Learning to love Nebbiolo: Villa Giada Treponti Nebbiolo 2007 Monferrato

It has been a while since I reported on my quest to try to fall for Nebbiolo, and I have quite a few wines to tell you about. The first of these is really distinctive. It’s from Piedmont, but from Monferrato rather than Barolo, and so – considering the quality – it’s superb value for [...]

Learning to love Nebbiolo: Langhe Nebb from Vajra and Massolino

So I’ve been trying quite a few Nebbiolos of late, in a quest to learn to love it more. This has meant tasting a fair few young Barolos, and struggling a bit with their raw, primary tannins, which can be quite fearsome. This is where Langhe Nebbiolo proves useful. These wines are, as you’d expect, [...]

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 [...]

ViniItaliani, a great London destination for Italian wine

Last Wednesday I made a new discovery (new for me, at least). It’s ViniItaliani, a wine shop/wine bar on the Old Brompton Road in South Kensington. It also acts as a wholesaler for some wines that it imports directly, and has an associated consumer-directed online wineshop at www.italianwines.com.

London is becoming a great place [...]

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 [...]

Montalbera Laccento 2010 Ruché, a rare red variety from Piedmont

This is such a distinctive, perfumed, floral red wine. It’s from Piedmont, and made from a very rare red grape variety called Ruché, of which there are only 40 hectares planted worldwide. It’s just my sort of style, showing elegance and aromatic interest, but with some edges too.

Montalbera Laccento 2010 Ruché di Castagnole Monferrato, [...]

Great value, biodynamic, natural wines from Nuova Cappelletta in Piemonte

Tasted these three attractively priced wines from online retailer Piemonte Wines recently. They are from biodynamic estate Nuova Cappelletta, and two of them are made with no added sulfur dioxide. The prices indicated are valid to the end of the month.

Nuova Cappelletta Cortese Piemonte 2010 Italy
13% alcohol. No added sulfites. Full yellow colour. Rich, warm [...]

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 [...]

A remarkable Freisa and a delicious Montepulciano

Two excellent wines at dinner last night, here in Oslo. The first, a Freisa from Langhe made like a Barolo; the second, a warmer wine, much richer and obvious, but still with good definition and edges.

Giuseppe Mascarello Langhe Freisa ‘Toetto’ 2004
This is Freisa made almost in the Barolo way (15 months in slavonian oak), and [...]

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 [...]