Saturday 17 December 2016

The Barolo Boys In Piedmont - Part Three

Another day and more winegrowers to visit! You should think that tasting (spitting mind you!) wine from early morning until evening would make you tired, but being here in Langhe fills you with vigour and energy! We jumped in the car and drove to

Ciacomo Conterno
A visit to the cellar of Ciacomo Conterno is always a must on these thrips. The cellar is immaculate, you could eat of the floors. A new bottling machine was the first we saw, it looked more like a NASA project than anything else. Apparently so efficient that all bottling can be made in three days. Then it just stands there for 362 days...
Roberto greated us and we took a quick tour around the cellar before heading up to the tasting room where he opened these bottles. It is always a treat to get to sit down and talk to Roberto about the situation in Langhe, the latest vintages and everything else that makes life worthwhile.

2014 Barbera d´Alba Vigna Francia
A high, pure nose with lots of energy and notes of ripe black cherries, lingonberries, forest floor and raspberry liquorice. Very, very good.
The taste is seedy and forward with notes of mineral laden raspberries with some liquorice and smoke tossed in. A long, distinct finish with a fine high acidity. This is really fine.
93p   (tasted 2016/12)

2014 Barbera d´Alba Vigna Cerretta
The Cerretta is darker and a bit more concentrated than the Francia, with notes of damp earth, ripe raspberries, almond paste and mushrooms. Very, very good.
The taste is high and tight with notes of a mix of blueberries and raspberries with additional notes of sweet minerals, forest floor and smoke. A long, intense finish. As with the Francia, really fine.
93p   (tasted 2016/12)

2012 Barolo Francia
A deep, dense nose with notes of dried rose petals, dried up cherry jam, hard cherry candy and smoke. High and pure. A bit compact. Needs time to open up.
The taste is seedy and tight with high and mighty tannins and notes of dry liquorice, hard cherry candy, dry leaves and minerals. Very, very long and structured. Needs time.
92p   (tasted 2016/12)

2012 Barolo Cerretta
A wonderfully perfumed nose with notes of ripe, dark cherries, raspberry liquorice, dried mushrooms and asphalt. Very deep. A hint of tobacco. This is really fine.
The taste is tight and focused with notes of dark cherry fruit, liquorice, forest floor and tobacco. A very long, balanced finish with lovely, polished tannins. This is goood!
95p   (tasted 2016/12)

2010 Monfortino
After tasting the wines above, we anxiously looked at Roberto. Would we get to taste the Monfortino? On our previous visits we have always tasted it from barrel in the cellar, and we had alreday visited the cellar...
But Roberto disappeared and came back with a unlabeled bottle - and yes - Monfortino! Apparently they have had fruit flies on the premises, so tasting in the cellar was a no no.
The nose is a dream with a depth and purity that is breathtaking. There are beautiful notes of rose petals, tiles, sweet/sour cherries and ceps. Deceptively light. Very balanced. Just great.
The taste is intense and refined with beatiful perfumed notes, perfectly balanced tannins and a finish that goes on and on and on. The 10 Monfortino is a beauty and perfection in the making. Give it 8+ years. Will be released in October 2017, time for those Lotto coupons to come through...
99p   (tasted 2016/12)

For lunch we went up to Verduno and Trattoria Dai Bercau, which Enrica Scavino had recommended. We shared a bottle from the nearby winery and I ate a delicious coniglio dish.

2015 Langhe Nebbiolo, Dott G.B. Burlotto
A withdrawn, traditional nose with notes of sour cherries, burnt leaves, dried flowers and some rubber. A little VA at first, that blew away with some air. Very good.
The taste is warm and outgoing with notes of ripe red cherries, gravel and mushrooms. A medium long finish with a high acidity. Went very well with the coniglio.
86p   (tasted 2016/12)


After lunch we headed to La Morra for our next visit. Cesare Bussolo met us and then we had a two hours great visit with lots of discussion and some fine wines.

Roberto Voerzio
2015 Dolcetto d´Alba Priavino
Cesare talked a lot of the Dolcetto and was noticable proud of it. As he should be, for this is really good. It has a fresh, open nose with notes of ripe raspberries, forest floor and balsa wood. Juicy and upfront.
The taste is young and sporty with a fine mix of raspberries and blueberries, a fresh acidity and a moderate length. This is good.
88p   (tasted 2016/12)

2012 Barolo Cerequio
A deep, ripe nose with notes of mature red cherries, raspberry liquorice, rosehips and rose water. Very fine. Deep.
The taste is young and tight with notes of sweet red cherries, liquorice, forest floor and fresh mushrooms. A long finish with juicy tannins. Very, very good.
92p   (tasted 2016/12)

2012 Barolo Rocche dell´Annunziata
The Rocche is a stunner, with its deep, concentrated nose full of ripe cherries, damp earth, red tea and some chocolate biscuits. Very fine. An ever so slight mint aroma.
The taste is young and tight with forceful tannins that have wrapped in the sweet cherry fruit. Very, very long. The finish is like sucking on some hard cherry candy. Great.
95p   (tasted 2016/12)

2012 Barolo La Serra
The nose starts with lots of sweet minerals, but with some swirling notes of raspberry liquorice, forest floor and roships emerge from the glass. Dense and deep.
The taste is tight and focused with notes of violets, red cherries, crushed rocks and a hint of tobacco. A long finish with some sturdy tannins. Needs time. Very, very good.
92p   (tasted 2016/12)

2006 Barolo Fossati Case Nere Riserva 10 Anni
This late release is an awesome effort. The nose is deep, somewhat mature and rich with notes of candied cherries, sweet liquorice, autumn leaves, dried rose petals and some coffee scents. Very, very deep. The 10 years hade added lots of complexity. Just lovely.
The taste is pure, deep and complex with notes of sweet violets, dry cherry jam, black tea and rosehips. A long, very focused finish with nicely rounded tannins. Drinking great today will get even better with 5+ years. Splendid!
97p   (tasted 2016/12)

On our way to the evenings restaurant we made a quick pit stop at Altare and met up with Silvia, and tasted these 12´s.
2012 Barolo
The 12 Normale has a deep, finely tuned nose with notes of sweet/sour cherries, ceps, liquorice and gravel. Deep and fine. A velvety character.
The velvety character follows through on the palate with rich cherry fruit and notes of liquorice, dried flowers and a hint of chocolate. Very, very good. Long and rewarding.
92p   (tasted 2016/12)

2012 Barolo Arborina
The Arborina is more concentrated than the Normale with a salty cherry candy feeling and lots of moist forest floor, and some really focused tannins, but feels more withdrawn than the Normale. Give it 6+ years.
93p   (tasted 2016/12)

After the short visit to Altare we went to Trattoria La Coccinella in Serravalle. It turned out to be a real treat, the best restaurant visit of the trip.
We had a bottle of 2012 Arneis, Bruno Giacosa, the best Arnesis in Langhe, except for Vietti´s version, and it was, as always, fresh and juicy and was a perfect fit with my primo - lots of different raw fishes - one of the best dishes I have had this year.

Raw fish - it just melted in the mouth!

2011 Barolo Tre Tine, Giuseppe Rinaldi
We then opted for a Barolo (surprise!) to go along the rest of the meal. And this turned out a real treat. The nose is deep, multi layered and light as a feather, with lovely notes of pickled cherries, rose petals, ceps and some smoke in a distance. Very complex. Utterly gorgeous.
The taste is pure, racy and clean as a whistle with notes of hard cherry candy, raspberry liquorice, warm sand and minerals. Very long and focused. The real thing. So much better than the Brunate. Stunning.
96p   (tasted 2016/12)

Tripe lasagna!

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