Wine Review – 1996 Ca’ Rome di Marengo Dapruve, Piedmont, Italy

dapruveWinery: Ca’ Rome di Marengo

Bottling: 1996 Dapruve (80% Nebbiolo & 20% Barbera)

Importer: Empson & Co.

Region: Italy

Sub-Region: Piedmont

Estimated Retail Price: About $30 on release

Purchase Details & Tasting Source: Bought this from someone’s personal collection for eight bucks

Tasting Notes: I often read that Nebbiolo is a grape that’s difficult and unappealing in many aspects such as farming, winemaking and consumer appreciation.  It’s a grape that needs time to soften and come together in order to be more drinkable.  A well-informed industry person once told me that one of the challenging things about nebbiolo are the many different drinking windows and peaks the wine has during its life.

I was hoping that we’d catch this particular 1996 vintage Dapruve on a good night.  The color was typical nebbiolo red brick with orange and rust on the edges.  It had a little darker ruby/purple color, probably due to the barbera in the blend.  In the mouth was a plush, velvety and even silky feel.  There were still a lot of life left in the tannins and the wine still seemed very fresh.  Red plum, earth, red berries and lots of orange peel were the dominant flavors.  Roses and minerals were also present.

I can see why people would have a hard time taking a liking to a wine that puts you through so much work just trying to figure out when to drink it.  I’ve had several older ones that just didn’t do it for me, while others were outright fabulous.  This one was definitely on the side of the scale that leaned towards fabulous.

Here’s what the Wine Spectator tasting notes said about the wine on release – “Gamy and earthy, with limelike acidity that seems tart” 75 points, reviewed Nov. 1999.  Comparing notes obviously shows that the different drinking windows of nebbiolo was in full effect here.

Food Pairing & Context in Which to Enjoy: We had this with an almost two-inch thick cut pan-fried pork chop with lots of cracked black pepper on it and it was delicious together.  The winery recommends firm meats, hard cheeses and salami and cured meats; yum.

Winery & Other Background Information:The wine is imported by Empson & Co., which has a great Italian import portfolio.  They also import Poggio Antico brunellos which I absolutely love.  The winery is a true family operation, with patriarch Romano at the helm, son Pino helping with winemaking and daughter Paola, manning the p.r. and marketing duties.

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