|The view south from the top of Casa della Saracca|
We had a bottle of Champagne. Egly-Ouriet Brut Tradition NV – I really like this and have had it since, good levels of nutty biscuity-ness but not at the expense of drive and acidity, it really is like, lazy analogy coming, “sparkling Meursault”.
We then jumped in the car for a Dinner at La Ciau del Tornavento, in Treiso which I’d never been to before but have since been again – I feel it may be somewhere I return as often as possible. It is a great spot with the biggest and best wine cellar I have ever seen, tens of thousands of bottles with particular strength in Italy (of course), Champagne and Burgundy.
In the cellar it was time for apertivo number 2 – Bollinger RD 2002 – this was not showing all that well, a little flat of flavour and overly evolved, further re-enforces by personal taste for bottle aged champagnes rather than late releases.
With dinner we had two reds. Barbaresco Asili Riserva 1996, Giacosa and Barolo Bricco Boschis Riserva San Giuseppe 2004, Cavallotto. The Giacosa needed lots of time in decanter as well as glass to open out but did so in time to reveal a lovely balance. Initially it had been a little reduced and also a little “high” or farmyardy. The Cavallotto was more immediately open and ready for business but in a cool, red fruited yet mineral way a really lovely wine with a long but focussed future, impressive indeed.
It was a lovely dinner in a lovely spot, brilliant to hear from Roberto about the recent purchase of the Arione vineyard and also the almost completed developments at the winery.
9.30 next morning and there we were at the winery ready to taste. Before going onto the wines I must just say that the attention to detail in every facet of the winemaking and bottling process here is incredible from the in-house treatment of the corks and printing to the new just about to arrive bottling line. And so to the wines:
Barbera Francia 2013 – 40yr old vines now and there is always more minerality and salinity here. The 2013 vintage is a cooler one more like 2010 or 2008. This was delicious if still serious, dark fruit but grit as well.
* I asked Roberto which of the of the recent “Non-Monfortino” years – 2011, 2009 and 2007 – was the closest to being a Monfortino and he said 2011 then 2007 and lastly 2009.
Monfortino from barrel is one of the most exciting tastings anyone can experience in my view. The fact that I get to taste the same wine on 2 or 3 occassions from barrel is just brilliant. The 2008 is quite something. The extraordinary dimension to this wine is quite possibly due to the fact that in 2008 there was a phase in September when the temperatures drpped to almost zero and this Roberto feels has added a cerrtain something by tightening and sweetening things.
Having done this brillaint tasting and said our good buys at Giacomo Conterno we drove off to La Morra to see a smaller and stylistically different producer – Giulia Negri – who we have just started working with. There is Barolo here as well as Barbera, Chardonnay and Pinot Nero. Giulia is ambitious, young and a lover of Burgundy as well as Piedmont.
The estate is amongst the Serradenari Cru which is the highest in the whole region. Giulia also has some rented holdings in Brunate. The top Barolo is called Tartufaia (the truffle-hunter, named after the estates enthusiastic dog) and is a blend of both Serradinari and Brunate. This works well together as the 2009 shows. I will do a fuller write up of notes in an upcoming blog but Giulia is one to watch with a real drive and desire to succeed, you’d be brave to bet against serious things happening here.
|The steepest part of Serradinari|
|Tartufo the dog gets himself on the label and the capsule!|
|Our inflated wagon! (watch the advert for this – Fiat 500L)|