Following on from the Monfortino Magnum Monday 1970-2006 and then the Dinner at Zucca the morning of day three we had a very special tasting in the office. We showed the wines below, all double decanted that morning:

Barbera Cerretta 2008
Roberto only took over the vineyard in June 2008 so there this wasn’t fully under his control. Has a nice acidity (that a few people have told me they aren’t mad on) that gives it a precision and nervousness. The fruit is good in a cherry way.

Barbera Cascina Francia 2008
A darker fruit than Cerretta as always. Has the saline “Cascina Francia cool vintage” feel to it. A serious Barbera.

Barbera Cascina Francia 2007
Another bottle from the dinner the night before and a great counterpoint to the 2008, warmer darker more intense with more opulence so less acidity showing.

Barbera Cascina Francia 2011
In many ways a young 2007 but to my mind there will always be an amazing ripeness to this wine and a cleaner less funky note as well. Very good. I’d love to own this and drink a bottle a year for 12 years!

Then to Barolo:

Barolo Cascina Francia 2009
Another fine showing exactly as the previous evening but possibly even better in the morning as you just get the purity. An “insider’s wine” and one I’ll keep track of. (A friend, I respect greatly, who knows Barolo “inside-out” has suggested that Cascina Francia is the very best 2009 Barolo.

Barolo Cascina Francia 2008
I love the 2008 as I see it as the sister to the 2006 (often across the whole region but especially in Cascina Francia). There is a classical earthy, minerality to the fine but with fine features and a poise. I think it may be a modern day 1982. Never a showy wine this will give a lot of pleasure if given the time it deserves.

Barolo Cascina Francia 2007
Like 2009 a warm vintage in which there is no Monfortino. I think this is a wine that has more ripeness than the 2009 and is an excellent example of Roberto knowing when to use a lightness of touch. It is delicious now. The warmer vintages are best served cooler as it accentuates freshness and tightens up a wine that could be too loose. The fruit is starting to degrade a touch which is nice. The strtucture is pretty easy. It will age but to a degree why wait, if you own it I would look to drink half of what you have by the age of 10. Impressive.

Barolo Cascina Francia 2006
Love this, tannin and masculine structure to chew on, very proper. The wine is best left 4-6 years as the strength of this wine will be in its meatiness and savoury aspect. A real treat for the future.

Barolo Cascina Francia 2005
I have always liked the 2005 but find it hard to pin a persona on the wine. The saline side to this is lovely and you get a cool vintage feel. It is a slightly shy and retiring person with intellect. A good performance for a tricky and slightly erratic vintage.  I would leave 2-3 years and then drink. There is good fruit purity here even if it is slightly reticent at the moment.

Barolo Cascina Francia 1990
Really, really lovely, bruised dark fruit and an easy structure, I have had this a few times now and love it’s easiness. I often wonder if my perception of most 1990’s being easy and opulent clouds my judgement but I think not. I think this is perfect now.

Barolo Cascina Francia 1982
A decent if not great bottle of this wine. A little oxidated and frazzle-like but with vibrancy of sweet leather. I like it but you have to like earth the acidity for this bottle of this wine.

Barolo Monfortino 2004
So so elegant, I’ve pinned my colours to the mast of this being perfect and the freshness of red fruit combined with elegant but firm structure give me no reason to change that.
A fascinating tasting.

NB – Since then I have had the Barbaresco 1971 from Conterno…a wine very rarely made and it was lovely, amazingly fine grained sediment that you couldn’t get rid of gave this a chalky “bricky” texture which I like. The colour was holding up well as was the acidity…fascinating wine. I’d love to know where it was sourced from. The winemaking must have been as for Barolo as this did taste like “Conterno”.