Since returning to the restaurant/retail side of this business, I have been reunited with one of the first loves of my wine life - Italian varieties.
Back in the dark days of the 1990's wine industry in Australia - where for the best part of 6 years I was away in the US and Europe honing my wine passion - pretty much all of the focus was on Australian Shiraz and Chardonnay and the new romance with Burgundy. What was lost were the Italian verities that Australia was effectively weaned on in its wine infancy; Sangiovese, Dolcetto, Barbera, Pinot Grigio, Trebbiano and the rich man's Italian Bin 389 - Nebbiolo.
Thanks to the Tobacco Road growers in North Eastern Victoria, Australian-Italian varieties were once again slowly finding their way back in to restaurants and retailers, but they were still seen as a poor man's wine with memories of the great Chianti Fiasco's sitting in Lygon Street eateries with a candle subtlety wedged in the top of the neck.
So it is no surprise to me that restaurants such as Cutler & Co - be it 2 years ago - were found to be pouring Brown Brothers Prosecco amongst other Australian-Italians on the list. I'd be going far these days to find a list that doesn't have at least one Italian variety on BTG; right now Albert Street has four BTG.
So this Italian segue has been brought to you by Benevelli Piero Langhe Nebbiolo 2010. A young Nebbiolo, but what a beauty it is. Dusty on the nose with wafts of violets and black fruit peaking through after a while in the decanter. After a while in the glass the palate opened up with mouth watering tannins and acidity tightly bound around tart cranberries and raspberries with an almost dried green herb finish.
NB this wine was positively singing three days later - could have gone a week, but who has the patience I ask?
Drink with osso bucco
Drink till 2020
Quality cork 13%v/v $37 Albert Street Food & Wine, Brunswick