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Wine: 2011 Toccata Nebbiolo-Barbera (Los Alamos Valley Vineyard, Santa Barbara County/Central Coast, California, USA), Release Price: $26 (Club Price: $21). SuperTuscan blend: 64% Nebbiolo and 36% Barbera. Produced by Lucas & Lewellen, with Megan McGrath Gates serving as winemaker. The release date was about a year ago.
Shipping, Storage, Cellar Temperature, and Removal of Cork
The wine was shipped overnight via FedEx from Sonoma to the Westside of Los Angeles. It arrived “cool to the touch” and was placed in a 56-degree cellar for six days. Decant: none, consumed ¾ bottle over 90 minutes. Saved ¼ bottle for day 2. Stemware: Riedel Bordeaux Glass on day 1, and Riedel stem-less on day 2. When capsule was removed, the cork was sunk a bit into the neck of the bottle. No damage to the cork, and it was removed cleanly. Light pink coloration visible on the end of the cork with no sediment or tartrate crystals.
This wine was a pleasant surprise. Initially, I thought it would be “just a good Wednesday pizza wine.” However, the 2011 Toccata exceeded expectations. Upon opening, the color was between a light crimson and cranberry, with light watery edges. There was a strong (but pleasant) barnyard funk on the nose, along with some alcohol. After 15 minutes, that blew off and was replaced by sour dark cherry, plum, and pomegranate. There was a good amount of tannin, acidity, and a pleasant “full” mouth-feel.
Pairings: Where the Rubber Meets the Road
Pairing #1: Marcona almonds from Spain. The wine worked very well with the oily, salty flavor of the almonds. Very nice. Pairing #2: Pandehigo almendrado fig cake from Spain. The wine worked very well with the sweet fig. Another nice pairing. Pairing #3: slightly melted vanilla Moon Pie from Tennessee. A third successful pairing. The acidity in the wine cut the sugar nicely and held up well to the soft cookie, marshmallow cream, and artificial vanilla flavoring. The Moon Pie brought out the sour, dark fruit of the wine. This successful pairing demonstrates to me that the 2011 Toccata “demonstrates great versatility,” as my wife said.
Final Thoughts: “The Verdict”
The 2011 Toccata is a really nice bottle to take to a party–not an intimate dinner party, but a high-energy social gathering, like an office party. It will be a crowd pleaser and pair nicely with a variety of party snacks. The label will help your colleagues with the pronunciation of the varietals (i.e., right on the label, it says Barbera is /bar-bare-ah/). Funny!
Day 2: “One Last Glass”
Twenty-four hours later, the wine had faded a bit. The tannins seem less round, and the tartness of the fruit dominated.
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Not the same offer, but lots of love for Toccata wines in a mixed reds case offer back in May 2014.
Is Toccata essentially the same as Mandolina Toccata?
Got a couple cases if so.
For the '11 the same but a newer vintage of the 2006 Mandolina Toccata Classico from a mixed case Wooton 2011-11-21 and noted
With red sauce pasta, PnP from 12C cellar seemed tight and disjointed, a bit acidic; tasted like a $5 market bottle. Recorked, no Ar, and into the fridge. Same bottle and leftovers three days later a totally different experience. Nice fruit, balanced acidity, tasty tannins and enough complexity to keep it interesting.
Got the '09 Neb-barb from another mixed case W00t last year.
This too should be a solid offer, but I rather did like the ~$11/btl delivered price point we enjoyed earlier.
Anyone know why I can’t have this shipped to Virginia? I’ve bought wine from Woot several times and there’s never been an issue. Now it’s not working and Woot tells me that each winery decides which states it can or cannot send to. I just can’t imagine them turning their back on a state where it’s perfectly legal to send wine.
If I could venture a guess here, they probably don’t use the mandolina name anymore because San Antinio winery based here in LA uses the name on their $5 supermarket Italian wines. I would change the name too to avoid being associated with that brand.
I bolded your answer for you above. Not wine.woots decision
Each winery must obtain a license for each state. Some states have licenses that are prohibitive for different reasons. We do not control which states wineries are licensed to sell.
I’ll be tasting the Classico after I get the toothpaste taste out of my mouth.
Great write-up, thank you very much
How does it pair with Cinnamon Toast Crunch?
Psshh! Buttermilk and chocolate chip eggos FTW!
L&L wines offer great QPR at full price. This is a very solid offering, IMO.
Both of these are great wines, especially the Neb-Barb, and 2011 proved to be an excellent year for our Italian varietals. We changed the name from Mandolina to Toccata quite a few years back out of courtesy (and trademark issues) to another winery of similar name. The word “Toccata” was originally used as our fanciful name for the blend (Classico), and since we had the rights for that, it was a natural to migrate the brand to Toccata from Mandolina. The musical term “toccata” can mean to touch many notes - as we did with creating the original blend (using many varietals). The mandolin is still part of our design as it represents the romantic and Italian (heritage) aspects of wine.
How long do folks expect the Classico to hold up? I opened up a 2009 Toccata Sangiovese on Sunday and it was way over the hill, which surprised me as I have had great luck aging many of the Mandolina/Toccata wines. I am guessing the blend in the Classico will give it a bit more longevity?
For the record, I am a huge fan of this label. I am very happy to see them on Wine.Woot again and will likely go in for 3 if I can get comfortable that the Classico will be OK to leave in the cellar for a year or three.
'11 Classico review:
I know nothing about this wine other than the vintage.
Color is very pretty. Translucent blood-colored. Seems like good extraction.
The nose is very appealing. Big with sweet red fruits. It has a tinge of alcohol on the nose. it smells like a big new-world sangio actually.
On the palate, the wine is light-medium body. Tart, red fruits. Nice gripping acidity. Moderate tannins. Not grainy or green but not sweet or round. Quite drying. This tastes like a new-world sangio. Fruit concentration is a little light for my fruit-bomb-loving palate. Moderate, dry finish that persists in the back of my palate.
Really pretty, elegant wine. I’m guessing this would be great with some bolognese or a lighter cream sauce. Tried it along with some Parmesan from a block and it was a little over-powered so I’d avoid really bold foods. I’m guessing it won’t get better but I can’t see it falling off over the next year or two. Fair price at around $15/btl.
I’ll taste again this afternoon and report back.
Thanks for the rattage guys, always nice to have notes from people I know.
I haven’t opened any of the wines from that mixed case yet. Was the Sangio oxidized? Have you tried any others recently? Hopefully that bottle was an anomaly…