Posted by: jmbwineblog | September 5, 2010

Forza Piemonte (Parte 2; One Day in Heaven & Barbaresco a Tavola)

Ceretto (Monsordo Winery)

On to day 2 of our whistle stop tour of Piemonte, which started with a trip to the big, famous and Napa Valley-esque Monsordo Winery owned by Ceretto (of Bricco Rocche and Bricco Asili fame… [two other wineries that Ceretto owns in Piemonte situated in Barolo and Barbaresco respectively]).  The Monsordo Winery is the place where they make their equivalent of a Super-Tuscan, or one could say a “Super-Piemontese” wine and their white wine which contributes the majority of the companies fairly large (for Piemonte) production.

Tasting the Ceretto wines

 2009 Blange; 100% Langhe Arneis; [the majority of the company’s production is of this wine, approximately 700, 000 bottles per vintage of their 1.3 million bottles of all their wines produced in the region] almonds, lemon, citrus, minerals, grass, asparagus, spritz, ‘biwa’ (a Japanese fruit), vegetal notes, slate, very easy and fresh, with a touch of complexity, fresh basil. ****+

2006 Monsordo (en Magnum); [a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and the rest made up by Syrah and Nebbiolo, roughly 50,000 bottles are produced in every vintage], deep, rich, cassis, black plum, coffee, plum, iron, rust, medium bodied, structured, concentrated, elegant, herbs, rosemary and thyme, cherry, scorched earth, chocolate, mocha, cocoa, Armenian coffee, tobacco, wood and herb finish. Perhaps a touch too much oak, and needing a lot of time to integrate and become very appealing. ****++

2006 Bricco Asili, Barbaresco Bernadot; [from a 4.2 hectare plot owned since 1997, the soils are clay and limestone and the wine spends time in 2 to 3 year old 300 litre barrels. About 50 Euros], spice, herbs, tar, oak not yet integrated, chili, earth, minerals, soapstone and rock, iron, chocolate, coffee, blackcurrants, wild raspberry, elegance, fur, ferrel, meat, concentrated and balanced, roses, violets, flowery, caressing, herbs, rosemary, tannic finish. This needs another 4 or 5 years, Wild and still quite tight and bruising. 2017-2045+ ***(**+)

2005 Bricco Rocche; Barolo Brunate; [from a 6 hectare plot in this famous single vineyard site in La Morra (where the Bricco Rocche winery is situated). The wine spends one year in 300 litre barrels, and one year in large botte], wet earth, clay, roses, strawberry, herbs, cassis, raspberry, minerals, elegance and power, plum, cherry, fresh, but the oak needs to integrate, iron ore, sandy rock, lovely, smoky, flint, burnt matches, lifted, expressive, complex and caressing, but tight and concentrated, licquorice, white fruit, jack fruit, roses, rosewater finish. Very Good. 2015-2050+ ****(**+)

2009 Moscato d’Asti; mineral, citrus, lemon, lime, soapstone, flint, slate, easy but expressive, elegant and the quality does shine through. Crisp, fresh, licquorice, slight hints of honey and almonds. ****+

A view of the Monsordo vineyard and their arty architecture, the Grape.

The Monsordo Winery whilst being large and impressive is most certainly a modern winery and as such the wines are in the mosre modern, extracted style… however, I have always been impressed with the Ceretto mineral charactar and the fact that they maintain a lovely sense of place. The problem is that nowadays, the prices are most certainly high. It was time to visit someone at the other end of the production spectrum.

Oddero

Oddero is one of the great old domaines of Piemonte, making wines in a traditional style, a style where the wines age for decades without any sense of effort or falling off the cliff. There had been rumours that the quality in recent years had dropped away but regardless, walking around the Cantina, you certainly feel a sense of place, history and that this is an important producer.

Only Concrete Vats are used.

Some 100 year old, 100 hectarelitre Botte at the back there.

