2016 Visit to Piemonte

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
Message
Author
User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#1 Post by Howard Davis »

Andrew, Thierry and I recently had a week in Piemonte. As time allows, I'll post notes and photos here ...

We started in Turin ...

TWO BAROLI AT TRE GALLI, TORINO

Tre Galli has a superb wine list at over 56 pages ... We thought a 1993 Gaja Sperss might be more approachable than a 1999 or 1996 so we asked to have that opened before we got there. We had the 2004 Brovia Villero popped and poured. Tre Galli on a Saturday night was lively, the traditional Piemontese cuisine excellent and the wines a great accompaniment ...
  • 2004 Fratelli Brovia Barolo Villero - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Popped and poured. Nice aromatics that developed over the three or so hours open (decant at least five hours ahead). Little secondary nuances with lots of dark cherry and other dark fruits. A little melted road tar. More violets than rose perfume. Pure and clean on palate, with the structure and fine grained tannins coming through on the end. Austerity on the mid palate, reflecting the vintage. Nothing sweet fruited here, lots of dry tannin. The wine matched well the fishy tang of my Piemontese raw beef and anchovies. Good but a little outclassed and 'one note' next to the Gaja. Give this wine 5-10 more years, minimum.
  • 1993 Gaja Barolo Sperss - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Decanted three hours before we began tasting (it could have used more). A detailed, complex nose, initially tartufi neri and other fungi, forest floor and wet tobacco leaf. Evolving and improving over the night, moving more scented and floral. The palate did not move during the evening, seeming younger than the bouquet or the vintage suggested. Beautiful, silky tannins, totally in tune with the acids. Very intense and complex. A lot of dark cherry and other black fruit, hoisin, balsamico and creosote. On the mid palate the scale and structure hits you ... This is a big, serious wine. It paired very well with my sirloin and ash extra virgin olive oil dish, and then with the most mature cheeses. Perhaps not quite up there with the very best Sperss vintages I've had, but a damn fine Barolo. Seemingly now in its optimal drinking window.
Posted from CellarTracker


The Tre Galli wine list: http://3galli.com/site/wp-content/uploa ... i-Vini.pdf
Last edited by Howard Davis on August 21st, 2016, 3:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#2 Post by Howard Davis »

image.jpeg
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#3 Post by Howard Davis »

A LONG SUNDAY LUNCH ON THE LANGHE

A long lunch with Jeffrey Chilcott of Marchesi di Grésy and other Piemontese wine friends. Also, South African winemaker Alan was in attendance.

Below I've only typed up the Piemontese wines we tasted ...

All wines served blind unless indicated ...
  • 1999 Vietti Barbera d'Alba Vigna Vecchia Scarrone - Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Barbera d'Alba
    Served blind by Lorenzo. A beautiful tarry nose of black cherries, underbrush and smoke with a touch of violets. A lovely earthy, brushwood palate with lots of black cherries and blackberries. Savoury and mature with sandy, suave tannins. Lovely sparkling acidity. I thought this wine was a Vietti Scarrone from the early or mid 1990s, not as young as 1999. Drink soonish, I'd think.
  • 2011 Tenute Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Grésy Barbaresco Martinenga Gaiun - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Served non-blind by Jeffrey. Plenty of ripe, 2011 fruit on the bouquet, with a little floral lift. Black fruited with Asian spice. More dark fruit, particularly cherries, on palate, with gentle 2011 structure. Inky and full bodied. Also lower acidity with oak yet to fully integrate. There is oak here but there's plenty of dry extract to match. Serious structure and well balanced. A good Gaiun, that'll need 5+ years to settle down.
  • 1999 Vietti Langhe Nebbiolo Perbacco - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
    Served blind. Evolved colour, a little brown. An intoxicating perfume, tartufi neri and dark roses. In the mouth, showing nice evolution with flavours of dried quince, preserved plums, red cherries and other red fruit. Spherical tannins, seamless structure and good length. I guessed the wine as a '98. In the zone now.
  • 2011 Giulia Negri Barolo La Tartufaia - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Giulia served her wine open. Grapes from the Brunate site 70% of the blend. Aromas of lifted red berries, menthol and cherries, with a little spice. Full in the mouth, again showing '11 vintage ripeness and opulence. Fine grained tannins. An attractive young Barolo.
  • 1998 Fratelli Brovia Barolo Rocche dei Brovia - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Our wine (served blind) seemed more evolved than would be expected from a 1998. People had the vintage between 1985 and 1989. Browning colour. Dried red fruit, tobacco leaf, dried red fruits and brushwood on the bouquet. A fig or date component on the nose. A mellow, autumnal wine, which I found poignant. Others however didn't like it, thinking it lacked sufficient primary fruit. "Very alive in the mouth" said Jeffrey. Multi-layered, flavours including dried Porcini, old leather, dry, dusty soil and preserved plums. I enjoyed the wine but thought it too advanced for a 1998 (perhaps it was a bottle issue?).
  • 2003 Giuseppe E Figlio Mascarello Barolo Monprivato - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    A gorgeous wine served blind by Jeffrey. An attractive, savoury nose of dried mushroom, truffle, tobacco and red fruit, again suggesting a little evolution. On palate, seamless, smooth, succulent fruit, merging with savoury, umami elements. Well balanced. Some saw some fruit sweetness here not typical of a Barolo and wondered if the wine might be a pinot noir. I thought that this was a traditionally made Barolo, perhaps from 1998. A lovely wine with all of the elements in place ... On the reveal, 2003 was a surprise ... Jeffrey said "2003 is the email you didn't respond to ...". An excellent Monprivato.
  • 1982 Gigi Rosso Barolo Arione - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Our wine served blind was thought to be a '70s or even '60s Barolo by the tasters. Forest floor, truffle and earthy aromas, but also burnt toffee. Also a little sherry, or as someone corrected, old rum. Some fruit on the mid palate but a bit sherried on the finish. Autumn leaves, sous bois and bracken flavours dominating the fruit. Parched desert dry, nothing volatile here. A well made wine, "from a good vintage", said Jeffrey. To me, however, the least impressive and enjoyable of our three old wines.
  • 1998 Marziano Abbona Barbaresco Faset - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    On bouquet, Black Doris plums and black cherries, tar and dark soil, showing some development. On palate, very good dryness and serious structure. A lot of cacao, dark berry fruit and earth. Some iron at its core. I was convinced it was a Barolo, guessing it a 1997. With that size and architecture, there was elegance, suave tannins and good length. No hurry to drink this very good Barbaresco.
  • 1974 Cavallotto Barolo Bricco Boschis - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Our Cavallotto had a pale, evolved colour. A tertiary nose of old leaves on the ground, fungus, old leather couch and dried Porcini, with a whiff of sherry. Too old for many of our Italian friends to enjoy, but I did, preferring it to the younger seeming Gigi Rosso. In the mouth, dried fruit, tobacco leaf and earth, showing oxidation. I thought that the fruit was alive on the palate. Jeffrey picked the vintage as "1971 or 1974", thinking the wine a product of a good, ripe vintage.
Posted from CellarTracker
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#4 Post by Howard Davis »

image.jpeg
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#5 Post by Howard Davis »

BARBARESCO MONDAY

LUNCH WITH ALDO AND RENATO AT TRATTORIA ANTICA TORRE, BARBARESCO

"Today is the first full day of summer" said Aldo. Certainly the sky was a deep blue very different from the misty light blue of the more typical Piermontese summer day.

After a quick visit to Scazello, Barolo we began our (mainly) Barbaresco Monday with lunch with Aldo Vacca of Produttori del Barbaresco and Renato Vacca of Cantina del Pino. Renato had brought along a box of his wines for us to drink with lunch.

I like the Trattoria, just below the tower and right opposite the Produttori entrance, very much. It's a nice humble Trattoria, making typical local dishes, like the lovely veal tajarin and roasted rabbit we enjoyed ...

