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16 May 2005

When in doubt; call it Langhe

Langhemap_2Northeastern Italy's Piedmont region is home to several, classic, all-star wines:  Barolo, Barbaresco, (both DOCG), and Barbera d'Alba & d'Asti.  Then there is Langhe DOC (Rosso or Bianco).  It's named after the Langhe hills near the city of Alba.  And as for red wines, it can contain 'declassified' Nebbiolo, and Barbera (among other Italian red varietals).  It may also contain Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah (among other international red grapes).  So when choosing a bottle of Langhe Rosso, keep in mind, it could be a big 'ol Nebbiolo, acidic Barbera, or a Cab-Merlot blend.  Read the label.  And even then (see below) you might not know which grape varieties were picked, crushed, fermented, and poured into said bottle.

MonsordoThe Skinny

Monsordo Ceretto Langhe DOC Rosso, '99 ($38)

  • From Italy's Piedmont, near the city of Alba
  • Made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Nebbiolo (the label was mum on this info - I had to check Monsordo's Website)
  • Deep indigo in color with a narrow red-brick rim.  Nearly opaque.
  • Scents of black cherry, ripe tomato, vanilla-caramel, and eucalyptus
  • Evolved/mature flavors of mellow cherry & plum with round, full tannins in a medium-heavy-ish package.  The wine is slightly syrupy (heavily concentrated) on the finish, but maintains a certain balance with decent acidity

*** (3 stars out of 5)

This wine doesn't seem to be full-blooded Italian.  My first impression was that of a New World fruit-o-copia.  However, there seems to be a little Old School Italian mixed in (e.g. scents of eucalyptus, tomato; slightly restrained flavor).  Overall a well-made wine.  Yet for forty bucks, methinks it's a little steep. 

Try it with marinated, broiled flank steak.


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