Thursday, 22 August 2019

Six Bottles Of Chenin Blanc From South Africa

Håkan C arranged a really interesting tasting recently in our monthly tasting group. Tasted double blind, no one was even close guessing the grape and origin...

2015 Magnetic North, Alheit
A cool, sligthly grassy nose with notes of dried honey, rubber and gravel. Light and fine.
The taste is cool and rather elegant with notes of gravel, green table grapes and a touch of grass. A good acidity. Light.
87p   (tasted 2019/08)

2015 Radio Lazarus, Alheit
A cool fresh nose with notes of dried tropical fruit, birch leaves and gravel. Very, very good.
The taste is light and energetic with notes of dry melon, grass and chrushed rocks. A very fine acidity. Very fine.
90p   (tasted 2019/08)

2016 Granite, Mullineux
A finely tuned, refined nose with lovely yellow fruit, expensive soap, dried apricots and wet asphalt. Complex and fine. A kiss of oak.
The taste is tight and ligthly buttery with notes of yellow apples, dried honey, hay and minerals. A lovely wine.
92p   (tasted 2019/08)

2016 Quartz, Mullineux
Best in show. This beauty displays a handsome, crisp nose with notes of white peach, earth, matchbox and herbs. Distinct and very fine.
The taste is racy and fresh with notes of peaches, red apples, birch sap and earth. A very fine acidity. Very long.
93p   (tasted 2019/08)

2016 Chenin Blanc, Reyneke
A big, outgoing nose with notes of dry botrytis, autumn yellow apples. moist earth and glue. Became more refined with air, but still a bit to clumsy.
The taste is high and dry with lots of concentration but a bit unbalanced. Ripe yellow fruit, rubber and a hint of oak. Maybe time will help?
85p   (tasted 2019/08)

2016 Mev. Kirsten, Sadie Family
A deep, fine nose with notes of yellow summer flowers, birch leaves, warm gravel and linoleum. Very, very good.
The taste is full bodied and tight with notes of passion fruit, gravel, autumn leaves and sweet minerals. Long and juicy.
88p   (tasted 2019/08)

Monday, 19 August 2019

Eating & Drinking In Piedmont - Impressions From November 2018

I published some pictures and notes from The Barolo Boys visits in March this year to our favourite eating places. The following are from our visit in November of 2018. Lets see if you spot any similarities...

Osteria Veglio
What to say that haven´t already been said about this gem of a restaurant? Stunning food, a great wine list and the most lovely people that owns and run this jewel. We will always come back!
(we actually went twice, one time on our own and once with the Pira´s and Marengo´s!)

A lovely bubble with smoke notes, grapefruit, herbs and mineral (91p)

Great wines! The 13 Produttori is earthy and cherry laden with lots of structure for the future (93p). The Rocche from Brovia is (again!) a magical wine with everything in place (96p)

The proud owners and managers of Osteria Veglio

The secomd visit - The Cavallotto, really fine with juicy tannins and earthy, cherry aromas (93p), the Poderi Colla is a more elegamt creature with roses and violets (92p), and the Porro displays firm Serralunga treats with firm tannins and gorgeous, ripe fruit (94p)

Spending time with The Barolo Boys will make you this happy!

Il Grecale
Located in Novello, this sea food aficionado (even though they have other food as well, as seen below) offers up sumptuous food, a wine list with Elvio Cogno´s magnificent wines (you can see the estate from the restaurant) but also more bottles of course, and as with Osteria Veglio, people who runs the restaurant with charm, joy and passion.

A Nascetta from Elvio Cogno is always a treat (91p)

A dark, juicy Barbera that really pleases the taste buds (91p)

I am not a fan of liqour but this Gin based drink was the best I have ever had!

Centro Storico
A visit to Ciccio is always a must! His grumpy charm is a treat and the down to earth food is to die for (as is the wine list, although you have to ask Ciccio when he is about to update it, that is always fun...:-))

A fine thirst cleanser! (90p)

The 16 Langhe Nebbiolo from Maria Teresa is a stunner! (93p)

La Coccinella
Our favourite restaurant, this time only a quick stop for lunch before going to Malpensa to fly home (sadly...).

