18½ winehiker points*
From the district of Langhe in Italy’s Piemonte region comes the Barbera grape, characterized by intense, robust fruit flavor. From the same region comes the Nebbiolo grape, Nature’s herald of “the wine of kings, the king of wines;” this is the grape behind Barolo and Barbaresco wines, and it earns its marks.
The 2001 vintage of Jula, a 1-to-1 blend of these two grapes from Cascina Adelaide, is plainly astonishing, at once offering a glimpse into its deep, sensuous character. I let it breathe off its dusky vapors over the course of 30 minutes as I tend to my garden. I return to a round fullness that speaks the wine’s readiness to be sampled.
Myriad colors splash into the glass – deep ink, chocolate, and garnet, with golden-hued edges. Imagine rich, smoky leather and deep complexity in your first whiff of the glass’ contents – this wine is laced with oporto overtones. It’s a wine that, at five years of aging, could be labeled “Riserva” with all due recognition. And that’s apparent just on observing appearance and aroma.
Oh my, but I can vouch for my visual and olfactory senses with the Jula. Everything my eyes and nose tell me are confirmed. A near-perfect balance of sweetness and bitterness is present; heat in this wine, at 14%, is virtually undetectable. The high-tannin Nebbiolo has been exquisitely matched to the low-tannin Barbera to form an ever-so-slight tartness that begs for another sip.
I willingly oblige.
The velvety chewiness and multilayered fruit textures of this rosso blend are scrumptious and extravagant, showing a fine maturity at five years’ aging. It lasts on my palate well, the fruity smokiness lingering for many pleasant moments.
$32.00 at bottlenotes.com.
Disclosure: I am a member of bottlenotes.com’s “Limited Addictions” club; this wine arrived in their summer shipment and was purchased by me.
*Rated on the 20-point Davis scale.