2007 Barbera d’Asti; [from a vineyard that lies roughly 40 km from the Cantina],  smoke, wood, spice, plum, blueberry, vanilla, coconut, new wood, minerals, cocoa, chocolate, mocha, coffee, expresso. Dense, concentrated and balanced. Dusty, earthy, backward, rust, iron ore. This needs a few years. **(**+)

2007 Langhe Nebbiolo; [35% of the wine spend time in new oak, the rest ages in botte. The grapes come from an area called San Fattio], fur, meat, blood, roses, cherry, classic traditional nose, vegetables, herbs, green, strawberry, cranberry, hints of tar, light and lifted, concentrated. Enjoyable but not a WOW wine, stones, minerals and it will age, slightly underripe notes of raspeberry and cherry. ***(*+?)

2000 Barolo Mondoca di Bussia Soprano; [situated in Monforte d’Alba], meat, tar, stewed cranberry, herbs, truffle, earth, sous bois, expressive, molasses, orange peel, tobacco leaf, strawberry, plum, earth, minerals, iron ore, black plum, cooked meat, game, blood, sandstone, frescos, plenty of tannin and good freshness, a bit of wood, sweet spice, pepper, fresh blood, roses, rosewater, forest floor, herby, tar, rosebush. Very traditional, and classic. Surprisingly forward (is that the vintage or is this old before its time?) Now- 2025? ****(*+?)

2005 Barolo Mondoca di Bussia Soprano; fried chicked, cheese, roses, raspberry, strawberry, fresh but dense, plum, cassis, rosebush, tight, concentrated, unresolved tannins, lovely acid, herbs, tar, rosemary, wood spice, tight knit, verging on shut down. Old Fashioned, hard, tannic, needs a lot of time and there is something lingering underneath, deep, powerful, concentrated, but is there enough fruit to get beyond the tannins? **(***+?)

2009 Moscato d’Asti; fresh, mineral, lime, licquorice, green, fresh, depth, easy, pleasant. ****

There was certainly a sense of dissappointment with the wines at Oddero on our visit and it was a real shame, because the fruit that they get from their single vineyard plots, is clearly (based on the complexity in the wines) of high quality and the wines should be of incredible quality, and it can only be winemaking faults/poor storage at the winery that is having this affect, as other producers (as we will see later on) most certainly do not have these issues, but use the same production methods. 

Some of the classic vintages on display.

Next we were on to a new producer to me, and they certainly didn’t dissappoint in any way.

Fratelli Allesandria

Fratelli Allesandria sit right on top of the hill in Verduno. A fairly small operation who produce a number of excellent wines of all shapes and sizes. A very surreal environment, you go into a dark and dingy basement in order to see the winery and where the wines are made, and they don’t like to use too much oak. The order of the day is to keep the freshness, and most of the wines are aged in large botte, although they do keep some barrique which are slowly being phased out after experiments with the smaller barrels.

A botte, and some Tonneau in the background.

However, you then come out into a bright and airy room in order to taste the wines that this elegant, modest and expressive selection of wines that the Fratelli Allesandria brothers produce.

2009 Verduno Pelaverga; [a wine made from the Pelaverga grape, which is a native of Verduno, and it is arguably in terms of hectares the smallest DOC in the whole of Italy, as the grapes have to be made in Verduno and be 100% of this varietal], ferrel, fresh, meaty, strawberry, plum, juicy, light, delicate, a touch of wood, smoke, fur, mint, pepper, spice, intriguing and quite loveable, cranberry, herby, minty, saline, mineral and rocky. *****

2009 Dolcetto d’Alba; [this cuvee spends just a single month in large botte before bottling], lifted, cranberry, plum, minerals, raspberry, crisp with nice concentration and balance. Easy, fruity, spicy, pleasant, cherry and herbs. ****+

