Some of the world’s viticultural oddities and rarities for me are clearly evocative of something – some place, feeling, person, whatever. In the Langhe region in the province of Cuneo, Piedmont – the source of world-famous wines with names like Barolo and Barbaresco – is the only place on this green earth where you can find a grape variety called Pelaverga (which can be labeled as “Pelaverga di Verduno” or simply “Verduno”) – in fact just in the town of Verduno and a few patches in a couple of neighboring comunes. Despite the ultra-localized situation of this variety, it has a slew of aliases which I find pretty interesting, and which I also think merits a little investigation, but now is not the time for that…
So I guess that the title of the post pretty well gives it away, but in my imagination at least, Pelaverga has always been a very feminine wine, but it doesn’t stop there. Pelaverga’s softened, spicy angularity, and sassy but noble earthiness for me evoke a pretty, wiry farmgirl with one or two ragged edges, but whose fundamental grace and fine lines makes the scraped knees all the more appealing…Dinner consisted of:
Primo: Risotto ai funghi porcini, pisellini, e menta (Porcini mushroom, baby pea, and mint risotto)
Secondo: Involtini di manzo e prosciutto cotto, salvia, timo, e Marsala (Beef and ham rolls with sage, thyme, and Marsala)
Contorno: Zucchini arrostiti col pesto di prezzemolo, basilico, e aglio (Roasted zucchini with a parlsey, basil and garlic pesto)
Castello di Verduno Verduno “Basadone” 2009
Ever so slightly browned sultry, transparent ruby color. Ethereal, spicy nose of raspberry, cherry cordial, dried wildflowers, vanilla bean, licorice, and musk. The body of the wine is light and lean but with ample muscle and sinew, with lacy, seedy, nervous tannins, and a tart and chalky pomegranate and strawberry fruit mixture with undertones of sandalwood and straw. The whole range of flavors strongly persists in a thin but very broad sheet across the palate.