Renato's wines are all about restraint and elegance and letting the terroir shine through. He tries to retain freshness in his wines, typically using larger barrels. On average, his wines see about 20% new oak for 12 months, he said.
  • 2014 Cantina del Pino Barbera d'Alba - Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Barbera d'Alba
    A rare Barbera from Ovello vines, that saw a 20 day maceration. Bright, dark cherries and blackberries on the nose, with a little spice. In the mouth, not a pungent Barbera. Pure, clean and vertical showing some fruit sweetness. Quite fine and elegant, reflecting the house style. Also, reflecting the 2014 vintage, a cooler fruit spectrum with good minerality. I liked this Barbera quite a lot ... Hold for a couple of years and drink in the next 10, I'd say.
  • 2012 Cantina del Pino Barbaresco - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Again mainly Ovello fruit (some from 70 year old vines). A spicy bouquet of raspberries, red cherries and red currants. Also red fruited on palate, showing red cherries, cranberry and even strawberries. Attractive, fresh, racy acids. Again a very elegant wine, almost delicate. As Aldo said, this Barbaresco reflected the 2012 vintage character.
  • 2012 Cantina del Pino Barbaresco Albesani - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Another 2012 Barbaresco, but very different aromas of bracken, earth, spices and red roses. On palate, structurally, a very different wine. Quite closed. Earthy and spicy with underbrush and tobacco leaf notes. There's plenty or weight and tannins on the back palate. This wine needs cellar time, it was improved by food. In fact, in the glass, it got tighter and tighter. Give this wine 3-5 years.
  • 2011 Cantina del Pino Barbaresco Ovello - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Renato's flagship cuvée had the best bouquet so far. A complex nose, with lifted, floral elements, very 2011 Barbaresco. Musk, red berries and dry earth with traces of mineral. On palate, a much richer, riper wine, with succulent plums, raspberries and other red fruit and that alcohol lift (on the label 14.5%, but it may be higher). However, well balanced and quite bright. Earthy with good volume and length. Slatey minerals on the finish. I'd cellar for 5+ years, ideally 10+. Very good.
  • 2007 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Muncagota - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    We were discussing and comparing various Produttori vintages with Aldo (see later) and got onto 2007 and comparisons with 2009 ... Aldo went back to the winery and came back with this wine ... A nose of dry brushwood, dry soil and dark cherries, showing some dried leaf evolution. Serious structure on palate but showing the warmer 2007 vintage. Fleshy and powerful with quite fine grained tannins but some tannic grip on the back. "The palate is very fresh" said Renato. "You can feel the alcohol and it has nice drinkability," noted Aldo "but it can probably age". "There were good, ripe tannins in 2007" concluded Aldo. There was less progression on palate than on the nose. Ideally I'd give the wine 2-3 more years, but probably drink it in the next 10 years.
We headed over to Produttori for a tank tasting ...
Posted from CellarTracker
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#6 Post by Howard Davis »

image.jpeg
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#7 Post by Howard Davis »

2016 TASTING AT PRODUTTORI DEL BARBARESCO WITH ALDO VACCA

Over the lunch and during our tasting we had talked about the Riserva vintages for Produttori.

Aldo had talked about 2016 so far for Produttori, saying there had been heavy rains in June and some hail recently. He said that the season was late starting and that there was uneven shoot growth (this was 20 June), but that the season was now catching up. As always, of course, he said that 15 August to 15 October 2016 will be the key dates ...

Aldo talked about his Riserva vintages:

2007-2011: He said that the 2007s were similar to the 2009s, being more accessible, earlier drinking wines than the more backward, structured 2008 Crus. He said 2009 was in some ways similar to 2011, but that the 2011s had extra fruit and were more lifted than the more austere 2009s. Personally, in terms of quality, I'd rate the recent Produttori Riserva vintages in this order: 2008, 2007, 2011 and 2009 (not that there's anything wrong with 2009s, as a more forward vintage ...).

2012: Riservas were not made because the "Crus did not have sufficiently intense, distinct personalities (they were too similar), so we just made the Normale". Aldo repeated what he has told me previously: "Our limit on the Crus is keeping the basic wine okay. I could double the Crus in volume but the Normale would suffer too much". In vintages when Riservas are made, SV grapes do still make up half of the Normale. Aldo will not make Crus in a vintage like 2010 to protect the quality of the Normale, which is Produttori's key wine.

2013: Riservas will be released between October 2016 and January 2017. The 2013 Crus are very good, in my opinion, based on two sets of barrel tastings, probably better than the 2011s. Aldo described the 2013 Riservas as (very approximately) a cross between the 2004s and 2005s (which sounds pretty good to me!).

2014: Riservas will be released in January 2019. Aldo was at pains to distinguish 2014 Barbareschi from Baroli, saying that Barbaresco produced many good wines in 2014 ("Just as good as 2013" said Aldo). From the Muncagota and Rabajà we tasted, and the 2014s we tasted at Bruno Rocca, I'd believe that ...

2015: Riservas will be made. Aldo described the SVs as being more like 2011s in character, than 2013s or 2014s.

Bottle tasting
  • 2013 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    This wine had been less than three months in bottle. Aldo described 2013 as "Just as good in Barbaresco as in Barolo". He noted that the grapes had ripened well by the end of the season and characterised the vintage as having great aromatics. Stick your nose in this and you'll agree: an attractive bouquet of meadow flowers, spices, raspberries, red cherries and other red fruited aromas. On palate, I preferred the 2013 to the recent 2012 Normale I drank ... It has glossy, bright, succulent red fruit, but they have retained good freshness and acidity. It's well balanced without the extra alcohol you might find in a 2011. "A classic vintage" said Aldo.
  • 2011 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Montefico - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    At a recent 2011 Riserva horizontal I said we'd been surprised and disappointed by the Montefico, but wondered if it had totally shut down or was just a bad bottle. Aldo opened a bottle that showed that our previous bottle was indeed bad in some way ... On bouquet, dark florals and black fruit with that telltale Montefico minerals and chalk. In the mouth, it is a little closed. Aldo agreed: "Very intense, less open than some, very vertical". Fresher and more lively than the most recent bottle. A little tight, but precise and persistent. Some apparent sweetness to the tannins ("I love the bright 2011 tannins" said Aldo). Good length. Excellent! Give it 3+ years.
Barrel tasting
  • 2013 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Muncagota - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    A nose of cacao and dark chocolate, perfumed and earthy. On palate, instantly not an '11, without that fruit sweetness. Very dark fruited and chocolatey with soil and underbrush and big, grippy tannins on the back.
  • 2013 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Pajé - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Like the Ovello, Aldo noted that in his view this Cru is being improved by global warming ... On bouquet, red berries and red rose perfume. On entry to the palate, very pure, clean and precise with pine needles, raspberries, red cherries and other red fruit. Again, the prominent tannins exert their influence across the mid and back palate.
  • 2013 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Ovello - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    A darker fruit spectrum on the nose, showing lots of spice and some dried herbs and earth. A more imposing, fuller wine on the palate, darker fruited with that earthiness. Less elegant than the Pajé, powerful, dense and chewy. A serious, structured wine with a real tannic grip. Very long. Potentially very good.
  • 2013 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Rabajà - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Here's a comparison! A gorgeous, bright and expressive bouquet of black cherries and other dark fruit, dark florals and spices. On palate, slinky, sexy with very fine grained tannins. Satin texture. Packed with black cherry and black berry fruit. Bright and energetic, with excellent acidity. Well balanced and long. At its core, pure, closed and austere. Potentially excellent.
  • 2013 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Montefico - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Complex and expressive aromatics. Dark cherries, black liquorice, graphite and rocky minerals on bouquet. Detailed and complex on palate with black fruit, truffle, dark soil, carbon, liquorice and chalky minerals. Again, poised and balanced, with good acids and fine, spherical tannins. Linear and long. Again, potentially excellent.
  • 2013 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Asili - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Harder to get an idea from a brief taste here. More subdued aromatics. On palate too, seeming a more subtle wine. Elegant and refined. Very closed and tight. Seemingly well balanced and proportioned, in terms of tannins and acids. The impression of plenty of power held in reserve.
  • 2014 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Muncagota - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    We jumped across to taste a 2014 with Aldo making the point that in his view 2014 is just as good as 2013 in Barbaresco ("with more of a floral character"). Here however the bouquet and palate were pretty closed showing red fruit, savoury and forest floor elements, with earth and a little espresso. Slightly medicinal but with good volume and acids. Hard to draw any conclusion from this taste ...
  • 2013 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Rio Sordo - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Back to a 2013 botti, a more giving, expressive bouquet of apparently sweeter redcurrants, raspberries, red plums and flowers. Also expressive, rich and floral on palate. Not overly sweet, but certainly generous and open, red fruited. Rounded and medium weight. The puckering tannins on exit were a real surprise! Better than the 2011 Rio Sordo, I thought.
  • 2014 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Rabajà - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    And perhaps the wine of the tasting (competing with the 2013 Rabajà) to finish! Seeming an even more expressive bouquet of dark cherries and berries, black spices and dark florals than the 2013. Silky black cherries, blackberries and espresso. Also a savoury, forest floor character Aldo described as typical '14 in Barbaresco. All the elements you need here, a potentially superb wine. Aldo compared the wine with the 2004 Rabajà.
Posted from CellarTracker
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#8 Post by Howard Davis »

image.jpeg
image.jpeg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#9 Post by Howard Davis »

CANTINA DEL PINO TASTING WITH RENATO - Ovello, Barbaresco

Renato Vacca's family has been growing grapes in Barbaresco since at least the 1920s. Renato's great grandfather first acquired land in Ovello (the vines are now over 70 years old). The family bought land in Albesani 20 years ago. Renato left Produttori and started his own label in 1997.