2007 Barbera d’Alba Superiore, Priora; spice, wood, fresh, minerals, plum, currants, chocolate, mocha, coffee, kernal. Fresh, clean, easy, concentrated, anise, soft, balanced, tobacco, cedar, pleasant, easy, nice minty, floral, earth finish. ***(**)

2008 Langhe Nebbiolo, Prinsiot; meat, roses, tar, wild raspberry, strawberry, minerals, fresh, lifted, mint, eucalyptus, herbs, rosewater, bramble, elegant, cinnamon, mineral, rocks, slate, soapstone, wet soil, lovely and fresh. ****(*+)

2005 Barolo; rosebush, bramble, roses, wild plum, strawberry, fur, herbs, eucalyptus, wet soil, fresh, lifted, raspberry, roses, minerals, iron, rust, rosemary, earth, rock, slate, truffle, mushroom, menthol, soil, pebbles. ****(**+)

2005 Barolo San Lorenzo; [a vineyard site in Verduno, 18 days ferment before they leave 50% of the wine in Tonneau for 10 months, and then in stainless steel, and half in botte for 3 years], deep, concentrated, powerful and elegant, roses, cut grass, minerals, wood spice, fresh, sandstone, rock, slate, herbs, menthol, eucalyptus, rosebush, bramble, pepper. Soil, earth, tobacco leaf, herbal and menthol finish. ***(****[+?])

2005 Barolo Monvigliero; [another single vineyard site in Verduno, more of this cuvee spends time in Tonneau, with a little bit ageing in Tonneau], saline, flint, meat, fresh, sea air, elegance, strawberry, cherry, lifted, smoke, structured, soapstone, rock, sand, mint, herbs, very different but just as good. Soil, earth, slate and a bit more of a punch. ***(****[+?])

All of these wines spoke wonders for the effort put into them. Serious wines, but fresh, elegant and with plenty in the bag to age for a long time. They are also excellent value given the quality of the wines. The cheapest, being the Dolcetto, was 6 Euros 20, the most expensive was the Monvigliero at 27 Euros. Certainly a place to visit, and it wasn’t finished there. On the way to the restaurant we opened up another one of these wines to try on the bus, and we weren’t to be dissappointed.

Tasting the Baroli.

2001 Barolo Gramolere; [a single vineyard site that I believe is in Monforte d’Alba, it receives the same treatment as the Monvigliero], wow, I can smell this being poured at the front of the bus, prunes, raisins, delicate wild strawberry, elegant, tar, soapstone, grass, herbs, plums, cherry, gravel, roses, violets, flowers, chocolate, coffee, menthol, eucalyptus, concentrated, but again fresh, truffle, mushroom, sous bois underneath, marble. Hugely complex, already wonderful but with the ability to last a long time. Poised, gorgeous, powerful and delicate. A real treat. ******(*+)

The Gramolere is certainly the top cuvee from these boys, and it shows, the wine was starting to show secondary characteristics, and earthy classic Barolo notes, but the structure and freshness was still all in tact and in no way in decline. Certainly a producer to look out for. Next it was off to a most fantastic lunch.

Ristorante Bovio

Gianfranco Bovio opened this new restaurant after he sold his shares in his old venture, and this restaurant clearly had the best food we tasted all trip. Really lovely, exquisitely produced and presented. Why this place doesn’t have at least a Michelin Star is anybody’s guess!! Gianfranco also produces a range of wines from his own vineyards, and they are certainly of high quality. Certainly not to be squandered, and he has received some critical acclaim for them. You can certainly see why.