A gorgeous 2016 Langhe Nebbiolo from Giuseppe Rinaldi (93p)

Saturday, 17 August 2019

2016 Arneis, Vietti & 2015 Pelaverga Speziale, Fratelli Alessandria

Some medium spicy food on the plate. A white or a red wine? I coudn´t choose, so I opened both!

2016 Arneis, Vietti
Tasted at the estate two years ago, and today it displays fine notes of dried tangerines, grass, yellow flowers and gravel. Very, very good.
The taste is fresh and fine with steely notes of dry lemons, matchbox and oyester shells. Long and fine. A very good acidity.
89p   (tasted 2019/08)

2015 Pelaverga Speziale, Fratelli Alessandria
Tasted almost two years ago, the nose today is juciy and fine with notes of lingonberries, dried strawberries, earth and flower water. Very fine.
The taste is cool and elegant with notes of lingonberries, cranberries, white pepper and old, dry chocolate biscuits. A good acidity. Highly drinkable, but don´t keep them for long in the cellar.
87p   (tasted 2019/08)

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Not So Long Overdue Notes - The Barolo Boys Visits Sergio Giudice & Renato Corino

Sergio Giudice
Everyone that have visited Centro Storico for lunch or dinner and parked their car just below the towering castle, have surely noticed a small window just opposite the parking spots, that have bottles of Dolcetto, Barbera and Barolo, with animals on the label, on display.
But has anyone ever gone in? The Barolo Boys now have, after passing the small tasting room/shop a zillion times.
We were meet by the most charming, eldery couple that greeted us like old friends. Some language problems were sorted out by hand gestures, notes on a piece of paper and the common love for the region and the wines.

2017 Dolcetto d´Alba
A fresh, herbal nose with notes of ripening blueberries, dry licorice and gravel. A good structure.
The taste is cool and fine with notes of blueberry licorice, gravel and dried flowers. Some perky tannins. A tad short.
85p   (tasted 2018/12)

The current winemaker, their son, was borned in 1964 (The Greatest Vintage Ever!)
2016 Barbera d´Alba
A good warmth on the nose with notes of ripe raspberries, scorched earth and some meat stock aromas.
The taste is tighter than the nose leads on, with notes of dried up raspberry jam, warm tiles and bonfire smoke. A good acidity.
85p   (tasted 2018/12)

2017 Langhe Nebbiolo
A fine, cherry laden nose with additional notes of bay leaves, licorice, rosehips and earth. Very good.
The taste is seedy and fine with notes of iron, ripe cherries and dry licorice. Medium long and fine.
87p   (tasted 2018/12)

2014 Barolo 
The 14 Barolo offers up a fine nose with lots of undergrowth, dried red berries and some balsamic notes.
The taste is old school structured with steady tannins and a fine cranberry/cherry fruit. A long, sandy finish. 5+ years.
88p   (tasted 2018/12)

Renato Corino
My first visit to Renato Corino. I have previously visited Giovanni Corino.

2017 Dolcetto d´Alba
A fruity, fine nose with notes of raspberries and blueberries, licorice and Asian spices. Fresh.
The taste is lightly peppery with fine notes of blueberries, sandelwood and spices. Perky tannins. Very, very good.
89p   (tasted 2018/12)

2017 Barbera d´Alba
An open, large scaled nose with notes of blackberry jam, salt licorice, smoke and moist earth. A bit rough around the edges.
The taste is big and brawny with notes of scorched earth, fried bay leaves and cherry jam. A long, warm finish that lacks some energy.
85p   (tasted 2018/12)

2016 Barbera d´Alba Pozzo
The Pozzo displays a big, lush nose with notes of dark perfume, cooked strawberries, ripe cherries and chocolate mousse. All over the place but keeps things together all the same. Highly likeable.
The taste is big, tight and complex with a multitude of flavours, a stern structure and a very long finish with a fine acidity. Not for the fainthearted but very, very fine.
91p   (tasted 2018/12)

