A 50 year old Barbaresco

This was a generous birthday gift. You never quite know what you are going to get with an old wine, and 1967 wasn’t a strong vintage in most European wine regions, but this wine really delivered a lot of pleasure. There’s something special about drinking a wine that transports you back in time.

Produttori del Barbaresco [...]

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 [...]

Massolino Barolo 2010

One of my many themes of 2014 was an attempt to get to grips with Nebbiolo, which I’ve always found one of the trickiest of grape varieties to love, as opposed to just admiring. It’s like a brilliant friend with a prickly personality. You like to hang out with them, but about half the time [...]

Cascina Degli Ulivi A Demua - a lovely natural white from Piedmont

This natural Piedmont white is really interesting. It’s a blend of several local varieties, fermented on skins for a month using native yeasts in barrel. Then the wine is pressed and returned to barrel for a year. No sulfur dioxide is added at any stage, and total SO2 is 13 mg (which means the bottle [...]

Bochis Francesco Langhe Barbera - remarkable value from Piedmont

So enjoyed this wine. It’s a Piedmont Barbera aged for four months in large botti, from limestone soils at 420-460 m.

Bochis Francesco Langhe Barbera Dogliano 2012 Piedmont, Italy
13% alcohol. Lovely black cherry and plum fruit: sleek, pure and fresh. Fine and elegant with some grippy structure and a bit of damson to complement the [...]

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 [...]