2008 Langhe Bianco; Gianfranco Bovio; [a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Arneis], green, grassy, herby, menthol, lemon, citrus, grapefruit, lemon butter, ripe, crisp, fresh, round, plush, a very exciting, interesting wine. Racy, elderflower, floral, white flowers, nuts, syrup, lime, lime soda, lime water. Bizarre but utterly loveable. *****

2008 Dolcetto d’Alba, Bruno Giacosa; deep, fragrant plum, simple, easy, zippy, herbs, menthol, mint, minerals, strudy and round, concentrated, ready to drink. A very serious Dolcetto. ****(*+)

2006 Barbera d’Alba “Vigna Martina”, Elio Grasso; deep, chocolate, molasses, cherry, plum, minerals, raspberry, linear, coconut, vanilla, young but pleasant. Minerals, soapstone, slate, flint, burnt match. Very nice. ****(*)

2007 Langhe Nebbiolo “Perbacco”, Vietti; vanilla, coconut, chocolate, wood spice, cinnamon, raspberry, cocoa, mocha, expresso, tar, cassis, black plum, deep and concentrated. Modern, fairly approachable, but there is no need to hurry with this one. ****(*++)

1999 Barolo “Rocchettevino”, Gianfranco Bovio (en Magnum); tar, roses, cinnamon, spice, strawberry, wild raspberry, lifted, beguiling, meaty, bloody nose, truffle, mushroom, sous bois, earth, rock, pebbles, iron, fresh, lifted, light, herbs, cherry, fresh, elegant and round. Lovely, lovely wine with plenty of time for it to develop a little further. *****(*+)

Scenes of some serious eating and drinking.

The View, Oh the view was to die for...

If anyone is visiting piemonte, and in particular La Morra, I would certainly recommend popping in here for Lunch or Dinner, it will not dissappoint, and neither did our next two stops… The Ladies of Barolo, you could argue the driving forces of the Region. Both however bringing very different philosophies to their winemaking.

Pira e Figli

Owned and run by winemaker, Chiara Boschis… a veritable livewire, running the show on her own, and only hiring help at important junctures during the year such as pruning, green harvest, and harvest time. She runs around like a headless chicken like a small bumble bee searching for nectar. It could give the impression that she is trying to get rid of you but in her small winery you can sense a real joy for making these wines. With 20,000 bottles being produced every year, using organic methods, she has had one hectare in the highly acclaimed Cannubi vineyard which is southfacing and planted on sandy soils. She uses modern techniques and barrique (not often new oak however) and makes only four different wines in total.

Chiara talking in her very tiny winery.

The only time I think I have seen Chiara slow down and relax was when I met her at the Enotria Annual Tasting.

2009 Dolcetto d’Alba; plum, herbs, balanced, concentrated, deep, cassis, easy simple, but will age for a few more years. ****+

2008 Barbera d’Alba Superiore; plum, cherry, herbs, chocolate, mocha, coffee, mineral, chunky but elegant, again this will age for a while. Cassis, more serious. ****(*)

2005 Barolo Cannubi; perfume, smoke, flint, sand, sandstone, saline, cherry, wild strawberry, meaty, but elegant, herbs, earth, soil, minerals, iron, rust, blood, elegance and finesse. Tar, roses, coffee, concentrated and powerful, red rock, brick, raspberry, a subtle delicacy underlies this, effeminate but powerful and structured. Wood spice, vanilla, menthol, eucalyptus. ***(****[+?]) you could almost say this wine mirrors the charactar of Chiara in many ways.

2005 Barolo Via Nuova; smoke, flint, burnt matches, roses, rosebush, menthol, strawberry, very very delicate, white flowers, brick, sandstone, a touch of tar, bigger and softer tannin (the Cannubi was more sand and grainy in its tannin structure), balanced, elegant, raspberry, menthol, eucalyptus, cherry, underbrush, tar, cinnamon, less obvious wood. Rounder and less poised but still super. A similar wine but in subtle ways very different due to the different terroir. ****(**+) 

Some brilliant wines here, but due to recent critical acclaim, which is very much deserved, the price of these two Barolos has gone through the roof, but if you want an insight into the quality of these wines, the Dolcetto and Barbera are still very competitively priced.

The wines didn't last long...

