For those that read Eric Asimov, they will know he writes some of the most interesting article on wine and when it comes to Italy, it seems that he always nails the region and it’s wines.
In his latest article names ‘In Sicily, making a name for Vittoria’ click here to read it, he not only covers the big guns like Cos and Occhipinti but also covers some of the up and comers like Lamoresca, which Mondo imports to Australia.
My favourite line from the article is this and it sums up Filippo perfectly:
I’m more than organic, I’m an artisan,” he said. “I want to be a traditio…nal Mediterranean farm. I don’t want to be a trend.”
Likewise, his wines, like his Nerocapitano, a frappato, are pure and alive. They might be called natural wines, yet he rejects that term, too.
“They are not natural wines, which are Coca-Cola for young people in Paris,” he said. “They lose the terroir. They taste the same. I won’t be a part of it.
As an importer and wine merchant focusing on Italian wines, it is great to see an event (or as we see it, a celebration) that focuses solely on Barolo and specifically the communes of Barolo.
Hosted at Bellota Wine Bar, La Festa del Barolo will look at a different commune every night with every major importer of Italian wine involved. You will get the best of the best, from every commune and if you wanted to learn more about Barolo, or already love it, this is the event for you.
Below is the information on each night, put together by our good friends and hosts Prince Wine Store/Bellota. It is going to be one of the great Italian wine events for some time…..
Festa del Barolo is a five day event hosted by a collective of Australia’s most important importers of Italian wine. Over the course of five dinners we will highlight each of the most significant communes of this unique region. Starting on a Monday with La Morra and culminating with Serralunga on Friday, each night the team at Bellota will be cooking traditional fare of the region matched to a bracket of four examples from the relevant commune. In addition to the communal bracket, there will also be a diverse selection of other Piemontese wines to purchase by taste, glass or carafe. The Festa will feature a who’s who of producers including Altare, Scavino, Mascarello, Fantino, Manzone, Veglio, Vajra and too many more to mention. You can view the full list of wines by themed commune via the links below. Bookings are being taken per night. We also have a selection of focused dinners featuring the first of which (with Pio Boffa from Pio Cesare) is listed below as well. Places are limited to 40 customers only for each dinner. Please call the store on (03) 9686 3033 or book online below. When booking feel free to nominate a time you’d like to come.
MONDAYLa Morra in Focus $170 Bellota Wine BarMELBOURNE July 25 6 – 9.30pm, 2016
Monday night is La Morra night. This is the largest commune in the area and thanks to the dominance of the Tortonian soils it produces wines that are the most perfumed and feminine of all the Barolo communes. Its most esteemed vineyards include Rocche dell’Annunziata, Brunate, La Serra and Arborina and it plays host to some of Barolo’s greatest producers. Monday is a celebration of these wines and an unmissable opportunity to experience the wines with complimentary food surrounded by a room full of like-minded Nebb-nuts! Places are limited to 40 customers only. Please call the store on (03) 9686 3033 or book online below.
On Arrival 2014 Correggia Roero Arneis OR 2015 Castellari Bergaglio Gavi ‘Fornaci’ Menu Salami Selection Wild mushroom gnocchi with truffleBrasato al Barolo, buckwheat polenta and kale Cheese plate Wine Renato Ratti Barolo Marcenasco 2012 Trediberri Barolo Rocche dell Annuziata 2012 Elio Altare Barolo Brunate 2011 Mauro Veglio Barolo Arborina 2012
TUESDAY Barolo in Focus $170Bellota Wine BarMELBOURNE July 26 6 – 9.30pm, 2016
Tuesday night is all about Barolo. As with its neighbour La Morra, the dominant soil types here are from the Tortonian era and contain a high percentage of limestone and marl giving them their distinctive freshness and perfume. However, the wines from the commune of Barolo tend to be more structured and dense, a captivating blend of elegance and power. The most renowned vineyards here (there are many) include Brunate, Cerequio and the hallowed Cannubi. Barolo is the heart of the region and houses some of the most famous names in Italian wine. This dinner, like all of the communal dinners for Festa Dal Barolo should not be missed. Places are limited to 40 customers only. Please call the store on 03 9686 3033 or book online below.
