ASINEL 2012 Piemonte D.O.C. Bianco
The winery says: "the Piedmont Wine Project is a new approach to interpreting the classic appeal of the Italian region's indigenous varietals in a blend with great potential."
Cortese 50% – Arneis 35% – Moscato d’Asti secco 15%
Lots of wine carefully selected from various producers in diverse areas of Piedmont, vinified entirely in stainless steel and aged on the lees for around 4 months.
Bright straw yellow with light greenish reflections. Intense aromas of peach, apricot, orange blossoms, chamomile and sage.
Delicate taste, not “hot”, slightly sweet with a good fresh acidity.
PAIRING AND DRINKING RECOMMENDATIONS:
Perfect to pair with hors d’oeuvres, cold appetizers and fish dishes.
Best to drink young (within the first 2-3 years) at 10°C /50°F.
OK. So, there you have the philosophy and winemaker details. Now, the bottom, most drinkable line. The truth is that Yours Truly wanted to buy this wine for the shop, initially, initially I say!!!! because of the label. The shock of seeing a chatreuse green donkey on the label of an Italian wine and, even more, seeing this almost 60's mod looking image next to the standard operating oh so traditional family crests and stately labels that front the rest of the Italian wine section is jarring. Yours Truly was outvoted. No sale. We did, we confess, me too, in the end, hesitate to bring ASINEL into the shop despite the high quality and engaging flavor profile. We were wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Don't let the label get you to thinking that this is anything less than serious wine business.
From his centuries old winery, highly regarded winemaker, Alberto Cordero di Montezemolo went his own way on this one defying the restrictive protocols and the weight of tradition that IS Italian winemaking to produce this most pleasant, drinkable and unusual, off the grid blend. And this is what the label is all about, recognition of this avant garde approach. Straw yellow in the glass, the MetroWines Tasting Panel found very discernible peach and apricot on the nose and palate. Andy Hale, our in house sommelier, says: "Because of the nose which brought to mind Sauterne, I thought the wine might be sweet, but it is decidedly dry. Aromatic, yes. But dry." This is a medium bodied wine with good fruit, a delightful and consistent floral presence, and dry to the finish. This wine exceeds the cost and, admit it, we did!!!, your expectations. And, of course, the name:
(pronounced phonetically “azee – nel”)
The origin of the wine’s name and the imagine on the label play on several aspects. The literal meaning of asinel is two-fold: in the Piedmont dialect “asinel” means both “donkey” and “grape”.
Obviously without grapes, we cannot produce wine, but we chose the face of a cute donkey to illustrate the historical and traditional importance the animal had to the farmers’ work in the vineyards.