Mascarello Bartolo

Run by the late Bartolo’s daughter Marie-Therese, this winery although the same size as Pira e Figli (5 hectares & 20,000 bottles), they are quintessentially traditional wines in terms of style and production, to the point where the catch phrase of the winery is probably “No Barrique, No Berlusconi” (Bartolo used to paint some of the labels, originals were hand-painted, after his death, they have been printed, but show the ethos. There is less fuss, the winery is more laid back… one gets the feel that Marie-Therese is a lady of leisure… the hired hands do the labour, and the grapes do the talking. All the wood is Botte (old of course), all the vats are cement. Their Barolo is the classic blend of four vineyards (including Cannubi) 4 hectares of which are in Barolo and 1 in La Morra. This Cantina epitomises traditional and there is no way that that will ever change. They don’t even have a computer, Bartolo didn’t even have a phone!!! Perhaps this is why the wines are so good… we tasted three.

Marie-therese and the old Botte

2007 Langhe Freisa; [2000 bottles of this are produced a year, and the word Nebbiolata was mentioned (I know that they lay these grapes over the Nebbiolo grapes before production, so it is either the name of the production method, or it is a nickname for Freisa because it is from the same family as NEbbiolo, and it tastes like Nebbiolo without the tannins! the ferment is finished in bottle to give a spritz, which they call Vivace]; meat, blood, earth, minerals, wood, cranberry, sprtiz, plum, cherry, ferrel, earthy, but sweet and light, bramble, soapstone, flint, smoke, burnt matches. An easy drinking approachable Nebbiolo-esque wine. ***** Complex but not concentrated.

2007 Barbera d’Alba; plum, chocolate, mocha, cinnamon, blueberries, smoke, flint, herbs, menthol, eucalyptus, depth, elegant but a touch subdued, delicate, fresh, concentrated, sea shell, strawberry, plum, chocolate, cherry, expressive, elegant. *****

2005 Barolo; vibrant, elegant, regal, roses, tar (only a touch), cherry, wild raspberry, sea shell, smoke, blood, sweet spice, strawberry, plum, rosebush, delicate, effeminate, grainy, salty, sandy tannins, sandstone, soapstone, mineral and fresh, light, herbs, menthol, iron ore, rock, eucalyptus, meat, tar, plum, raspberry, mineral finish. Wonderufl and Effervescent. ******(*+)

Marie-Therese may be the antithesis in terms of charactar and winemaking to Chiara Boschis, and the wines taste, fresh, lively and traditional in a style that you can see that Fratelli Allesandria are trying to replicate. However, all of these producers are making waves and producing great wine. Clearly the traditional versus modern debate will rage on, but if they can both make wines like they do, clearly the debate is more to do with whether the wines are fresh, lively and elegant as oppose to being heavy, cloying and overoaked!

Super Wines and the famous label on the 1999...

Next we were off to Tre Stelle a small subsection of Barbaresco for the Barbaresco a Tavola over dinner, but for the hard-core wine team amongst are group (whilst the others had tea at a local cafe) we were off to another under the radar, up and coming producer that the world needs to learn more about.

Cascina Bruciata

A fourth generation winery owned by Carlo Balbo in the Valley of Rio Sordo (because it is above the river Rio Sordo), they own 15 acres of land. 9 of which are planted with Nebbiolo and the rest with Dolcetto. The Dolcetto sees no oak, and spends its life in Stainless Steel until bottling. The grapes come from two plots on Rio Sordo in front of the winery and Riana to the West. The Rio Sordo has different subsections, and the south facing 40 year old vines become the single vineyard Rio Sordo, the 30 year old vines go into the straight Barbaresco, and those vines on the opposite slope with an age of 20 to 25 years are made into the Langhe Nebbiolo. In 2004, 0.2 acres of the Muscatel subsection of Cannubi (facing the castle in Barolo) were purchased, and their “garden” as they like to call it will produce 1000 bottles, once they have aged their first vintage, 2005, for the amount of time they feel is suitable. The Winemaker Francesco never uses more than 10% new oak, and this is usually used to finish the wines, in a similar way to whiskies finished in particular caks! The wines are superb.