2017 Langhe Nebbiolo
A deep, fine nose with notes of Christmas spices, ripe red cherries and some tobacco leaves. A tad withdrawn but has a fine character.
The taste is young and tight with notes of red cherries, asphalt and some green pepper notes. Long and fine. 3+ years.
88p   (tasted 2018/12)

2014 Barolo del Comune di La Morra
An open, fine nose with notes of dried strawberries, earth, rosehips and a hint of iodine.
The taste is medium bodied with notes of violets, earth, dried strawberries and spices. Delicate tannins. Very, very good. 3+ years.
88p   (tasted 2018/12)

2015 Barolo Arborina
The 15 Arborina has a deep, lovely nose with notes of mushrooms, fir wood, red cherries and allspice. A fine intensity.
The taste is structured and fine with notes of red and black cherries, licorice, spices and rosehips. Very long and fine.  6+ years.
92p   (tasted 2018/12)

Renato himself!

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

2015 & 2016 Langhe Nebbiolo, Paolo Scavino

2015 Langhe Nebbiolo, Paolo Scavino
Two half bottles tasted side by side and it was a fine showing of the individual vintages. The 15 has a open, inviting, warm nose with notes of ripe raspberries, Finnish licorice, root vegetables and a touch of bonfire smoke. Round and fine.
The taste is fine, warm and (almost) ready for drinking, with notes of pipe tobacco, ripe red fruits, earth and licorice. A long finish with a nice warmth. Very, very good. 3+ years.
88p   (tasted 2019/08)

2016 Langhe Nebbiolo, Paolo Scavino
The 16 Langhe Nebbiolo is another creature - deeper, darker and with more black than red fruit. The nose is more structured and energetic. Fine notes of of dark roses, salmiak and dry tobacco.
The taste is more backward with a tighter framework and more delicate tannins. Very long. Lovely ripe fruit. This is really fine. 6+ years. Will stock up on this, 10 Euro for a half bottle.
91p   (tasted 2019/08)

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Vacation Wines - 2012 Barbaresco, La Ca` Növa

Barbaresco with the sage that was fried in lots of butter and then spooned over home made gnoochis with pancetta...
2012 Barbaresco, La Ca` Növa
The summer vacation is almost at an end, time to open a final bottle. This youngster needs some time in the glas to open up to a delicate nose with notes of cranberries, sweet lingonberries, shoe polish, roses and a hint of cigarette ash. Not that deep but very charming.
The taste is still young and tight with perky tannins and notes of rowanberries, dry licorice, gravel and dried flowers. Medium long and finely balanced. 4+ years but easy to drink today.
88p   (tasted 2019/08)

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Three Stunning Reds

Tasted and drunk at friends a couple of weeks ago. Tasted double blind.

2002 Château Pichon Baron
The nose shows classic ceder and black currant aromas. Together with notes of dark coffee and leather it was easy to start guessing right bank Bordeaux. A high, fine nose. Classy. A glimpse of maturity but this has far to go.
The taste is deep and polished with shiny black fruit and the sandy tannins in the finish goes on for over a minute. Expensive leather, sugared coffe and a hint of dog fur. Very refined. Right bank Bordeaux proved to be correct, but I guessed it to be a 2005. Hands down the best 02 I have ever tasted.
94p   (tasted 2019/07)

2001 Saffredi, Fattoria Le Pupille
Another winner in the guessing game. At least when it came to origin - Italy/Tuscany - and vintage. But I got the cepage wrong, thought it to be a Sangiovese in a Super Tuscan kind of way. The 01 Saffredi offers up a deep, mellow, somewhat mature nose with notes of plums, dark cherries, sand and dried herbs. Very, very good.
The taste is round and generous with notes of chocolate covered cherries, dark minerals, herbs and leather. Long and fine. For drinking now and the coming 6+ years.
92p   (tasted 2019/07)

