Cappellano Barbera Ab Normal VDT 2004

From the website of their US importer (in May 2017), Mad Rose:
Cappellano AB Normal Vino Rosso NV: Occasionally we are presented with a wine that falls a little outside the normal progression of vintages from a particular grower. These might come about due to an extreme vintage, a strange development during vinification or elevage, or something completely out of the realm of the normal course of cellar work. In the spring of 2016, we will release a small quantity of one such anomaly, from the cellar of Augusto Cappellano. The wine was actually vinified by his father, the late Teobaldo Cappellano, as it comes from the classic 2004 vintage. The wine itself is somewhat unusual to begin with, as it is sourced from old Barbera vines found in the heart of the famed Gabutti vineyard in Barolo. His neighbors have questioned him for years on the existence of these vines in such valuable Nebbiolo terroir, however Augusto feels that Barbera is equally at home in this environment and has let the vines continue to produce. The current release of the Barbera d’Alba “Gabutti” is the 2011, however the spring release will include this small batch of 2004 to accompany it.

The older wine has not been sitting around in bottle all this time; one 1500-liter barrel was left full of the 2004 vintage Barbera for an astonishing ten years, before being put into bottle in 2015. The aging regimen disqualifies it from any appellation norms, thus the wine loses the right to be called Barbera d’Alba, or to even carry a vintage designation for that matter. To come up with a name, Augusto referenced the classic Mel Brooks film “Young Frankenstein” and the abnormal brain that played a pivotal role in that movie. The character Igor mistakenly supplies Dr. Frankenstein with a brain that he believes belongs to “Abby Normal”, not realizing that it is actually an “Abnormal” brain, not to be used. The name of the wine is thus “AB Normal” in a subtle wink to this scene.
About 160 cases were made of this wine in 750ml and magnums.

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All original content © Ken Vastola