Tag Archives: Barbaresco

Cascina Bruciata – 5/06/2014

Barbera d’Alba 2012 – planted 2009 first vintage release
Nice rustic herbal spicy red fruits, quite floral as well. Juicy fresh, vibrant acids and tannins, soft yet focused, nice tightness to the acid structure, fleshy and fresh at the same time.

Usignolo Langhe Nebbiolo 2011
Very hot dry vintage, harvested on the 30th of August. Much more on the fruity side aromatically, sweet floral notes too, a little bit of dustiness coming through quite late. Tannins quite dense and concentrated on the front middle palate, fading on the mid palate but showing good length. A warmer expression thanks to the vintage.

Langhe Freisa 2012 – planted 2009 first vintage release aged for one year in used barriques
Bright but a darker more concentrated colour. A bloody red tomato character, some spiced cured meats too, on the rustic side, red fruits coming through. Bright acidity and freshness, soft yet dark tannins, focus drive and nice complexity without being too much.

Dolcetto d’Alba Rio Sordo 2011 – 65 year old vines aged six months in used barrique
Quite rustic sour cherry wildness, bordering on the volatile side. Very intense and warm, but exceptionally fresh on the palate, vibrant fruit and acid, has really good staying power. Confident concentrated expression.

Barbaresco 2010 – aged in a mixture of Slavonian casks and cement
Extremely lifted aromatics, very complex aromas, dark red fruits, pretty but also dense. Exceptional balance and precision, perfect poise and persistence, fresh and light, concentrated and firm, vibrant and drinkable with a lot of class.

Barbaresco Rio Sordo 2008 – 2 years in old barriques
Deeper darker nose, more brooding but no less intense, more dark chocolate dust notes. Soft opulent voluptuous tannins, bold generous and sweet dark fruits, interesting slightly savoury herbal kick on the back. Warmish but well-balanced with good acidity.

Barolo Cannubi-Muscatel 2010 – The only true Barolo Cannubi-Muscatel
Very very complex, wild dark fruits, crushed roses and violets. Powerful yet supple, rich yet fresh, round yet focused, so much pleasure in the glass, yet so much complexity at the same time. Very long…

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Bentleigh Tasting Group – Piedmont Nebbiolo

This month I got the opportunity to pick the theme, and for obvious reasons I chose an Italian theme. Considering many of the members of the Bentleigh Tasting Group are very experienced sommeliers, some of which are studying either WEST or Court of Master Sommelier courses, I thought the most beneficial topic would be nebbiolo from Piedmont. Considering how revered wines from this variety and region are, and the complicated nature of the DOC and DOCG systems, it would be interesting to look at how vintage, producer and site variations effect the wines.

Bentleigh Tasting Group discussing nebbiolo

Bentleigh Tasting Group discussing nebbiolo

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Poderi Colla – 10/04/2012

Pian Balbo Dolcetto D’Alba 2010
Combined rose petals, pepper and spiced plum aromas, and on the palate was very bright and tight, with some raspberry acid freshness.

Costa Bruna Barbera d’Alba 2009
Showed more of the earthy oak derived oxidative notes, more brooding but at the same time softer and more voluptuous on the palate.

Dardi Le Rose Bussia Barolo 2007
Oodles of earthy tar, dark chocolate and blackcurrant aromas, on the front palate showed raspberry rose petal and on the back had sweet black fruits and dried parsley.

Roncaglie Barbaresco 2007
A much more perfumed yet delicate nose, and silkier more approachable tannins, finesse but still plenty of oomph.

Bricco del Drago 2007
85% dolcetto, 15% nebbiolo, quite dense and earthy on the nose, and slightly closed, expressing full dark fruit and oak characters with softness and intensity. It is a wine with which I need to gain more familiarity, and for now I’m putting it in the “too hard basket.”

The Poderi Colla range

The Poderi Colla range

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Vietti – 11/04/2012

Roero Arneis 2011
Comes from Roero DOCG, bright and bold on the nose, textural and rich yet very mineralic with some green tropical notes.

Tre Vigne Barbera d’Alba 2009
Spiced meat earthiness on the nose, is soft yet intense on the palate with oodles of savouries.

Scarrone Barbera d’Alba 2009
Denser and darker, but has a new-world vibe to it, with sweet new oak tannins.

La Crena Barbera d’Asti 2006
Fantastic, as it was pure, soft and full, yet had personality and depth, showing the marriage of site and variety.

