Tag Archives: Langhe

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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Massolino – 11/04/2012

2010 Margheria
Perfumed fruit and earth notes, great red fruit acidity and structure, and wonderful concentration.

2010 Vigna Rionda
Similarly bright in its aromatics, but had much more intense mineralic concentration, and was fuller on the tannins.

2009Vigna Rionda
The same intense dark floral note and tannin structure, but is much softer and deeper than the 2010.

2008 Vigna Rionda
Some similarities to the 2010, and looks younger than the 2009. The focus of the acids and tightness of the tannins make me think of a tightly wound coil waiting to be released.

Dolcetto d’Alba 2011
Lovely and bright with spicy black fruit, softness and opulence on the palate with a great balance clean finish.

Barbera d’Alba 2011
Similarly very fresh and soft, but showed some sweet spice notes and more opulence from the minimal oak it receives.

Langhe Nebbiolo 2009
Made from declassified Barolo vineyards, was very delicate and subtle, silky and supple with some brambly pinor noirish characters.

Barolo Classico 2008
A step up, showing distinct fruit and floral aromas, and had a faint passion fruit seed note, complemented by almond cream and minerality.

Margheria Barolo 2008
Bold and pure.

Parafada Barolo 2008
Concentrated and brooding.

Parussi Barolo 2008
Showing wilder more opulent characters.

Vigna Rionda 2006
Almost a combination of the other three crus wines; wild, funky, earthy, mineralic, dark and red fruit, bright, focused, dense, powerful yet excruciatingly young.

Moscato d’Asti 2011
To freshen the palate, a wine which uses fruit from Alba/Barolo, but can be classified as Asti. Confusing.

The 1982 vintage opened a few days earlier

The 1982 vintage opened a few days earlier

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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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Conterno Fantino – 12/04/2012

Vigna del Gris 2008
The most approachable of the crus in youth, showing floral, cherry and tomato seed fruit notes, with soft yet powerful tannins and some fruit sweetness on the back.

Mosconi 2008
Deeper, denser and earthier in its chocolate blackberry and sundried tomato notes, with broader and fuller tannins, but great mid-palate structure.

Sori Ginestra 2008
The most fascinating, very wild and funky with the tar and molasses notes very prominent, the most masculine of the three.

Vina del Gris 2007
As expected was fuller and sweeter than the 2008, with toastier oak influence and darker more intense fruit.

Vina del Gris 2006
More lean but nonetheless intense, exhibiting more focus and tightness in acid and tannin structure.

Vina del Gris 2005
Starting to show some tertiary notes of caramelised onion and balsamic reduction, with meaty dried currant notes, but was very oppressive in its tannins which overwhelmed everything.

The 1982 vintage that I was a few days too early to taste

The 1982 vintage that I was a few days too early to taste

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Roberto Voerzio – 13/04/2012

La Serra Barolo 2008
Had a subtle nutty mushroom truffle and marmite nose, really tight acids but soft tannins, focus and drive but some heat in its youth.

Rocche dell ‘Annunziata Torriglione Barolo 2007
Darker denser fruit and some dark earth notes aromatically, very intense and slightly reductive, much juicier and richer on the palate, much more forward full and textural but also more approachable.

Vecchie Viti Dei Capalese Delle Branche Riserva 2006
Very complex, expressing coffee, tar, bourbon, blackcurrant, maraschino cherry and chocolate notes, very hot concentration and tightness of tannins and acid, and was at least ten years too young

Barbera d’Alba Riserva Pozzo dell ‘Annunziata 2008
A bright violet colour, was unbelievably tight and hot, very dense rich ripe black fruits, and was out of balance now.

Langhe Merlot 2007
One of the most surprising wines in the region, as it was one of the most structured, elegant, bold, balanced and concentrated merlots with personality I have ever tasted.

Big bottles of Roberto Voerzio

Big bottles of Roberto Voerzio

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Chiara Boschis – 13/04/2012

Dolcetto d’Alba 2011
One of the softest and gentlest I have tasted, and had a very warm caressing and forgiving nuance.

Barbera d’Alba 2010
Similarly supple and gentle, but is a little bit more probing with crushed white pepper and reminded me of simple but comforting provincial home cooking.

Langhe Nebbiolo 2009
Very firm but fair, and is a wine that understands you and gives you exactly what you need, showing rustic cherry blossom notes with a structured mid-palate.

Cannubi Barolo 2008
Fiercely protective but with a soft touch, giving expressive but kind words, not showing strength unnecessarily but would lift a car to save their child in danger.

Via Nuova Barolo 2007
Much quitter, and only expressing the necessary information, very measured and intelligent, not aggressive but quite serious and determined.

Whether this actually meant anything to you, I’m not really fussed because the wines truly spoke to me more than most I have tasted.

The charming cellars of Chiara Boschis

The charming cellars of Chiara Boschis

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Luciano Sandrone – 13/04/2012

Dolcetto d’Alba 2011
A delicate purple colour, bright spicy black fruits, was tight and fresh on the palate, achieving that elusive balance of approachability and elegance.

Barbera d’Alba 2010
The wildest I’d smelt (savoury meat and smoky wild mushrooms), with the 50% new oak having a prominent toasty impact on the wine.

