A neighborhood tasting at Biondivino
On the West Coast of the US, in this day and age of supermarket wine shopping, it’s often very hard to find places to buy wine that have that personal touch and where the very overused term “curate” can aptly be applied to the selection. Binodivino is one such place however. Perched on the western slope of Russian Hill, owner Ceri Smith is one of those wine people who you can always go to, ask for a recommendation and get a solid suggestion. Her small shop has one of the best selections of Italian wines that we’ve ever seen and naturally the fact she stocks a few bottles from other places such as Croatia and Slovenia makes her all the more endearing.
Yesterday, on her Facebook page, she put up a quick note that she had opened a few sample bottles of wines that she was now direct importing. Naturally, we ran over right away to take advantage of the offer.
Unsurprisingly, everything was great. A 2009 Barbera from Giacomo Fennochio was an interesting start. Full bodied, it has a very rich, spicy nose with hints of strawberry and tobacco. The body is clean with a dry finish and even with 14% alcohol, it is a wonderfully light wine.
The 2007 Chianti Classico from Monteraponi was probably our favorite of the group. Both the nose and body were light, but oh so perfectly in balance with aromas and flavors. Being that it’s aged in concrete, it remains and incredibly neutral wine that is ridiculously drinkable.
The 2006 Giacomo Fennochio Barolo was a nice, thick example of the wine with a spicy, meaty nose and a strong, chocolate-tinged body. Of course, there was a 2007 Vino Nobile from Crociani that was the wine a couple of people who popped in were most eager to try and it was definitely unique. With a subtle nose that had touches of old wood (not oak mind you) to it, this led in to a dry, light body with what might be best described as a touch of caramel on the finish. It presents itself with a good balance of fruit and is both worthy of its title as well as being approachable by any and all.
These tastings aren’t out of the ordinary though and anyone who wants to be kept in the know, should check in to Biondivino’s various social media outlets to be notified when they’re having their next winemaker tasting. They’re about every other week and not to be missed.