"Wine is the most civilized thing in the world." Ernest Hemingway
Ubaldo Rosi, 2008 is a wine for special occasions, such as today when we are celebrating the birth of our second grandson. But, it is affordable and can be the star of any dinner. I love the beautiful straw yellow color and the nose of caramelized sugar and almond with an underlying potential of bread crust. The nose maintains a bit of freshness and perhaps a bit of the sweetness of fruit. It has none of the woodiness of many champagnes. In the glass the perlage is quite active and persistent, but in the mouth the wine is incredibly soft and smooth. As I took a sip, I turned to Jim and asked, "So what do you taste?" He replied, " something out of the ordinary. I taste quality." I remember once asking that question of our friend, Michele, a broker of wines from France and Italy, when we were drinking a prosecco. His reply, "sombrero". I must admit that I was stunned by the answer and confused. What did that mean? Well, as I taste more wines and begin to see them as more than a party in a pretty glass with a stem, I am starting to understand this. Think about those English classes where you learned about connotation. With that context in mind, I thought about how I would sum up Ubaldo Rosi 2008 in one word. My answer, "Michelangelo" - artistry in a glass. So, I wonder can any of the older wines top this experience?
The Ubaldo Rosi 2005 was a very interesting wine that probably created more comment at my table than any of the others. In the glass it looked quite similar to the 2006 with a light straw yellow color with a slight green highlight. As I sipped it, I heard comments that it had an unusual nose, not as open as the previous wines. Quite a discussion ensued trying to discern that the unique element of the nose was, but, alas, there was never a resolution of this question. For my part, I thought this vintage had more of the bread crust and almond scents, but the bouquet was much more subtle than the 2008. On the palate it had a very well balanced acidity and smoothness. By the end of the evening, it was clear that the 2005 had divided the participants. Some thought this was the top of the Ubaldo Rosi selections; others rated it at or near the bottom. For me, after tasting these three very similar wines, my senses were on overload, and it was getting very difficult to distinguish one from the other, particularly as the differences were becoming more subtle.
While I asked others what was their favorite of the Ubaldo Rosi wines, I find it very difficult to pick one. They were all similar and distinct at the same time. I truly appreciated the freshness of the 2008 which emitted a more fruity nose than the other vintages. But I also appreciated the increasingly greater complexity of the wines over time. I would gladly call every one Michelangelo.