Most Enjoyable Wines of 2013 – Proprietà Sperino Costa della Sesia ‘Uvaggio’ 2010
This is the last in my series of posts on the most enjoyable wines of 2013 and technically I’m cheating since I really only got to grips with this wine in 2014. Why? Well, I first tasted Proprietà Sperino‘s wines when I met Paolo de Marchi (of Isole e Olena fame) in Dublin prior to Christmas 2013. I thought the wines were delicious, but tasting them alongside Paolo’s Chianti Classico and Cepparrello was always going to be a tough ask for them, with me a committed Sangiovese fan.
Proprietà Sperino is an estate based in Lessona in northern Piedmont owned by the de Marchi family. Paolo’s son Luca runs the estate on a day-to-day basis and during my meeting with Paolo, it was obvious to see Paolo’s pride in the fruits of his son’s labour. I tasted two of the Proprietà Sperino wines – Uvaggio and Lessona – and despite the undeniable class of the latter, I thought the Uvaggio, a blend of Nebbiolo, Vespolina and Croatina, really stood out. But, as I had feared, I ended up getting carried away with the Sangiovese that followed.
It didn’t take me long to track down some more Uvaggio though, and last Thursday in Ely Wine Bar I devoured a bottle of Uvaggio 2010 alongside an Ely burger. Or did I devour the burger alongside the wine? Mere semantics.
This probably wasn’t the poshest food and wine pairing I’ve ever gone for – I think the bottle of Le Macchiole Paleo Rosso 2001 and supermarket pizza may have that title sewn up for ever, but it was probably close. This wine is certainly not to be mistaken for a simple ‘burger wine’ so to speak. Come to think of it, Ely’s burger isn’t to be mistaken for a run-of-the-mill burger either. It was juicy, juicy, juicy! Am I talking about the burger or the wine now? Eh…both actually.
The wine showcased all those beautiful Nebbiolo perfumes in a beautifully approachable style that would trounce most Langhe Nebbiolo, and even a lot of Barolo, in terms of quality. There was still a hint of oak, but with its beautiful sweet floral notes and depth of red fruit it quickly became apparent that the waiter hadn’t pegged me as an alcoholic when he had questioned whether one bottle would be sufficient between two people – he just knew that he would need to constantly refill our glasses. I often find myself describing my favourite wines as being ‘moreish’ – ne’er has it been more apt than with this wine.
Ely has been an institution on the Dublin wine scene for the past 15 years and is currently rallying against the trend of ever-increasing restaurant wine prices by reducing their margins. Flicking through the Italian section of their list revealed some great selections at the upper end of the scale – the Flaccianellos and Cepparellos of this world – but also some less conventional wines; I reckon the COS ‘Syre’ Nero d’Avola would be equally fantastic alongside that burger.
Stockists in Ireland: Proprietà Sperino wines are imported by Liberty Wines and are available in The Corkscrew, 64 Wine, Fallon & Byrne, Blackrock Cellar and other good independents. They are, of course, also available in Ely Wine Bar, Ely Bar & Brasserie and Ely Gastro Bar. It retails for approximately €33-34 in the wine shops or €55 on the list in Ely.
PS: Turns out that Proprietà Sperino Costa della Sesia ‘Uvaggio’2010 is one of John Wilson’s recommended wines in today’s Irish Times – great minds and all. That’ll teach me to be more prompt in writing up my notes!!! 🙂