After 30 hours on a plane it is great to be back home with my family in Australia. I had such an amazing trip, so many highlights. Most days I left my apartment/hotel room at 10am and did not return until after 1am. Tasting lunch, tasting dinner was the agenda most days. Tiring but to try so many great wines with so many great people was an unfortgettable experience.
A visit to Castello Monsanto to see Laura Bianchi is always a highlight. We tried amazing back vintage wines (like 1977 Il Poggio Chianti Riserva) and then the stunning current vintage 2009 Chianti Classico and 2007 Chianti Classico Riserva 2007 with owner Laura Bianchi.
Catching up with Denise and Massimo Benevelli from Piero Benevelli in Monforte, Barolo is always high on my agenda in the Langhe. I tried every wine Massimo has made from 2007 to 2011 and the quality of the wines coming through blew me away. From his stunning entry level 2011 Langhe Nebbiolo to his Monforte Barolo’s and his yet to be released Barolo Riserva’s, the quality was as good as any of the ‘big guns’ I tried at Vinitaly.
And seeing Gaia Gaja in her own domain, in the vineyards and cellars of Gaja was a special treat. Gaia is so gracious, focused and knowledgeable that is quite easy to understand that Gaja will be a force in Italian wine for many decades to come. There is no such thing as good luck, just hard work, and Gaia and her family are a perfect example of this.
I have a very busy eight weeks coming up before a return to Italy in June.