Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz

Post your Nebbiolo GTi notes here

Posted by Gregory Dal Piaz, May 7, 2009.

Ok, so I am delinquent. I have been so busy preparing for my trip to drink wine, in Piemonte, that I neglected to get this going properly!

I have also been delinquent in posting my notes in general so I'll take this opportunity to go ahead and add a few nebbiolo notes.

Starting off the Guiseppe Rinaldis fan-fricken-tastic Langhe Nebbiolo. Now this can be pricy but then again it's 100% Barolo juice that simply doesn't fit into the final blend. Ravera juice I've been told. In any event the 1999 starts out with some lovely savory notes on the nose, chicken stock comes to mind, melded with tar, black spices, steaming hot limestone, dark rose notes and a hint of prosciutto. In the mouth there are cutting acids right up front that are followed by a taut, nervy package of pure black berry and black cherry fruit. There are some soft insinuation of fennel and earth but ultimately this is simple a crisp, pure mouthful of sweet berry fruit applied to the palate by laser! Drinking very well today with about 2 hours air. 91 pts 2009-2017

Next up are several wines from a recent Nebbiolo Night out!

We begin with the 1957 Monsecco Gattinara which opens with a very evolved nose of sweet tea, leathery autumnal notes balanced by a sharp, spiced, sandlewood notes. There is a touch of cassis lurking and notes of roasted pear and even a hint of rubber here. In the mouth this is light and bright with tons of wild strawberry and sour cherry fruit still in evidence. There is a decided jolly rancher character to the fruit with the bags of acid here keeping everything very fresh and lively. This is still going dtrong and was a surprising treat 2009-2001 89pts

Then onto the rather familiar twisted bottle that is Traviglini, in this case a 1971. Very reticent at first with a sweet and astringent fruit note over oystershell with a touch of cigar ash. The roasted cherry fruit does come to life but remains a bit low key on the nose. In the mouth this starts out a bit clumsily with good chewy fruit and nicely nuanced black pepper and smoke notes framing the fruit. It gains sweetness to the fruit but not tremendous length. A solid yet uninspired showing. 2009-2011 86pts

We then changed speeds and popped a baby, the 1989 Conterno Fantino Vigna del Gris. This is not only a younger wine but a fairly modern style at that, none the less the nose offers rather classic notes of camphor, licorice, and mint notes with a gamy edge. There's a sandy element here and the fruit recalls roasted strawberries with a touch of spice from the wood treatment. In the mouth this is cool and composed yet a bit raspy on the midpalate and attenuated on the back end. The fruit is nice but a touch anonymous and simple and there is a hint of bitterness on the finish that detracts from the experience. 2009-2014 85pts

With the Conterno Fantino we enjoyed the painfully traditional 1990 Scarpa. The nose here starts out with decidedly oxidized notes and lovely hints of salame and caraway with spicy mint and herb undertones. There's an odd sweetness to the nose that recalls fishermens friend cough lozenges and sweet flowers. the nose does clean up with air but remains savory. In the mouth one is greeted by a rush of wild strawberry fruit with mint top notes that is followed by a wave of bracing acidity. Nicely meshed tannins take over on the midpalate then yield to a fine, precise strawberry/rhubarb backend that leads to a long if simple finish. Amazing freshness and acidity for a 1990. 2009-2021 90pts

Now that we were warmed up we got to the meat of the line-up; a pair of 1985's.

Up first was Guiseppe Rinaldi's La Brunata Riserva which had a stinky touch of funky slavonian oak notes right out of the bottle and a touch of oxidative sweetness that reinforced the sweet anise tones that initially dominated the nose. Growing elements of earth, sand and iron added to the aromatics with a touch of menthol lurking. In the mouth this was rich and round with chewy, slightly matte fruit that was dark and spicy with licorice, earthy and savory notes adding to the wild frutti del bosco palate. Nice length and sustain on the finish added to the appeal. A solid showing but this may be slipping a bit as this lacked some of the richness of previous bottles. 92pts 2009-2019

Up next, one of my favorites: 1985 G Mascarello Monprivato. As usual a wonderful wine with a rich forest floor tone on the nose followed by minty and light clay notes with a lingering hint of cigar smoke. This is wonderfully fresh and soil driven on the nose with hints of camphor and icy mint setting off the precise spicy fruit. Entering with a wave of sweet, ripe fruit and then transitioning to a layered mid-palate with forest floor and spice toned framing the wild strawberry notes that play out on the finest in a coy and sneaky way. One of the best of 1985. 2009-2024 95pts

Sticking with the vintage we then moved on to 1985 Bruno Giacosa Santo Stefano Riserva with it's sweet perfumed nose of seared fruit and flowers over background notes of celery seed, rust and braised fennel that is exceptionally aromatic and precise. There is a subtle gaminess to the fruit on the palate which is sweetly fruited with wild raspberry fruit and hints of mica and fireplace ash. This is elegant and succulent though it seems to have suffered from less then ideal conditions at some point in its life. Still delicious 2009-2014 90pts

We then sampled from a pair of Roagna wines. Luca Roagna was in town, and along with Mauro and Giuseppe Mascarello, joined us for this dinner.

Up first, the 1999 Paje Barbaresco which had a captivatingly spicy nose full of caraway, cardamon and tumeric with a stemmy notes and dried floral tones. In the mouth this was slightly jammy yet had the sweet/astringent quality of my beloved lingonberries, though the actual flavor profile was dark berry fruit over blue shale/clay and a return of the middle eastern spice notes found on the nose. There is a bit of VA here, which may be off putting to some people but for me it really just added a little lift to the nose. 2009-2019 91pts
And on this note I have to go, but I will return with more notes soon.

