Bandita, Cascina Tavijn 2018 $28 We love Nadia Verrua and everything she makes, and this wine was our introduction to her. This is Barbera from an average of 40 year year old vines from a few different plots around her estate near Scurzolengo. All hand harvested (some by her mom and dad, who make appearances on her other labels), then fermented with native yeast, left on the skins for 2 months, aged all in concrete and bottled unfiltered with basically no sulfur added (2mg/l!). 2018 was a cooler vintage, but this is still bold and loud with candied dark red fruit and a lipsmacking finish. Might be a little fizzy at first, but don't be scared. Bandita wants to party.
Rossore, Cascina Iuli 2017 $25 About a half hour north of Nadia, Fabrizio Iuli makes wine in his home village of Montaldo di Cerrina (population 92) in an old farmhouse that he bought in the 90s from a drug rehabilitation center that ran the farm, but had to move on. Rossore was his first wine in 1998 and comes from 2 parcels planted in 1985 and 1990 that have never seen chemicals. The grapes are hand harvested and fermented with native yeast in cement, where they are left on the skins for about 3 weeks, then pressed off to huge, old Slavonian oak barrels for 2 years, then bottled unfiltered with just a little sulfur added. Rossore is a precise classic in contrast to Bandita's wild artistry. Focused dark red fruit with lifted minerality on the long, elegant finish.