We began the visit by Renato showing us his Ovello vines. I have previously found Cantina's Ovello quite different to Produttori's. Produttori's Ovello is often meatier, earthier and more full bodied than the more ethereal or elegant Cantina wine. Renato said "Ovello is not south facing in total. It's also north-east and west, as well as south". Produttori's vines are 220-290 m, west to south-west exposures on mainly clay, while Cantina's are at 300 metres, south to south-east facing, on limestone and sandy soil. The SV Ovello wine comes from a special plot of those 70 year old vines near Montefico and to me (on reflection) his Ovello is actually quite Montefico-like.

Renato also pointed out his Albesani vines, which typically produce a rounder, richer wine, and from where the Giacosa Santo Stefano Barbareschi used to come.

Renato tries to use most of the 14 Nebbiolo clones but does not use selection massale, sourcing his replacement vines from the nursery.

Renato described 2013 and 2014 for him as good, cooler, more classical vintages than 2015, which he said was more like 2011, just a little fresher.

Barrel tasting
  • 2015 Cantina del Pino Barbaresco Albesani - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Renato lost 50% of his crop due to sunburn. A nose of earth, forest floor and dark fruit. On palate, fully ripe and quite opulent. With a solid earthy, iron core. Quite structured but not heavily extracted or oxidative (as is the house style, gently handled). Quite elegant and long.
  • 2015 Cantina del Pino Barbaresco - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    We tasted from the three barrels the components of the Barbaresco Normale. The three elements showed their different terroirs well. The Starderi had a deep colour with dark fruit on the nose and palate. Muscular, fresh with menthol and mint. The Gallina was a little reduced and also dark fruited but lighter. The Ovello element was even more reductive, showing dark fruit and greater elegance. However, there was additional power here, with gruntier tannins on the mid and back palate. It'll be interesting to see these three elements come together in the finished wine. I would expect it to be powerful and ripe, but not without finesse.
  • 2015 Cantina del Pino Barbaresco Ovello - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    The 2015 SV Ovello was quite different. Renato noted the lighter colour from the more directly south facing vineyard. Beautifully aromatic with bright red fruit and a hint of chalk. In the mouth, a step above the other '15s. Fine with red cherries, red currants, raspberries and chalky minerals. Definitely fully ripe, but not seemingly overripe.
  • 2014 Cantina del Pino Barbaresco - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    We sampled from the Gallina barrel only. Nice, floral perfume with red cherries. Noticeably more vibrant, nervous and fresh than the '15s. Fine red fruits and spices with mineral notes. Less mid palate weight than the '15s but sufficient structure and good length.
  • 2014 Cantina del Pino Barbaresco Albesani - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    A substantial earthy bouquet of brush wood, sottobosco and red currants. More aromatic than the '15. Red fruit, dark chocolate and earth on palate, but quite elegant. Smaller scaled, fresher, dryer and more austere than the '15.
  • 2014 Cantina del Pino Barbaresco Ovello - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Bright red cherries, raspberries and florals on the nose. I really liked this wine. Red fruited, linear and fine. Mineral. Classical, well balanced with lovely acidity. I preferred this wine over the riper, fuller 2015.
Two bottles to finish
  • 2013 Cantina del Pino Barbaresco Ovello - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    A darker colour than the '12. Also more perfumed. High toned with lavender, raspberries and red cherries. My favourite of the Ovellos tasted. Well proportioned and complex. Red berried with earth and cured meats. Good balance between the acids, structure and fruit weight. Serious tannins and lots of power.
  • 2012 Cantina del Pino Barbaresco Ovello - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    A finer nose of chalk, raspberries and other red fruit. Precise, focussed and linear with racy acids and soft tannins. Seemingly lighter fruit weight. Red berried and mineral. At the moment a little steely, austere and closed, needing time.
Posted from CellarTracker
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#10 Post by Howard Davis »

image.jpeg
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#11 Post by Howard Davis »

BRUNO ROCCA VISIT WITH FRANCESCO ROCCA - Rabajà, Barbaresco

I didn't know much about Bruno Rocca wines before this visit. But I walked away from this visit very impressed ...

Bruno Rocca's winery is perched above the Grand Cru sites of Barbaresco. We went to the winery balcony to look down on the vineyards of Rabajà, Marchesi di Grésy's Martinenga monopole (in the dip) and Asili. On the top of the next hill we could make out Faset.

We then jumped in Francesco's 4WD Fiat Panda and drove to and then up and down the Currà vineyard, where Francesco lives. Francesco is very passionate about organics and caring for the vineyards. The vines in Currà average about 15 years of age.

In the winery, Francesco said that they are moving less modern, with longer macerations (22-27 days on the skins), gentle handling (limited pumping over, no rotofermenters) and less oak. Their gravity fed winery was built in 2009. Only indigenous yeasts are used, they did a major study with a University to isolate the best yeasts in the winery.

Francesco agreed with my thought that, generally, 2014 was a better vintage in Barbaresco than 2015.

Francesco was keen to show us his Currà and Rabajà wines in particular. Some of these he described as Riservas although I am not certain that they will reach the market labelled that way.

We began with a barrel tasting ...

Barrel tasting
  • 2014 Bruno Rocca Barbaresco - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    A floral, precise, dark fruited bouquet. Fresh and vibrant on the entry, nice acidity. Plenty of fruit, with some richness and plumpness. As well as black fruit, cedar and sottobosco flavours, there are fine tannins and some austerity on the finish. Francesco said that for the Normale "elegance is more important than power - a wine to enjoy".
  • 2014 Bruno Rocca Barbaresco Rabajà - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    The non-Riserva had one year in barrique, one in large format cask. A step up from the Normale. A luxuriant nose of spices, red cherries, liquorice and raspberries. On palate, richer, more layered and complex than the Normale. Sappy with good 2014 acids. Silky texture and spherical tannins. A salty, mineral component, I found quite attractive. Structure on the back, this wine will need time. Very good.
  • 2014 Bruno Rocca Barbaresco Riserva Currá - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Better again and deserving of its Riserva status. A perfumed bouquet of violets and lavender, blackberries and other mainly dark fruit. Very fine, clean and succulent in the mouth. Intense but seamless, the serious structure only hits after the first impression. Very pure and long. Impressive!
  • 2014 Bruno Rocca Barbaresco Rabajà Riserva - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    My WoTD (before the wines at dinner). Once past some initial reduction on the nose, then an even more exquisite, powerful, darker perfume than for the last Riserva. This, in my view, is Grand Cru Barbaresco. Linear, focused, powerful and long. After some fruit sweetness on the entry, the limestone soil influence makes itself felt in fineness, finesse and class. Harmonious, with lovely, sparkling acids. Stony minerals and austere at its core. Detailed and nuanced, multi-layered.
  • 2015 Bruno Rocca Barbaresco Rabajà Riserva - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    A contrast here, very much vintage influenced. On both bouquet and palate, a bigger, richer, riper expression than the '14 Rabajà Riserva. A large volume of dense, opulent dark fruit with tons of power and less evident acidity. Still, there is a mineral and chalky complexity, mixed dark spices and touches of cassis. Another excellent wine, it depends on your palate preference (preferred over the '14 Riserva by Andrew, in our group).
  • 2015 Bruno Rocca Barbaresco Riserva Currá - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    On this barrel tasting, I rated the 2015 Riserva Currà slightly above the 2015 Riserva Rabajà. Reduction on the bouquet but a more aromatic sample, with lifted florals. Again, very silky on palate, but with serious tannic structure below the surface. Elegant, poised and ethereal. "Feminine" said Francesco. Good length. On this potential, a very good wine, competing with the 2015 Rabajà Riserva.
Bottle tasting
All wines popped and poured.
  • 2015 Bruno Rocca Dolcetto d'Alba Vigna Trifolé - Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Dolcetto d'Alba
    From Rabajà fruit. Bright colour. Black cherry and black liquorice aromatics, with lifted florals. Lots of fresh dark berry fruit, with the expected 2015 power. However, for a Dolcetto, unexpected elegance. The fruit and acids are in good balance. "The wine calls for salami" said Francesco. To drink from now.
  • 2013 Bruno Rocca Barbaresco Rabajà - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    The non-Riserva. To be released in September 2016. Lovely floral and spicy aromatics. Elegance up front on the palate, power and energy on the back. Less acidity evident than in the 2014, but still very good and well balanced. Satiny and light on its feet. Real length. Give it 3+ years in the cellar.
  • 2012 Bruno Rocca Barbaresco Riserva Currá - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Served to us blind. A more savoury, earthy, spicy nose with some sottobosco and rocky minerals. Pinot noir-like elegance, red fruited. A delicate wine suggesting both Currà and the 2012 vintage. Absolutely no edges, suave tannins. Still, a little closed and austere. You could criticise its fruit weight but I wouldn't be inclined to ... Give it 2-3 years in the cellar.
  • 2013 Bruno Rocca Barbaresco Riserva Currá - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Again, served blind. I did not pick this wine as a Currà. A darker colour than the 2012. Also a darker nose indicating more muscle and structure. Showing a phenolic lift and more dark spices. In the mouth, that structure and power come through. Also it's fairly closed, with fine grained but serious, grippy tannins. I was initially thinking 2011, but it couldn't have been that year, with this acidic spine. Returning to re-taste a little later it had opened a little, with some Currà elegance, but there was still plenty of tight iron clad structure. A lot of dry extract to this wine and it'll need 5-7 years cellar time, I'd imagine.
  • 2013 Bruno Rocca Barbaresco Rabajà Riserva - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Served blind. Compact aromatics (but Francesco said later it had only been bottled 10 days earlier), but with some nice spices and some dark fruited opulence emerging. On palate, Rabajà markers. Initially almost sweet, fine dark fruit, quite silky. Then more dense on the mid palate with savoury nuances and lots of power. Again it's quite steely and closed, with a serious tannic architecture, albeit suave and ultra fine grained tannins. I slightly preferred the acids of the 2014 over the 2013, but this is an excellent Rabajà. I'd give it 5+ years in the cellar.
Posted from CellarTracker
CT HowardNZ

Sanjay Nandurkar
Posts: 2428
Joined: June 3rd, 2011, 10:52 pm

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#12 Post by Sanjay Nandurkar »

Beautiful write and photos. Don't stop - keep going.

