November Wine Notes

November, 2023 – Oh, Thanks!

I was on top of my game this year and knocked out shopping early. This is a first. I shop mostly at the HEB here in Mueller, and even on a non-holiday it can be bonkers. I got the turkey, green beans, pie fixins, potatoes (gold and sweet), even a little fancy cheese and non dairy whipped cream topping (it’s complicated)… Forgot the cranberry sauce. Now the question – go back, or go without? One thing I didn’t forget about was wine – and neither did you! This month’s bag makes it easy. All fun, approachable, and Thanksgiving flexible. Playful bubbles, easy lighter reds, and white perfect for cooking, or slinging with sides. Wines to share with friends, family, to toast to the things we’re thankful for. Happy start to the holidays y’all, let the games begin. 

Roagna Igino “Biricchina” Frizante 2022
Grapes: 100% Barbera 
Region: Piedmont, IT

Looks like I’m going a little barbera crazy this fall, but why not? There’s a friendliness and ease that invites in barberas. The sometimes overlooked red wine of the Piedmont deserves to be celebrated!

Roagna Igino (distinct from another Barolo producer sharing their surname) is a small operation located in Priocca in Roero in surrounded by the mineral rich soils of the  Piedmont. They produce a series of unique and playful takes on the regions classic varietals and styles.  And the Biricchina offers a lot to party with — this fresh, and in a surprising turn, lightly bubbly red will do best with a slight chill. Tasty tart red cherry and raspberry notes with crisp acid and soft tannin — a great match for charcuterie and appetizers, or sage stuffing:)

G.D. Vajra “Lanhe Rosso” 2021
Grapes: Dolcetto, Barbera, Nebbiolo, Freisa
Region: Piedmont, IT

The producer calls this Langhe Rosso “a hug from the Piedmont.” It’s welcoming and a friendly invitation into the red varietals of the region. The personality of the Vajra vinyards shows through in playful mineral. It offers up in deep red fruit, nice acid, well placed tannin — hints of tobacco and spice, finishing with delightful elegance. 

The GD Vajra family’s history is rooted in the political protests of Torino in the 1960s. One day, Aldo’s father happened to spot him in the streets protesting and as punishment, sent him to stay at the grandparent’s farm in the Langhe. On this farm, his passion for agriculture, and eventually wine took shape. Vajra wines balance a sense of rebellion and a respect for land and tradition. 

Feudi di San Gregorio ’21
Grapes: 100% Falanghina 
Region: Campania, IT

At L’Oca d’Oro we have one wine decanter. It’s a double decanter, fun efficient, and a gift from Feudi di San Gregorio when we hosted them for a wine dinner way back when. Campania is a region known for the variety and quality of its whites — and the wines of San Gregorio deliver. The falanghina offers white flowers, nectarine, quince and passion fruit — aged briefly in stainless the wine has a clarity in its acid that would be perfect for cutting against rich fatty bites, and the herbal undertones would be a perfect compliment for your brussel sprouts or green bean casserole. 

Pas de Probleme ’22
Grapes: 100% Pinot Noir
Region: Languedoc, FR

It’s a delight sometimes to try a wine that tastes exactly how you would hope. This Mediterranean pinot noir hails form the hill-town of Enserune — the soil resembles the composition of Burgundy. The wine is aged nine months in steel to preserve its freshness. Driven by raspberry, red current, wild strawberry — with hints of mocha and spice, and well integrated silty tannin — Pas de Probleme is a delight for dark meat, or enjoying while digesting and lounging watching the game. 

Trere ‘Arlus’ ’21
Grapes: 100% Albana
Region: Emilia Romagna, IT

Emilia Romagna as a region is known most for Prosciutto, for Parmesean, and in the wine world, delightful sparkling red wines (lambrusco). There is much more to be had– Albana is a native white grape, traditionally vinted for dessert wines, it presents here as a rich and full bodied dry white. In the Arlus, Albana grapes are harvested late in season, with the presence of “noble rot” (botrytis cinerea), known for its effect on the productions of Sauternes in Bordeaux, France.  The fungus contributes to a unique nose with notable brightness. Arlus comes from the local dialect, meaning brightness and shininess. Balanced and enveloping, Arlus shines bright with white and yellow flowers, golden fruits and savory herb.  Try it with the mashed potatoes! 

Garofoli “Brut” NV
Grapes: 100% Verdicchio
Region: Marche, IT

Our second offering from Garofoli this fall — I’ve got a deep fondness for their bubble wines. The Spumante Brut is the first in the Garofoli line of sparkling wines, in production for more than six decades. It is made with 100% Verdicchio — fermented in tank in the style of prosecco, but offering a depth and complexity distinct from its glera cousins.  Golden in tone, the wine gives aromas of grapefruit and peach, and gentle but persistent small bubbles. Perfect for popping before  stuffing the bird, or prepping the Tofurkey. Or finishing the meal. 

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