Monday 29 April 2019

The Barolo Boys In Piedmont - Visits To Terre Del Barolo & Elvio Cogno

Terre del Barolo/ArnaldoRivera
The ArnaldoRivera project started with the 2013 vintage. The name is a celebration to Terre del Barolo´s founder, a true Barolista. So far there are seven Cru´s and one blend.
We met up Gabriele Oderda at the Grinzano Cavour Castle, checked out the nearby vineyards and then drove to Rocche di Castiglione. Back at Terre di Barolo we tasted the following.

2017 Diano d´Alba Sorì del Cascinetto
This Dolcetto offers up a spicy, dusty nose with notes of damsons, ripening blueberries and wet stones. A fine, light, salivating nose.
The taste is spicy and fine with notes of blueberries, bakelite and dusty earth. A fine, low keyed warmth. Very good.
87p   (tasted 2019/04)

2016 Barbera d´Alba Valdisera
2015 was the first vintage of the Barbera. The 2016 has an open, medium bodied nose with notes of dried raspberries, licorice and herbs. Very good.
The taste is big and warm with notes of raspberry licorice, chrushed rocks and undergrowth. A hint of oak in the finish.
86p   (tasted 2019/04)

2014 Barolo Undicicomuni
Grapes from all 11 villages in the Barolo growing area make up this wine. The nose is low keyed and fine with notes of roses, paint, lingonberries and road dust. A good depth. Very, very good.
The taste shows some maturity with a fine structure and notes of damsons, earth, iron and dried flowers. For drinking now and the coming 5+ years.
89p   (tasted 2019/04)

2014 Barolo Castello
A refined, deep nose with notes of rhubarb, wild strawberries and tobacco. Cool and fine.
The taste is tight and multi layered with notes of warm tiles, strawberries and earth. Vibrant and fine. 4+ years.
92p   (tasted 2019/04)

2014 Barolo Bussia
A tight, dusty nose with notes of spicy licorice, rubber, cherries and a hint of mint. Very good but a bit akward at this stage.
The taste is better with a fine concentration and notes of ripe red cherries with a hint of mint alongside licorice, chrushed rocks and earth. Very, very good. 5+ years.
90p   (tasted 2019/04)

2014 Barolo Rocche di Castiglione
The Rocche is a stunner. The nose is deep and refined with notes of cool cherry licorice, undergrowth, rosehips and paint. Energetic and very fine.
The taste is tight and complex with notes of ripe red cherries, roses, earth and licorice. A long, lingering finish with polished tannins. Great wine.
93p   (tasted 2019/04)

2016 Langhe Nascetta
We finished with this tasty Nascetta. It has a cool, lightly smoky nose with notes of melon, dried lemons, pears and gravel. Pure and fine.
The taste is cool and fine with notes of minerals, melon, lemon and wet stones. A fine, salty touch. Very yummy.
88p   (tasted 2019/04)

Elvio Cogno
My first visit to this estate and my first meeting with Valter Fissori, but hopefully not my last, for this was for me the highlight of this Barolo Boys tour (alongside the time we spent with Elisa Scavino).

2018 Anas-Cëtta
I love Nascetta and the Cogno version have no superiors. The 2018 which was just bottled when we tasted it, showcased a steely, pure nose with notes of peach kernels, white currants, grey pears and grass. Very, very good.
The taste is elegant and racy with a fine acidity and notes of white pepper, white currants, chalk and grass. Silky, classy and lovely.
91p   (tasted 2019/04)

2016 Anas-Cëtta
Since we raved so much about the 18, Valter was ever so kind and fetched a bottle of the 2016. This has a spicy nose with notes of sage, white pepper, pears and chrushed rocks. Crisp.
The taste is cool and tight with notes of chalk, salt stones, white currants and pears. Very, very good.
90p   (tasted 2019/04)

2018 Dolcetto d´Alba Mandorlo
This was bottles just a week ago, and displays notes of juicy blueberry fruit, gravel, lots of violets and a hint of smoke. Lovely. High and fine.
The taste is perky and energetic with notes of blueberry juice, chrushed rocks, dry licorice and bakelite. A luscious mouthfeel.
91p   (tasted 2019/04)

2018 Langhe Nebbiolo Montegrilli
The grapes for this Langhe Nebbiolo comes just outside of the Barolo area. 30% whole cluster. The nose is fresh and open with notes of smoky red currants, wild strawberries, warm sand and ligth floral scents. Very fine.
The taste is balanced and elegant with notes of spicy, almost mature raspberries, sweet minerals, smoke and sand. Pure and very fine.
92p   (tasted 2019/04)

2017 Barbera Bricco dei Merli
A fruity, open Barbera with notes of raspberry licorice, sloe berries, smoke and herbs. Deep and very fine.
The taste is dense yet refined with lots of sweet red fruit balanced with a racy acidity. Very long and rewarding. A really fine Barbera.
93p   (tasted 2019/04)

