Tasting 2015 Barbarescos and 2014 Barolos with Gaia Gaja

The articulate Gaia Gaja was in town to showcase her 2015 single vineyard Barbaresco releases, as well as the 2014 Barolos.

Perhaps Gaja’s greatest achievement as a producer has been to raise the status of Barbaresco, which has emerged a little from the shadow of its big brother Barolo. Langhe has two prestigious sub-regions: within the […]

An amazing tasting of old Piedmont wines

On my last trio to South Africa I took a break from vintage and headed to the Swartland to catch up with buddies Ryan Mostert and Sam Suddons, who make the Smiley and Terracura wines. The occasion was an incredible tasting of old Piedmont wines, gathered together by Michael Roets. This was a special tasting, […]

Rediscovering a love for Barolo

Two great recent experiences with Barolo, which I’ve struggled to love a lot in the past. I love the idea of Barolo, but I’ve often found the wines to be a bit too difficult, with firm drying tannins and no pleasure. Yet occasionally I have had the most sublime experience with this region. It’s very […]

Learning to love Nebbiolo: Mascarello, Giuseppe e Figlio

In my quest for Nebbiolo to love, I came across two rather gorgeous bottles from Giuseppe Mascarello. This is one of those producers with a reputation for making mostly sublime wines, but also one where quality can be up and down. When they are great they are truly great, but greatness is not guaranteed. When […]

Learning to love Nebbiolo (1) Pio Cesare

A while back I posted on ‘Nebbiolo, I’d love to like you more’, which drew some very intelligent responses. I’m sure I lost a few followers – people who realized that if I question the greatness of Nebbiolo, I clearly have no palate and am not a serious person. I understand.

But even if I […]

A remarkable natural Barolo

Now this is interesting. I encountered it at the Oslo tasting I’ve been at for the last couple of days.

It’s a naturally made Barolo from Giovanni Canonica. He makes very little – around 5000 bottles – which all sell out very quickly. Much of the production is sold in Japan.

Canonica farms 1.5 hectares in the […]

Fontanafredda Barolo 2006

Fontanafredda Barolo 2006

Leaving aside all the arguments about traditional and modern styles in Barolo, and small versus more commercial producers, this is a delicious wine.

Fontanafredda Barolo 2006 Piedmonte, Italy
This spends two years in oak: the majority in large botti, but some of it in small barrels. Quite full in colour with some bricking of […]