Adventures in Champagne, Timorasso and Barbaresco

On this episode of Tasting Notes, we welcome Steve Morgan, wine sommelier and Midwest Regional Sales Manager for The Sorting Table. We start off by discussing our favorite local wine shop, Bottle Up! and why he started Champagne Happy Hour. Then we move right into some of Steve’s favorites:

Wine #1:
Producer: Waris Hubert
Name: Albescent
Vintage: --
Variety: Chardonnay
Country: France
Region: Champagne
Steve and I chat about whether or not champagne is still good after it loses its bubbles, what food to pair it with (pizza, fries, caviar?), and how to break the cycle of only drinking it during celebrations.
As we dive into tasting the Waris Hubert, which comes after my candid thoughts on what denotes a classic American chardonnay. When smelling this first wine, Steve notices citrus, granny smith apple, and pear notes. When tasting it, Steve describes a somewhat baked quality, like white baking flour, with a white floral note. This wine has a bit of weight to it, but is punchy, acidic, bright, energetic, and very crisp.

Wine #2:
Producer: Vigne Marina Coppi
Name: Fausto
Vintage: --
Variety: Timorasso
Country: Italy
Region: Piedmont
Our next wine is a Timorasso from another family-owned business in the Piedmont region of Italy, where there’s an influence from the Mediterranean that adds a saltiness to all of their white wines. The timorasso grape has a natural tannin and ability to age.
This Fausto is pretty high in alcohol, coming in at 14.5%, but you’re not going to taste how alcoholic it is. It’s not fruity… it has significant body and tannin to it but it’s super layered and textured, with minerality, saltiness, richness, and ripping acidity. This one truly blew my mind.

Wine #3:
Producer: Rizzi Winery
Name: Barbaresco Rizzi
Vintage: 2015
Variety: Nebbiolo
Country: Italy
Region: Piedmont
Before tasting the third wine, Steve explains the difference between a Barolo and a Barbaresco and tells the story behind the family that created the Barbaresco Rizzi. Nebbiolo wines are also not as fruit-based. There’s definitely fruit there, but when you put your nose in it, it smells leathery, mushroomy, earthy, and musty, with notes of red and purple flowers. There’s also a bright, orangey acidity to the wine with notes of black and red fruit. It has a soft mouth feel, almost melting in my mouth. It also has an orange, brassiness color to the edge of the wine, an indicator that you have a wine from the Nebbiolo grape.

About Steve Morgan
Steve Morgan is the Midwest Regional Sales Manager for The Sorting Table, which is an importer, marketer, and distributor of wines. Steve’s views on wine were really defined by his time working with Elisabetta Foradori at Foradori Winery during her switch over to biodynamic farming. Steve has worked as a Sommelier at Del Posto, Dressler, Tribeca Grill, and Alinea, and created the ‘Best Medium Sized Wine List in the World’ according to the World of Fine Wine at Formento’s.
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