Perbacco Langhe Nebbiolo 2009
Could easily be classified as Barolo, showed the purity of variety and had delicate tight tannin finesse and some earthy stalk notes. I shared an interesting discussion over use of the term “baby Barolo”, which I think is cheapening the wine, and it should be described as a great Langhe Nebbiolo.

Castiglione Barolo 2008
So much going on and was so subtle it was hard to pinpoint, but had wonderful structure and elegance, and had depth and volume as it travelled back on the palate.

Masseria Barbaresco 2007
Very tight and closed, but had great lines and focus which will develop beautifully given time.

Brunate 2008
Intensity and power, but was the epitome of an ‘iron fist in a velvet glove’.

Rocche 2008
Much more intense, earthy and masculine.

Lazzarito 2008
Broader fuller and more generous, but no less driven and structured.

The huge range of Vietti wines

The huge range of Vietti wines

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Giuseppe Cortese – 12/04/2012

Dolcetto d’Alba and Barbera d’Alba 2011
Both exceedingly fresh and light, both showing floral herbal and blackberry notes, but I found them a little too similar and the Barbera was without much character.

Morasina Riserva Barbera d’Alba 2009
Much deeper and more complex with some serious concentration and maturity of tannins.

Langhe Nebbiolo 2010
Could easily be barbaresco, exhibiting a balance of fresh fruit notes and funky earth and mineral notes, wonderfully delicate but also well structured.

Rabaja Barbaresco 2007
Very seductive, very perfumed and voluptuous, and is very approachable thanks in part to the vintage.

Riserva 2004
A profound experience for me, as it doesn’t get much better than an amazing wine from an amazing vintage. Impossibly complex, perfectly matured, expressive yet subtle, tight and focused yet silky and full. One not easily forgotten.

Giuseppe Cortese Rabaja

Giuseppe Cortese Rabaja

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Nice day for it (Langhe, Italy – Day Three)

I had to pinch myself many times this week to make sure this is all real, as I feel like I’m in a dream. It is hard enough to get the opportunity to taste some of these wines back at home, but to be able to not only taste but also experience the wines one after another is amazing, and I feel truly blessed. The weather was gorgeous for my third day in this magical region, a clear blue sky greeted me and made the view from above Monforte d’Alba that much more spectacular. One of my realised dreams continues, as many of my wonderful hosts continue to introduce me to some of the regional cuisine. The previous day I enjoyed lunch with Giovanni from Massolino, where I had carne crudo (raw meat), which is simply minced beef with olive oil, garlic and pepper, and some freshly prepared ravioli with oil and thyme, and tagliatelle with a meat and tomato sauce. For lunch on this day I tried some thinly sliced cold cuts of beef with a mayonnaise, egg and tuna sauce, along with steamed turkey with a hazelnut sauce and steamed vegetables. My lovely host at the B&B invited me to enjoy dinner with them in the evening; chicken soup with rice, prosciutto crudo and roasted finnochio, and a castgna cake to finish. All washed down with some Moscato d’Asti. A gastronomical delight all around.

Turkey with hazelnut sauce and steamed vegetables

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It’s getting serious (Langhe, Italy – Day One)

If you are passionate about wine, there are a few places in the world that give you goosebumps at the mere mention of their name. Places like Burgundy, Bordeaux, Mosel, Rioja, Tuscany, Napa Valley, Margaret River, Mendoza, Willamette, Wachau. One of the most important places is Piedmont, and more specifically the Langhe, where some of the greatest red wines in Italy are produced. If you haven’t heard of the nebbiolo grape, then you have possible heard of Alba, its official home. Alba is to Italy what Burgundy is to France; cool climate, rolling hills, centuries of tradition, identified sites. The nebbiolo grape has many similarities to the pinot noir grape as well, and it has been suggested that very old burgundy is almost indistinguishable from very old barolo. Compared to burgundy, barolo and barbaresco is great value, but it can still take a dent out of your hip-pocket (if that makes sense). The there’s always Nebbiolo d’Alba, or Langhe Nebbiolo. And if this is still a bit steep, there are numerous other varieties you can imbibe, both red and white, still and sparkling, sweet or dry, from this wonderful part of Italy that would take several months to do properly. As it is, I only have four days on this trip, and have restricted myself mostly to Alba.

Old spumante equipment

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