Barolo or Barbaresco: What is your pick?

Interesting question.

What do you prefer?

For me lately I have been drinking more Barbaresco.

I wonder what the image of Barbaresco would be like today if we did not have the likes of Angelo Gaja or Produttori del Barbaresco to illustrate it’s seriousness in the last thirty years?

I doubt many people consider Barolo to be superior to Barbaresco. For me, they are equal. One thing they are not though is equal in price. Barbaresco when compared to Barolo at exactly the same quality normally sells for 10-20 per cent less per bottle: and when you get fantastic vintages like 2006 and 2007 it is hard not to drink it.

Wines like Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco 2006 which had all the single vineyard cru’s blended into, is an amazing wine and fantastic value at $70 a bottle. This for me is the fantastic thing about Barbaresco. It is world class wine available at (when you consider it) almost a bargain basement price.

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Massimo Benevelli: a true gentleman from Monforte (Barolo)..

In my work, I am constantly surrounded by people working in the wine industry. Whether it be sales representatives, winemakers or journalists. So it makes sense that some of my closest friends are individuals who work in the wine industry. Sometimes, you will have an instant connection with a person and understand on all levels exactly what they are thinking and the direction they want to take. It doesn’t have to be about wine. It might be about politics, life or sport. You just understand each other.

For me, Honesty and simplicity are two traits I think are pretty hard to go past in life and most of my closest friends have this in spades. I am not a pretender: what you see is what you get. I am like that in life as well as in business. If you can’t be yourself, then what is the point of it all?

The same goes with the wineries we represent from Italy via Mondo Imports in Australia. Whilst we have a fantastic relationship with all the wineries we import (if we don’t, then we don’t import their wines) there are certain people that you feel you have known them since birth. Massimo Benevelli is one such person and every individual that has met him at his winery in Monforte or on his visit to Australia to do vintage this year understands what I am talking about.

Massimo is quiet and shy. When he talks, he talks for a reason. The same goes with the wines he makes. They are a reflection of Massimo and his Langhe Nebbiolo, Bricco Ravera Barbera and Monforte Barolo all share his stamp. They are not tricked up. They are not smothered in oak. They speak of Monforte, they speak of Massimo and importantly they speak of the vintage. They are not trying to be something they are not.

In Australia, Massimo’s wines have had an incredible response. More than I would have ever imagined.  These wines have sold themselves and are on the wine lists of some of the best restaurants in Australia. I know for Massimo, if we had sold 2, 200 or 2000 bottles of his wine in Australia, his opinion of us would not have changed. That is the sort of person he is and the people we like to represent.

It is an honour selling his wines in Australia and knowing Massimo on a personal level. He is truly one in a million.

The 2007 Monforte Barolo will be released on the 1st of November, it again is a great reflection of Massimo, Monforte and the year.

Back into the swing of things….

Well I am back and all our business are gearing up for a busy finish to the year. One container this week, another two next week should keep us pretty well stocked up until the rest of the year. There is nothing new in these containers, more of the ‘greatest hits’ of wines mainly from Southern and Northern Italy.

It is funny how Mondo Imports has evolved. Most of the wine we import is from Barolo/Barbaresco (think Roagna, Piero Benevelli, Traversa and Paolo Saracco) and then the South (Abruzzo, Basilicata and Puglia). Unfortunately not a lot in the middle. I feel for Tuscany, it just seems that as each year goes by, the wines are falling behind (not in quality, but in terms of sales compared to the rest of our portfolio). Hopefully we can reverse this trend and certainly haven’t given up on Tuscany.

Before Christmas, we will have more stocks of all the Traversa wines (2006 and 2007 Barbaresco, 2007 Langhe Nebbiolo and Brachetto). Last Monday night, I had dinner with James Suckling in the Yarra Valley (which I will write a post on next) and we drank a bottle of Traversa Staderi Barbaresco 2007 together. He was blown away.

 

Also landing will be 2007 Monforte Barolo from Piero Benevelli. Hence enough wines to keep us interested all the way up to Christmas.!!

Can you ever have enough Nebbiolo?

One of the only negatives about being on holidays is the lack of choice when it comes to drinking. I alway pack a few good bottles in my bag and aim mainly to give wine a bit of a miss and just sit back in the sun and enjoy a few (Italian) beers.
However, after a few days, I start to get serious Nebbiolo withdrawals: you can never drink enough Nebbiolo.

Luckily I have a bottle of the 2006 Piero Benevelli Monforte Barolo put aside for dinner tonight. I have a feeling I might have a reason to celebrate 🙂

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