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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Merenco Aldo Dolcetto tasting at Bloom, Toronto, June 24, 2008

 The Time and Date: Tuesday, June 24, 2008   7PM to 11PM
The Event: winemaker's dinner (Marenco Aldo) repped in Ontario by
Nokhrin Wines
The Venue: Bloom Restaurant, Bloor West Village
The Target Audience: customers who enjoy fine wines and a bargain
The Availability/Catalogue: all the wines are in the $20 range, and are
available through the agent.
The Quote: Aldo Marenco from the Piedmont was present. He had a limited
knowledge of English, but there were translation services. He spoke to
the two dozen or so diners, and broke bread with me. This is an organic
winery in the Langhe, concentrating on food-friendly Dolcetto and
Barbera. Production is 80K bottles a year. We talked about infestations
and sulphur. He does not want to be biodynamic because that is, to him,
way too much work.
The Wines:
**** Four Stars (91+ in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Marenco Aldo Sognatore Langhe Rosso 2005 - $23.50, 14% ABV, very soft
and fruity, made for international tastes, in French small oak for 10
months. Some chocolate tones despite a tight opening on entry. Made
from Dolcetto, Barbera, and Merlot.
-Marenco Aldo Dulcis in Fundo Passito 2007 (made in 2008) - $22 for 375
mL, $13.5 ABV, from Dolcetto grapes sun-dried on reed mats for two
months. Intensely fruity, mocha, and like all his wines, organic.
***1/2 Three and a Half Stars (88 – 90 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Marenco Aldo Dolcetto di Dogliani "Parlapa" 2005 - $23.25, 14% ABV, a
big wine, slightly bitter flavours near the finish, ideal for pasta.
*** Three Stars (85 – 87 in Quality/Price Rating terms):
-Marenco Aldo Dolcetto di Dogliani "Suri" 2006 - $20, 13.5% ABV,
upfront fruitiness, appetizer friendly, organic of course.
The Food: Franca, one of the owners, served us well. We began with a
crostini of beef tartar, white truffle oil, and a quail egg. There was
also a Grana Padana crusted polenta with sausage-mushroom. With it we
had the Suri. The tagliatelle with duck ragu was my kind of al dente.
The Parlapa accompanied it. The main was an off the bone tender
ossobuco with gremolata, risotto Milanese, and fennel. The Sognatore
nicely matched it. With a dessert of chocolate tart and ice cream,
there was the stunning Dulcis in Fundo.
The Downside: for me, I had to rush from a bus returning from
The Upside: a great chance to talk to the owner-winemaker.
The Contact Person:
The Effectiveness (numerical grade): 92.

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