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#13 Post by Howard Davis »

You're welcome Sanjay ... Slow upload speeds on the photos here ...
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#14 Post by Howard Davis »

image.jpeg
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by Howard Davis on August 21st, 2016, 5:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#15 Post by Howard Davis »

DINNER AT BOVIO, LA MORRA

An excellent meal at Bovio accompanied by two lovely, aged Baroli from their very good list.
  • 1989 Cavallotto Barolo Riserva Vignolo - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Earthy brown colour. An autumnal, detailed bouquet of dried leaves, clay, tartufi neri, dried porcini, preserved red fruits with flecks of raisin. Not at all sherried on bouquet or in the mouth. On palate, poignant and ethereal with wholly secondary and tertiary notes. Mellowed and savoury, any fruit sweetness now gone. The tannins are now fully resolved and softened. The fruit however is still very much alive with good concentration and volume. Beautifully balanced with lovely acidity. Complex and nuanced showing forest floor, earth, porcini, old red fruits, balsamico and cigar. Paired well with my duck and black truffle cannelloni and the sweeter cheeses. A wine to drink soon though.
  • 1991 Gaja Barolo Sperss - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    A deeper red colour. A bouquet that became more expressive with time, showing black cherries, black plums, Asian spices, hoisin and creosote, with hints of dark rose as it opened up. Nothing tertiary on the palate, barely secondary in fact. A very impressive and enjoyable Barolo nonetheless. Serious depth, structure, power and concentration. An austere, iron core, more in the red fruit spectrum, the wine built around its superb, sparkling acidity. The tannins are there but they are very fine, sleek and seamless, not at all obtrusive. Clearly the superior of the two wines, this 1991 better than the very good 1993 Sperss from two evenings ago. The Sperss was a superb food match with my veal, balsamic and grana cheese dish. The Sperss is in its optimal drinking window now but no hurry is needed.
Posted from CellarTracker
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#16 Post by Howard Davis »

The Bovio wine list: http://www.ristorantebovio.it/cgi-bin/v ... 20vini.pdf
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#17 Post by Howard Davis »

image.jpeg
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
Next up: Giuseppe Mascarello.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
CT HowardNZ

Martin Petersen
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 226
Joined: August 22nd, 2011, 1:43 pm
Location: Denmark
Has thanked: 18 times
Been thanked: 1 time

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#18 Post by Martin Petersen »

Howard, simply exellent posts, thanks a lot

User avatar
alexnicholas
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 572
Joined: February 26th, 2011, 6:22 pm
Location: New York City / New Jersey
Been thanked: 1 time

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#19 Post by alexnicholas »

Thank you for sharing. Excellent notes.
@lex N1chol@s
CT lolo66

User avatar
Ken V
Posts: 38626
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 12:42 pm
Location: Delmar, NY
Been thanked: 2 times
Contact:

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#20 Post by Ken V »

Great reports, Howard!!!
Ken V @ s t o l @
The Fine Wine Geek
Click on the W W W button under my name to see my website.
"Don't be meek, embrace the geek." -Terry Theise
Twitter: @FineWineGeek

User avatar
JulianD
Posts: 939
Joined: June 29th, 2016, 2:09 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Has thanked: 11 times
Been thanked: 15 times

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#21 Post by JulianD »

Theoretically - if Produttori doesnt make the Crus in a given year (say '12), should I stock up on the normale that vintage, as it will have a much higher % of the cru juice than normal? (it'll be made to a higher standard/better QPR)
Davies

User avatar
John Morris
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 19306
Joined: June 21st, 2009, 2:09 pm
Location: Gotham
Has thanked: 167 times
Been thanked: 254 times

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#22 Post by John Morris »

Wonderful, evocative notes, and great pictures. Thanks, Howard.
Howard Davis wrote:1998 Fratelli Brovia Barolo Rocche dei Brovia - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
Our wine (served blind) seemed more evolved than would be expected from a 1998. People had the vintage between 1985 and 1989. Browning colour. Dried red fruit, tobacco leaf, dried red fruits and brushwood on the bouquet. A fig or date component on the nose. A mellow, autumnal wine, which I found poignant. Others however didn't like it, thinking it lacked sufficient primary fruit. "Very alive in the mouth" said Jeffrey. Multi-layered, flavours including dried Porcini, old leather, dry, dusty soil and preserved plums. I enjoyed the wine but thought it too advanced for a 1998 (perhaps it was a bottle issue?).
I bought a couple of bottles of this in 2007. One bottle opened in 2010 was very much as you describe your bottle. Like you, I found it surprisingly advanced but pleasing. My notes say: "Surprisingly brown, classic nebbiolo nose, but quite autumnal in the mouth. 90 points." Another bottle the next year was much fresher, though quite ready to drink.
"But they told me there would be a hand basket."

"I penciled in half an hour to suffer fools tomorrow, but now I’m thinking I might bump it out until Monday." -- @duchessgoldblat

User avatar
John Morris
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 19306
Joined: June 21st, 2009, 2:09 pm
Location: Gotham
Has thanked: 167 times
Been thanked: 254 times

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#23 Post by John Morris »

JulianD wrote:Theoretically - if Produttori doesnt make the Crus in a given year (say '12), should I stock up on the normale that vintage, as it will have a much higher % of the cru juice than normal? (it'll be made to a higher standard/better QPR)
I think it depends on the reason they don't bottle the single vineyards.

As I recall, everything went into the normale in 2006 because there was too much single-vineyard inventory in the pipeline and they didn't think they could sell another vintage of single-vineyard wines, even though it was a good vintage. But it got more complicated because there were multiple lots of the 2006. Some were bottled early from wine they had always intended for the normale, before they decided not to bottle the crus. Some later lots were composed exclusively of wine originally meant for single-vineyard bottlings, as I recall. (There was a very long thread as a bunch of us tried to sleuth out which lots were which, and there was lots of inconsistent information.)

In 1998, there were no cru bottlings because the quality wasn't consistent across the vineyards and the coop rules mandate that they bottle all the crus or none.

I'm a bit surprised that they didn't bottle them in 2010. Perhaps that was again because of an oversupply of the single-vineyard bottlings from prior vintages.

In 2012 it sounds like it may have been a quality issue, so that the normale might not be any better than an ordinary normale vintage (which is pretty darned high and consistent).
"But they told me there would be a hand basket."

"I penciled in half an hour to suffer fools tomorrow, but now I’m thinking I might bump it out until Monday." -- @duchessgoldblat

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#24 Post by Howard Davis »

Julian, for myself, I wouldn't particularly chase non-Riserva vintages of Normale. A good vintage lifts the Normale, even if there's less Riserva fruit. I think 2013 v 2012 is an example of this. Mainly of course I'd try before I bought big on any vintage.
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#25 Post by Howard Davis »

VISIT TO GIUSEPPE MASCARELLO WITH ELENA MASCARELLO - Monchiero, Piemonte

From the outside, you wouldn't pick it as one of the world's great wineries. Mauro Mascarello's winery is located next to a railway line in Monchiero and looks, from the outside, like an engineering light industrial building. Our visit was with Elena, Mauro's daughter.

Elena showed us around the winery. The winery is small and utilitarian, with cement vats and large format Slavonian oak casks. The wine making is very traditional including long macerations (for the Monprivato average of 30 days).

Elena mentioned that the 2010 Ca d'Morissio Monprivato Riserva is to be released in 2018.