2017 Barbera d´Alba Pre-phylloxera
I love the Pre-phylloxera from Valter. We had a great bottle of the 2016 at Centro Storico but the 2017 is even better. The nose is high and intense with stunning notes of perfectly ripe raspberries, dry licorice, veal stock, dark perfume and ink. Soooo deep.
The taste is velvety yet concentrated and refined with notes of ripe cranberries, raspberry licorice, wood smoke and warm tiles. This has power and yet heaps of finesse. Just brilliant.
96p   (tasted 2019/04)

2016 Barbaresco Bordini
A noble, finely tuned nose with notes of hard cherry candy, mineral, sand and rosehips. Laid back and very fine.
The taste is pure and elegant with notes of ripe red currants, herbs, gravel and rosehips. Very handsome. Lovely.
92p   (tasted 2019/04)

2015 Barolo Cascina Nuova
The 2015 Baroli from Elvio Cogno are works of art. The Cascina Nuova displays an open, wonderful nose with notes of ripe red cherries, mushrooms, rosehips and cool tobacco. Very balanced and utterly pure.
The taste is silky and concentrated with pure fruit and notes of roses, rosehips, ceps and hard cherry candy. Very, very long and balanced. Great wine.
94p   (tasted 2019/04)

2015 Barolo Ravera
The Ravera is even better with a nose that is earthy, smoky, focused and ethereal. Gorgeous ripe red fruits and some floral, earthy scents. Just stunning.
The taste is pure and vigorous with notes of hard cherry candy, paint, dry licorice and fine herbs. The finish goes on for minutes and the tannins are silky and sweet.
95p   (tasted 2019/04)

2015 Barolo Ravera Bricco Pernice
I actually liked the Bricco Pernice the least of the 15´s, but given a score of 93p there is things to like here... The nose is deep and handsome with notes of spices, ripe red currants, almond paste and hints of tobacco.
The taste is tight and refined with notes of herbs, ripe lingonberries, leather and forest floor. Tighter and leaner than the previous two, but the fruit is pure and luscious. Just needs time.
93p   (tasted 2019/04)

2013 Barolo Riserva Vigna Elena
I am glad I have bought this, for this is a world class wine. The nose is high and intense with notes of morelles, dark flowers, rosehips, paint and raspberry licorice. Very, very deep and refined. Gorgeous.
The taste is brilliant with everything in place - fruit, tannins, structure, balance - it just needs 8+ years in the cellar. This is perfection in the making.
97p   (tasted 2019/04)

Saturday 27 April 2019

From USA - Two Pinot, Two Syrah & Two Cabernet

Håkan W held our latest tasting in our monthly tasting group. Six carafes was put on the table and the guessing game began. Once in a blue moon you feel that you have some bragging rights - I nailed the grape and origin for every wine...:-)
Tasted double blind.

2015 Seven Springs Estate La Source Pinot Noir, Evening Land
Interesting tasting of these two Pinot, from the same vineyard, three years apart. The Seven Spring vineyard was planted in 1984 and the first vintage of La Source Pinot was the 2007. Rajat Parr and Sashi Moorman runs the estate now but I don´t know if they did in 2012 (very different labels)?
The nose of the 2015 is spicy and upfront with gorgeous ripe raspberry aromas and additional notes of gravel, vanilla and sage. A very fine sweetness to the fruit.
The taste is cool and lightly peppery with notes of dried up raspberry jam, forest floor, assorted herbs and warm tiles. A fine acidity. Long and lovely.
93p   (tasted 2019/04)

2012 Seven Springs Vineyard La Source Pinot Noir, Evening Land
The three year older version sports a more backward, seedy nose with notes of damson, rosé pepper, gravel and ripe lingonberries. Opens up nicely in the glass and becomes sweeter and riper. Very, very good.
Although not as good as the 15 on the nose, it is on the palate the 12 shines. A tight, dry, complex taste with notes of dried raspberries, dry licorice, fresh herbs and warm tiles. A very fine structure. Balanced. Really fine.
93p   (tasted 2019/04)

2012 Castella Knight Ranch Syrah, Pax
Oh dear, what a waste on what I guess were perfectly healthy grapes. Iron, rubber, soya sauce and red beet juice. That´s the nose. But wait, there is also the haunting scent of burning table tennis balls. And a old car carpet. Fiery.
The taste is all about power and force but without any refinement to balance the weight. Very long and fiery. Ink, iron, cooked blueberries and fabricated violets. I have read somewhere that Pax have steared away from this style of winemaking lately.
62p   (tasted 2019/04)

2009 Relentless, Shafer
This 82% Syrah and 18% Petite Sirah blend offers up a big, juicy, luscious nose with notes of dark fudge, blackberries, violet pastilles and dark perfumed flowers. Very, very good. Some cough medicine after a while in the glass.
The taste is big and concentrated with notes of ripe blueberries, scorched earth, dark chocolate and violets. Some grilled meat. Very, very long. Needs a big, juicy steak. A hint of mint. I like it!
91p   (tasted 2019/04)

