2008 Ca’ Lojera Cabernet

Interesting times, these. Call it denial. Call it what you like, but I find that it’s a darned good thing to have a diversion or two during times like this. Diversion #1 gave us a bit of a fright this morning, but all is well that ends well. It may be ironic for a beverage industry professional to see a bottle of wine as a diversion, but that’s just the way it is with the 2008 Ca’ Lojera Cabernet Monte della Guardia. It’s a new wine for us, but to me, there’s something so familiar about it that it brings back happy memories.

It was back in February when we first told you all about another new container and the wines from Ambra Tiraboschi’s Ca’ Lojera. Her whites are stunning. So stunning, mind you, that we just received another container with her new releases! Anya and David both had the pleasure of meeting Ambra and tasting her wines at successive annual Italian trade tastings in New York. So the rest of us were left salivating as we listened to their stories about Ambra’s wines. When the first drop came last winter, I was surprised to find 5 cases of her 2007 Cabernet on a palate. I asked what it was like, and nobody knew (which was why we only bought 5) as she didn’t pour it at the tastings. We popped a bottle at one of our staff tastings and WOW, what finesse … what freshness. Long story short, the 5 cases flew out of here quicker than you can say “unoaked Cabernet”, and we were left salivating further.

So when it came time to load up the next Italian container, we all stood in agreement that we needed more of Ambra’s Cabernet. She has now released the 2008 vintage, and we’ve got some. It’s 100% Cabernet Sauvignon grown on rocky hillside vines with no oak treatment whatsoever. We just love its overall quaffability as well as its food friendliness. The aromatics scream of violets, minerals, and that rustic Old Worldy Cabernet fruit. The palate is fresh and alive, fruit co-mingling with minerals and tobacco with zippy acidity and fine tannins. Its freshness gives it the impression of being more on the medium bodied side, but we’ve got a hunch it’ll do a juicy bistecca right. The finish is harmonious as the vibrant acidity carries each component home intertwined. All in all, here’s yet another screaming bargain courtesy of TWH.

Wait. Didn’t I say something about this wine being a diversion of sorts? Right. It is a diversion. You see, when I taste the 2008 Ca’ Lojera Cabernet Monte della Guardia, I think back to that magical place that’s fun to visit every now and then: The Good Ole Days. This wine reminds me of some of the old school California Cabernets back from when I was just beginning to taste different wines. Nothing fancy, no massive extract, no bombastic oak treatment, just plain old yummy farmers’ juice. It didn’t cost an arm and a leg, and it makes everyone smile. It reminds me of a different time; the days when I used to bring wines like this to family gatherings and cheer my loved ones and share a great meal as well as some great stories. So with all of the turbulence I see on my periphery, it’s good to have the Ca’ Lojera Cabernet around to remind me of calmer days. Say, it’s my Mom’s birthday tomorrow, and my sister and I plan on paying her a visit. I got the wine covered, hehe.Peter Zavialoff

Please feel free to email me with your great stories, or about footy, old school Cabernet, or anything else: peter.winehouse@sbcglobal.net

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