Friday, 21 July 2017

2014 Il Nito, La Rifra

Found this in a Enoteca in Sirnione and he owner recommended it. With some Italian delicatessen it rather overpowered them, except for the stronger cheeses.

2014 Il Nito, La Rifra
This Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Marzemino blend shows of a deep, compact, sweet nose with notes of plums, blackberries, violets and scorched earth. Large scaled and dense. Very, very good.
The taste is bold and taut with lots of sweet black fruits, some oaky notes and additional notes of  sweet violets, rubber and dark chocolate. Very long, warm and rich. Definitely not for the 11% Trosseau drinking crowd. I like it.
89p   (tasted 2017/07)

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Summer Reading!

These books will accompany me on our vacation. What are you reading this summer?



Monday, 17 July 2017

Domenico Clerico - RIP

We all got the news today that one of the great Barolistas, Domenico Clerico, has passed away.
Sadly I have meet him only once, when we visited the estate some 8 years back. He just came by and greated us but he couldn´t stay since he had a toothache. Or at least that what we thought he said in some Piedmontese dialect. :-)

I have loved his wines for many years (some notes from previous bottles are below).
Tonight I open this youngster in honour of his memory. He will be missed.

2008 Barolo Pajana, Domenico Clerico
With a couple of hours breathing time this wine reveals lovely aromas of rosehips, sweet/sour cherries, red tea, hard cherry candy and a hint of mint. Very, very fine.
The taste is tight, taut and still young with the feeling of chewing on cherry pips, alongside notes of dry licorice, forest floor, dried roses and some flowers in the background. A very fine length with some finely polished tannins showing themselves in the end. Gorgeous now but will be even better with 6+ years in the cellar. Glad I have more.
93p   (tasted 2017/07)


1990 Ciabot Mentin Ginestra & Pajana
1996 Percristina
1996 Ciabot Mentin Ginestra & 1999 Percristina
1999 Pajana
1999 Ciabot Mentin Ginestra & Percristina
1996, 1998 & 2001 Pajana & 2001 Ciabot Mentin Ginestra
2004 Pajana
2010 Ciabot Mentin

Saturday, 15 July 2017

A Mini Vertical Of Barolo Rocche Di Gastiglione, Giovanni Sordo

Bought these bottles recently and thought I should have a go at them to see if I wanted to order more.

Rocche di Castiglione lies both in Castiglione Falletto (88%) and in Monforte (12%). The vineyard is 16,33 ha in overall surface but only 51% is under vines.
According to Alessandro Masnaghetti, Rocche di Castiglione is "one of the most prestigious (cru´s) of the entire Barolo appellation" and even though that there are shifts in the soil composition the wines from here "share a common style based on finesse and fragrance".

Info about Giovanni Sordo here.
I have only tasted two wines from Sordo before, the 64 and 78, and especially the 78 was a great bottle of wine.
These were tasted over the course of three days.


2008 Barolo Riserva Rocche di Castiglione, Giovanni Sordo
The 08 Riserva is a ultra traditional wine, with a sturdy, sometimes grumpy character, but when you get beneath the grumpiness, there is pleasure to be had.
The nose is deep and restrained with notes of cranberries, undergrowth, rosehips, diesel oil, ski wax and old leather - there is lots going on here. And its stays pretty much the same from day to day.
The taste is taut and dry with notes of hard lingonberry candy (if there is such a thing...), roses, dry herbs, minerals and old coffee grounds. The tannins gives a good grip and support. Ends dry and fine. Very, very good in a traditional way. Will probably go on for 20+ years.
91p   (tasted 2017/07)

2010 Barolo Rocche di Castiglione, Giovanni Sordo
A deep, refined, old school nose with notes of dried cherries, paint, roses en masse and a hint of hot asphalt. Very fine. Evolves at a snails pace over the three days.
The taste is tight and focused with notes of dried strawberries, herbs, roses, mushrooms and dry licorice. The finish is over a minute long and displays some broad shouldered tannins. This will keep for ages, give it at least 8+ years.
92p   (tasted 2017/07)

2013 Barolo Rocche di Castiglione, Giovanni Sordo
The 2013 has a high, pure, deceptively light nose with notes of rosehips, sweet lingonberries, gravel and dried flowers. Energetic and fine, just in line with the vintage. Day two lots of dried wild strawberries emerge. Very, very good.
The taste is dry and balanced with notes of lingonberries, forest floor, rosehips and a hint of dry tobacco. A high, pure acidity. Very promising. Behaved principally the same over the course of three days.
91p   (tasted 2017/07)

Friday, 14 July 2017

Three Bottles Of Riesling

These were tasted during Midsummer.

