will be interacting with your wines.

Organizing is a constant negotiation between space and convenience. No question that having all of your wines racked individually at a slight tilt with the labels showing, and all within easy reach, would be ideal. Now wake up. Not even wine shops have that luxury. Still, you can be smart about how you use the space what you was given. Consider multiple locations. Perhaps a fifty bottle wine fridge at home and an off premise locker would suit you fine.


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