2014 Musso Langhe Freisa, Piedmont, Italy
Their iconic wines include a series of single vineyard Barbaresco wines made of the Nebbiolo grape, but they also produce a variety of more affordable beverages showcasing the diversity Piedmont has to offer: Langhe Nebbiolo, Dolcetto d’Alba, Roero Arneis, Langhe Chardonnay to name but a few, and the Freisa wine from the Langhe area reviewed here.
In fact, the grapes for this wine come from a small subzone of Rio Sordo, around the village of Barbaresco. Here the terrain is hilly terrain, and the soil has a limy and clayey composition.
For background info, note that freisa is a red wine grape variety unique and rather typical from the north-eastern Italian region of Piedmont. It is used to make two quite different types of wine, either light and fruity (and often slightly fizzy) or dry and fuller bodied with intense red berry flavors.
For this wine, Musso managed both alcoholic and malolactic fermentations as well as the maturation in stainless steel tanks. No oak or wine barrels used.
So how good is this 2014 Musso Langhe Freisa?
The answer is in the tasting notes:
This red Freisa comes, well… in a red color, of medium intensity. It doesn’t look very dark, but that makes it nice and shiningly-bright red to the rim, with both a touch of orange and purple.
The smell is intense and captivating, a lot going on there, and you realize it straight away at the first sniff.
Ripe fruits first: plum (or is it prune?), cherry liqueur, strawberry jam. But this is backed up by loads of spicy spices (!!): pepper, clove, nutmeg, a Christmas pudding in there.
Aromas of roasted cocoa/coffee and vanilla from a touch of well-integrated oak.
Complex and attractive nose (salivating I should probably say).
Putting the wine in my mouth, I was clearly surprised.. by the clear fizziness in the wine that I wasn’t expecting! That’s before I remembered that indeed the Freisa style sometimes involves the wines being a little sparkling.
Get over this though, or let the wine breathe in your glass and lose its CO2, and you end up with a rather powerfully scented and tasty wine.
Plenty of fleshy (less jammy on the palate than the nose) red berry fruits, sweet spices and some nice oaky flavors.
It’s quite dry, just a touch of sweetness, mainly from the ripeness of the fruit character. Long layered finish, quite warm too with the tannins otherwise smooth getting a little granulous in the end, which provides welcome savoriness.
A well-made concentrated, complex and powerful wine, filled with spices and rich fruity characters.
Its fizziness provides a distinctive and perhaps polarizing point. It will however provide an interesting talking point to any wine aficionados gathering.
Get over the surprise factor though, and you’ll find out that this is actually very seriously well made and interesting!