On Arrival 2014 Correggia Roero Arneis OR 2015 Castellari Bergaglio Gavi ‘Fornaci’ Menu Salami Selection Veal shin ragu with taglerini Gran billion misto Piednontese Cheese plate Wine Vajra Bricco dell Viole Barolo 2005 Paolo Scavino Cannubi 2010 Giuseppe Mascarello 2011 Luigi Einaudi Barolo Terlo 2011
WEDNESDAY Castiglione Falletto in Focus $170 Bellota Wine BarMELBOURNE July 27 6 – 9.30pm, 2016
Castiglione Wednesday. Castiglione Falletto is the perfect midway event as the area represents the transition between the communes of La Morra and Barolo and those of Serralunga and Monforte d’Alba. The wines from this relatively small sub region tend to marry the elegance of those with the Tortonian soils from the West and the Helvetian dirt to the East. There are many excellent producers here and a number of super vineyards, including Rocche di Castiglione, the legendary Monprivato, Briccho Boschis and many others. Need a hump day Barolo fix? This is the place to be on Wednesday the 27th of July. Places are limited to 40 customers only. Please call the store on 03 9686 3033 or book online below.
THURSDAY Monforte d’Alba in Focus $170 Bellota Wine BarMELBOURNE July 28 6 – 9.30pm, 2016
Monforte on a Thursday. I think Burton Anderson in his Wine Atlas of Italy summed it up well when he wrote “Wines of potent structure and uncommon depth of flavor”. These long lived, powerful and intense wines offer a unique expression of the region. The most southern of the five communes and nestled between Barolo to the NW, Castiglione in the immediate North and Serralunga to the NE Monforte is home to such icons of Italian wine as Giacomo Conterno, Domenico Clerico, Manzone and many more. Places are limited to 40 customers only. Please call the store on 03 9686 3033 or book online below.
On Arrival 2014 Correggia Roero Arneis OR 2015 Castellari Bergaglio Gavi ‘Fornaci’ Menu Salami Selection Barolo beef ravioli with fried sage Gran billion misto PiednonteseCheese plate Wine Elio Grasso Gavarini Chinera 2011 A & G Fantino Dardi 2010 Aldo Conterno Cicala 2005 Manzone Gramolere 2011
FRIDAYSerralunga in Focus $170 Bellota Wine BarMELBOURNE July 29 6 – 9.30pm, 2016
It’s serious Serralunga for Friday night. Here you really start to see the influence of the Helvetian era soils with their higher presence of sandstone and lower fertility. The wines from Serralunga are renowned for their age worthiness and compact, densely fruited nature. Peppered with vineyards like Vigna Rionda, Falletto, Francia and Lazzarito; all of which should be familiar to lovers of Barolo. It is also home to producers of note such as Pira Luigi and Massolino while many of the regions’ legends source some of their greatest wines from here: Giacomo Conterno, Bruno Giacosa, Gaja and Vietti among others. Serralunga is a region for those who truly love to see Nebbiolo at its most majestic and expressive. Places are limited to 40 customers only. Please call the store on 03 9686 3033 or book online below.
On Arrival 2014 Correggia Roero Arneis OR 2015 Castellari Bergaglio Gavi ‘Fornaci’ Menu Salami Selection Duck agnolotti with truffle Slow cooked wild boar, tomato, oregano, pearled barley braised greens and anchovy Cheese plate Wine Ferdinando Principiano Barolo 2012 Luigi Baudana Cerretta 2012 Pio Cesare Ornato 2010 Massolino Vigna Rionda 2009
Whilst I have always had the belief that 2004 was and will be always a superior vintage than 2006 in Tuscany, sometimes you can drink a wine that tells you that vintage generalisations aren’t always spot on.
Let me make it clear that both these vintages for Chianti Classico and Brunello are in the top few vintages in the last couple of decades. When you have two great vintages so close to each other (like 1989 and 1990 in the Langhe) there are always going to be comparisons made.
Last night, I was in a distinctively Chianti Classico mode and grabbed a bottle of the 2006 Castello Monsanto Il Poggio to drink. Monsanto was the first winery that we represented from Italy in Australia and today, the wines have never been better. It is also a wine that drink better and will age longer than the 2004 Il Poggio.
Monsanto always make restrained and savoury styled wines. A year like 2006 which was warmer than the stellar (and classic Tuscan vintage) 2004, has given the wine more omph and power. It still has at least another twenty years before it starts it’s slow decline.
