Thursday 7 February 2019

Long Overdue Notes - The Barolo Boys In Piedmont April 2018 - Part One - Visits To Abbona, Luigi Einaudi & Brovia

These notes have been lying around for too long. But now when The Barolo Boys have booked their next trip to heaven on earth (we are going in late March!) I thought it was time to get myself together and write down my impression from our trip in April 2018. More to follow.

Our second visit to Abbona, the last one was eight years ago. We met up with a very nice and knowledgeable member of the Abbona staff but I regrettably didn´t wrote down his name.., who showed us the new cellars (at least new since our last visit) and then poured a range of fine wines.

Some wines for us to taste...
2016 Cinerino
A 100% Viognier brought up in Accacia wood, a popular vessel nowadays for white wines. The nose is open and fruity with notes of passionfruit, toothpaste, warm rocks and incense. A tad heavy.
The taste is broad and deep with notes of ripe peach, grilled lemons and minerals. Juicy and good but, for me, the acidity is too low.
84p   (tasted 2018/04)

2016 Dogliabo Papà Celso
This Dolcetto comes from 25 year old vines and is a stunner. The nose is young and inky with notes of ripe blueberries, smoke, herbs and dark rubber. Intense and fine.
The taste is racy and lip smacking good with notes of ripe blueberries, ink, thyme and warm tiles. A medium long, balanced finish with some perky tannins. Really good.
90p   (tasted 2018/04)

2016 Barbera d´Alba Rinaldi
Rinaldi is the name of the vineyard. This Barbera sports a warm, spicy nose with notes of ripe raspberries, licorice and undergrowth. A fine warmth.
The taste is big and forward with notes of raspberry licorice, herbs and a hint of chocolate. A long, warm finish with a good acidity. Very good.
87p   (tasted 2018/04)

2016 Nebbiolo d´Alba Bricco Barone
The Nebbiolo´s from 2016 indicates what we can look forward to in 2020 when the 16 Baroli will be released and its going to be goooood... The nose of this Nebbiolo is cool, restrained and balanced with notes of rose petals, red cherries, asphalt and forest floor. Very, very good.
The taste is structured and refined with notes of red cherries, lingonberries, mushrooms and rosehips. Finely polished tannins. Very fine.
90p   (tasted 2018/04)

2014 Barolo
As with some other producers Abbona doesn´t produce the cru´s in 14, just this blend that has a light, spicy nose with notes of fir wood, dried herbs, ripening cherries and gravel. Very nice.
The taste is young and sprawly and shows a good lingonberry/cherry fruit alongside notes of dry licorice and gravel. For drinking while we wait for the 13´s. Very good.
87p   (tasted 2018/04)

2011 Barolo Ravera
The 11 Ravera displays an open, generous nose with notes of dark cherries, soya, moist undergrowth and some animal scents. Very, very good.
The taste is warm and rounf with notes of sweet red cherries, Finnish licorice, fried mushrooms and bakelite. Ready for action and I will take that action any day. A bit idiosyncratic but highly likeable.
91p   (tasted 2018/04)

2012 Barolo Pressenda
A deep, finely tuned nose with notes of smoke, ripe cherries, tobacco and warm sand. Deep floral notes after some time in the glass. Very fine.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of ripe black cherries, tobacco, rust and dried flowers. A long, structured finish. 5+ years. 
92p   (tasted 2018/04)

2011 Barolo Cerviano
The first Cerviano was bottled in 2004 and this vintage is my first taste of this cru. Brought up as a Riserva but it is not stated on the label.
The nose is deep and fine with notes of dried strawberries, smoke, autumn leaves and some balsmic notes. Very fine. A lovely perfumed aroma. 
The taste is cool and refined with notes of wild strawberries, dried rose petals, a hint of tobacco and mushrooms. Complex and fine. Very long and balanced. Great wine. 3+ years.
94p   (tasted 2018/04)

Poderi Luigi Einaudi
My first visit to this estate. We were meet by Vittoria Abbona who showed us the beautiful cellars and the surroundings, among them a bottle shaped pool! We then got to taste the following wines.