1998 Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Spätlese, Dönnhoff
A finely matured nose with notes of candied lemons, sun warm rocks, petrol and a hint of shellfish stock. Very, very good.
The taste is mature and fine with notes of dry lemon fudge, earth, rubber and minerals. A long finish that ends almost completely dry.
90p   (tasted 2017/06)



2015 Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spätlese, Willi Schaefer
A young, fresh, perky nose with notes of grey pears, grass, elderberries and lots of chrushed rocks. Pure, inviting and salivating. Really fine.
The taste is pure like a mountain river with gorgeous notes of ginger, grey pears, lime and some salty notes. Very fine. A great acidity. Long and lingering. Will have a long life ahead of itself if I can keep my hands from the remaining bottles...
93p   (tasted 2017/06)

2007 Kiedrich Gräfenberg Riesling Auslese, Robert Weil
From a half bottle. The nose is velvety, rich and semi sweet with notes of pine apple, birch sap, spunge cake and sweet minerals. Very deep and fine.
The taste is big and concentrated with lots of pine apple, ripe blood grape and sugared yellow apples. There also notes of cap gun smoke and pickled ginger. Complex and fine. A long finish that ends semi dry. Lovely.
93p   (tasted 2017/06)



Wednesday, 12 July 2017

The 1th Of July - Madeira Day - NV Madeira Demi-Sec Camara De Lobos, A. Deleyto

On the 1th of July "Dia da Madeira" - Madeira day - is celebrated. Why not open a bottle?

NV Madeira Demi-Sec Camara de Lobos, A. Deleyto
Opened and decanted two days prior to tasting. The nose is a bit subdued with notes of toasted almonds, band aid, dried figs, autumn leaves and some dry nougat. Some dried up sweetness. Not that deep. Good though.
The taste is medium bodied with assorted dried fruits alongside notes of fried nuts, gasoline, rubber and moist earth. A good acidity but the stuffing isn´t really up to par. Has kept the same over the course of a week.
83p   (tasted 2017/07)


Monday, 10 July 2017

The Barolo Boys In Piedmont - A Sunny Sunday In Nebbiolo Land




Sunday - a day for reflection, taking it easy and philosophize over the meaning of life.

Not for The Barolo Boys! More wines to be tasted and drunk, more wine growers to visit and more impression to savour, this last full day in Piedmont.

First we head to Luigi Pira and meet up with Gianpaolo, tasting the 13 Baroli and started to convince him to bottle the 14´s, more on that below.

Disclaimer - the importer of Marengo and Luigi Pira to Sweden (Origo Wines) are friends of mine and co founders of The illustrious Barolo Boys. I, however, have no financial interests in these wines, I just call them as I see them.

Luigi Pira
2016 Dolcetto d´Alba
The Dolcetto is a charmer with a young, perky nose full of ripe lingonberries, some blueberries, undergrowth and gravel. Salivating. Very fine.
The taste is upfront and juicy with notes of violets, sweet lingonberries and warm bricks. Energetic and racy. Very, very good.
91p   (tasted 2017/05)




2015 Barbera d´Alba
A warm, fruity nose with notes of Maraschino cherries, violets, asphalt and smoke. Deep and very fine.
The taste is seedy and tight with notes of dark raspberries, smoke, asphalt and a touch of tobacco. Very long and warm. Very, very good.
91p   (tasted 2017/05)

2015 Langhe Nebbiolo
A spicy, tight nose with notes of red cherries, rose petals, earth and perfume. Somewhat restrained. Very good.
The taste is taut and cool with notes of ripe red cherries, gravel, rosehips and mushrooms. A long, fine finish.
91p   (tasted 2017/05)

2013 Barolo Serralunga
Yet another great Normale from 2013. The nose is pure and vigorous with notes of sweet/sour cherries, warm sand, ski wax and dried strawberries. Handsome and fine.
The taste is young and tight with notes of fresh cherries, gravel, rosehips and licorice. A long, intense finish. Very, very good.
92p   (tasted 2017/05)