Francesco showing us the Rio Sordo Vineyard.

2008 Dolcetto d’Alba, “Rian”; deep, chocolate, plum, fresh, herbs, pepper, spice, weighty, structured, menthol, minerals, stones, sandy, rock, lengthly plum, chocolate, mocha, eucalyptus, wet soil. Very round, powerful but elegant. ****(*+?)

2006 Langhe Nebbiolo “Usignolo”; [aged for one year in stainless steel, and 2 years in bottle before release], lifted, fresh, complex nose, raspberry, roses, pepper, chili, tar, earth, sandstone, soapstone, fresh, lifted, raspberry, strawberry, roses, flowers, cinnamon, nutmeg, clean. Soft, elegant tannins, mint, basil, herbs. Very complex, rock, slate. Beguiling long finish. Cherry, plum, blueberries. *****(*+?)

2004 Barbaresco Rio Sordo Riserva; [1200 bottles produced, 24 months in french oak, 3 years bottle age before release, after singing this wines praises, we were informed that Wine Spectator had awarded this wine 94 points], flint, smoke, soapstone, sandstone, minerals, roses, rosebush, lifted fresh nose. Strawberry, herbs, deep, complex, matchsticks, blood, minerals, rock, iron, meat, tar, elegant and fresh, herbs, eucalyptus, green tea, tobacco leaf, fresh, lifted, elegant, classic. Stunningly beautiful. Herby, cherried, redcurrant, mineral, soapstone finish. Effervescent. ******(**[+?])

2004 Barbaresco Rio Sordo; [24 months in French oak, finished in new wood, 3 years in wood in total], much more closed, round, vanilla, wood spice, fresh but more concentrated, rapsberry, redcurrant, complex, herby, mineral, sandstone, soapstone, herbs, mint, lifted but not as open as the Riserva surprisingly, soft elegant tannins, cinnamon, nutmeg, mint, rock, blood, iron, meaty, truffle, sandstone, rock, tobacco leaf. Lovely but it needs a lot more time. ****(***+?)

Next up we trudged back to the Restaurant Tre Stelle for the highlight of the day… 

Barbaresco a Tavola

An annual event to celebrate the first days at which time Nebbiolo from Barbaresco’s designated areas can be labelled as such. The wines are shown blind (24 in total) and there is no indication, of whether or not these are single vineyard wines. The idea is to score the wines out of 20 to see which is best, and there are usually some very serious producers on display. Before I go into more details, I scored these wines twice, in my own style and out of 20. At present I do not have my out of 20 scores, so I will add them later. As I had no experience of most of these wine-makers, I asked for the list of producers before starting to taste. It was a lot of fun, and I’d recommend people to attend if they can, when visiting piemonte in May. This year was the start of the 2007 vintage, and from this tasting, the wines are surprisingly forward, with precise poised fresh fruit flavours, but they have a structure which shows that these wines will age nicely. The vintage is clearly a good to very very good one.

The Wines all covered up!!

Boffa Carlo; deep, violet, dark fruit nose, new oak, herbs, dumb but intriguing. Herby, fresh, cassis, plum, dense, earthy, round, nice, coffee, expresso, power as oppose to elegance. Kernal, dumb finish. Concentrated enough to age. ***(**+)

La Granghija; lifted, herby nose, roses, strawberry, expressive and appealing. Roses, plum, concentrated but elegant, herby and mineral, nice earthy finish. *****(+)

La Spinona; bright, but tarry nose, raspberry, effervescent, herby, plush, but the finish is lacking despite the pleasant palate. ****+

Rizzi; crisp, open nose of tar and roses, deep, ethereal. Fresh, crisp, mineral, herby palate, herby, tarry finish. Mineral and Charactarful. Very nice. ****(**)

Roccalini; closed, earthy nose but with depth. Open, roses, cherry, expressive palate. LAcks a touch of concentration, but pleasant, herby, minty but shy finish. ***(**+)

Pelissero Giorgio; modern, oaky, hard, tannic, concentrated, clearly needs time but I worry about the lack of acid. Nice finish of tar and roses. **(***++?)

