Monday 22 January 2018

The Barolo Boys Visit Fratelli Alessandria, Francesco Rinaldi & Marengo

Last notes from our November trip to Piedmont. Looking forward to going there again in 71 days time!

Fratelli Alessandria
The evening before our visit to Fratelli Alessandria we had the 2013 Monvigliero and was really impressed. When we drove up to Verduno on Saturday morning we were eager to taste the rest of the wines.
When we arrived and knocked on the door Vittore greated us and showed us the ancient cellars of the estate, which was established in the early 1800´s.
When we arrived we were the only visitors but after one hour or so the tasting room looked more like a crowded subway station during rush hour... Saturday´s are busy, as Vittore said when he poured us the wines before rushing over to another company. An excellent visit and really fine wines across the line.

2016 Langhe Favorita
Favorita is a grape I don´t drink too often. Or at all. Which I thought before I found out that Favorita and Vermentino is the same grape. Ah well, in that case I drink Favorita, mostly from Liguria.
The nose of this one has a light peppery. grassy nose which is pure and fresh. Very good.
The taste is dry and herbal with notes of grass, mineral and a hint of white pepper. A fine acidity.
87p   (tasted 2017/11)

2016 Pelaverga Speziale
An open, genrous, high nose with notes of assorted red berries, white pepper, forest floor and clay. High spirited and juicy.
The taste is cool and spicy with notes of ripe lingonberries, gravel, herbs and clay. Some lightly nibbling tannins. Very, very good. I tasted the 2015 a couple of weeks ago. Very gulpable, nice wines.
88p   (tasted 2017/11)

2016 Barbera d´Alba
The nose is a lovely mix of raspberries and blueberries with some spices, dark oranges and a hint of tobacco added. Very fine.
The taste is tight and balanced with notes of raspberries, licorice, tobacco and Christmas spices. A fine acidity. Very long.
91p   (tasted 2017/11)

Vittore in action!
2015 Barbera d´Alba Priòra
The Priòra is deeper and darker than the normal Barbera. More black the red fruit and on the nose there is lots of Finnish licorice and undergrowth. Very deep.
The taste is dark and seedy with notes of ripe blueberries, forest floor, licorice and dark chocolate. Long and rich. Different than the normal Barbera and just as good.
91p   (tasted 2017/11)

2015 Langhe Nebbiolo Prinsiòt
This is a serious Langhe Nebbiolo, with a deep, spicy nose with lots of fresh cherries, smoke and raspberry licorice. A fine intensity.
The taste is cool and fresh with notes of ripe red currants and raspberries alongside graphite, violets and gravel. Very charming, intense and likeable.
92p   (tasted 2017/11)

2013 Barolo
The Normale displays a old fashioned Nebbiolo nose with salmiak, pickled lingonberries, earth and dried spices. Some floral elements after a while. Very, very good.
The taste is dry and focused with notes of rowanberries, spices, tobacco and paint. A very fine dryness in the finish. Long. Really good.
92p   (tasted 2017/11)

2013 Barolo San Lorenzo di Verduno
A fine depth with notes of dried up lingonberry jam, smoke, spices and forest floor. A very handsome, cool nose.
The taste is young, spicy and fresh with notes of ripe lingonberries, raspberry licorice, dusty earth and fine balsamic notes. Silky and salty tannins. Very long and very fine.
93p   (tasted 2017/11)

2013 Barolo Gramolere
The Gramolere sports a deep, dark nose with notes of licorice, fried herbs, warm sand and ripe red cherries. A very fine depth. Lovely.
The taste is tight and tannic with notes of dried cherries, violets, asphalt and herbs. A long, firm finish with structure and finesse. 8+ years.
93p   (tasted 2017/11)

Francesco Rinaldi
This was my first visit to Francesco Rinaldi, but I have tasted some of their old style Baroli, one that comes to mind is the 1964 that seemed untouched by time at 50 years of age.
Paola Rinaldi spent quality time with us, pouring these fine wines, and talked about the history and future of the estate.

2013 Barolo
Directly from the bottle this is a bit rough around the edges, but with just 15 minutes in the glass and some swirling fine aromas of sweet/sour cherries, earth, violets and paint arises from the glass. Cool, fine fruit.
The taste is sandy and tight with notes of dried roses, hard cherry candy, dried mushrooms and leather. Long and fine with some rugged tannins. Needs at least 6 years.
90p   (tasted 2017/11)

2013 Barolo Brunate
An old style, deep, laid back nose with notes of violets, red cherries, dried flowers and some coffee. Deep and fine.
The taste is seedy and strong with notes of violets, dried cherries, mushrooms and spices. Salivating tannins in the long, long finish. 8+ years.
92p   (tasted 2017/11)

2013 Barolo Cannubi
The nose is all about sweet/sour cherries, damp earth, paint, rosehips and ski wax. Complex and fine.
The taste is cool, high and tight with notes of spiced up cherries, violets, old tobacco and paint. A one minute finish with a fine balance and polished tannins. 10+ years.
94p   (tasted 2017/11)

Visiting Marengo is a must and it is always great to taste these fantastic wines with Marco and Jenny.

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 wine, I just call them as I see them.

2016 Barbera d´Alba Vigna Pugnane
The Pugnane shows a warm, spicy nose with notes of cooked raspberries, licorice, coffee grounds and asphalt. Very, very good.
The taste is warm and spicy with notes of ripe cherries, raspberry licorice and scorched earth. A fine acidity.
89p   (tasted 2017/11)

2016 Nebbiolo d´Alba Vigna Valmaggiore
A refined, broad nose with notes of dried roses, spices, cherries, earth and dry licorice. A fine depth.
The taste is tight and fine with notes of hard cherry candy, gravel, mushrooms and leather. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2017/11)

2013 Barolo
The 13 Barolo behaved identical as when we tasted it in May.
92p   (tasted 2017/11)

2014 Barolo
We tasted the 14´s when we visited in May of 2017. They were good then but the months after May have been kind to these wines, because now I found all to be great!
The Normale has put on weight and at the same time kept the high, energetic character. Really good. 89 p in May, now
91p   (tasted 2017/11)

2014 Barolo Bricco dell Viole
The same with the Bricco dell Viole as the Normale above, more weight yet with balance and focus. 92p then, now
93p   (tasted 2017/11)

2014 Barolo Brunate
The Brunate has got more refined and classy over the the last couple of months. this is a real stunner. Then 93p, now
95p   (tasted 2017/11)

2012 Barolo Riserva Brunate
It is always a treat to taste (again!) the Riserva Brunate. This behaved the same as in May, and that is saying something! World class wine.
96p   (tasted 2017/11)

2013 Barolo Riserva Brunate
Well, why not finish with a bang! The 13 Riserva Brunate is a stunner. The nose is deep, tight and concentrated with notes of ripe cherries, trumpet mushrooms, tobacco smoke, dark licorice and a hint of truffle. High and intense. Gorgeous.
The taste is young, tight and balanced with notes of sweet/sour cherries, tobacco, asphalt, dried roses and some balsamic notes. The finish goes on and on and on. As with the 2010 Riserva Brunate, a candidate for perfection.
97p   (tasted 2017/11)

Part One - The Barolo Boys Visit Bartolo Mascarello, Giacomo Conterno & Ceretto
Part Two - The Barolo Boys Visit Parusso, Vietti & Aldo Conterno
Part Three - The Barolo Boys Visit Domenico Clerico, Mauro Veglio & Luigi Pira

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