Cavatappi 2007 “Maddalena” Nebbiolo

Red Willow Vineyards, Yakima Valley, WA; 14% ABV
$10 at the Richmond, CA, store on 18 Dec

Cavatappi_2007_NebbioloWhen this showed up at the Richmond store, there had been some discussion here (and here) about a Cavatappi 2008 Sangiovese.  In particular, Lim13 wrote, “I’ve never been a fan of Peter Dow’s wines…just personal taste. Almost always austere and high in acidity.”  So, on one hand, I think I sometimes like wines that are less fruity than he does, but on the other… he’s usually right.  🙂  But after a couple days, curiosity got the better of me and I purchased this bottle.  I actually like it a lot.  I found it an interesting and tasty New World version of the Nebbiolo grape.

This wine was pretty good from first pour, but has held up very well for 3+ hours now.  It shows nice cherry fruit (ripe red, dried, and tart), with nice complexities of light earthy leather, roses, and dried orange peel.  For me at least, this is a pretty subtle wine.  Treat it as you would a more delicate Pinot Noir.  Unusually for me, I preferred its temperature on the cooler side, when I could better taste its complexities over its New World fruit that is more sweetly ripe than the Italian Nebbiolos (Barolo and Barbaresco) I’ve tasted.  It’s probably fully mature, and I did not find it too austere or acid.  Tonight, it went well with roasted Cornish game hens (GO, $2 each, IIRC).




11 thoughts on “Cavatappi 2007 “Maddalena” Nebbiolo

  1. DavidLikesWine

    I finally caved and bought a bottle. I had it last night on it’s own and found that after about 30-45 minutes of air it opened really nicely. Italian Nebbiolo has always been a bit inaccessible to be (maybe I’m not drinking good ones…), but I thought this was very nice. At $10 it’s spendy for a GO wine, but it makes a nice presentation (I don’t mind the label) and seems like it would go nicely with a variety of foods. I liked it enough to contemplate grabbing another bottle or two to have on hand.

  2. lim13

    2009 Cavatappi Sangiovese just arrived in Silverdale at $8.99. And I believe they still have some of the 2008. Not for me, but I know others have enjoyed the Cavatappi wines.

  3. seedboy

    I liked this wine from the first taste. It tastes like Nebbiolo. Some fruit but not too much, good balance. Drank it with veal ribeye and it held up fine. I have some left in the bottle and will report further..

    1. seedboy

      This wine held up nicely on the second night. I do have a question for BW though: on Sunday at the Richmond store I saw this wine in two different bottle sizes. What is up with that?

      1. BargainWhine Post author

        Hi Seedboy. I have no idea. In the first case I opened, and not in any others that I know of, two of the bottles were shorter and wider than the other 10. I think the bottle I opened was one of taller and thinner ones, but I would guess there’s no difference in the wine inside.

  4. Expat

    My limited experience with Cavatappi wines have impressed me with their sensibilities. I appreciate higher acid/food oriented wines. I popped this sucker and immediately tasted it. A little rough and tight out of the gate, which is to be expected. I sipped while I pan-fried a prime grade top sirloin. B-Dub’s description was on the money. It definitely opened up over time and is a solid food-friendly wine but I never found it truly compelling. It really didn’t show any New World elements to me, to my satisfaction, It just seemed a little one-dimensional. So as much as I appreciate where this wine lands in the spectrum, I just wasn’t that excited at $10/bottle. Surprisingly there are some Frenchies for a buck or two more that I prefer.

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Expat. Thanks for reporting your experience with this wine. I’m sorry to hear you found it one-dimensional, although I’d guess a steak may have been a bit too much for it. Which are the French wines (Bordeaux?) you’re liking now? (That recent St. Emilion is another wine I’d say should be paired with very mild food, if not just drunk on its own with no food.)

  5. lim13

    Because Peter Dow makes so little wine, I’d be curious where this wine (and the 2008 Sangio) came from…eight years down the line. Seems a bit strange to me. And while researching my database, I found the following: “1993 Cavatappi Molly’s Cuvee’ Sangiovese; 6/27/98 Clear medium garnet with a noticeable spritz that slowly dissipates; moderately spicy, berryish quality with little tannin and light body; at its peak. 11/12/98 Very deep black/garnet; intense nose of leather and tar; medium body with nice balance of fruit, acid and light tannins; flavors of tar, leather and dark chocolate; tannins show bigger and better in the long finish; tasting far better than the last bottle; excellent Sangiovese and one of the few from Washington; the barrel sample of this wine was the hit of the seminar I did at the Society of Wine Educators conference in L.A.” Maybe this was a pre-GO experience with bottle variation.

    I love reading my old notes because they always reveal something that my old brain has forgotten…like Sangiovese being produced by only a handful of WA wineries in the early 90’s. Unfortunately, I tasted few Cavatappi Sangios after this that I really enjoyed. It’s also good to remember that Italian varieties (like Sangio and Nebbiolo) tend to lean toward higher acidity and I’m generally not that fond of higher acid reds.

      1. lim13

        Funny, because a lot of folks up here love that label (some more than his wines). It’s been the same label since he started the winery more than 20 years ago.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s