1999 Château Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon
A fine, somewhat mature nose with notes of cedar, ripe black currants, worn leather and autumn leaves. Classic Cab aromas. Very, very good.
The taste is velvety and warm with notes of dried black currants, tobacco, hot gravel and bakelite. Very long. A fine warmth. Not sure it will develop into an even better wine, so drink now and the coming 6+ years.
92p   (tasted 2019/04)

2012 Clajeaux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Arnot-Roberts
A large scaled nose with notes of ripe black currants, expensive soap, pipe tobacco, clay and a touch of mint. Expressive and fine.
The taste is tight and concentrated with notes of cranberries, ripe black currants, cocoa and violets. A very long intense finish with a hint of bitterness. Needs 6+ years.
90p   (tasted 2019/04)

Thursday 25 April 2019

A Bottle Of Bubbly - 2010 Brut Rosé, Louis Roederer

2010 Brut Rosé, Louis Roederer
Had this a couple of years ago and loved it. Bougth some bottles and now I thought it was time to crack one open. The nose is stony and elegant with notes of rosé pepper, sea buckthorn, wet asphalt and blood oranges. Very lively and fine.
The taste is luscious and racy with a crisp acidity and notes of ripe lingonberries, rhubarb, dried strawberries and a salty touch. Long, long with a fine dry ending. Very fine. 6+ years.
94p   (tasted 2019/04)

Monday 22 April 2019

2010 Brunello Di Montalcino Poggio Alle Mura, Castello Banfi

2010 Brunello di Montalcino Poggio Alle Mura, Castello Banfi
Banfi bought the Poggio Alle Mura estate in 1984 with its eleventh-century castle (shown on the labels, both old and new). I have tasted some older vintages before the Banfi era and some after, see below.
The 2010 has a very deep, aristocratic, seamless nose with gorgeous notes of sun warm tiles, cherry compote with fresh rosemary, expensive leather, tobacco and a hint of band aid. Very complex and fine. Needs some time to really open up in the glass. Still primary fruit even though you can sense some tiny, tiny mature aromas. Very, very fine.
The taste is velvety and rich with notes of ripe black cherries, rowan berries, dark chocolate, cured meat and Tuscan gravel. Dense, polished tannins. Power and finesse. Very, very long. No problem to drink this beauty today but I would give it 5+ more years in the cellar for an even greater experience.
94p   (tasted 2019/04)

1964 Brunello di Montalcino, Poggio Alle Mura
1970, 1971, 1974 & 1975 Brunello di Montalcino, Poggio Alle Mura
1977 Brunello di Montalcino, Poggio Alle Mura

1997 Brunello di Montalcino Poggio Alle Mura, Castello Banfi
1999 Brunello di Montalcino Poggio Alle Mura, Castello Banfi

Saturday 20 April 2019

The Barolo Boys In Piedmont - Eating & Drinking

As I have said many times before, I love the food of the Langhe - the Carne Cruda, the Vitello Tonnato, the Tajarin, the Coniglio and the Intestines - all of them perfect matches with the Langhe wines. Here are some pictures from the mandatory visits, and two new ones.

Osteria Veglio
The place to go to in La Morra, when you don´t want to drive all the way up to La Coccinella. My second best restaurant in Langhe, always delivering the goods. A very good wine list, pricewise, but the focus is on the newer vintages.

The best intestines dish I have ever had!

We exchanged some wines with the table next to us and we got to taste this 48 year old Barbaresco

Centro Storico

You always have to visit Ciccio. Down to earth, stunning food and a wine list - especially Champagne - to die for. Ciccio hasn´t updated the wine list for some time....always on his way....just ask him and you will always get a treat!

Osteria Battaglino
A new acquaintance for me and a very nice one. Situated in Dogliano, this elegant place has really fine food and a great wine list. I will be back!

Stunning, juicy Coniglio!

Repubblica di Perno
Oh dear. Everyone can have a bad day at work, I get that. But when that bad day is shown on my plate, I´m not happy. We have visited a couple of times before and have been floored by the food. Far from it this time. The pasta tasted like something bought from a supermarket - and cooked too long -  and the coniglio was dry and with no depth in flavour. The wine was stunning though.

La Coccinella
Our home away from home, and hands down the best restaurant in Langhe. We actually feel like we are coming home when we come through the door, the food is just magical and the wine list is superb. It takes a while to drive up here (and drive back home) but it is worth it. Every time.

My favourite dish - veal - and a perfect companion to any Baroli!

Magazzino 52
After five hours at Ba&Ba we needed some food (and wine...). This restaurant came higly praised by Alessandro from La Coccinella and Jenny Marengo, so we went there and got impressed by the food and the wine list. A place too seek out if you ever are in Torino.