2013 Barolo Margheria
The Margheria is a beauty! The nose is pure and concentrated with notes of ripe cherries, dried strawberries, smoke and licorice. Very deep and refined.
The taste is taut and focused with notes of ripe black cherries, licorice, dried flowers and smoke. A very long, balanced finish. Really fine.
94p   (tasted 2017/05)


2013 Barolo Marenca
The Marenca is even better with a brilliant, dark, pure nose with notes of dark raspberries, leather, licorice and forest floor. A deep, beautifully perfumed scent. Just lovely.
The taste is structured yet creamy in a way with gorgeous dark fruit, silky tannins and a finish that goes on for over a minute. Great wine.
95p   (tasted 2017/05)

2013 Barolo Vigna Rionda
What can I say but the best of the lot! The nose is hauntingly deep and complex with stunning notes of violets, strawberries, dark licorice, gravel and rosemary. An impressive depth.
The taste is deep, concentrated and multi layered with notes of sweet/sour cherries, raspberry licorice, earth, violets and dried flowers. Power and elegance in a great package. Just stunning!
97p   (tasted 2017/05)

The view from Luigi Pira´s tasting room

Then the fun really began! Gianpaolo had said the day before at dinner that he probably wouldn´t bottle the single vineyards in 2014 and instead just do a Normale with a blend from them.

No, no, we said - not before we get a chance to taste them! Then we decide for you!

We got four glasses poured blind, knowing that they were cask samples of the 2014´s, the Serralunga and the three cru´s, but we were not told the order - that we had to figure out.

2014 Barolo ?
Ok then, the first glass. A cool, spicy, fresh nose with notes of ripe lingonberries, herbs, licorice and a fine perfumed scent. Very, very good.
The taste is linear and fine with notes of hard cherry candy, licorice, gravel and lots of silky tannins. Long and lingering. Really good. This has to be bottled! What it is? I´m guessing Margheria and lo and behold, it is! I am of to a good start! (which ended fast...). Again, this must be bottled!
93p   (tasted 2017/05

2014 Barolo ?
The next glass offers up a warm, smoky nose with notes of dark cherries, leather, warm rocks and rosehips. Somewhat sturdy at this point.
The taste is taut and structured with broad shouldered tannins and dark cherry fruit alongside notes of leather, raspberry licorice and gravel. The most backward of the samples and I guess Vigna Rionda. But no, it is Marenca. A very good wine, but a bit ungainly at the moment.
89p   (tasted 2017/05)




2014 Barolo ?
The third glass has deep, enticing aromas of red and black cherries, leather, rosehips and a balsamic fine note. Very, very good.
The taste is low keyed but very good with notes of raspberry licorice, earth, quinine and dried roses. A medium long finish with sappy tannins. I´m guessing the Serralunga on this but it is in fact the Vigna Rionda. Oops...
91p   (tasted 2017/05)

2014 Barolo ?
The last glass is alongside the first the best one. The nose is refined and perfumed with notes of black cherries, tobacco, rich soil and rosehips. Very deep and fine.
The taste is young, earthy and broad with notes of ripe black cherries, violets, tobacco and a hint of dark chocolate. Very long and fine with energetic tannins. This has to be the Vigna Rionda?! But as you have figured out by now, it is the Serralunga... Again, this must be bottled as it is! I will buy! A lot!
93p   (tasted 2017/05)

2014 Barolo "The Blend"
After this interesting tasting we were presented with a fifth glass - a blend of the cru´s and the Serralunga. This is what Gianpaola is thinking of bottling if we haven´t changed his mind...
And this is good, mind you. The nose is deep and focused with perfumed cherry fruit and notes of smoke, roses, violets and a hint of tobacco. Very, very good.
The taste is firm and concentrated with notes of harc cherry candy, licorice, forest floor and rosehips. A long, tight finish with ripe tannins. This is a very good blend, maybe Gianpoalo is on to something...
92p   (tasted 2017/05)


Back at Centro Storico - what to choose...?
After the Pira visit we headed to our luncheon hang out - Centro Storico!

2015 Langhe Nebbiolo
We didn´t get to taste the Langhe Nebbiolo when we visited Fabio, so we thought we would try it out now. The nose is high, spicy and fresh with notes of strawberries, iron, earth and roses. Very fine.
The taste is tight and focused with notes of red cherries, earth, dried strawberries and a lightly smoky note. A very fine acidity. Very fine.
91p   (tasted 2017/05)




After a usual good time with Alessio we headed to Ceretto where Selena meet up with us, showed us the cellar and then let us have a really good time in her company and with the fantastic wines of Ceretto. The tasting rooms are amazing with glass walls overlooking vineyards as long as you can see.

