Monday, March 19, 2012
Wine Review: La Loggia Barolo (Trader Joe's)
Barolo is a northern Italian red wine from the Piedmont region, made from Nebbiolo grapes. It’s a DOCG classification, the highest quality and most strictly regulated, and is therefore very expensive. I’ve rarely seen bottles for less than $50, and those are the low end – upwards of $100 is more common. When I saw the La Loggia Barolo at Trader Joe’s for $15 a bottle, it seemed too good to be true but I gave it a shot.
It wasn’t a bad wine for the price, but it was definitely not as flavorful as a traditional Barolo (or some of the less expensive Italian wines). Barolo is generally rich and complex, but not as full bodied as a Super Tuscan; it is often compared to Pinot Noir. The La Loggia reminded me of an experience I had in Napa a few years ago while visiting an Italian style winery. The more common American versions (like Pinot Grigio) were good, but the less common varietals tasted like watered-down versions of their Italian counterparts. I’ve found Trader Joe’s to be hit or miss when it comes to wine, they have some good values but you have to hunt for them. My favorite Trader Joe’s reds tend to be the less expensive Spanish and Italian varietals that TJs sells for $8-$15 and other places typically sell for $15-$25 a bottle. I have found some great bargain wines including Montepulciano, Barbera, and Tempranillo.