Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Tasted at Vinitaly 2005:
Primo Volo 2001

Count Giordano's villa outside PadovaPrimo Volo is the brainchild of Count Giordano Emo Capodilista and Andrea Faccio, owners of the La Montecchia and Villa Giada wineries, respectively; the wine began as a blend of Merlot from near Padova (in the Veneto) and Barbera from Agliano Terme, outside Asti (in Piemonte).

The first vintage, 1998, was, says, Andrea, "a lark," but in 1999 they decided to do it seriously and began to attract the attention of the wine press. Then Andrea met Sergio Zingarelli, who produces Chianti Classico at Rocca delle Macie, on a plane, and Sergio asked if they wanted to add some Sangiovese to their blend. They said yes, and the result, which combines Merlot's softness with Barbera's lively acidity and Sangiovese's steely structure, is quite nice.

The 2001 vintage is deep pigeon blood ruby with ruby rim, and has an elegant bouquet with powerful black cherry and black currant fruit (the latter from Merlot) nicely balanced by spice and supported by considerable citric acidity (from the Barbera) that confers considerable life and brightness. Quite a bit going on. On the palate it reveals its youth to a greater degree; it's rich, with powerful red berry fruit, a mix of cherries and black currant fruit supported by deft acidity that gives good direction, and by sweet tannins that combine Merlot's softness with a clean peppery burr that's part oak and part Sangiovese's steel. The finish is long and pleasing. It's quite harmonious, and though one could drink it now with a fatty roast (I drank it with a pork rump roast -- a happy marriage indeed -- and a suckling pig would also be nice, as would be a succulent leg of lamb) or a flavorful stew, I'd give it another 3-5 years to develop.

The Primo Volo site

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