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  • Writer's pictureJohn Paul Kaminga


Arf! What's going on? I kinda prefer this weather to the heat wave, so I dunno why I'm barking... it's just a little shocking. The cool weather coordinated perfectly with the arrival of a favorite hearty red. You guys loved the 2018 vintage of La Romba Croatina last year, and I have to say that I think the 2019 is even better.

Found only in certain pockets (and going under the name Bonarda in Lombardia) the Croatina cultivar is not found in the famous regions of the Langhe, but instead here and there around Piemonte, often blended with other grapes. In the southeast of Piemonte, in the Colli Tortonesi, La Colombera makes a varietal Croatina that is absolutely worth your while. Just a little rustic, we find it charming and believe it will make a great companion to all sorts of food. It is also notable that this wine shows very well after 24 hours of air, just keep it cool and you can enjoy its beautiful fruitiness the next day.

La Colombera Colli Tortonesi DOC Croatina 'La Romba' 2019 - $18

Aromas of tiny tart wild blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, cherry jam, bee pollen, oolong, a little minty herbs and peppery spice. As was the last vintage, this is a boisterous mouthful of wine, with chunky tannins and punchy acids pushing against exuberant ripe fruit. Bright and crunchy, it cuts and grips the palate, it is quite tart but also very fruity. The finish is not especially subtle, featuring strident acidity and intense primary juiciness, but there is a fascinating gush of earthy and floral notes to keep things interesting. For a bold red, it should be quite capable at the table, something fatty and rich will sooth its delectable rasp. It would be great with grilled sausages and peppers.

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