Succulent, slowly braised lamb shank, spicy coriander, sweet and savory grapes…and a conundrum. What wine to serve? Should it be a strong fruit-forward fellow to go head to head with the richness of the dish? Perhaps a hearty Cab from California? Or is it better to “do the opposite” as George Costanza might suggest and select a subtle savory wine with plenty of spice to complement the full flavors? Maybe a quirky lower alcohol local from the Old World.
Consider an Uva Rara. This grape found in Northern Italy literally translates as “rare grape” – though it’s not all that rare in Piemonte where it’s often used in Nebbiolo-based blends. Uva Rara is traditionally the supporting player that adds softness and fruit to Nebbiolo’s famous headstrong star (of Barolo, Barbaresco and other productions). Uva Rara rarely gets its own show.
Brigatti Uva Rara Colline Novaresi
The 2011 Brigatti Uva Rara Colline Novaresi is 100% Uva Rara, also known as Bonarda. The nose is distinctly floral, offering red rose petals, spice and granite (the Northern Piemonte is very close to the Alps, and the soil has ancient glacial mineral deposits). Next come deep aromas of black fruit, black currant and plum. On the palate this bone dry wine is smooth, crisp and moderately tannic. The flavors are persistent, with slightly sweet highlights and a somewhat bitter salty finish. The acid and tannin levels suggest a potential for several years of aging.
But why wait? This 2011 Brigatti Uva Rara Colline Novaresi is ready to drink now. While eminently drinkable on its own, it’s even more enjoyable with Greg’s exotic entrée.
Pairs With Braised Lamb Shanks- One More Time
Also pairs well with veal chop, prosciutto di Parma, pork with fruit sauce, lamb shank, beef and black bean stir-fry
- Category Red Wine
- Varietal Uva Rara
- Region Piemonte Italy