Ok, so I've already fallen well behind in posting my notes but let me tell you why.
So today i was up at 7:30, shower and breakfast before heading over for our first tasting session. Today we tasted about 25 wines, mostly 2006 but a few 2005 Riserva. This is a region well know for their Arneis wines. Nice whites for a meal. they have always grown some Nebbiolo in the zone but have pushed to make more important wines of late. If this crop was in any way representative they have alot of work to do. Lots of very extracted wines with fruit marked by a warm terroir and with oak that brought me back to the heydays of the late 90's in Piemonte. that to say way too much. there was one very nice wine and 3 nice wines but as a group their time has not yet come.
Aster that we followed up with about 45 2006 barbaresco. Boy these wines were TANNIC! Too tanic in my opinion. The lacked the balance that the best 2005s exhibited last year. All power but backed up by extract and not fruit. This may not have been a representative group, I tasted blind and while I took a look at the list of wines I have yet to match them to my notes. These may very well improve and certainly will require time in the bottle to soften the tannins but as a vintage I would be cautious about these wines. No doubt many will surprise on the upside but if you like a crisper, more elegantly styled wine that exhibits wonderful freshness taking a closer look at 2005 might be good advice.
Tomorrow I will finish tasting the 2006 Barbaresco and start on the 2005 Barolo which may very well be more variable but i prefer my wines focused cool and crisp and a little vegetal character in my Nebbiolo is viewed as a positive. In any event i will report in tomorrow with those notes.
the rest of the day today was spent in the Enotec regionale in Roero for an hour tasting back vintages, bleh, and a bit of Arneis, always refreshing and a small produce Ghiome I think, card is up in the room, had a lovely wine to simly drink and enjoy. After Roero we went to Barbaresco for a retrospective tasting of 2004 and 1999. I worked through the 99's, decent wines with few surprises but actually skipped the 2004's. there were too many people jostling or a pour so instead i took a walk.
Down the road out of Barbaresco past the cru of Secondine on the way to the top of paje. Of course as we walked the road we had Moccagatta above us, then rounded the curve to see roagna's wonderfully verdant piece of paje below us. We continued on past the base of Bricco Asili and on up to the top of Faset. Then we worked out way down through the backside of faset to the lower road with Pora on our right as we headed down to to martinenga. We head around the Marchese de Gresy estate then up into the steep heart of Rabaja and across back into asili before climbing up and over and back to Moccagatta! What a nice way to spend 90 minutes!
After that nice exercize it was great to be able to head to Antica torre in barbaresco for a wonderful meal of Vitello Tonnato, Tajarin, and Roast rabbit and vegetables served with about 2 dozen wines.
the stars of the evening wine wise were a simply beautiful 2002 Ovello from Cantina del Pino which was fresh and crisp with ripe fruit a wonderful roasted herbal note and crisp tannins. It was very nebbiolo and a perfect wine with the dinner. We also enjoyed an impressively soft 2005 Rizzi nervo gently scented with rose petals and dried cranberry/dried currant fruit and a great 2005 barbera from Castello del Verduno. I love Barbera and while this had seen a little new oak it worked spendidly, framing the pure violet and plum fruit and adding just a hint of sweetness that balanced the classic Barbera acidity perfectly. A cantina to watch!
After all that we headed back to the hotel and I dutifully took my laptop down to the lobby, where I am now enjoying typing on my lap but getting free wifi!
More tomorrow, in fact much more tomorrow! I will try and get a blog post up tomorrow so I can include a few photos of the trip so far. Now I'm off to get some sleep so I am well rested for another 14 hour work day tomorrow!
Italy update 3
- Reply by Eric Guido, May 11, 2009.
Sad news about the Arneis. I've had a few good ones in the past but they've never really blown me away. Some Vietti and Giacosa have been interesting but never incredible and the rising price tags don't help much either.
Looking forward to your notes on the Barolo's.