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...

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