2016 Dogliano Superiore Vigna Tecc
An open, seedy nose with refreshing herbal scents and a fine mix of raspberries and blueberries. Some iron and violets also emerges from the glass. Energetic.
The taste is cool and tight with notes of blueberries, ink, chrushed rocks and herbs. Juicy and very fine.
88p   (tasted 2018/04)

2014 Barolo Ludo
A perfumed, fine nose with notes of damson, ripe flowers, rosehips and soap. A bit on the light side but with a fine sappy fruit.
The taste is medium bodied and tense with notes of ripe lingonberries, forest floor, dried flowers and gravel. For drinking now and the coming 6+ years.
88p   (tasted 2018/04)

2014 Barolo Terlo Vigna Santa Grimaldi
Only 5.706 bottles of this beauty was produced in this difficult vintage. The nose is deep and uplifting with notes of dark berries, iron, rosehips, asphalt and warm sand. High and pure. Very, very good.
The taste is sandy and spicy with notes of hard cherry candy, iron, sand and dark flowers. A long, seedy, tight finish. Needs 4+ years. Really fine.
92p   (tasted 2018/04)

2014 Barolo Cannubi
Aaaah Cannubi! The name alone promises a treat, and the one from Einaudi delieveres the goods. The nose is darker and deeper than the Terlo and offers up aromas of fresh herbs, ripe black cherries, moist forest floor, tobacco and warm tiles. Very fine.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of cherry licorice, tobacco, asphalt and herbs, rosemary in particular. The finish is long and structured. Will need 8+ years. There is more stuffing here for the future but for today it is on the same level as the Terlo.
92p   (tasted 2018/04)

2012 Barolo Cannubi
Does the Pope wear a funny hat? That was the response I almost gave when Vittoria asked if we were interested in tasting another vintage of the Cannubi...
The 12 Cannubi has a deep, dark floral nose with notes of violets, moist earth, rosemary, veal stock and warm sand. A very fine warmth. Fairly open for business. Very fine.
The taste is concentrated and sandy with notes of ripe red cherries, iron, undergrowth, bakelite and asphalt. Very fine polished tannins. A very fine warmth in the long finish. I would say that it would benefit of 3+ years in the cellar but there is no denying its charm and drinkability today.
93p   (tasted 2018/04)

It is always a treat to visit Brovia and meet up with Alex, one of the most charming winemaker in the region. This time we got a preview of two of the 15 Baroli alongside some other stunning wines.

2016 Dolcetto d´Alba Vignavillej
Not bottled yet, this gorgeous Serralunga Dolcetto leaps up from the glass with aromas of earth, ripening blueberries, heather, herbs and violets. Very fresh and racy.
The taste is sandy and fresh with a mix of lingonberries and blueberries alongside notes of whitepeppar, chrushed rocks and herbs. Very handsome.
90p   (tasted 2018/04)

2016 Barbera d´Alba Sori del Drago
An open, direct nose with notes of ripe raspberries, licorice, balsa wood and sunwarm rocks. Very, very good.
The taste is energetic and fresh with notes of raspberries with some blueberries tossed in, sweet minerals, licorice and a hint of tobacco. A very fine acidity. Every sip leaves you wanting one more!
91p   (tasted 2018/04)

2016 Barbera d´Alba Ciaböt del Fi
Just wooow! The best Barbera I have ever tasted (until tasting Aldo Conterno´s 2016 in November 2018, note will soon be posted). The nose is just brilliant with energy, depth and balance. Boatloads of raspberry truffles, dark biscuits, red beets, blood and smoke. Very, very deep and intense.
The taste is deceptively light to drink despite its intensity, power and structure. Perfectly ripe raspberries, Finnish licorice, pipe tobacco, sweet violets and iron are just a few notes that got jotted down. Absolutely stunning!
95p   (tasted 2018/04)

2014 Barolo Unio
Alex also decided to not bottle any cru´s in 2014, so this Unio is the only Barolo produced. The nose is medium deep, finely tuned and racy with notes of hard cherry candy, earth, red beets and wild roses. Very fragrant.
The taste is a bit restrained but show of fine notes of red cherries, ripe lingonberries, earth and dried herbs. A fine structure that needs 3+ years to open up. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2018/04)

2015 Barolo Rocche di Castiglione
A pure, dense, focused nose with notes of ripe red cherries, cool tobacco, rosehips, paint and fir wood. Full of finesse and intensity. Very, very deep. Balanced. Just lovely.
This wine has a gorgeous mouthfeel, a lot of power yet with a balance and tension that makes you want to take sip after sip. A stunning wine. From vines planted in 1966 and 68. 8+ years.
96p   (tasted 2018/04)

2015 Barolo Villero
The 15 Villero is even better. From 1,5 ha planted in 1961 and 63. The nose is bottomless deep with haunting notes of dried raspberries, fir wood, dry tobacco, licorice and a ever so slight hint of mint. Marvellous!
The taste is brilliantly pure and racy with notes of black cherries, raspberries, smoke, violets and minty herbs. The finish goes on and on and on. A must have!
97p   (tasted 2018/04)

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