GDP on Wine

Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz

Cascina Ballarin, new and improved!

Posted by Gregory Dal Piaz, Oct 9, 2008.

Cascina Ballarin

Traveling down the enlightened traditionalist road after only 20 years specializing in wine Giorgio Viberti has found the right path for him. With 7 hectares under vine this small producer has a range of current offerings that offer impressive power and size without sacrificing complexity and typicity. Some of the offerings show a bit more oak than I would prefer but the freshness and contrast of great acidity against sweet ripe fruits makes this a very appealing line-up

Langhe Bianco 2006 - 88pts

80% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Nero, 5% Favortia all in Stainless

An earthy appeal on the nose with low key banana peel fruit, a touch leesy 2

Sweetly fruited entry, great acidic bite 2+

In the mouth the acids pull the palate with note of pineapple rind, lemon curd, hazelnut oil and a subtle suggestion of balsamic rosemary 2+

Very clean and juicy finish with the acid drawing out the length 2

Langhe Rosso Cino 2006 - 88pts

Nebbiolo 20%, Barbera 40%, Dolcetto

A selection of grapes not destined to make more important wine

8-10 day fermentation/maceration

Gentle leafy on the nose with some layered dried rose petals, small thin-skinned red fruits, smoky and earthy with emerging notes of assertive minerality, potassium, almost saline 2+

Meaty on the entry, more Barbera driven, great acids, gentle integrated tannins 2

Beautiful red plum fruit with a gentle bitter/sweet interplay, zesty and fruity in the mouth with an assertively floral inner-mouth perfume, Great cut and purity 2+

Finishes with high acid and a bit of mouth grabbing tannin 2

Dolcetto d’Alba Bussia di Monforte 2006 - 88pts

Intensely fruity nose, dried fruits, dried peach, dried strawberry, an underlay of chalk 2

Big and round in the mouth with excellent balance and vibrant acidity 2+

Great dark berry fruit on entry, black raspberry, dried strawberry, strawberry jam, touch of earth 2+

Very brisk, clean finish with a steely edge to the wild strawberry fruit 2

Dolcetto d’Alba Pilade 2006 - 89pts

From La Mora, 8-10 days fermentation/maceration then in Stainless or cement

An earthy, tarry, creosote nose, touch reductive, touch steamy 2

Very soft tannins with a sold acid spine, great zest acidity 2+

A bit chewy with sweet / tart plumy fruit, fresh and pure with building tannins adding dimension 3

A bit gritty as the tannins assert themselves and on the short side but with lovely plum skin fruit 2

Barbera d’Alba Pilade 2005 - 88pts

6 months in botte, Slavonian 2nd and 3rd passage

Lovely perfume, floral, violet, bitter cherry, good intensity, a touch of chocolate chip cookie 2+

Big sweet fruit attack with solid acidity but the fine integration makes leaves this bordering on elegant 2+

Fleshy yellow plum fruit, simple and gulpable with a touch of nori on the back of the palate and an edge of African violet 2

Brisk and short on the finish yet with excellent typicity under bitter/sweet undertones of plumskin and almost chocolate 2

Barbera d’Alba Giuli 2005 - 88pts

From La Morra, 18 months in 100% new barrique

Jammy and smoky nose with obvious oak on the cocoa end of the spectrum and a hint of vanilla 2

Big and dense with sapid acidity and very fine wood tannins nicely proportioned and well-balanced 2+

Sweet, round lush fruit, spicy red fruit tones, very well integrated oak, seductive2+

Turns a bit woodier on the finish but it doesn’t obscure the dense, earthy fruit with an appealing finale of acid driven orange tones, quite long and engaging 2+

Langhe Nebbiolo 2005 - 90ps

From La Morra, all in stainless

Lovely nose of rose petal, wild strawberry, mineral water and a gentle suggestion of suede 2+

Bigish in the mouth for Langhe Nebbiolo with good acids and moderate tannins that are crisp and well balanced on the medium weight+ frame 2+

Very fruit driven with a refreshing green melon top note, dusty tannins add to the mineral edge but this offers fresh and easy cherry fruit with slight notes of tar and leather with excellent purity 3

Long and sinewy on the finish with sour cherry fruits and a finale of green tea 2+

Langhe Rosso Ballarin 2004 - 87pts

Nebbiolo 40%, Barbera 40%, Cabernet Sauvignon 20%

1 year in barrique 60% new 40% second year

Very interesting herbaceous but not vegetal nose with blackberry fruit, gentle vanilla, smoke, dark fruited, Asian spice, a bit of dried onion 2

Big and suave in the mouth with fine tannins and good acidity, elegant 2+

Dark but fresh fruit with an assertive cocoa tone and incipient herbal topnotes 2

Long but a bit disjointed coming off a bit spiky or serrated 2

Barolo Tre Ciabot 2004 - 88pts

La Morra/Monforte/Novello

50% French Barrique/50% Slavonian Botte almost all used

Sweet almost treacly dried fruits on the nose. Dried asphalt, excellent intensity, subtle mint top note, sweet candied licorice 2+

A bit blocky in the mouth but well balanced with well managed tannins and good acidity 2+

Very red fruited, pomegranate on the palate, succulent with minty, chalky edges to the fruit, very drinkable though a touch of woodiness is noticeable on the palate 2+

Finishes with assertive plum and cherry fruit, moderate length and some dark, wet earth tones leading to a sweet/tart pomegranate twang of a finale 2+

Barolo Bussia 2004 - 89pts

8-10 day fermentation/maceration then 100% new Barrique

A bit too toasty on the nose with a spicy character to the dried fruits, a strong tobacco note emerges with a touch of menthol 2+

Sweet entry with lots of fine tannins and good supporting acids2+

Starts off decidedly savory with a rich tobacco and earth profile that has strong cigar box and cedar elements with lurking notes of dried strawberry fruit, assertive in its way 3

Tight and taut on the finish with a brisk, focused character and a finale of amarena cherry 2

Barolo Bricco Rocca 2004 - 92pts

La Morra, all in new Slavonian botte

Gentle wood spice tones are well integrated on the nose adding a sweet edge to the slightly confected, almost dried fruit, a bit of fig/date/prune character but nicely contrasted by notes of black tea and hints of walnut 3

Elegant in the mouth with sapid acidity, really very finely textured with great balance though the tannins have a slightly angular edge 3

Fresh herbal tones upon entry followed by solid red berry/loganberry fruit, gentle sandalwood note and suggestions of incense and forest floor add complexity 3

Layered finish with an ebbing quality to the grippy fruit tannins and zesty acidity, lovely vein of clayey earth, very long 3


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