Selena 


2016 Monsordo Bianco
This Riesling sports a cool, fresh nose with notes of pear, wild flowers, melon and spices. Very good.
The taste is dry and cool with notes of dry peaches, pear and spices. A fine acidity. This is fine.
88p   (tasted 2017/05)



2014 Barbaresco Bernadot
A finely tuned nose full of ripe red cherries and additional notes of dark flowers, gravel, raspberry candy and moist earth. A fine spiciness. Very, very good.
The taste is seedy and tight with notes of juicy cherry fruit, sand, rosehips and earth. Long and fine.
91p   (tasted 2017/05)

2014 Barbaresco Asili
The Asili is a stunner, with a deep, flowery nose with notes of warm tiles, cherries, gravel and a hint of tobacco. Very deep and fine.
The taste is tight and focused with notes of ripe cherries, warm sand, spices and tar. A very long, juicy finish with a fine mix of tannins and acidity.
93p   (tasted 2017/05)

2013 Barolo Brunate
A large scaled, deep nose with notes of spicy cherries, licorice, violets and a touch of mint. Some oak as well, playing a supporting role. Very, very good.
The taste is tight and complex with notes of mushrooms, raspberry licorice, violets and smoke. A long, lingering finish. Will turn out really fine with 5+ years in the cellar.
92p   (tasted 2017/05)

2013 Barolo Prapo
The Prapo sports a deep, creamy nose with notes of ripe cherries, leather, earth and tobacco. Very deep and refined.
The taste is tight and seedy with notes of ripe cherries, forest floor, tobacco and mushrooms. Juicy tannins. Very long and really fine.
94p   (tasted 2017/05)



2013 Barolo Bricco Rocche
A very deep, tight and refined nose with notes of paint, ripe red cherries, smoke, warm sand and tobacco leaves. Really lovely.
The taste is young, tight and structured with finely polished tannins and notes of ripe cherries, dried strawberries, licorice and tobacco. The finish goes on for minutes. Impressive!
96p   (tasted 2017/05)

2011 Barolo Brunate
Selena asked if we wanted to taste more? Oh yes, we modestly answered...
First out, the 11 Brunate, and this is absolutely stunning. The nose is deep, rounded and multi layered with notes of  a moist forest floor, fir, dried cherries, ceps and a hint of tooth paste. Very deep and fine.
The taste is refined and succulent with notes of sweet/sour cherries, undergrowth, mushrooms and fir wood. A long, long finish with sappy tannins. Still on the young side of things but I would drink it any day of the week.
95p   (tasted 2017/05)



2005 Barolo Bricco Rocche
Another Bricco Rocche? Yes, please! The 05 has a deep, tarry nose with notes of dried red plums, rosehips, earth and leather. Multi layered and very fine.
The taste is rich and sturdy with notes of dried black cherries, orange peel, warm sand and rosehips. The finish goes on for over a minute. Maturing, but needs some more years in the cellar.
93p   (tasted 2017/05)

2003 Barbaresco Bricco Asili
A big, warm nose with notes of sweet cherries, prunes, mushrooms and ripe flowers. A bit warm on the nose, in line with the vintage.
The taste is tighter but a tad linear with notes of dried cherries, rosehips, undergrowth and old leather. A long, warm finish. Very good but will not get any better.
88p   (tasted 2017/05)



Last dinner in Langhe and where to go but too La Coccinella!

NV Blanc de Blancs, Legras
A bottle of bubbly to start with. The nose is steely and fresh with notes of grass, peaches, white pepper and a hint of coffee powder. Very, very good.
The taste is juicy and racy with notes of lemon peel, cap gun smoke, dried flowers and grass. Elegant and fine. A very fine acidity. Lovely.
92p   (tasted 2017/05)


2010 Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra, Domenico Clerico
A large scaled, concentrated nose with notes of sweet cherries, tobacco, violets and moist undergrowth. Multi layered and luscious. Stunning.
The taste is tight and structured with notes of chocolate covered cherries, asphalt, dark flowers and tobacco. Very long and concentrated. Just lovely.
95p   (tasted 2017/05)



2011 Barolo Brunate, Giuseppe Rinaldi
The Rinaldi is laid back and cool with fine notes of ripening red cherries, licorice, dried flowers and roses. High and fine.
The taste is refined and a tad withdrawn with notes of dried cherries, tobacco, earth and a hint of band aid. Very, very good.
92p   (tasted 2017/05)

So ends the Sunday. Only a few hours left in Barolo land. As soon as I am on the plane I know I will yearn to go back...

