This week Braithe, our newest member of our staff, shares her pick for a great Piedmontese Chardonnay...
This is a funky and innovative wine, much like the winemaker Valentino Migliorini. Migliorini passed away in 2007 but is remembered for changing the wine landscape in Barolo. He was one of Piedmont’s most profound agents of transformation. Migliorini’s larger-than-life personality won acceptance in a region most resistant to change, and his portfolio of wines from the Rocche dei Manzoni estate inspired many of Piedmont’s great winemakers to re-evaluate Barolo and think beyond the Nebbiolo grape. L’Angelica Chardonnay is an example of his innovative style. A departure from the traditional wines of the area, the L’Angelica is made with 100% Chardonnay grapes from his most famous vineyard located in the locality of Santo Stefano di Perno.
The Santo Stefano vineyard is considered one of the most important and historical ‘crus’ of Barolo. Facing south to south-east, the land here is formed by layers of very compact gray marl alternating with layers of yellow-red embedded sand. Rocche dei Manzoni uses small French barrique in the fermentation process to create a highly concentrated flavor of the varietal and a strong, structured wine. The small French barrels also impart exceptional roundness and velvety tannins.
I enjoy this wine because it’s a unique Chardonnay, and I love Valentino Migliorini and his rebellious style. The L’Angelica is a very elegant wine with golden hues, aromas of golden apple and elderflower. This wine can age in your cellar and still be going strong 10 – 12 years later. Regardless if you drink it now or 5 years from now, this wine is sure to impress. The palate is dry and full bodied, even slightly oxidized with a hint of licorice, almonds, and honey. ($28)