For the first time in a while it’s raining and humid outdoors so I have been replenishing racks in the cantina and opening some boxes hidden in corners. It has reminded me that during the past year or so I have visited some excellent cantinas and have not mentioned them in a blog. So here are a few that have been added to my list of favourites.
Fabrizio Battaglino, in Vezza a small family concern and a must if you stray across the Tanaro into the Roero. He produces Roero Arneis as good as any and the Arneis Passito Bric Bastià dessert wine is pure nectar. The elegance and structure of his nebbiolos stand comparison to Barbaresco viz. Sergentin Roero DOCG and Colla Nebbiolo d’Alba DOC.
Cascina Chicco is close by and on a totally different scale: the renovated, restructured cantina is spectacular. The wines that stood out for me were the Roero Arneis “Anterisio”, the Roero Nebbiolos “Montespinato” and “Valmaggiore” although our friends also liked and bought the Extra Brut for their restaurant I due regni in Neive
Another stunning cantina is Cascina Adelaide in Barolo, as are the wines. The contemporary architecture is genius. We bought some of almost everything: the unique Langhe Nascetta di Novello a white to age, the Barbera d’Alba “Amabalin” named after the owner Amabile Drocco and only produced in great years, the classic Langhe Nebbiolo and the cru Barolos Cannubi, Fossati and Baudana. Simone Ortale was a mine of information and a proud and friendly host.
If you are visiting the impressive Castello Grinzane Cavour with its Museum, Enoteca, restaurant and 360° views take time to visit the charming Bruna Grimaldi whose cantina is nearby. If the “Badarina Riserva is available, grab it but it is probably sold out, but the other Barolos are also pretty damn good. The Barbera d’Alba Superiore “Scassa” and Nebbiolo d’Alba “Bricolla” are also well made and classic examples of their genre.
It is not often that you can buy older vintages but 3 to look out for that I discovered when visiting the cantinas and am currently enjoying are Pace Barbera d’Alba Superiore 2006. They also have a wide range of varietals available at very affordable prices e.g. Roero Riserva , Roero Arneis & Favorita.
Just down the road Dante Rivetti, Bricco di Neive have a comprehensive range from Brut to Riserva Barbarescos from older vintages and a stunning cantina that features a superbly carved botte grande celebrating Dante’s 80th birthday.
Massimo Rivetti, Neive may still have some “Costa di Mu” 2006 Langhe Rosso (Pinot Nero) and older vintages of Barbaresco Riserva “Serraboella: all excellent.