We tasted three wines ...
  • 2011 Giuseppe E Figlio Mascarello Barbera d'Alba Superiore Scudetto - Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Barbera d'Alba Superiore
    Deep, bright colour. A ripe, fine nose of black cherries, blackberries, menthol and liquorice. In the mouth, reflecting the warm 2011 vintage, very ripe, with tons of dark fruit, some spices and a little liquorice. Very open, fat and generous. A powerful, unctuous, opulent Barbera. You could question the lack of acidity and high alcohol (15% on the label). It is a blockbuster but I thought it was in good balance. A good Barbera for earlier drinking.
  • 2013 Giuseppe E Figlio Mascarello Langhe Freisa Toetto - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
    A small cuvee, only 1,500 bottles made. Aged 24 months in botte. Vines 30 years old. A savoury, fresh and breezy bouquet of blackberries and other dark fruit. On palate, drier than expected, particularly after the Barbera. Good, racy acids. Blackberries and kirsch. A serious tannic spine and good length. Not at all rustic. Cellar for 3 + years for the acids to integrate and the tannic grip to loosen.
  • 2010 Giuseppe E Figlio Mascarello Barolo Monprivato - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Bright ruby. Perfumed, beautiful bouquet of rose petals, violets, spices, black cherries and other dark fruit with a hint of minerals in the background. On palate, elegant, with silky tannins and lovely balance. Tight. Very closed and austere at its core. The satiny tannins, below medium weight and sense of fruit sweetness of this wine could make you think it is a relatively simple wine. But that's not my impression. It reminded me of a very young Grand Cru Burgundy. Closed and austere and looking a little unidimensional at the moment but with all of the necessary components held in reserve, I believe, to blossom into a great wine. Hold for 7-10 years.
That evening I walked across the road from our Castiglione Falletto accommodation to the Monprivato vineyard. It was 8.30 pm and the vines were getting the last of the evening sun (it has a favoured south-westerly exposure). The six hectare monopole is a high site (280 metres above sea level). The soil is whitish/gray in colour, a combination of silt, marl, clay and limestone, that gives the wine much of it's elegance. Most of the vines were planted in the 1960s through to 1996.
Posted from CellarTracker
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#26 Post by Howard Davis »

image.jpeg
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#27 Post by Howard Davis »

image.jpeg
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Andrew Hamilton
Posts: 890
Joined: June 28th, 2012, 8:36 pm
Location: Perth, Western Austalia
Has thanked: 9 times
Been thanked: 3 times

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#28 Post by Andrew Hamilton »

Thanks for posting Howard, these notes and photos are fantastic! You're killing me though, I'm sitting here in the office at 9am reading this and salivating... One quick question, in the 4th post in the thread you've got a photo with a 1974 Produttori Barbaresco bottle in it. Do you have any notes for that bottle? I ask as I've got the 1971 and would love to know your thoughts regarding where the 1974 is at the moment. And for the record that plastic bottle wrapping in the same photo looks mighty familiar! [cheers.gif]
That sounds about right.
Probably for the best.
They had a good run.

User avatar
Andrew Hamilton
Posts: 890
Joined: June 28th, 2012, 8:36 pm
Location: Perth, Western Austalia
Has thanked: 9 times
Been thanked: 3 times

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#29 Post by Andrew Hamilton »

Howard Davis wrote:[*]2010 Giuseppe E Figlio Mascarello Barolo Monprivato - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
Bright ruby. Perfumed, beautiful bouquet of rose petals, violets, spices, black cherries and other dark fruit with a hint of minerals in the background. On palate, elegant, with silky tannins and lovely balance. Tight. Very closed and austere at its core. The satiny tannins, below medium weight and sense of fruit sweetness of this wine could make you think it is a relatively simple wine. But that's not my impression. It reminded me of a very young Grand Cru Burgundy. Closed and austere and looking a little unidimensional at the moment but with all of the necessary components held in reserve, I believe, to blossom into a great wine. Hold for 7-10 years.[/list]
Great note Howard! I'm a big fan of the 10 Monprivato and do expect it to be a great wine in 10-20 years...
That sounds about right.
Probably for the best.
They had a good run.

User avatar
R Nanda
Posts: 575
Joined: April 21st, 2009, 3:29 pm
Location: Chicago, IL

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#30 Post by R Nanda »

Thanks so much for the wonderful notes and photos!
r i c h
instagram: rnvin

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#31 Post by Howard Davis »

Thanks everyone for your kind comments.

John, I should have said earlier, regarding older Brovias, I was talking with a friend who had a similar experience a few years ago with a couple of browning late 1980s Brovias. Perhaps there were some issues with the winemaking in those years?

Andrew, the 1974 Produttori note is to come ... In short, it showed really well ...
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Andrew Hamilton
Posts: 890
Joined: June 28th, 2012, 8:36 pm
Location: Perth, Western Austalia
Has thanked: 9 times
Been thanked: 3 times

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#32 Post by Andrew Hamilton »

Howard Davis wrote:Andrew, the 1974 Produttori note is to come ... In short, it showed really well ...
Thanks Howard. That's excellent news, obviously I was hoping you'd say that!
That sounds about right.
Probably for the best.
They had a good run.

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#33 Post by Howard Davis »

A good video from the Vajra site: http://www.gdvajra.it/en/homepage

VISIT TO G.D. VAJRA WITH FRANCESCA VAIRA - Vergne, Barolo

I'm a fan of G.D. Vajra's wines. I remember well the tasting of the 2010 Vajra and Baudana Baroli. Once all of the Baroli were poured in front of me, the aromas alone were amazing!

After a tour the winery with Francesca, we went to a good tasting which, unsurprisingly for the vintages, never quite reached the heights of the 2010s ...
  • 2015 G.D. Vajra Langhe Riesling Petracine - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
    Primarily from the Fossati site with limestone, gravel and white soil, said Francesca. A pale, greenish tinge to this Riesling. The bouquet quite malic, a mix of green apple, lime juice and minerals. Malic on palate, with bright acidity. As well as green apple and some melon and tropical fruit nuance, there is flint and chalk in the background. A nice and dry Riesling, but very young of course. Give it 2-3 years to settle down a bit. 13% alcohol.
  • 2013 G.D. Vajra Barbera d'Alba Superiore - Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Barbera d'Alba Superiore
    In my opinion, the Vajra is one of the top Barberas in all of Piemonte, not far below the G Conternos and Viettis ... From vines of 35+ years age said Francesca. She said "Bricco delle Viole fruit provides verticality, while Bricco Bertone provides power". Macerated around 30 days, aged in large oak casks. This is another good vintage, up there with the 2008 in quality ... Iridescent purple-red in colour. Dark to blue fruit on bouquet, musk and Asian four spice. In the mouth, a serious Barbera, that combination of the verticality and power Francesca described. Succulent, crunchy dark fruit and liquorice. Seamless and concentrated with minerality on the finish. You could cellar this wine long term, I'd guess, but give it 2-3 years, minimum.
  • 2012 G.D. Vajra Barolo Bricco delle Viole - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    From the high altitude (400 metres) vineyard in front of the winery (with a lot of wind and light), south facing, with vines up to 65 years old. Around a 35 day maceration, Slavonian botte used. Bright red berry fruit and limestone on the nose, quite fresh. A precise and linear Barolo in the mouth. Good volume, it expands on the mid palate. Velvety texture with chalky tannins. Elegant with slight austerity. Unsurprisingly, quite tight and a little closed. A good but not a great example of this Cru.
  • 2012 G.D. Vajra Barolo Ravera - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    From a vineyard, Francesca explained, in the amphitheatre just below Cogno's plot, with vines never less than 20 years age, some 40+ years and the rest 65+ years old. A step up here. A noticeably darker and darker spiced nose. More generosity and fruit volume on palate. Good weight. Spicy, not chalky tannins. Very good. This wine will need 4-7 years in the cellar, I'd think.
  • 2012 Luigi Baudana Barolo Baudana - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    G.D. Vajra now owns Luigi Baudana and makes these wines. A spicy, more red fruited nose. For me, a lesser Barolo than the two Vajra Baroli. Lighter bodied with gentle tannins, but a little more structure on the finish. Quite pretty and reasonably generous with good acidity.
  • 2012 G.D. Vajra Langhe Freisa Kyè - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
    A noticeably breezier, more wild nose, with calcium traces. Quite a pure wine with Smooth, suave tannins, minerality and more racy acids than the 2012 Baroli. Lighter bodied, quite elegant. An earlier drinking wine but would cellar, I would think.
  • 2014 G.D. Vajra Moscato d'Asti - Italy, Piedmont, Asti, Moscato d'Asti
    To finish, a good, hedonistic Moscato with a nose of lemon pie and clotted cream. Frothy and fun on palate with similar flavours and creamy creme brûlée. From 45 year old vines, 5.5% alcohol.
Posted from CellarTracker
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#34 Post by Howard Davis »

image.jpeg
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#35 Post by Howard Davis »

VISIT TO GIUSEPPE RINALDI WITH MARTA RINALDI - Barolo, Piemonte

After the visit yesterday to G Mascarello, today was a visit to a second traditionalist powerhouse: Giuseppe Rinaldi.

On the way in to our appointment with Marta we heard a familiar accent in the winery and met a Kiwi, Tom Meyers, who was working there.

