A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a wine lunch with Beppe Caviola, the consulting winemaker with Sella & Mosca at Acqua Al in DC. Sadly, I forgot my camera and my phone pictures didn’t really turn out. I hadn’t been to Acqua Al before so getting a chance to try it out was also an excellent side benefit to attending the lunch. I’m fairly certain the restaurant simply has a standard menu when people reserve the back room, which, while the food was tasty, it didn’t feel like any thought was put into how the food would actually match with the wine. Generally, red sauce with a white wine doesn’t do much for me…or the wine!
However, the wines themselves were interesting. As was the company. Since I took the whole afternoon off from work I was in no hurry to rush out of the lunch and go to enjoy some extra one on one time with Beppe and the team from Pam Bay Int’l. We tried 9 wines over the course of lunch and dessert, which I believe is most of the portfolio from Sella & Mosca. I got to add yet another grape to my list of unique grapes tasted, with the winery’s 100% Torbato, which I understand might be the only 100% Torbato produced in the world.
2011 Teruzzi & Puthod Terre di tufi Toscana (80% Vernaccia, 10% Chardonnay, 10% Sauvignon Blanc): $15. Lime and other citrus on the nose, heavier on the palate with toasted coconut, nuts, lemon, green apple, good acidity. The oak influence seemed to dissipate quickly.
2011 “La Cala” Vermentino di Sardegna: $12. Light nose with lemon, honeysuckle and melon. Tropical notes, spices, lemon, lime, and some sort of orange citrus on the palate with good acidity.
2011 “Terre Bianche” Alghero Torbato: $21. Stones and a light fruit I couldn’t identify on the nose. Light citrus, rocks, minerals and flowers on the palate. I really can’t even compare this grape to anything else as I couldn’t pinpoint what I thought it tasted like.
2007 “Terre Rare” Carignano del Sulcis Riserva: $15. Dark fruit, oak, plums, very dry, spice, black cherry, dusty earth (I wrote that down as dusty dirt in my notes…), chocolate, almost port-like.
2008 Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva: $16. Spice, earth, black fruit, plum, dry, olives, pencil lead, barnyard.
2006 “Tanca Farra (50% Cannonau, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon): $30. Fruit nose, darker palate, plum, blackberry, earth, drying tannins, very dark overall.
Up last was the comparison of 3 vintages of Sella & Mosca’s 100% Cabernet Sauvignon which is aged for 18 months in small casks, then 18 months in oak barrels, and finally 18 more months in bottle before being released. We tried the 2004, 2005, and 2006 Marchese di Villamarina Cabernet Sauvignon, all of which retail for $75.
2004: Mint, cherry, plum, red fruit, berries, earth, slight green notes, spice, good acidity, and firm tannins on the finish.
2005: More reserved, barnyard, spice, black raspberry, softer, fruitier, cocoa, espresso, spice, black cherry, black fruit. This was my favorite of the 3 vintages.
2006: Mocha, red fruit, red cherry, very soft overall, soft tannins, sage, ripe fruit.
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