*Disclaimer: Snooth provided transportation and lodging so I could attend this conference.
Where is Scarpa Winery, you might ask? On this particular night, it was found at Peking Duck in Manhattan, but in reality, Scarpa is in Piedmont, Italy. When I traveled to NYC a couple weeks ago to attend the Snooth People’s Voice Awards blogger conference, we were able to try quite the line up from this winery, which is not currently imported to the US, but is looking to come to the market ASAP. The Scarpa tasting kicked the conference off with a bang, with almost a dozen more tastings to follow. Lucky for Scarpa, being first, our palates were fresh and ready to taste.
We tasted through the following line up, in this order:
- Scarpa Barbera d’Asti, La Bogliona, 2007, $72
- Scarpa Barbera d’Asti, La Bogliona, 2006, $52
- Scarpa Barbera d’Asti, La Bogliona, 2005, $68
- Scarpa Barbera d’Asti, La Bogliona, 1998, $58
- Scarpa Barbera d’Asti, La Bogliona, 1997, $95
- Scarpa Barolo, Tettimora, 2005, $74
- Scarpa Barolo, Tettimora, 2004, $88
- Scarpa Barolo, Tettimora, 2003, $98
- Scarpa Barolo, Tettimora, 2001, $130
- Scarpa Barolo, Tettimora, 1999, $105
- Scarpa Barolo, Tettimora, 1987, $250
- Scarpa Barolo, Le Coste di Monforte, 1978, $500
As you can see, we were able to taste through a couple different verticals, as well as even older vintages of both verticals. And yes, the last bottle really does retail for $500, which may be the most expensive wine I’ve ever tasted. I’d have to go back through the last 6+ years of notes to check, but I’m pretty positive that tops my list.
One interesting thing I learned about the winery involved the use of large oak tanks to age the wines, rather than the smaller barrels most wineries in the US favor. Their idea of the life-span of a tank is also quite different than the American notion that barrels need to be replaced every 2-3 years. The Scarpa tanks are on average currently 12-13 years old and they will use them for at least 30 years. They also use no temperature control in the winery, just open the doors when the weather is nice!
My two favorites of the tasting were the 2005 Scarpa Barbera d’Asti, La Bogliona, and the 1978 Scarpa Barolo, Le Coste di Monforte. When I’m looking for Italian wine, I often go for a Barbera d’Asti, just because I find it to be a delicious and more affordable alternative alternative to Barolo.
2005 Scarpa Barbera d’Asti, La Bogliona: Spice, herbs, orange zest, chocolate covered orange, crushed violets, black cherry, raspberry, fresh and vibrant, lots of acidity.
1978 Scarpa Barolo, Le Coste di Monforte: Mint chocolate, min, espresso, eucalyptus, coffee bean grounds, anise notes, fresh vanilla, red fruits, cranberry, bright fresh red fruit with excellent acidity. I was really surprised by how much life this wine has in it and can imagine it could age for years to come given the acidity.
Overall, the strong line up of wines impressed me. In general, I could easily recommend all but the 1998 Barbera because I thought that particular glass had oxidized and so I didn’t get a fair impression of the wine. Here’s hoping Scarpa Winery will find its way to a wine shop near me soon.