Marta explained that Rinaldi has 6.5 ha under vines and has four Barolo Crus: Brunate (1 ha), Le Coste (0.5 ha), Cannubi (San Lorenzo, very small) and Ravera (3 ha). Rinaldi produces about 38,000 bottles a year, including about 16,000 bottles of Barolo, as well as Nebbiolo Langhe, Barbera and Freisa (about 2,000 bottles).

They produce two Baroli, the Brunate (typically 85% Brunate and 15% Le Coste) and the Tre Tine (a blend of about 60% Ravera, 20% Cannubi and 20% Le Coste).

The wines are made as organically as is possible: using only a little copper and sulphur. The Nebbiolo grapes are fully destemmed and given a long maceration (~ 30 days on skins) in large open topped oak barrels at a natural temperature. Natural yeasts are used. Pumping over is typically two times per day.

Marta said that the aim is to make a clean Barolo (adding only some sulphur).

Only large Slavonian oak casks are used. Rinaldi racks only about 4-5 times in three years, said Marta.
  • 2015 Giuseppe Rinaldi Dolcetto d'Alba - Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Dolcetto d'Alba
    Made in stainless steel. A crisp, expressive nose of wild blackberry fruit and fresh herbs. On palate, dark cherry and blackberry. Rounded, seemingly lower acidity. Rich and opulent. Quite powerful for a Dolcetto. I'd imagine you could cellar this wine, but it's ready to go now. A good quality Dolcetto.
  • 2015 Giuseppe Rinaldi Freisa Langhe - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
    From 20 year old vines in Ravera, said Marta. Even just on bouquet, there is a greater sense of acidic structure. A breezy bouquet of black cherry and other dark fruit, with a touch of blue fruit, and fresh herbs. That acidity is definitely there on palate, the wine lighter bodied, a little rustic with some crunchy fruit. Angular and slightly wild, with a hint of spritz. I thought it was great!
  • 2014 Giuseppe Rinaldi Nebbiolo Langhe - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
    Raspberry, red cherry and other red fruit, spices and meadow flowers. Subtle and elegant red fruit on palate. Good acidity. Below medium weight. Not complex, but an enjoyable, straightforward wine for earlier drinking. At least at this tasting, it seemed a lesser wine.
  • 2012 Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo Tre Tine - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    A blend of 60% Ravera, 20% Cannubi (San Lorenzo) and 20% Le Coste. This is a superb, elegant Barolo. A light ruby colour. A perfumed, floral, complex, beautiful bouquet. A refined and very precise wine on palate. Fresh with lovely acidity. Ethereal and finessed. You could mistake this wine for being delicate but there is some power and tannins (albeit spherical and ultra-fine grained ones) under the surface. Despite this profile, I'd imagine the Tre Tine should really be cellared for 8-10+ years. However, it is a dangerously tempting wine to open in the first year or two, if you have a spare bottle.
  • 2013 Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo Brunate - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    To be released in April 2017. From the barrel. A darker, deeper colour. A serious bouquet, closed and austere. Dark and a little earthy with a little balsamico. On palate, a satiny texture. Seamless, suave tannins. Dense, weighty black fruit, with serious grip on the back palate. This is what Barolo is all about. A superb, classic Barolo to cellar.
Posted from CellarTracker
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#36 Post by Howard Davis »

image.jpeg
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#37 Post by Howard Davis »

image.jpeg
The dark green vineyard is Brunate, below La Morra, photographed from Castiglione Falletto. At Marcarini, Brunate was said to have possibly taken its name from the Piemontese word for "dew". It is a high site (230 to 405 metres) and an amphitheatre, subject to diurnal temperature changes, that can give the wines freshness.
image.jpeg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#38 Post by Howard Davis »

MARCHESI DI GRÉSY WITH JEFFREY CHILCOTT - Martinenga, Barbaresco

Jeffrey Chilcott of Marchesi di Grésy is a Kiwi who has long lived in Piemonte. He's also a top bloke and great host for a tasting or a dinner.

Marchesi di Grésy has a monopole vineyard - Martinenga - on the 'Grand Cru' hill in Barbaresco, at 280 metres. Vigna Camp Gros (the "s" is pronounced) is on the right of the winery (below Rabajà) and has a southwest exposure. Vigna Gaiun is on the left, below Asili, and is direct south. The Camp Gros is aged largely in Slavonian 12.5HL oak casks, while the Gauin is aged in French barriques (around one-third new).

As always with Jeff, the evening tasting at the winery was a bit of a flurry of bottles ... Here's the highlights ...
  • 2015 Tenute Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Grésy Langhe Nebbiolo Martinenga - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
    Marchesi di Grésy's Langhe Nebbiolos see no oak, only steel and cement. Bright colour. Fresh red fruit on the nose. Good varietal character. Generous with lots of fruit. Refreshing with good acidity ("We pick a little earlier now", said Jeff). These wines are 15 euros at the winery, good value.
  • 2014 Tenute Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Grésy Langhe Nebbiolo Martinenga - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
    A lighter colour and a bouquet of spicy red fruit. With time in the bottle, this wine seems to have put on a little weight, compared with the '15. Good fruit, for this level. Nice texture. A little savoury and spicy. "A junior Barbaresco Camp Gros", said Jeff.
  • 2013 Tenute Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Grésy Barbaresco Martinenga - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    To be released in September or October 2016. Violets and other florals on the bouquet with dark cherries and other black fruit and a little tar. Again for the level, a really good Barbaresco. Fresh 2013 acids with a good volume of mainly dark fruit, peaty soil and creosote.
  • 2012 Tenute Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Grésy Barbaresco Martinenga - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Nice aromatics here too but more in the spectrum of red cherries, raspberries and other red fruit, with some spices. More red fruited on palate too, with less acidity and cut than the '13. Less concentration and a leaner, gentler version of the 2013, which I preferred.
  • 2011 Tenute Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Grésy Barbaresco Martinenga Gaiun - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Deep, primary, purple tinged colour. An expressive tarry nose with Asian black spices and blackberry jam. A big step up from the Martinengas. Opulent and rich in the mouth. Concentrated black cherries, blackberries and liquorice. Plenty of structure and fruit weight. The impression of lower acids. A little cassis-like alcohol present on the back palate (14.5%). Suave, smooth tannins. Hold for 5+ years for the wine to more fully integrate. "It was picked two weeks earlier than the 2010 Gaiun", said Jeff.
  • 2010 Tenute Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Grésy Barbaresco Martinenga Gaiun - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    A great nose. An expressive perfume of spices, florals, liquorice and balsamico. On palate, more of a classical Nebbiolo than the '11 Gaiun. Less rich and luxuriant, more vertical and linear. Still there's plenty of dark fruit here and touches of cedar and spice. Attractively austere and iron-like at its core. Medium weight only with good bones and acidity. Lower alcohol (14%). Good length. I'd give it more cellar time than the '11. Better than the '11, I thought.
  • 2010 Tenute Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Grésy Barbaresco Martinenga Camp Gros - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    For me, the wine of the tasting (although hard to compare with the fully mature 1993). Light ruby colour. A Rabajà-like bouquet of griotte cherry, kirsch, strawberries and new leather. Distilled cherries also on palate, the impression of some fruit sweetness. Plums, strawberries, tobacco and spices. Satiny texture with softer tannins than the Gaiuns. Good architecture. Fine grained tannins. Complex and detailed with good length. I wouldn't open this wine for 3-5+ years.
  • 2005 Tenute Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Grésy Barbaresco Martinenga Gaiun - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    A darker colour here, with aromas of tar, menthol, bonfire, dark soil and black fruits. On palate, very dark fruited, with cacao, tar and smokey meats. There is a lot of structure and good volume and acids, with serious grip on the back. The tannins are spherical but the wine is still a little monolithic and closed. I'd hold it for a minimum of 3+ more years.
  • 1993 Tenute Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Grésy Barbaresco Martinenga Gaiun - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Served blind but some age clearly apparent. A little musty, with earthy and sottobosco aromas. Also a Campari, orange skin character, I sometimes see in older Nebbioli. Almost an older Pinot Noir-like nature to the bouquet. After some initial fruit sweetness on palate, a beautifully integrated and mature Barbaresco. I guessed it as a 1998 Gaiun, as I saw some 1998-like richness and Gaiun character. Secondary notes of smoked meats, dry underbrush, cigar, figs and dried red fruits. Jeff described 1993 as "an in-between year" in Barbaresco. I thought that this wine competed in quality with the recent 1993 Sperss we drank. Drink or hold for a few more years.
Posted from CellarTracker
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#39 Post by Howard Davis »

image.jpeg
image.jpeg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#40 Post by Howard Davis »

DINNER WITH JEFFREY AND ALBERTO AT THE OSTERIA DEI SOGNATORI, ALBA

Andrew, Thierry and I joined Jeffrey and Alberto di Grésy at the excellent, lively Osteria Dei Sognatori in Alba.

