Standing in the kitchen as we prepare dinner and taste the first bottle of “Badebec”, a Rosso from the Vallé d’Aosta, to come to the States. It’s always exciting to test these recent arrivals once they are Stateside. We do all of our selecting overseas in the cellars so that initial bottle opened at home is the essential test of the wisdom of the purchase.
It’s the same sort of feeling we had many years ago, about 20 or so to give some context to the story, when we paid cash for some rugs we had ferreted out in the souk in Marrakech and waited for weeks to see if those same rugs that we spent hours selecting would actually show up at our door. The Moroccan rug merchant who had spent the entire afternoon laying out carpets for our pleasure at the end of the long sesssion showed us how he marked the carpets we had chosen and then had Kerry inscribe her signature on corners of each of the three we had purchased – the telltale mark that would assure us that the very same carpet had made it to our home. We have been happily living with those carpets lo these many years.
In the case of our Badebec, we also couldn’t be more pleased. The bouquet of the wine captures the fresh mountain air of the high Alpine passes that surround the vineyards in the village of Gressan, a few kilometers north of Aosta on the western side of the valley and the flavors are joyous, raucous in fact. This lovely gem is the child of the young Nadir Cuneaz, whose family owns less than one hectare of vineyards. Production is about 1000 bottles and 420 have come to the States thanks to a reference from Danilo Thomain, our grower in Arvier whose Enfer d’Arvier has become a favorite of ours as well. These tiny production wines can’t make us a fortune but each of them adds a tiny jewel to the crown that makes it glitter all the brighter.
For those of you who care about the “facts” of wine, the “Badebec” is composed of Petit Rouge (90%) and Fumin and Vien de Nus (10% combined). The DOC is Rosso Vallé d’Aosta but it qualifies as “Torrette”. Cuneaz prefers the more generic appellation because the locals feel that much that passes as Torrette shouldn’t!
NIR – 22 FEB 2013