2001 Montevetrano
Our host was ever so generous in that he let me and S rummage around in his wine cabinet and choose a wine that we would pour blind for him. What to choose - a white label Giacosa, another stunning Bordeaux, an interesting Cabernet Franc or a great American cab?
No, finally we settled for this bottle. Brought it up, decanted it and poured it. We could have choosen anything among 80-100 bottles, but within minutes he nailed it - 2001 Montevetrano! A class act.
The nose is finely tuned with some maturity and refined notes of dried flowers, iron, dried up cherry jam and red beets. Very, very fine.
The taste is dry and cool with a lovely dried red cherry taste and additional notes of iron, dry tobacco, rosemary and old leather. Refreshing tannins in the long finish. Really fine. 4+ years.
94p   (tasted 2019/07)

Friday, 9 August 2019

Not So Long Overdue Notes - The Barolo Boys Visits Sandrone & Guido Porro

The Barolo Boys soldiers on, with two more visits - first at one of my favourite producers and next to a new favourite.

2017 Dolcetto d´Alba
This is a deep and concentrated style of Dolcetto with notes of dark fruit, bonfire smoke, velvety and viscous. Very, very good.
The taste is young and tarry with notes of earth, dark cherries, asphalt and licorice. Fine, perky tannins. Needs 5+ years.
91p   (tasted 2018/11)

2016 Barbera d´Alba
A big, smoky nose with notes of Finnish licorice, scorched earth, dark bread and moist earth. Very deep and round.
The taste is big and brawny with notes of raspberry licorice, smoke, moist earth and dried herbs. A very good acidity that cleans up the palate.
90p   (tasted 2018/11)

2016 Nebbiolo d´Alba Valmaggiore
The Valmaggiore is always a treat, and the 16 is no exception. The nose is deep and profound with notes of spicy cherries, dark flowers, warm rocks, rosehips and mushrooms. Very refined. Just lovely.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of cranberries, rose petals, cool tobacco and some tarry notes. Silky tannins. Very long. Great wine. 6+ years.
94p   (tasted 2018/11)

2014 Barolo Le Vigne
The 14 Le Vigne sports a high, handsome nose with notes of hard cherry candy, dried roses, undergrowth and dry licorice. Complex and fine.
The taste is sandy, fine and multi layered with notes of ripe red cherries, dried flowers, salmiak and undergrowth. Fine, gripping tannins. Very, very fine. 5+ years.
95p   (tasted 2018/11)

2014 Barolo Aleste
The Aleste is deeper and darker than the Le Vigne, and displays notes of morels, sweet violets, dark undergrowth and some fine balsamic notes. Very deep and a more restrained than the Le Vigne.
The taste is pure and concentrated with notes of hard cherry candy, dry licorice, fresh flowers and a hint of tobacco. Very, very long and promising. 8+ years. 14 - a bad year - blaaaah!
95p   (tasted 2018/11)

2010 Barolo Le Vigne
Barbara was ever so kind to fetch these bottles that had been opened earlier that day. We had the 10 Le Vigne at Belbo da Bardon one and a half year ago, and this bottle performed equally brilliant.
96p   (tasted 2018/11)

Barbara & Luciano
2010 Barolo Cannubi Boschis
The Cannubi Boschis sports a haunting, perfumed, deep nose with notes of raspberry, licorice, leather, cold coffe and truffles. Very, very fine. A hint of maturity.
The taste is concentrated, tight and just awesome with notes of ripe cherries, leather, Finnish licorice, undergrowth and asphalt. A great balance and lenght. 6+ years.
96p   (tasted 2018/11)

Guido Porro
2017 Dolcetto d´Alba V. Pari
Our first visit to Guido Porro but definitely not our last! There is plenty to like here, starting with the sprightly, upfront Dolcetto with its blueberry fruit, balsa wood and balsamic scents.
The taste is tight and racy with notes of spiced up blueberries, undergrowth and bay leaves. Long and juicy. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2018/11)

