2003 Elio Grasso Barolo Ginestra "Casa Mate" (Previously $59.99)

SKU #1035694 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Grasso's 2003 Barolo Ginestra Casa Mate reveals a decidedly dark, brooding personality redolent of dark fruit, menthol, spices, leather and coffee beans. Made in an intensely powerful yet layered style, it offers notable richness as well as complexity but at the same time the appearance of more advanced aromas suggest it may not be especially long-lived. Incidentally, I have already gone through half a case of the superb 2001. Readers who have an opportunity to pick up this wine should not hesitate to do so. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2015. Elio Grasso is one of those producers who for some reason doesn't seem to receive the recognition he deserves. While that is unfortunate, it does mean the wines are often available at very reasonable prices.  (10/2007)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Medium red with an amber rim. Less evolved on the nose, even a bit youthfully closed, hinting at dried flowers, mocha and truffley underbrush. Big and round but also more juicy, with a slightly medicinal reserve and sound acidity to the red cherry flavor. Finishes with substantial dusty tannins that will require a couple years of additional cellaring. This is excellent for the year.  (12/2007)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Has aromas of very ripe plum, with hints of vanilla and strawberry. Full-bodied, with silky tannins and plenty of light chocolate, vanilla and delicate raspberry character. Chewy. Best after 2009.  (2/2008)

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Price: $39.99
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By: Chris Bottarini | Review Date: 3/17/2012
Ruby purple in the glass. Tar, roses, leather, heat, earth & minerals. Lots of cherry, cranberry & leather on the attack. Still a little backward even after 1 hour being open. Tannins are chewy. Looking forward to the pairing with Guinness braised short ribs.

Additional Information:



- Tar and roses are the two descriptors most associated with this red grape grown, almost solely, in Italy's Piedmont, where it has achieved fame under the guises of the incredibly and age-worthy wines of Barolo and Barbaresco. Characterized by chewy tannins, high acidity, high-tone cherry and raspberry fruit and truffle aromas and flavors, Nebbiolo has rightfully earned its reputation. Sadly the late-ripening varietal is quite delicate and is prone to disease as well as damage by hail that frequently pelts the region. Outside of Barolo and Barbaresco, Nebbiolo is grown in the DOCs of Gattinara, Spanna and Ghemme. The Nebbiolos of the Nebbiolo d'Alba DOC in the southeastern part of Piedmont are generally lighter and more immediately approachable versions of the grape, aged for less time than Barolo and Barbaresco, which also makes them less expensive. Langhe Nebbiolos are generally made from declassified fruit from the aforementioned regions of Barolo, Barbaresco and Nebbiolo d'Alba.


- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world. For our entire Italian wine selection, click here. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of Italy.


- Piedmont is in the Northwestern region of Italy, bordering France and Switzerland. Piedmont is predominantly a plain where the water flows from the Swiss and French Alps to form the headwaters of the Po river. The major wine producing areas are in the southern portion of the region in the hills known as the "Langhe". Here the people speak a dialect that is 1/3 French and 2/3 Italian that portrays their historical roots. Their cuisine is one of the most creative and interesting in Italy. Nebbiolo is the King grape here, producing Barolo and Barbaresco. In addition, the Barbera and Dolcetto are the workhorse grapes that produce the largest quantity of wine. Piedmont is predominantly a red wine producing area. There are a few whites made in Piedmont, and the Moscato grape produces a large volume of sweet, semi-sweet and sparkling wines as well.
Specific Appellation:


- Made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes, these wines take their name from the village of Barolo. A maximum of 205,000 cases per year can be made from 3081 acres of land divided between 11 communes and more than 1200 growers. La Morra, Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Monforte and Serralunga are the most important communes and produce most of the exported wine. Barolo is a powerhouse wine in some communes but also more delicate in others (La Morra is the most delicate and Serralunga the most powerful). Recent technological and viticultural advances are remaking Barolo into a wine that is more consistent balanced. Producers here do not want to change the flavor or feel of their wines, only improve and eliminate poor winemaking technique. A wine of great perfume, body and size the classic nose of "tar and roses". Barolo is best served with roast meats the Piemontese classic would be "Stracotto del Barolo or pot roast cooked with a Barolo, game birds or powerful cheese.