GDP on Wine

Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz

Live from Piedmont

Posted by Gregory Dal Piaz, May 15, 2013.

It's just me, no virtual tasting, or live video feed but I am in Piedmont visiting wineries.


So far I've been to

Josetta Saffirio


Cordero de Montezemolo Monfalletto


Today I'm heaaded to

Elio Grasso

Guido Porro


Luigi Pira


I'll post some updates here on the vintages, wine's tasted, etc but in case anyone has some specific question I'll try to answer those as well. Now it's off to taste!


Reply by Welkja, May 15, 2013.


i am anxious to here your reviews from one of my favorite regions of the world. I really enjoy Barolos, Barberescos, and Barberas. I especially like the silky smooth finishes of some nebbiolos as they come of age.  Enjoy yourself!


Reply by dutchguy, May 16, 2013.

hi there Gregory


In October 2012 I was in the area for the truffle fest. Tasted Giacomo Conterno, in this case a barbera d'alba at La Bocca Buona in Bra, a nearby town. I can recommend both the restaurant and the wine wholeheartedly. Should the opportunity present itself, grab it ;-)


a Dutch guy

Reply by outthere, May 16, 2013.

Your life sucks Greg. Wanna trade?

Reply by EMark, May 16, 2013.

Give it some thought, Greg.  OT drives around Sonoma County, does not deal with airports, meets great people in the industry and tastes wine, gets invited to awesome events and tastes wine.  I would trade with him, but I think he would find retirement much too stressful.

Reply by jtryka, May 16, 2013.

Yeah, I'd like to trade too, I had a nice tour of Western Ohio today!

Reply by JonDerry, May 16, 2013.

Looking forward to reading the report Greg. 

Reply by Richard Foxall, May 17, 2013.

Okay, except for the lack of any salable knowledge of wine or OT's products, I'd trade places with either of them, especially because they have already done all the thankless work that got them where they are today.  (Greg has a good story of coming to California and realizing that maybe working 7 days a week in his restaurants was less than ideal... so he gave it all up to deal with the sweaty masses in wine retail for another decade or so.)

It's pretty nice here, but still easy to be envious of anyone spending some time in Piedmont, especially this time of year. Looking forward to hearing reports on the wine and food.

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, May 20, 2013.

OK, first off, just to make this all easier, the weather has been awful while I've been here. It's rained 5 of the last 7 days, with more to come and temperatures are in the 50s when they should be in the 70s. Food has been good rather than great, but since I'm returning to restaurants I've been to before that's also not surprising as I have certain expectations at this point.

Went to the the local farmers market on saturday and have been cooking meals since and this is where it begins to get god. Fantastic fresh vegetables, particularly peas and potatoes, along with exceptional bits of cheese and salumi have really turned things around, or at least started to.

A few words about the wines, and in particular the 2009 vintage in Barolo. It has the potential to be a very good, slightly warmer styled vintage a la 2007 but better but in reality it is the mostly wildly inconsistent vintage I have ever tasted. There are wines with green tannins and with soft tannins. There are wines with elevate levels of acidity and low levels. There are wines with lower alcohols and wines with elevated levels. In short the wines are all over the board and this reflects the choices made in the vineyard.

The best wines I've tasted have tons of pretty and very attractive fruit but they lacks the energy and definition of the best vintages. 2010, of which I've only tasted barrel samples of Barolo, is a monster of a vintage, still largely inscrutable at many addresses but a vintage that have phenomenal depth of flavor and structure. It looks to be the once or twice in a lifetime vintage type of vintage that 1989 and 1978 turned out to be. I'm saving my money for these wines! Having said that 2009 is a very enjoyable vintage. Easy to drink, rather fruity and, when made well, with a pretty distinct marriage of opulent fruit and a soft for Barolo texture.

I've got another 15 or so visits scheduled so my views on 2009 Barolo and 2010 Barbaresco in particular are yet to be set in stone, but I think I've tried enough wines to begin to be able to understand the two vintages. Looking forward 2011 looks to be again in the vein of a warmer vintage but perhaps with a more aromatic and fresh style, though it is too early to tell, and 2012 again cooler and more precise, probably built along the lines of the 2008 vintage. Elio Grasso's 2012 Dolcetto is a wine that explains the vintage, small scaled, bursting with crisp red fruit, far from serious but completely a joy to drink. I'll be looking for a bottle once I get back to the states.

So that's an early opinion on what I've been tasting so far. More to come and then a complete write-up of course. I just wanted to give you all a little preview of things to come.


And by the way, while tasting at Scavino lo and behold the Giro passed directly in front of the winery!

I'll leave you with this view of the the village of Barbaresco with the crus of Asili, Rabaja, and Martinenga in the center, Pora, Paje and Muncagota to the left, Tre Stelle to the right, and in the foreground Roncaglie and Motaribaldi.

Reply by outthere, May 20, 2013.

 Sounds like it sucks. I've decided not to trade with you ;)

Reply by Richard Foxall, May 20, 2013.

Yeah, OT has a bike race pass his neighborhood every year. 

We are having some really nice weather... hope it gets nicer in N. Italy.  We hoisted Barbera on Friday in honor of the Giro.

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, May 20, 2013.

I've hoisted Barbera every day for a week, might be time for a change!

Reply by Richard Foxall, May 20, 2013.

As I said, I'd trade places.

Reply by JonDerry, May 20, 2013.

Greg, thanks for the thoughts...seems like lately the even year vintages have ruled in favor of classicism, and the odd years have been bordering on the overripe. Interesting re: the variability of '09, it seems that's the way we're headed now...with more producers deciding what kind of style they want to begin with.

Reply by Lucha Vino, May 22, 2013.

I was wondering if you might have seen some Giro action.  Thanks for the info and the wines and the pic of the racers!

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