2017 Barbera d´Alba V. S. Caterina
The 17 Barbera has a big, smoky nose with notes of moist earth, raspberries, rubber and cool perfume. Rich and interesting.
The nose is big and juicy with a fine acidity and notes of ripe raspberries, licorice, sweet coffee and earth. Potent and fine.
88p   (tasted 2018/11)

2017 Langhe Nebbiolo Camilu
Bottled only ten days ago, this Langhe Nebbiolo shows a deep, herbal nose with notes of sweet cherry candy, bonfire smoke and mushrooms. Very, very good.
The taste is young, tight and seedy with notes of dry licorice, hard cherry candy and gravel. A very fine, tight structure. 4+ years.
90p   (tasted 2018/11)

2014 Barolo Gianetto
Made from 8 year old vines, this fine Barolo displays notes of violet pastilles, forest floor, dried cherries and salmiak. Very, very good.
The taste is tight and restrained with sandy tannins and fine red fruits. Needs time, hasn´t really filled its costume yet.
86p   (tasted 2018/11)

2014 Barolo V. S. Caterina
The 14 Caterina is cool and spicy with notes of dog fur, old paint, hard cherry candy and dry licorice. Very complex, deep and fine.
The taste is tight and finely tuned with notes of dried red cherries, bay leaves, dried mushrooms and shoe polish. Cool long, and fine. 5+ years.
92p   (tasted 2018/11)

The charming Guido explains something for the Barolo Boys
2014 Barolo V. Lazzairasco
From 50 year old vines, this beauty offers up a large scaled, tight nose with notes of gravel, cherry jam that has dried up, ripe flowers, earth and rosehips. A salty touch. Very fine.
The taste is tight, cool and fine with notes of dried cherries, dry licorice, asphalt and fir wood. Very long and balanced. Really good. 8+ years.
92p   (tasted 2018/11)

2014 Barolo Vigna Rionda
In 2011 Guido inheritad 1,4 ha of Barolo land, of which 0,55 ha are in Vigna Rionda. He replanted it in 2012 so this wine is from two year old vines! The nose is cool and somewhat backward with notes of salt licorice, warm rocks, ripening cherries and earth. Very elegant despite its age.
The taste is handsome and even aristocratic with fine concentration and pretty red fruits. Tails of a little at the end. Very promising.
90p   (tasted 2018/11)

2015 Barolo Vigna Rionda
By this time Guido had noticed that The Barolo Boys were keen Nebbiolo aficionados, so he asked it wanted to taste the 15 Vigna Rionda? Does the Pope have a funny hat!?
The 15 is right out of the bottle a little rowdy on the nose, but it soon settles down and displays notes of ripe cherries, Finnish licorice, chrushed rocks and rosehips. Very fine. A more rustic elegance compared to the 14.
The taste is tight, concentrated and multi layered with notes of ripe cherries, a hint of tobacco, minerals and rosehips. The finish is very long and balanced. A really impressive wine from three year old vines! From cask.
~94p   (tasted 2018/11)

2015 Barolo V. S. Caterina
Guido continued to ask if we wanted to taste the 15´s and guess what we answered...? The 16 Caterina sports a deep, autumn filled nose with notes of a mushroom forest, violets. rose oil and som Christmas spices. Delicate and fine.
The taste is cool and refines with notes of hard cherry candy, rosehip, violets and mushrooms. A very fine dryness in the finish. Long. 6+ years. Will be bottled in March of 2019, as the Lazzairasco below.
~93p   (tasted 2018/11)

2015 Barolo V. Lazzairasco
A very deep, balanced nose with notes of sweet/sour cherries, earth/compost, licorice and dark roses. Very, very fine.
The taste is complex and fine with notes of ripe cherries, salt licorice, earth, roses and minerals. Very, very long. Broad, silky tannins. Great wine. 8+ year.
~94p   (tasted 2018/11)

2015 Barolo Gianetto
A fine, high nose with notes of autumn leaves, balsa wood, ripening cherries and rosehips. Very, very good.
The taste is cool and tight with notes of chalk, red cherries, rosehips and a hint of tobacco. A seedy ending with a good warmth. 5+ years.
~88p   (tasted 2018/11)