The arrival of Stevio & Moya completely changed our focus this month as we rushed around for 6 days to fill every available space in his car not taken up with luggage. Over 300 bottles of wine, cheese, Primo Montaldo’s pork fillets, salami etc. With the odd tasting thrown in at Fontanabianca, Villa Cornarea, Lodali & Dante Rivetti. What time we had left over we simply ate and drank.
Aldo Pola at Fontanabianca has introduced a new range of simple labels that are very distinctive.
Langhe Arneis 2010 – now in a clear bottle, very citrusy and fresh. Aperitivo time
Dolcetto 2010 – 1st sense was a toffee nose and smell of the vineyard. Simple fruit
Barbera d’Alba Superiore 2008 – 15months in used wood (2nd passage) has produced a pleasant well made wine with lots of fruit and a creamy finish
Langhe Nebbiolo 2009 – Super length, perfumed elegance almost Barbaresco. Shorter (5day) fermentation before skins removed.
Barbaresco Serraboella 2008 – 15months in botte grande. Easy soft tannins, soft elegance. Spicy, raisiny fruit. HO reminded of Christmas
Barbaresco Sorì Burdin (Bordino)2008 – 15 months or so in barrique (20-30% new) then 3 months in botte grande. A slighty more powerful, tannic wine. Classic nebbiolo: dry, violets, red berries.
Barbaresco Sorì Burdin 2004 – a treat to finish, no spitting allowed. Tobacco, liquorice, softened tannins Yum yum!
An afternoon outside in the sunshine at Villa Cornarea was delightful and we were charmingly looked after by Barbara. Nice wines but Arneis prices a tad more expensive than we are used to but then the name has a good reputation.
Roero Arneis 2010 – Citrus, grapefruit with a smooth almost creamy finish
Roero Arneis André 2010 – golden colour. Woody nose with hints of freshly grated carrot and mint. All round a rather more serious Arneis
Nebbiolo di Alba 2009 – very pretty wine. Soft tannins, dark cherry,roses & violets. 1 year in botte.
Roero doc 2007 – 20 months in botte with small quantity of Arneis added.
Taraco Grappa – sweet edge, super smooth 42°. Loved it
Having bumped into Walter in Barbaresco as we were taking a break from tasting at Piacere Barbaresco a vist to Eredi Lodali was inevitable. As usual Mama Rita turned the tasting into a lunch as Stevio had mentioned his memory of her frittata to Walter. Their newest, pretty, temporary help from Norway took us round the cantina where they had been crushing the latest Barbera: not sure how to spell her name!
As usual the wines are excellent and extremely good value, particularly at the lower end:
Barbera 2010 – excellent €5 lunch wine that has only seen stainless steel
Barbera Lorens 2009 – €15 seems expensive but 18 months in barrique, 6 months in bottle, gives this wine real structure and length. So full of dark fruits and smooth and creamy belying its 15°
Langhe Nebbiolo 2009 -subtle tannins from 12 months in botti. Spicy, blackcurrant hints. Reasonable €7.50
Barolo Bric Sant’ Ambrogio 2007 – 2 years in botti, 6 months in bottle and at €18 a great Barolo introduction. Tobacco, liquorice, bitter cherries. Further cellaring will be rewarded
Barolo Lorens 2006/7 – a big step up. Monster wines that will last for years but almost twice the price (€34)
Alchimia 2009 – Extraordinary assemblagio of 50% nebbiolo/50% Petit Verdot: 15 months in barrique. Walter got the idea after visiting a friend in Tuscany. The PV vines were planted near Roddi in 2005. It really works. Ripe berries and spicy creamy nose. Beautiful structure, long, lingering, haunting. I love it and for €22 nice to have something special but different in the cellar
Barbaresco Rocche dei 7 Fratelli, 2007/8 – pretty, fruity wines with nice tannins. I prefer the 2008.
Last but not least we popped up to Dante Rivetti whose wines we know well and as Ivan was busy pumping Arneis, we were fortunate to be looked after by his much better looking sister Mara and Boss the labrador.
Click for a comparison. A complete range of excellent wines at affordable prices and a back catalogue of Barbaresco and Alabarda Barbera vintages. Stevio was like a kid in a sweetshop and emerged left with 60 bottles of Pick ‘n Mix:
Bricco d’Oro Arneis 2010 – Dry, buttery rounded: quaff away at €6.50. Me as well!
Langhe Nebbiolo 2010 – €8 and another straightforward, cherry/spicy classic Nebbiolo. Why do we not see them often in UK stores.
Barbaresco Bricco Riserva 2001 – Amazing to be able to buy classic mature Barbaresco at €17
Barbera Boschi 2006 – €8.50 12 months in botti. Stevio thought the label said drink me now
La Valetta oaked Chardonnay 2009- nice to be reminded of that decent citrusy, oaked (18months), but not too heavily, Chardonnay is available in Piemonte. I also found myself adding a few of the latest vintage