I happened across a bottle of the 2007 August Ridge Nebbiolo, and blindly tasted this last night.
On initial pop and pour from cellar temp (56) and sitting in the glass for 15 minutes:
Pale red, orange color, very light, clear. I must admit this really worried me. I also immediately went to "Italian Red," and started wondering if this would be from California or Italy.
Nose: bright fruit, sorry cherry/raspberry, slight petrol/rubber on extra swirling, maybe some cedar as well. Long legs in the glass.
Palate: bright, acidic, fresh with tart/sour cherry, cedar. Mildly astringent tannins, light-medium body, medium finish. I don't taste alcohol, and feel that this is a nicely balanced wine. Pleasantly surprised as I didn't have high hopes for it when I first poured it into the glass.
Overall impression, nicely balanced, fresh, lively wine. Reminds me of a Barolo/lighter Italian red of some sort.
We were eating Black Sheep Pizza with this, and it paired perfectly. Their pizza sauce is lighter, more acidic, and not a big, bold sauce. They really went well with one another.
1.5 hrs later:
Nose is similar, but has lost some of the brightness/freshness. Doesn't seem as tart. Similar nose of cherry/raspberry and cedar, maybe a little leather.
Palate is similar, the fruit is present, but not as tart as prior. Nicely balanced and integrated tannins, some spiciness. Lighter body with moderate finish.
About 3 hours later:
Nose has changed quite a bit. It is more muted, the fruit is in the background, but there are more spicy, pepper, and leather notes that lead the way.
Palate has also similarly changed. Tannins seem more astringent to me. Fruits have given way to pepper, leather, cedar. Similar mouth feel and finish. Seems to be tiring out a little.
Overall, I was left feeling that this is drinking well right now, and should drink well this summer and over the next 1-2 years (would be curious what the winemaker thinks of this).
At this point, I did the reveal, and was glad to see a Nebbiolo. I must admit that I am not a huge fan of Italian grape varieties that are grown in the US (exception being Vino Noceto), so was pleasantly surprised that I liked this. Reading the back of the bottle, I see they recommend pairing with grilled salmon or pork. I could see salmon on PnP, and pork ribs after decanting, as long as the ribs aren't smothered in bbq sauce, as I think that would overpower the wine.
SWMBO and the GI (German Intern) living with us both liked it. I'll see if I can get them to post their notes as well. Although I believe they both liked it earlier in the life cycle than later.
"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."