A great many wineries are either started or taken over by people whose lives take unexpected turns, and I Quaranta falls squarely into this group: Annalisa was an automotive engineer, working for FIAT, and after spending two years on assignment in India came home with different priorities. She resumed an old interest in agronomy, concentrating on a newfound aspect of it, enology, and shortly thereafter, established the I Quaranta winery.
Why I Quaranta, which means 40? A number of reasons: Annalisa was 40 when she quit FIAT, there's a neaby town called Quaranta…
I tasted her wines at Vinitaly and enjoyed them.
Tenuta I Quaranta
Regione Rioglio, 9
15010 Ricaldone (Alessandria)
Tel. 0141 777412
Imported to the US by Terra Verus Trade, Austin Texas
I quaranta Memento Chardonnay Piemonte DOC 2004
Fairly bright yellow with greenish reflections; the bouquet is bright, with powerful pineapple tropical fruit with some gooseberry overlay and mineral acidity. Pleasant and rich. On the palate it's full and languid, with fairly intense pineapple fruit supported by warm pineapple acidity and some mineral overtones that flow into a fairly long fruit laced finish supported by lively acidity. It's pleasant, and will drink well with creamy vegetable based risotti, fish with cream sauces or off the grill, and also has the wherewithal to work well with moist, flavorful white meats. Quite fresh and will drink well for 3-5 years.
I Quaranta India Barbera D'Asti Superiore 2004
Deep pigeon blood ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with bright raspberry and forest berry fruit that gain definition from vegetal notes that add a fair amount of complexity. On the palate it's bright, light, and scrappy, with bright sour raspberry and red currant fruit supported by lively acidity and light splintery tannins that flow into a fairly long berry fruit finish with bitter undertones. It's not a wine that will show well -- too aggressive and too bright -- but if you're sitting down to a meal of grilled or fried meats, or perhaps a cookout, you will want a second bottle.
Quaranta Le Rose Brachetto D'Acqui DOCG 2005
Pale bright ruby with fine white perlage. The bouquet is quite rich and sweet, with honeysuckle mingled with raspberry and violets, with sufficient acidity to keep it from being cloying. Pleasant. On the palate it's rich, with sweet raspberry fruit supported by deft sparkle and clean raspberry acidity that carry into a long finish. It will be quite nice far from the table, say on a patio as the sun sets, or, if you must, with a creamy dessert.
I Quaranta Dorato Moscato D'Asti 2005
Pale brassy gold with bright highlights. The bouquet is a touch overripe with slightly pungent floral accents mingled with tangerine fruit and very ripe pineapple. On the palate it's full, and rich, with powerful warm pineapple fruit that's a bit unusual for a Moscato but nice, and flows into a long clean finish with pineapple overtones. Quite deft and will be a fine poolside wine or with light desserts. Over strawberries, even.
I Quaranta Dorato Passito Moscato Passito 2004
This is a traditional passito, from grapes harvested in September and pressed after 6 months. It's a lively lemony gold with golden highlights and some greenish notes, and has an elegant bouquet with candied melon peels mingled with honey, apricots, and yellow peaches. The overall impression is chewy, with great harmony. On the palate it's rich, with delightful white fruit a mix of yellow peaches and hints of melon dripping with honeysuckle, and it all flows into a clean honey laced finish. Very nice, with great depth and richness, and will drink really well after dinner. If you like passiti, this is one to look for.