In the meantime I would love to hear about your Nebbiolo experiences!!


Reply by Eric Guido, May 7, 2009.

Now you're talking, Greg

Here's something I enjoyed tonight: Giuseppe Cortese, Barbaresco Rabaja 2003

My Notes: Medium red ruby in the glass with aromas of Plum, anise and with a underlying layer of musky, forest floor. On the palate, sour cherries, prune and hint of citrus. Very fresh at first that turns to an earthy, minerally finish which comes off as a little drying with rough tannin. I'm assuming that the initial richness of this Barbaresco followed by the let down of a finish is the result of the hot vintage. Although I don't see myself drinking this five years down the road, it still makes for an enjoyable glass of wine today, accompanied by a plate of pasta with red sauce.

Also on Sunday I enjoyed: Massolino, Barolo Vigna Rionda 1999

My Notes: The 1999 Massolino Vigna Rionda explodes from the glass with aromas of Menthol, Black cherry liquor, new leather and tobacco. On the palate, wild berries at first that swells to sweet red fruit on the mid palate, however, it remains quite angular and finishes with an earthy minerality and tart raspberry. The tannins are still up front and mouth coating but this bottle left me with an intense longing to see what it will be in another ten years. A very balanced and fine Barolo with little hint of the new wood that is mentioned in previous reviews.

Enjoy your trip Greg.

Reply by ChipDWood, May 8, 2009.

...I had a Rose from Virginia. Even though Jefferson's "main wine stud" was from Piedmont, and brought with him some of the only European varietals actually tough enough to survive Virginia's harsh humidity and "general-purpose" welcome mat to pests...

...And that Barboursville is of major significance and all.

This Country's wine culture died from the French- but the Italian vines were able to at LEAST survive, and some of them even make their way, to this day, into such a thing as a "Rose"...

That count?

I'm tired of not having any great Barolos around and feeling left out.

...Had some good Italian grub the other night though.

That count?

Reply by Eric Guido, May 11, 2009.

Hey man, if it's made from nebbiolo then I'm sure it belongs.

Here's another one from this weekend.

Bovio, Barolo Rocchettevino 1997
Four hours of decanting did not do this wine justice. Enjoyed over dinner, good, but not remarkable enough to incite me to pick up a pen… but… Having saved about 12 ounces, for the next day proved to be enlightening. After a total of 24 hours, Bovio's Barolo Rocchettevino 1997 turned from enjoyable to intense. Showing a medium ruby red color with explosive aromatics of spicy plum reduction, clove, cedar, stewed tomato and Iodine. I could never sip from this glass and still feel satisfied by the aromatics alone. Followed on the palate by Tobacco, sweet red fruit, a hint of iron and earth. Layered and intense with a long finish.

Reply by ChipDWood, May 12, 2009.

Heres a "Super Piedmont", from La Spinetta, "Pin", 2004 Barbera/Nebbiolo blend.

(Note: Image represents the '03 label- I had the '04)

"The blend of Barbera & Nebbiolo, as mentioned elsewhere, truly is a "Super Piedmont". The structure of the Nebbiolo lends finesse to (and almost chaperons) an aggressive and prominent display of both fruit and bursting complexity of a young cluster of Barbera.

I still haven't been able to come up with a score on this one- but it paired damn well with a Gyro & some Moussaka ;)

Wicked-good composition with opulent & macerated red fruits are followed by a fresh (and delicious) dark-cherried finish that takes plenty of time to leave your senses.

Worth the $40 tag & early 90's, easily."

Reply by Mark Angelillo, May 13, 2009.

Got one -- a budget Nebbiolo d'Alba I picked up at Astor:

Nebbiolo D'Alba Valmaggione Brovia 2004
Fine, spiced cherry nose. Palate is tannic, full of deep red fruits, warm medicinal flavors, cedar box, and loads of spice. Good, refreshing acidity finishes with tar and clove. 3.5/5

Reply by wineryfinder, May 20, 2009.

I tasted the 1997 Roberto Voerzio Barolo Capalot Brunate at the Wine Spectator Grand Tasting. The wine was amazing, with notes of violet, red fruit, and red licorice that blended seamlessly with an old world, Italian, earthiness on the nose.The wine was slightly tannic, it probably needed a few years before it should have been opened, but it was fantastic nonetheless.

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, May 22, 2009.

Coming up later today a new post with maybe 200 2005 Barolos from last weeks Italy trip. Many more notes to post but that will be a start!

Reply by Eric Guido, May 25, 2009.

Well, after all the rave reviews I just had to try this and boy was I happy I did.

Produttori del Barbaresco, Barbaresco 2005

A brilliant ruby red color that, after two hours of decanting, was explosive on the nose with cherry fruit, sweet tobacco, and chalk dust. The nose came across as a bit hot but very expressive. On the palate more cherry, or possibly cranberry with rose petal, tar and a bit of pepper. Expansive on the mid-palate with sweet fruit. A hint of charred wood and more cherry on the finish. This can't be a $26 bottle... but it is!

Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, May 26, 2009.

Ok, I have to let this go but I've just posted a few notes on 2005 Barolo that may or may come in handy!

I also need to drink some Barolo, and soon!

Reply by Eric Guido, May 26, 2009.

It's sad, too bad more people weren't in a Nebbiolo mood. If I could taste a new Nebbiolo every day then I could keep this thread going but I don't see that happening.

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