The Distinctive Wines of Azienda Agricola Dacapo   1 comment

Winemakers & Proprietors, Paolo Dania and Dino Riccomagno.

Winemakers that step away from the norm are great people to know.  Hailing from Piemonte, Paolo Dania of Azienda Agricola Dacapo is one of those guys.  We met him at a Slow Wine tasting of Italian wines recently.  He struck me as a quiet person– though his passion shows through when he speaks of his work.  But he could have said nothing and the wines would have spoken for themselves.  Even now, almost three weeks since I tasted the wines, they are still whispering to me.  I found all of his wines are very balanced and focused.

Wine CompanyDacapo was established in 1997 by rebuilding an old wine estate and including addition of a new cellar under the vineyards surrounding the farmhouse.  Their self description on their website reads like a manifesto that I can definitely sign on for:

“The idea was to produce wines different from those made to suit the international taste, wines increasingly homogenous, almost without heart.  The two founders strongly believe in the ‘personality’ of a wine, and therefore decided to focus on finesse, elegance and terroir, making the most of the full potential of the vineyards of Agliano Terme, always considered to be among the best “crus” of Barbera.

Without doubt, they have achieved that distinctiveness.

Ruchè di Castagnole MonferratoBarbera d'AstiBarbera d'Asti Superiore-NizzaMerlot-Barbera-Nebbiolo

Dacapo Majoli Ruchè di Castagnole Monferrato 2010.  The first time I have had this varietal, Ruchè (alternately known as Rouchet).  Although a somewhat obscure varietal, it stood out from the pack of wines we tasted that day (including many a Barolo) with its uniquely aromatic nose.  But though it lacks the intensity of nebbiolo, it is simply an accessible wine with a freshness that brings a smile to my face and is made for drinking now.   **1/2

Dacapo Barbera D’Asti Sanbastian 2009.  A more classically styled Barbera with good fruit and acidic structure.  This is the bread and butter wine that will keep this winery running.  **1/2

CANTACUCCO DOC 2008, 75clDacapo Cantacucco 2009.  This is a wine that Paolo Dania referred to as a “joke”.  By this, I think he meant that the blend of 80% Pinot noir and 20% Nebbiolo is such an odd pairing that only a wine geek would love it.  OK, the joke is on me– I loved this for pushing the envelope.  I loved it better for what it brought.  I don’t believe that the Pinot by itself  would carry the day.  But the Nebbiolo gave this wine that extra oomph and tannic structure. This is a great food wine– I want a bottle of this for my next fettuccine in truffle cream sauce.  ***

Dacapo Vigna Dacapo Barbera d’Asti DOC Superiore-Nizza 2009.  Fuller bodied and more fruit forward than the Sanbastian.  It did not seem to have the same level of acidity as its sister Barbera.  And though bigger, it was no less delicious.  **1/2

Dacapo TRE 2006.  A blend of Merlot-Barbera-Nebbiolo, all of these came through.  This is attributable to the fact that the wines are separately vinified fermented and barrel aged which make sense given that each varietal has a distinct maturity point.   After 18 months the three varietals are blended before bottling and then held for another year in bottle before being released on the market.  Dark fruit, softness, acidity and tannin.  A lovely finish.  I did not get to see the bottle fully develop as Paolo had just opened it.  But what I tasted I enjoyed immensely.  ***

Ms. R, never one to spit out her wine, was so enamoured of the Ruchè that she did not taste the others.  A loss for her, to be sure.  But I will give her another opportunity to try them all as we hope to be able to taste these wines on site this coming summer.  Maybe, just for fun, I will make her taste them blind to see if she can pick out the Ruchè:

One of our favorite types of Blind Tastings. Nice glassware, Cupid!

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Posted February 12, 2012 by Sybarite Sauvage in Food-Wine-Love

One response to “The Distinctive Wines of Azienda Agricola Dacapo

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  1. obviously… Piedmont is the best in the world…

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