Valmaggiore Nebbiolo d’Alba 2010
Sourced from a single vineyard in Roero, showed wild cherries, bush strawberries and mushrooms, was very tight and delicate, and looked a lot like Cote de Beaune, which Luciano took as a great compliment.

Le Vigne 2008
Avery subtle earthy red currants and cherries nose, very intense yet supple on the palate with slight pomegranate notes, minerality on the mid-palate, purity and harmony on the palate.

Cannubi Boschis 2008
Was a much deeper and darker wine, with chocolate and truffle notes on the black cherry and cassis. It was fuller and more exuberant in the tannin structure, with sweeter fruit and breadth. The Le Vigne is what I would categorise as being the feminine style, whereas the Cannubi Boschis is more masculine.

The Luciano Sandrone range

The Luciano Sandrone range

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Luciano Sandrone

One of the things I want to write in summarising my trip is to talk about some of the amazing people I met who imparted some of their wisdom and experience in wine and life. I am still in the process of looking back upon my blog archive which is taking me a lot longer than it should. But as it happens one of the people I intended to write about is making his first ever visit to Australia and I was lucky enough to be invited to a masterclass showing his wines here in Melbourne by the importer Bibendum Wines. This man is Luciano Sandrone, and after introducing him I will talk about why he had such an effect upon me.

Luciano Sandrone and myself when I visited in April 2012

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Luciano Sandrone – 4/3/2013

Dolcetto d’Alba 2011
Lovely and floral, brambly pomegranate, spicy sweet green pepper. Bright clear and fresh, wonderful acidity, nice tight clean finish, structure very fine but full of flavour without being simple.

Barbera d’Alba 2010
Denser and more intense, earthier and more savoury red fruits and violets. Focused yet round, clean lines yet nice and broad, tight focused fruit.

Valmaggiore Nebbiolo d’Alba 2010
Very aromatic intense floral dark fruit. Explosive structure, very intense fruit acid and tannin structure, very long and fine on the palate, very tight with plenty of aging potential.

Valmaggiore Nebbiolo d’Alba 2009
Hauntingly soft nose, very complex with cherry anise and delicate roses. Bright fresh and lively on the palate yet soft and intense, bombastic tannins yet refreshing acids, delicate structure and plenty of red fruits.

Valmaggiore Nebbiolo d’Alba 2008
Earthier darker and softer fruit, more focused mushroom savouriness, opening up over time. Very tight yet soft sweet fruit tannins, showing some chocolate and caramel notes as it develops.

Valmaggiore Nebbiolo d’Alba 2007
Falling away a bit, drinking very well now, not a keeper. Possibly a product of the vintage it is lovely and soft and approachable but won’t improve much more in the bottle.

Le Vigne Barolo 2008
Some savoury Japanese sauce notes, intense ripe red fruits, very ruby. Tight and intense, packs a punch on the front palate, delicate and clean on the mid and back. Classic.

Cannubi Boschis Barolo 2008
Darker and more intense complexity. Softer warmer tannins yet explosive mid-palate, brooding tight tannins, bright dark red fruits. Needs plenty of time in bottle.

Le Vigne Barolo 2004
Softer and earthier with age, chocolate dust, soft red cherry and plum. Sleek and silky on the palate with plenty of tannins and acid, very bright red with tight focused freshness.

Cannubi Boschis Barolo 2004
More intense and masculine broody darkness, less fruit brightness on the nose. Richer, fuller and darker on the palate, bolder but softer structure, more tannin yet somehow more approachable than the ’04 Le Vigne.

Le Vigne Barolo 2003
Soft bright and a little simple in a closed way aromatically. Hot full soft and forward with some dense red fruit but lacking extension on the palate.

Cannubi Boschis Sibi et Paucis Barolo 2003
Slightly more foresty and chocolate on the nose. Denser and more expressive, holding together much better, darker fruit and sweeter tannins still with plenty of acid.

Le Vigne Sibi et Paucis Barolo 2002
Insanely complex intense yet shy on the nose. Showing very young despite age, still plenty of life in it, very tight structure and acidity.

Le Vigne Barolo 2001
Soft round red fruit earthiness on the nose. Dense and a little aggressive on the alcohol.

Bottles of Sandrone wine

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Cream of the crop (Langhe, Italy – Day Four)

The Langhe region was without question the best region I have visited so far, for several reasons. The first was the same reason it was one of the most anticipated places for my trip, and I had been looking forward to it for the first six months. This is the fact that the wines produced here, in particular Barolo and Barbaresco, are some of the finest and most sought after wines in the world. On the few opportunities I had to taste them back at home, I had been blown away by them, as they are amazingly unique, but I needed to understand them better because of this. To have the chance to try so many wines that back at home would cost over $150 is fantastic. The second reason that the region was so amazing is its beauty. It’s not a region a lot of non-Italian people visit, which is a shame because of the gorgeous rolling hills, varieties of forest and agriculture, hilltop villages and hidden valleys. Even though the weather wasn’t great for most of the week, this didn’t take anything away from the scenery. The final reason is the people are some of the most wonderful I have met; humble, honest, generous, patient and funny. On my final day in the region, I had the chance to meet two modern icons in Luciano Sandrone and Roberto Voerzio, and a winemaker whose wines had a profound impact on me, in Chiara Boschis.
Me with the famous Luciano Sandrone

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