You Have A “Loose Herb;” Wait, That Doesn’t Sound Right…

2009 Orsolani Erbaluce di Caluso Al Bacio, Piedmont, Italy

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!

2008 Orolani Erbaluce di Caluso al Bacio

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!

Cheers from the Corkpit,


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