We had brought our own wines and warmed up with an excellent 2013 Vigneti Boveri Giacomo Timorasso Berthona. It had a chalky, steely Chablis-like quality on the nose and lovely, bright acidity on the palate. It was refreshing and well focussed with chalky and steely flavours and touches of honey. "Mineral in the mouth and always clean" said Jeffrey.

Next was Jeff's 2011 Azienda Agricola Bera Rabajà Riserva. He said that Bera had only recently bought a plot in Rabajà. It had seen only neutral oak. It was fragrant and aromatic with plenty of dark berries and violets on bouquet. Very young, it also showed dark, luxuriant fruit on palate, with serious, grippy tannins on the back. "Cherries under spirit" said Jeff.

Next we drank ...
  • 2005 Weingut Knoll Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Loibenberg - Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau
    Jeff brought this excellent Gruner. Some reduction on opening. A beautiful, complex bouquet of white pepper, mint, mixed herbs, nuts and smoke. Viscous, honeyed, complex and nutty in the mouth. Not a lot of acidity, but mineral and malic, ripe and rich. Clean and pure. Very good. There now for drinking.
  • 2009 Tenute Cisa Asinari dei Marchesi di Grésy Barbaresco Martinenga - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Jeff introduced the 2009 as "drinking the best of the Marchesi di Grésy wines at the moment". Great aromatics of luxuriant, ripe dark fruit and florals. Linear on palate. Sleek, satiny dark fruit, cassis and liquorice. Soft, refined tannins. A wine to drink sooner rather than later, I'd think.
  • 1995 Vietti Barolo Lazzarito - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Popped and poured. Light colour. Beautiful aromatics. Roses, red currants, dried brushwood and gentle spices. Sweet entry, then elegant and fresh with soft, mellowed, round tannins. Earthy with dried red fruit. Just a beautiful, mature Barolo. Both Jeff and Alberto picked it as a '98 Barbaresco (and it showed the refinement of a top quality Barbaresco). It paired very well with the butter and sage ravioli. Finishing the last glass the next day, it was still drinkable but the fruit had slipped away a little, exposing the acids. Not a wine for a long decant.
  • 1974 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Popped and poured. Initially wet wool and hay, then lavender, dry earth, dried and preserved red fruit and some citrus zest. In the mouth, a gorgeous, mellow, mature Nebbiolo. "Very composed" said Jeff, it was very poised and balanced. Earthy with cacao, orange peel and Campari. Some fruit sweetness but attractive mushroomy savouriness and Balsamico umami. Acidity and tannins well integrated. Lovely but a modest wine ("Franco" said Alberto). Jeff thought it was from the 1980s and Alberto the 1970s, but neither went back as far as 1974. Jeff said it was the freshest 1974 he had ever had. I mentioned the bottle to Aldo Vacca who was not surprised, describing 1974 as a "good, powerful vintage" from which many Normales were still drinking well.
We left the Osteria happy to go out to enjoy the Alba street party ...

Posted from CellarTracker
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#41 Post by Howard Davis »

VISIT TO ODDERO, LA MORRA

We started the day with a visit to the historic, old Poderi e Cantine Oddero. We began our visit at the little museum that is part of the winery.

Oddero has about 35 ha of vineyards, approximately 16.5 ha of which makes Barolo or Barbaresco. Oddero's single vineyard Crus include Vignarionda, Brunate, Bussia and Rocche di Castiglione and Gallina in Barbaresco. The Bricco Chiesa vineyard is behind the winery.

Oddero has begun organic vineyard management since 2008. The winemaking is traditional with large format Austrian, Slavonian and French casks only used for Baroli and Barbareschi (and never new oak). For Baroli, the maceration period is 25+ days.

For Oddero, the 2015 vintage was described as "ripe, like 2011, but with even better, cleaner grapes". This was contrasted with the "leaner, more classical 2012s".

We tasted the following bottles:
  • 2013 Oddero Langhe Bianco Collaretto - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
    In Piemonte I've tried lots of these Riesling/Chardonnay blends (this one is 50/50). I've yet to really enjoy one, and this was no exception. For me, a bouquet overly dominated by Riesling and a palate that was an odd combination of flavours. Some beeswax, citrus, apples, mint and spices. Not for me. YMMV.
  • 2012 Oddero Barbera d'Alba Superiore - Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Barbera d'Alba Superiore
    That's better. A good Barbera D'Alba, showing appropriate typicity. Deep colour. A nose of meat broth, dark berries and high cacao chocolate. Also some straw and dry brushwood and a little savoury complexity. In the mouth, very drinkable, showing typical 2012 mid palate softness. Dark fruited with good acidity and black peppery tannins. Good body. This Barbera has the ingredients to be cellared, I'd think.
  • 2012 Oddero Barbaresco Gallina - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Oddero's only Barbaresco. Good ruby colour. Bright red cherry fruit, earthy, rose and strawberry aromas with hints of spice. Elegant and refined on entry to the palate, the red berry fruit seeming below medium weight and a little soft on the mid palate. However, the structure, power and weight comes through on the back palate. The Gallina finishes on powdery, chalky tannins. Give it 2-3 years to integrate. An interesting Barbaresco.
  • 2012 Oddero Barolo - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    The 2012 Normale was served side-by-side with the 2009 Bussia. It was described by our host as "a classical, traditional Barolo", which seemed fair to me. Two-thirds La Morra, one-third Castiglione Falletto fruit. A bouquet of red cherries, red currants, kirsch and earth. Again, lighter bodied, showing 2012 character (albeit greater weight than the Gallina). Silky, attractive texture. A fairly, straightforward, traditional Barolo, presently a little lean and austere at its core. Give it 3+ years to fill out a little but I'd guess, like many 2012s, it'll be an earlier drinking Barolo.
  • 2009 Oddero Barolo Mondoca di Bussia Soprana - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    The Riserva labeled Vigna Mondoca. A more luxuriant, richer bouquet of melted road tar, bloody game meats, black fruit and dark florals. A clear step up from the 2012. Surprisingly approachable for a pop and poured SV Riserva. A broad shouldered, but well balanced, weighty wine. Dark fruit, liquorice and fruit cake. Complex and intriguing. Good length. I'd give it 3 years only to begin to approach, again I'd imagine it being fairly early drinking.
Overall, as previously with Oddero wines, I was left with the impression of good, honest, workmanlike but unspectacular wines.

Posted from CellarTracker
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#42 Post by Howard Davis »

image.jpeg
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#43 Post by Howard Davis »

VIETTI TASTING WITH LORENZO - Castiglione Falletto

Vietti is one of my favourite producers, not just in Piemonte, but anywhere. From the bottom to the top of their range they produce well made, high quality wines.

We visited Lorenzo Cordero at Vietti who took us through the current range (largely 2012 Baroli). Again they were overall a very good set, just not quite as compelling, in my opinion, as Vietti's range from last year (which we tasted through at our last visit).

Lorenzo talked about recent vintages.

He said that Vietti had a hot summer in 2015 but that the vineyards had a good water table. "In 2015 we could have a longer hang time, if we needed it" said Lorenzo. He said 2015, for Vietti, was more comparable with 2009, not 2011.

2014 was of course a very difficult year for Vietti. There was a lot of rain and the risk of mildew. Lorenzo described 2014 as "sunny, rainy, sunny, rainy ...". Having said that, the family is happy with the 2014 Baroli in their tanks (while acknowledging the vintage was tougher for the Barberas). Vietti will decide next year whether they will make 2014 Barolo Riservas.

As we heard all over Piemonte, Lorenzo said that 2013 was a great vintage at Vietti.

The Vietti 2012s remind Lorenzo of their 2008s. He noted that they are presently pretty accessible but thought they might close down, only to reopen after a few years.

For the Baroli, Vietti typically employs a 28-35 day maceration and varies the oak treatment for the different Crus.

