Cesconi Nosiola IGT 2013
Wine: Cesconi Family
Region: Pressano, Trentino
Earlier this week, I was talking with two of my co-workers at Bacchanal, where I work the wine room a few hours each Monday, about this nosiola on the shelf. Both declared it delicious, one said he pounded a bottle on his own one night, which is to say, it's easy, refreshing and irresistible. I'd been eyeing the bottle for a couple of weeks myself, anticipating something sleek and alluring as the label suggests, so I took one home and opened it the next night with a spread of thinly sliced, melt-in-your-mouth prosciutto and a generous portion of creamy triple-milk Robiola Rocchetta, The Sopranos season five as background.
Nosiola is a white wine grape native to the Trentino-Alto Adige region in Northern Italy that sits at the foothills of the Dolomite Mountain range, not far from the Swiss and Austrian borders. Historically, it's been prized for use in Vin Santo Trentino DOC, a dessert wine made from a combination of botrytized and straw-dried grapes fermented to an alcohol strength of about 16% and aged for a minimum of three years, though it's not uncommon for a Trentino producer to hold his Vin Santo for nearly a decade before release. In recent years, dry, crisp versions of the grape have been bottled as a varietal wine, though still rare. There are approximately 500 acres planted in Italy today, and that's about it for the planet.
The Cesconi Family's wine roots go way back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the 17th century. Four brothers and their father run the estate now, farming organically and moving slowly toward a more biodynamic approach with the vines. They ferment with native yeasts in a combination of stainless steel and old oak, and age in 3,000-5,000 liter Acacia wood barrels. They make several white wines and a couple of reds from their vineyards in Pressano.
At first taste, I was slightly disappointed, but perhaps more so for my excessive expectations than a fair judgement. It's a perfectly quaffable drink - with citrus notes and stone fruit and nosiola's distinct hint of raw hazelnuts. The finish is medium in length, and I would absolutely drink it again. But I kept looking for a little something more, some notion of Oh. My. Gah. that's so freaking delicious! I looked so long and so hard that I drained the bottle. It's like that crush you know you can never have - maybe you don't even really want her - but she leads you on, give and take, give and take, until you forget you can cork the bottle at any moment and walk the hell away. It's the anti-climax climax; the chase is the reward.
Obviously the Cesconi Nosiola 2013 has something going for it. There's something going on here. I might have to dive into another bottle to be sure...or wait for the 2014 to arrive.