Friday, 7 July 2017

2016 Seven Flags Chardonnay, Paul Cluver

2016 Seven Flags Chardonnay, Paul Cluver
A wonderful, deep, cool and spicy nose with notes of lemon cream, white flowers, passion fruit, flint and a touch of white pepper. Very complex and fine. Sun warm rocks. Luscious and very fine.
The taste is concentrated and creamy with notes of grilled lemons, white flowers, chalk, dry fudge and lots of chrushed rocks. A very fine acidity. This would hold its own in a lineup of Burgundy Grand Cru´s.
95p   (tasted 2017/07)



Wednesday, 5 July 2017

1999 Perlato Del Bosco, Tua Rita

1999 Perlato del Bosco, Tua Rita
This 100% Sangiovese shows of a deep, maturing nose with notes of black cherries, graphite, ripe flowers and dark spices. A fine sweetness to the fruit. Some lead pencil aromas after a while. Aking more to a Cabernet than a Sangiovese on the nose. Very, very good.
The taste is structured and sandy with notes of black cherries, fennel seeds, licorice and rosemary. Much more Sangiovese character on the palate. Long, warm and intense with a fine maturity. Very fine.
91p   (tasted 2017/05)



Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Just Bought

Some more bottles from the Produttori - there will be a large scale tasting some day...


Sunday, 2 July 2017

1947 Barolo, Marchesi di Barolo


This half bottle was drunk with other wines on Midsummer but deserves a post on its own. Bought a a couple of months ago, the bottle looked fine and the level was really good for this age. From one of the greatest vintages ever. Things was set up for a (hopefully) nice experience.

With fingers crossed I drew the cork, and what a cork!

The 1 inch cork to the left is from the Marchesi di Barolo bottle, the other is from a half bottle of 1958 Barbaresco

No decanting, just slowly pouring four glasses with a cristal clear, light red/orange liquid.
Putting our noses in the glasses there were smiles all around the table. This was the real thing.

1947 Barolo, Marchesi di Barolo
A poster child for an ethereal nose. High, intense and utterly gorgeous with notes of dried roses, forest floor, dried strawberries and ceps. A wonderful dried up sweetness. Really deep and fine. Aristocratic.
The taste is pure, velvety and intense with notes of dried roses, earth, rosehips, mushrooms and dried strawberries. Very long, very elegant and just lovely. The four of us who shared this bottle got more than an experience, we got a memory for life.
97p   (tasted 2017/06)


Saturday, 1 July 2017

1996, 2001 & 2008 Barbaresco Montersino, Orlando Abrigo


Montersino is a large vineyard, 81,25 ha. 61% of it actually lies in Alba where 39% is in Treiso. The Nebbiolo percentage is 33%. Orlando Abrigo´s part is in Treiso and was planted in 1970.

1996 Barbaresco Vigna Montersino, Orlando Abrigo
A deep, somewhat mature nose with juicy cherry fruit and notes of herbs, smoke and tobacco. A fine warmth to the fruit. Deep and fine.
The taste is round, velvety and fine with notes of dried cherries, raspberry licorice, earth and tobacco. Almost fully mature. Some sandy, soft tannins at the end of the finish. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2017/06)

2001 Barbaresco Vigna Montersino, Orlando Abrigo
The 01 has a lovely focused, deep, fresh nose with notes of ripe red cherries, undergrowth, rosehips and tobacco. Very deep. More sour/sweet cherries after a while. Very fine.
The taste is tight and concentrated with a smidgen of maturity and notes of ripe red cherries, violets, forest floor, dried mushrooms and tobacco. A very long, distinct finish. Still on the young side of things, give it another 5+ years.
92p   (tasted 2017/06)

2008 Barbaresco Montersino, Orlando Abrigo
A deep, dusty nose with notes of dried red berries, chalk, tobacco and rosehips. Somewhat withdrawn, even after some hours in the decanter. A fine warmth underneath though. Needs time.
The taste is restrained and taut with notes of hard cherry candy, rosehips, road dust and dry tobacco. A long, dry finish with noticable, well polished tannins. Will need 8+ years.
89p   (tasted 2017/06)