Poderi Colla; tight but delicate, should open up, fairly classic. tight, tar, roses, delicate, nice fruit forward finish, the nose will come with time. ***(**+)

Piazzo; closed, nose again, but deep and minerally with tar and roses on the palate. A nice wine but technically not perfect. ****(*+)

Meinardo Corrado; strange, green, menthol nose, bizarre, strange flavours all the way through. Palate and finish better than the nose, but hardly appealing compared to the other wines. ***(*)

Negro Giuseppe; deep, smoky, spicy, flinty nose, a touch subdued but intriguing. Deep, concentrated, closed but poised palate. Nice earthy finish, good but the minerality seems to have been masked by the wood. ****(*+)

Marchesi di Gresy; open, expressive classic traditional nose that promises a lot. Roses, mint, rosebush, slightly placid and delicate on the palate, and lacks a finish. A touch dissappointing after promising so much. ****

Francone; expressive nose of tar and roses, a touch of wood and spice. Herbs, eucalyptus, concentrated, complex, light but expressive minerally palate. Shy finish but it will come. Very good. *****(++)

Cortese Giuseppe; deep, wood, tar, closed, smothered? Coffe nose, but expressive palate, soft, vanilla, elegant finish but not very exciting. ****+

Cigliuti Fratelli; big oaky, spicy but pleasant nose. Vanilla, spicy, tar, roses, nice concentrated palate, spicy tannic, plum finish, well made good wine but it doesn’t excite me. ****++

Cascina Morassino; green, roses, bramble, tight nose, herbs not disastrous. Vanilla, spice, roses, tar, strawberry, cherry, concentrated palate. Fruit, wood finish. ****++

Barale; expressive, complex, but hard to fathom the nose, roses, tar, berries, wood, nice palate. Finish mirrors the palate. *****++

Fenocchio Renato; bit bretty, cheesy, shitty nose. Fresh, earthy complex palate. Interesting as oppossed to immediately appealing. Nice complex finish, its just too bretty on the nose. ****+

Punset; perfume, wild, expressive, crystalline, jammy, nice, but modern, herby, mineral and complex. Nice finish, poised and lively. Very very good. *****(*+)

Vigin; Cheese, biscuits, wood, plum, deep and expressive, a lovely palate, subdued nose, lingering bright finish. Great fruit filled potential. ****(**+)

Lequio Ugo; closed nose, wood, spice, expressive, classic palate, tar, roses, berry, lingering finish, expressive. Closed nose lets it down. ****(*+)

Bruno Rocca; expressive, bright, vanilla, nose exciting. Fresh, clean, modern but not overdone, lacks a touch of precision but a lovely beguiling finish. EXCELLENT. *****(**+?)

Fattoria San Guiliano; nice, expressive fruit and berry nose. Fresh, crisp, poised, but woody palate, earthy mineral finish but it drops off a bit although still good. ****(*+)

Cascina Bruciata; expressive, complex, minerally nose, soapstone, sandstone, wonderfully complex, deep and expressive, odd notes (new wod finish?), herbs, vanilla, spice, smoke and flint on the palate, elegance, SUPERB. *****(**+)

Ressia; earthy, dusty, concentrated, deep, a serious wine, kernal, precise, deep, wood, power and elegance. Serious pedegree, but it is nowhere near ready or approachable. Still a very strong effor. **(****+)

The wines being drunk and some food at Barbaresco a Tavola

It was then back on the bus, off to the Hotel and into bed, ready for the nice and early start on Saturday, another day of serious wine drinking fun!

A dieu…

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