We tasted the following bottles:
  • 2015 Vietti Roero Arneis - Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Roero
    Vietti's Arneis is one of the best examples of this variety in all Piemonte, in my opinion. A ripe, rich, honeyed bouquet of orchard and some exotic fruit. In the mouth, that richness and opulence came through with notes of apricots, honey and tropical fruit. The impression of less acidity. I preferred a 2013 Arneis I recently drunk to this 2015 though, it seemed more balanced. An earlier drinking, less profound vintage than the 2013.
  • 2014 Vietti Barbera d'Alba Tre Vigne - Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Barbera d'Alba
    A very dark bouquet of black cherries, blackberries and spices, with a green herbal element. Reflecting the vintage, Vietti's entry level Barbera showed good freshness and acidity on the palate. It had an austerity and leanness I quite liked but not really the fruit intensity or volume for which I was looking.
  • 2013 Vietti Barbera d'Alba Scarrone - Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Barbera d'Alba
    Vigna Scarrone has Vietti's oldest vines on average (almost 100 years). Like all of Vietti's Barbera d'Albas, the Scarrone sees only large format, fairly neutral oak. A deep, dark colour, when compared with the 2014 Tre Vigne. A black fruited nose like the 2014, showing more cassis and dark spices (and not that herbal element). In the mouth, also riper, richer and fuller. There's acidity here but it's a little hidden by the dense fruit. Very dark berried with espresso and cacao. An excellent Scarrone (to drink in three or four years or to cellar long term).
  • 2012 Vietti Barbera d'Asti Superiore Nizza La Crena - Italy, Piedmont, Asti, Barbera d'Asti Superiore Nizza
    A Barbera from the vineyard with Vietti's second oldest vines (80-90 years old average). This Cru sees barriques (20% new). A terrific bouquet of dark cherries, black plums, musk and violets. Much more approachable on palate than the 2011 La Crena we recently drank. The oak is present but in good balance with the fruit. Thierry also very much liked it saying "it matches the vintage characteristics well - it's elegant, not lean". It hides its 15% alc well. Good length. A wine for earlier drinking than the '11 La Crena.
  • 2013 Vietti Langhe Nebbiolo Perbacco - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
    The Perbacco is Vietti's entry level Nebbiolo (typically from younger, 10-15 year old, vines, declassified Barolo and Barbaresco grapes). It is one of my favourite lower tier Piemontese Nebbiolos and good vintages can age 20 years, easily. The 2013 is a serious wine, a junior Barolo. Deep, dark colour. An expressive bouquet of dark fruit with dashes of tar and cacao. It's quite tight on the palate, with lots of fruit. It was 2010-like, elegant, classical Nebbiolo, a little austere. It seems to have all of the potential there, it just needs a little time (2-3 years). A top Perbacco.
  • 2012 Vietti Barbaresco Masseria - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
    Elegant aromatics. A nose of bright, crystalline red fruit. Also lovely red berries on palate. Quite open and approachable. Silky and a little soft with sweet, refined tannins. A good quality, forward Barbaresco.
  • 2012 Vietti Barolo Castiglione - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Assembled from fruit from 10-11 vineyards, most of which are owned by Vietti. Again, red fruited aromas, with dry earth, tobacco and dry underbrush. In the mouth, succulent, with 2012 acids prominent. Fresh and elegant, more classical than the 2011 Castiglione. Bright, red fruit. There are spherical tannins there but they are elegant and well balanced by the fruit.
  • 2012 Vietti Barolo Brunate - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Dark colour. A great bouquet! Spices, earth and rose, rather than violet, perfumes. On palate, this is a serious wine. On entry, it seems relatively approachable but the real power, good acidity and iron-like, grippy tannins only come through on the back. You could drink it now but this wine really needs 10 years.
  • 2012 Vietti Barolo Lazzarito - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    A sniff of the Lazzarito tells you of the power of this wine. There are also some nice chalky, mineral notes. On first impression in the mouth, not the huge structure I was expecting from the bouquet. A plush mid palate but with power and large scaled tannins and phenolics on the back palate. Lovely texture, fine grained tannins. Some oak yet to integrate. Muscular but somehow more approachable than the Brunate. Very good. Ideally, to cellar 8-10 years.
  • 2012 Vietti Barolo Rocche di Castiglione - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    From vines on the steep part of the vineyard. It sees large casks only. For Lorenzo, Vietti's Rocche is the perfect mid point between the Brunate and the Lazzarito. Delicate, attractive aromatics suggesting candied cherries. Crystalline, pure fruit. Beautiful texture. Soft and generous tannins. A lovely wine.
  • 2012 Vietti Barolo Ravera - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    My favourite of the Crus. Traditionally made. An expressive, bright red cherry bouquet, quite Pinot Noir-like. On palate, pinpoint precise and vertical. A classic, red fruited Barolo from a cooler year. Some chalk and slate but an austere, tight wine that needs some cellar time to express itself. Seamless and linear in a way that hides the serious fruit depth. Understated and elegant. It reminded me, in a way, of the 2010 Mascarello Monprivato. You could miss how good this wine is.
  • 2001 Vietti Barolo Brunate - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Savoury aromas of balsamico, mint, dried roses, melted road tar, with a touch of secondary tartufi and porcini. Earthy, mushroomy, umami and evolved on the palate. Lorenzo thought the wine a little oxidised. Hoisin sauce, black tea, smoke and tar notes. Still plenty of structure here, but the tannins smoothed and largely resolved. Good freshness and acidity still present. Very enjoyable. However, not quite as good as the recent excellent 2001 Rocche di Castiglione. Based on this bottle, I'd drink these in the next few years but that view may be influenced by the bottle variation.
Posted from CellarTracker
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#44 Post by Howard Davis »

image.jpeg
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
DINNER AT VINOTECA CENTRO STORICO, SERRALUNGA D'ALBA

Centro Storico is one of my favourite dinner places in Piemonte. The cuisine is simple but excellent local dishes and Alessio Cighetti's wine list is very good (and is particularly strong in Champagne). It's an informal, fun place to spend a few hours talking about wine.

This night, Italy was playing football so Andrew, Thierry, Lorenzo and I were the only diners. Alessio brought over his plate of pasta and ate and drank with us telling us about his recent tastings and encounters with well known wine people.
  • 2014 Schiopetto Collio Friulano - Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Collio
    Lorenzo suggested this wine. A fresh bouquet of salty sea breeze, lemon, yellow apple and baking spices. A good wine with sparkling acids. It had Pinot Gris-like texture, salinity and minerality, combined with grapefruit and other citrus and spice. Relatively rich, it matched well the tender, sweet prosciutto and rolle' di coniglio (rabbit).
  • 2001 Cavallotto Barolo Riserva Bricco Boschis Vigna San Giuseppe - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Deep but bright ruby colour. A profound Barolo. A complex, detailed bouquet of musk, cigar, florals, dried brushwood, dried red fruits and, later, dried herbs and hay. On palate, a beautiful wine, nicely evolved but with fresh acids. Seamless tannins and very well balanced.
  • 1996 Vietti Barolo Riserva Villero - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Brought by Lorenzo from the winery. My best dinner wine of the Piemonte trip. A deeper, darker red than the Cavallotto. On a pop and pour, the bouquet was initially closed and austere. As it blossomed, the power and drive of the wine and dark florals emerged. Tar, underbrush and minerals with a red cherry lift. Beautiful acidity and suave fine grained tannins. Tons of power and muscle, but elegant and refined with creosote on the long finish. Superb.
  • 2011 Cascina Fontana Barolo - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    I asked Alessio what is, in his opinion, the best under the radar, up and coming Barolo I don't yet know about? He brought back a bottle of this wine ... Nice aromatics. Dark cherries, a touch of cassis and spices. On palate, 2011 lift, but balanced and controlled. Traditionally made, elegant and in good proportion. Quite accessible now. A good, honest Barolo. (By coincidence, two evenings later Thierry and I were back at Centro Storico and met the Cascina Fontana owners who are related to Bartolo Mascarello and follow his winemaking approach).
Posted from CellarTracker
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#45 Post by Howard Davis »

image.jpeg
image.jpeg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
CT HowardNZ

User avatar
Kent Comley
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2960
Joined: May 2nd, 2010, 6:43 pm
Location: South Oz
Has thanked: 55 times
Been thanked: 46 times

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#46 Post by Kent Comley »

Thank you Howard. Wonderful notes and photos. Agree that the 01 Cavallotto is from the top shelf.
Keep 'em coming.
Cheers,
Kent
ITB

User avatar
Ken V
Posts: 38626
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 12:42 pm
Location: Delmar, NY
Been thanked: 2 times
Contact:

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#47 Post by Ken V »

Wow, Howard! Great reports!

I am curious how you were able to take that last photo at Vajra. Did you climb up on a barrel?
Ken V @ s t o l @
The Fine Wine Geek
Click on the W W W button under my name to see my website.
"Don't be meek, embrace the geek." -Terry Theise
Twitter: @FineWineGeek

User avatar
Howard Davis
Posts: 1805
Joined: January 6th, 2013, 8:20 pm
Location: Wellington, NZ

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#48 Post by Howard Davis »

Kent, cheers.

Ken, no ;-). When you climb the stairs at the back of the winery there is a window you can lean out, above the Botte, where I took the photo.
CT HowardNZ

Brian Heslop
Posts: 104
Joined: May 11th, 2014, 6:34 pm

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#49 Post by Brian Heslop »

Great pics and write up Howard, I'd love to hear an overview of the visit and whether your opinions have been changed/confirmed, especially around the value of the respective Baroli/Barbareschi that you tasted.

Looks like you had a fantastic trip. Well done.
ITB

User avatar
R M Kriete
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 758
Joined: April 27th, 2010, 8:07 am
Location: Indialantic, Florida
Has thanked: 273 times
Been thanked: 33 times

2016 Visit to Piemonte

#50 Post by R M Kriete »

Any more Howard? Loving these posts!

Post Reply

Return to “Wine Talk”