11 Buyers, 1 Store, 8000 Wines

Monday, January 28, 2013

On 12:56 PM by The Bloggers @ 67 Wine in , , , , , ,    No comments
 With the arctic temperatures we’ve been having, it’s hard to believe that it was so warm a few weeks ago that I chose to pan-roast a chicken rather than use the oven. Using a recipe from Tom Colicchio, I prepared a brown jus with rosemary and thyme that was the perfect foil for the chicken, some stovetop-roasted potatoes, and most importantly, a bottle of 2011 Carussin Il Carica l’Asino Vino Bianco.

The story behind the Ca’d Carussin winery is an interesting one. Carussin is in Moscato country, near the town of Asti, and when the Ferro-Garberoglio family first purchased the estate, it was in fact planted to Moscato. Also planted, too, was an ancient Liguran-Piedmontese border grape called Carica l’Asino, which literally translates to “load up the donkey.” The name is apt: Carica l’Asino is believed to be related to both Pigato and Vermentino, and is often found in places so difficult to navigate that donkeys are required. (The winery uses the donkeys not only for working the vineyards, but also as pet therapy for young children, those with autism, and people with addictions and psychiatric problems.)

The family believes that they are one of only three commercial producers working with Carica l’Asino. Since the grape is quite acidic, the family decided to blend it with 30 percent Cortese — a grape usually seen in Gavi — to temper the acidity. They ferment the wine in fiberglass tanks and then it undergoes malolactic fermentation in stainless steel tanks, where the wine is held until bottling.

The wine surprised and delighted. On the first sip, I expected bracing minerality, but instead got bright, white, flowers and a subtle, sneaky acidity buried beneath a creamy texture. It’s the Cortese that lends a soft, creamy mouthfeel to the wine, hiding the acidity of the Carica; that acidity only appeared when paired against the butter in the sauce. The piney rosemary flavors of the jus brought out a sweetness that I hadn’t detected when I tasted the wine on its own, and those near-sweet and near-salty notes added extra depth and complexity.

The Carussin Il Carica l’Asino is a really pretty wine that shows best against food, and though it’s quite serious, it also doesn’t take itself too seriously.

-Beth Baye
1.28.2013

* Want to try this mouth watering wine? Join us this Wednesday, January 30th, from 5:30-8 as we welcome the winemakers of Ca'd Carussin. They will be here to pour two selections, the il Carica and their Moscato, as well as chat with you and share stories about the winemaking world. It will be an event you won't want to miss.*

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