This wine and the 2010 and 2012 vintage has again showed me why it is so critical to cellar the wines of Italy’s best producers.
ps Don’t always follow or agree with vintage generalisations!
For those that think of the wine growing region of Mount Etna has a warm climate, will be in for shock when you visit. High altitudes, an active volcano and snow falls make Etna one of the worlds most intriguing wine regions.
I love Etna and it’s wines. These photo’s from the winery we represent, Passopisciaro were taken over the weekend and shows the level of snow fall that can happen on Etna.
What a thrill it is to announce that @mondoimports will be importing the wines of Alessandro e Gian Natale Fantino from Monforte. The wines should be here late Feb, early March.
This is what @vinousmedia ‘s Antonio Galloni has to say about the wines: “What a thrill it is to taste these wines from brothers Alessandro and Gian Natale Fantino. The Fantinos work out of a tiny cellar in Monforte’s old, historic center. Alessandro Fantino spent twenty years working alongside Bartolo Mascarello, where he made the wines and managed the vineyards. In 1998, as Maria-Theresa Mascarello was becoming increasingly involved in the family business, Alessandro Fantino returned to his own estate…I am often asked who the up and coming producers are in Barolo. Alessandro and Gian Natale Fantino are among them.”
Well it has been a while since my last post on il vino da tavola. When I look back it has been a crazy year. I don’t think I will experience to many like that in my working life.
Consider that Mondo Imports continues to grow not only in the amount we import (roughly 100 containers a year from Italy) but also creatively with many new wines we make ourselves in Italy. Whilst doing this, we have rebuilt (without losing an hour’s trade) our food and wine retail hub Boccaccio Cellars.
Already we have had great feedback from our customers and media about the new Boccaccio. With online foodie publication Broadsheet listing it amongst the ‘best speciality Italian grocers’ in Melbourne.
Pity the fool who turns his nose up at Boccaccio’s IGA branding. “Fifty years and still going strong,” the D’Anna clan likes to say, but really, its Boccaccio Cellars isn’t simply maintaining; it’s improving.
Freshly refurbished, the new store is striking. A mural of the eponymous Boccaccio – the 14th-century Italian writer, poet and imbiber – is an appropriate introduction to the acres of produce inside.
Boccaccio likes to boast of its 3000 wines. Many are from Europe courtesy of the D’Annas’ sister operation, Mondo Imports. But the family actually got its start in the 1960s delivering fresh bread, spaghetti and oil to the crowds of Italian migrants pouring off the boats into Melbourne’s growing suburbs.
The D’Annas still deliver – Australia wide these days – but its Balywn store is a mecca for hungry Melburnians. It’s a Mediterranean-influenced grocery, delicatessen, butcher, green grocer and bakery.
The in-house cheesemongers, Bernard and Jery, almost steal the show with their ridiculous array of European products, which include Tete de Moine from Switzerland and Reypenaer gouda from the Netherlands. Still, the gents are beaten out by what more or less amounts to a refrigerated installation-wall of prosciutto imported directly from Parma. Good luck leaving without any.
1030–1050 Burke Road, Balwyn
(03) 9817 2257
With this now complete and going great guns, I can focus ( well almost!) on doing what I love best, importing and selecting wines of interest from Italy.
We are lucky to have great staff in each department with four cheesemongers, three bakers, two Swiss butchers and a team of seven running our Italian built deli. With the retail arm in great hands, it means one thing: more wines from Italy!
Our latest project has been a $15 Toscana Sangiovese made exactly how I think Tuscan Sangiovese should taste like.
Respected wine journalist Campbell Mattinson, had this to say about the wine and we expect to import around 60,000 bottles of our Sangiovese next year which is a great start.
Good to back on my blog and hopefully it won’t be as long between posts in the future!!
We are three weeks away from finishing the redevelopment of our retail hub which will encompass the best of food and wine, anywhere in Australia.
The build which is running a month ahead of schedule has been pretty easy considering the logistics involved in keeping everything operating.
Yesterday three semi trailers of refrigeration cases arrived and next week the remainder of shelving will be installed. After that, it is just commissioning and filling this massive space.
Already the response from the public and industry has been fantastic and I can’t wait to fast forward a few years to see what it is able to achieve. After September, it is back to my day job of focusing on Mondo Imports.
Anthony D'Anna: Italian wine importer and merchant in Australia