In the glass, the wine has a limpid, pale rosewater color, like transparent pink nasturtium, with flashes of polished copper at the edge. Aromas of ripe peaches, mandarin orange rind, persimmon, and fraises des bois move in and out of the foreground (not too cold, please), adding fleeting suggestions of Carolina tea, garden spearmint, rose petals, and hibiscus as the nose develops in the glass.
On the palate, the wine is luscious and ample, with vibrant red fruit flavors that echo the nose, evolving into a fascinating amalgam of lingering blood orange oil, strawberry-rhubarb, baking spices, and bergamot, all seasoned with creamy, sea salt minerality. “Fleshy,” according to my colleague, Susan Crawshaw, “though that little bit of heft in no way stops it from being knockbackable.”
About this wine producer: According to Il Corriere Vinicolo, Italy’s “wine Wall Street Journal,” the “Spanna” (Nebbiolo) grown a hundred years ago by Paolo De Marchi’s great, great uncle was the most expensive wine in Italy. Today, after ten years spent replanting the vineyards and renovating the winery, Paolo and Luca have given new life to Proprietà Sperino, and stimulated a renaissance of viticulture in this historic wine-growing area. The eight hectares of vines at Proprietà Sperino are mostly in the district of Ori, so-called for the deep yellow marine sand that lies on the sun-drenched, sub-alpine plateau of Orolungo. If you scoop up the soil only a half-hour after a rainstorm, it slips through your fingers like sand in an hourglass.