“Thinking ahead.” Review: Round Pond Estate Nebbiolo 2012

Titus, our two-year-old, had a meltdown last night. Unsure of what he was upset about, we read books with him, tickled him, and hugged he and his sister for the hour or so between dinner and bed.When the kids were asleep, we decided to share a glass of wine and talk on the couch in the living room for a while, which is one of my absolute favorite ways to end almost any day.

In the living room, and with the cold days we’ve had lately, it wasn’t hard to start thinking ahead to the holidays. Sitting right next to where our tree normally goes, Sonja began to remember our friends and their child who turned ornament breaking into a recreational pastime during the Christmas season. Sonja has many precious, antique ornaments, and I advised her against putting them up this year. She said she’d consider. We began to discuss presents, what we might get for the kids, our budget for such expenses, and more. These conversations would be dry if had in an email, but on the couch, lounging with a glass of excellent wine in my hand, I always manage to enjoy them.

The wine truly was excellent. A few years ago, Sonja and I visited Round Pond together while I was writing a piece about visiting the Napa Valley for Food & Spirits Magazine. (If you’re inclined, you can read that here: https://itheewine.com/2016/08/12/a-napa-valley-state-of-mind/) We loved Round Pond, the great people, the terrific food. Their amazing olive press produced some truly fantastic stuff, and we brought a lot of their oils back with us. We also brought this bottle of wine.

The 2012 Nebbiolo from Round Pond Estate is a truly fascinating, and excellent, wine. Deep purple with hints of ruby when it hits the light, it is translucent almost all the way through, paling to a clear rim. A rare varietal for the region, it has a bit of old world character, coupled with that notorious Rutherford dust that the region is becoming known for. Cocoa-covered cherries, candied strawberries, earthy undertones, black currant jam, and subtle, plump fig combine to define a wine that is complex and easy to enjoy. Firm in structure with tannins like fine sand, it is an entirely satisfying wine with a long, dry finish to complete the experience. And when we did complete the experience, I found myself wishing we had more of this in the cellar.

We sat and sipped for the better part of an hour, reminiscing about holidays past, and enjoying each other’s company.  It was a great conclusion to our day. The thought of the holidays coming on isn’t an unpleasant one either; already I look forward to the festivities, as well as winter break.Toward the end of the bottle, Sonja glanced casually over at the fireplace, then started: “Oh!” she exclaimed. “I need to order Zooey a stocking!”




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