2004 Serafino Rivella Barbaresco

April 27, 2015

Name:Barbaresco
Vintage:2004
Type:Red Wine
Varietal:Nebbiolo
Producer:Serafino Rivella
Region:Italy / Piemonte / Langhe / Barbaresco / Montestefano
Alcohol:13.5%

Teobaldo Rivella of the Cantina Rivella Serafino (Serafino was Teobaldo’s father) produces a meagre 12,000 bottles from his  ~50 y.o. vines in the 2ha of vineyards (mostly in Montestefano cru) split between only two bottlings: Dolcetto and Barbaresco.

Baldo is well set in his traditional and conscientious approach to both viticulture and winemaking, which are evident in the clean, vibrant and honest style of his wines.

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1997 Giorgio Scarzello Langhe Nebbiolo

February 19, 2015

Name:Langhe Nebbiolo
Vintage:1997
Type:Red Wine
Varietal:Nebbiolo
Producer:Giorgio Scarzello
Region:Italy / Piemonte / Barolo / Barolo
Alcohol:13%

A very different animal from the 1990 Scarzello Barolo Vigna Merenda. Confidently its own, this Langhe is a shining example of how a well-made Nebbiolo can be great without having to measure up to a Barolo or Barbaresco.

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1993 Guido Porro Barolo

February 10, 2015

Name:Barolo
Vintage:1993
Type:Red Wine
Varietal:Nebbiolo
Producer:Guido Porro
Region:Italy / Piemonte / Barolo / Serralunga
Alcohol:13.5%

Guido Porro, of Serralunga, is one of my favourite Barolo producers. A modest farmer, growing only about 5ha of Barolo-dedicated grapes, most of which come from the two monopole vineyards Santa Caterina and Lazzariasco.   Often overlooked and offering a fantastic price/quality option, his wines are very typical to the terroir, honest and non-flashy. Somewhat rustic, perhaps, but, once again, this is what I would expect from Serralunga – dusty, earthy, savory, deep and wonderfully structured.

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2005 Ferdinando Principiano Barolo Boscareto

February 7, 2015

Name:Barolo Boscareto
Vintage:2005
Type:Red Wine
Varietal:Nebbiolo
Producer:Ferdinando Principiano
Region:Italy / Piemonte / Barolo / Serralunga / Boscareto
Alcohol:14%

Ferdinando Principiano is  a medium-sized Monforte-based producer who struck me as a student of the vine and wine in the best sense of the word. Through trial and error he gradually evolved his philosophy from the ubiquitous modernist way when he first started in the 1990’s to a very traditional one. Transition to organic viticulture and minimum intervention in the cellar came as a logical and conscious search for better, live wine which was created in harmony and not in struggle.

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2012 Erbaluna Langhe Nebbiolo

February 6, 2015

Name:Langhe Nebbiolo
Vintage:2012
Type:Red Wine
Varietal:Nebbiolo
Producer:Azienda Agricola Erbaluna
Region:Italy / Piemonte/ Barolo / La Morra
Alcohol:14%

As “going organic” is all the rage these days, sometimes it no longer is a very helpful bit of information for determining the true philosophy of any particular winemaker. That’s why it is nice to see Andrea Oberto of a small La Morra cantina Erbaluna giving off that laid-back vibe of a farmer who eschews chemicals and listens to the nature because it feels right to him, not because it is trendy.

We’re not talking about being a purist here – Erbaluna’s operation doesn’t strike me as fanatical. Andrea uses some biodynamic principles here and there, and works with large wood, but maceration times are moderate, and they also meddle in the cellar slightly more (with fining and clarification) than I would prefer.

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2000 Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Santo Stefano

September 18, 2014

Name:Barbaresco Santo Stefano
Vintage:2000
Type:Red Wine
Varietal:Nebbiolo
Producer:Bruno Giacosa
Region:Italy / Piemonte/ Barbaresco
Alcohol:n/a

Bruno Giacosa wines are (or were?) one of Piemonte’s greatest.

Keep in mind, there are effectively two kinds of Giacosa wines. You can find a little bit more information on their website, but don’t expect a detailed description.

One, labeled Casa Vinicola Bruno Giacosa (like this one) at the bottom of the white (and only white!) label – is made from bought grapes.

Another, labeled “Azienda Agricola Falletto di Bruno Giacosa” at the bottom of the label (white or reddish/brown) – is made from own grapes.

This particular bottle brought elegance, layers, liquorice and hint of that seductive sweetness. Still tight, although not too prohibitive. Fresh and primary. Very very nice and will only get better.