2009 Orsolani Erbaluce di Caluso Al Bacio, Piedmont, Italy
The Erbaluce (pronounce “ehr-bah-LOO-chay”) grape is indigenous to the Piedmont region of Italy. It is primarily grown in and around Caluso. Wines made from the Erbaluce grape have notes somewhat reminiscent of un-oaked (or “unplugged” for you Gen-X’ers) Chardonnay or a Viognier (lemon, apple, maybe some pear, along with honey and/or floral notes), but are usually characterized by their fairly strong acidity.
The nose on the Orsolani brought the lemon big time, along with a bit of honey (not to be confused with “Bit ‘O Honey” candy). I got a little pineapple, some slight “fresh cut grass”/herb notes, and a nice little mineral character, too!
Once I tasted the Orsolani, my first thought was “lemon meringue pie,” as there was a lot of lemon and a little creaminess. I got a slight orange peel, too. The acid was firm, Firm, FIRM, but held everything together well. As the wine warmed a hair, I really got some magnificent apple notes, too, and the mineral I got on the nose came crashing through (like I licked a rock). This was another bottle that The Rib and I took more than one day with (full disclosure: I finished this wine up myself over two days after we opened it; odd, to be sure, but I had three separate sittings with this bottle!). On day 2 and 3, the apple notes were more pronounced on the palate and the wine was still very nice.
Do I like the Orsolani Erbulace? “Yes” is an understatement. This wine is everything you want in a nice summer sipper: great fruit, lots of character, and acid that will hold up to food nicely. As far as pairing, I would go with seafood or chicken, but try to stick with seafood or a creamier cheese. Or just pop a bottle and hang on!
So what’s the best part of the Orsolani? It’s a great wine that can be had for about $13! The next best part: it’s totally something different. Serve this at your upcoming end-of-summer-get together and you’ll impress even the cattiest of neighbors or friends. PLUS, the label has a cute little picture of a sun and a moon (I bet Bob Ross would like that a lot!) Put on Blondie’s The Tide Is High and there’s no way you can be unhappy sipping a glass of the Orsolani! www.orsolani.it/eng/orsolani.html
Cheers from the Corkpit,