Category Archives: Piedmonte

2000 Travaglini Gattinara

I busted this out of the cellar last weekend for Italian dinner with the family and decanted for about an hour. Ruby to brown color with orange rim. On the nose, developed, medium+ intensity, clove, tar, violets, anise, sour plum and cherry, lots of chalky earth minerality, layered spices, with moderate amounts of oak. On the palate, dry, medium+ intensity, medium tannin, medium acidity, really well balanced, with a nice array of sour fruit, spice, and flowers, lots of complexity, and a beautiful finish. Solid wine, I think I have one more!

2005 Corino Barolo Vigneto Arborina

Ruby color with orange rim. On the nose, youthful, medium+ intensity, sour cherry, tar, leather, chalky soil, anise, with lots of French oak spices showing through. On the palate, dry, medium+ intensity, medium tannin, medium+ acidity, with layers of fruit, spice, mineral, and flowers, all wrapped in a nice oaky finish. Great Barolo crafted for the American palate.

2005 Prunotto Occhetti Nebbiolo d’Alba

This has been one of the hidden wines on the menu that in past vintages has delivered beyond expectations. I haven’t yet done any homework on the 05 vintage in Piedemonte but since everywhere else on the planet that grows French varietals had killer years it stands to reason there has to be a region or two that sucked, Could Nebbiolo from Piedemonte be the ass of 05, or will it rock like the rest? Ruby with orange and brown edges, rather low intensity of color. On the nose, developed, medium intensity, chalky soil, tar, rose, violet, muted fruit, kind of linear wine, with no oak, and definite earth, but where’s the fruit, and layered beauty? On the palate, dry, medium intensity, medium body, angular, astringent, lots of acid, with flowers and chalk, but where’s the fruit? Where’s the balance? I suppose if I had a big fatty Ribeye steak in front of me I’d be singing a different song, but this wine cam up flat and did not cut the mustard. Or is this another case of you get what you pay for?    

2001 Cocito Barbaresco Baluchin

Light garnet color. On the nose, developed, medium+ intensity, right up front very new world and oaky with extracted fruit, hard to believe it’s almost nine years old, with sour cherry and fig, leather, anise, loaded with other spices, after several minutes of aeration this started to show off some of it’s Barbaresco charm, with violets, tar, roses, lots of oak, and definite chalky earth component. On the palate, dry, medium+ intensity, medium+ tannin, bright acidity, layered, lots of oak, but behind the new world mask, all the sour red fruit, licorice, flowers, structure that will last for some time to come, and a pretty but oaky finish. I’m calling this one a “New World” version of an old world classic, that every minute it’s open becomes more of the Barbaresco it is. Not cheap but I haven’t met a Barbaresco that is, and this has a level of deliciousness that many palates will agree with.    

2007 Giacomo Borgogno Barbera d’Alba Superiore

From one of the great producers from the region known for their extremely ageable Barolo’s. Dark garnet in color. On the nose, youthful, medium intensity, loaded with black and red cherries, blackberry, plum, chocolate, flowers, leather, spice, chalky soil, forest floor, some oak, and some earth. On the palate, dry, bright black fruit, medium+ intensity, very chocolate milkshake, with medium tannin, medium acidity, good balance, and finish of medium+ length. This wine was extremely delicious and showcased more of a riper fruitier style of Barbera, a real nice wine to have as a cocktail.    

1982 Borgogno Barolo

Quite impressive wine. Ruby with orange edges. On the nose, developed, medium+ intensity, plum, cherry, chalky soil, clove, anise, flowers, tar, some oak, and some earth as well. On the palate, dry, medium intensity, medium tannin, medium acidity, still showing off it fruit and tannins, with beautiful balance, and a stellar finish. I heard this producer made wines with serious longevity, but come on this wine is almost 30 and still vibrant and youthful.    

2008 Marcarini Barbera d’Alba

Ruby color with a bit of purple to it. On the nose, youthful, medium+ intensity, cranberry, raspberry, leather, flowers and perfume, chalky soil, subtle oak, with earth present. On the palate, dry, medium intensity, medium- tannin, medium acidity, pretty explosive sour red fruit, with a silky chalky component, with flowers and spice on a moderate but delicious finish. I want more.    

2005 Castello di Verduno Barbaresco

Pretty and very opulent. Strawberry to ruby in color. On the nose, youthful, medium+ intensity, roses, violets, tar, anise, cherry, leather, very delicious, balanced, different, with good length to the finish. I liked this, great price, this is the gateway Barbaresco.