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« Wine Brainpower: Long Island | Main | An Absinthe Question »

17 October 2005

The Barbazzale Knuckleball

KnuckleballIf I was a manager in the world series of wine and needed a good relief pitcher, I would call Sicily out of the bullpen - nuttin’ but knuckleballs, changeups, and curves

Each time I think I know what to expect from Sicilian wine, I whiff on something like GrilloBarbazzale Red caught me looking.  Luckily there was no strikeout - just another pleasant surprise from those wily Sicilian hurlers winemakers.

Barbazzale is made from two native red grapes: Nerello Mascalese (90%) and Nero D’Avola (10%).  These vineyards are at 3,000 ft on volcanic soil.  The wine is initially blended and placed in stainless steel for malolactic fermentation.  It’s then aged in barriques for a few months (less than 8).

BarbazzaleThe Skinny
Azienda Agricola Cottanera “Barbazzale” 2003 ($15) [imported by Vias; get it here]

  • Ruby-purple in color with a rusty wide rim
  • Surprising scents of dates, maple, and black plums; along with meaty aromas coupled to sweet spices
  • A fairly light-bodied wine with leathery texture.  Flavors of tart cherry and pepper.  Barbazzale offers slight tannins and a decidedly red cherry finish (tart, slightly bitter - yet fruity)

***.5 (3.5 stars out of 5)

I enjoyed my knuckler with straightforward sautéed spicy Italian sausage.  The rally monkey would have been envious.

Of course the matchup I would pay big money to see - almost as good as Sox v. Yankees - is a Piemontese Nebbiolo Rosado contro this Sicilian Rosé.


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And on that note, as a born and bred Chicagoan, I have to say "Go Sox!"

(bear in mind that if I were still living in Chicago, I'd actually be rooting against them, being a lifelong Cubs fan. But with a few years and 700 miles of distance, at the moment all I want is a Chi-town club to go the distance. NEXT spring I can say "Cubs in 2006!!!")


I used to feel for both Boston and Chicago. Then I realized Boston has the Pats (3 superbowls) and the Sox (last year's champ). And Chicago had Michael #$%ing Jordan - who broke my heart two years in a row (as a Utah Jazz fan).

But of the remaining teams up for the Series this year, I have to admit, I kinda like the Sox (more so than the Astros or Cards).

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