Tag Archives: Barolo

La Festa del Barolo….. July 25-29th 2016

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A celebration of the great wines of Piedmonte
 MELBOURNE July 25 – 29th, 2016
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.


MONDAY La Morra in Focus $170  Bellota Wine Bar MELBOURNE 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 truffle Brasato 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 $170 Bellota Wine Bar MELBOURNE 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 Bar MELBOURNE 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.
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 Sobero Ciabot Tanasio Barolo 2012 Cavalloto Barolo Bricco Boschis 2011 Cascina Fontana Barolo 2011 Brovia Barolo Rocche 2011


 THURSDAY Monforte d’Alba in Focus $170 Bellota Wine Bar MELBOURNE 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 Piednontese Cheese plate Wine Elio Grasso Gavarini Chinera 2011 A & G Fantino Dardi 2010 Aldo Conterno Cicala 2005 Manzone Gramolere 2011
 FRIDAY Serralunga in Focus $170 Bellota Wine Bar MELBOURNE 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






Three days in Barolo + Barbaresco.

Well we have had three fantastic days today we head to Calabria and Sicily. As well as seeing all our producers we represent in Australia via Mondo Imports, we had some great tasting at some of the best producers in the Langhe.

The highlights included a tour and tasting with Roberto Conterno from Giacomo Conterno (trying the 2010 Monfortino out of barrel) and dinner last night with Gaia Gaja over a bottle of 78 Barbaresco.



A decade of Bartolo Mascarello Barolo: my take on the wines….

A decade of Bartolo Mascarello at Scopri
A decade of Bartolo Mascarello at Scopri

Over the last two years I have been lucky to have a fellow group of Italian wine lovers that wanted to drink the great wines of Italy and we have structured each dinner along a certain theme or producer. It is now at the stage where demand for a spot for these dinners is so great, that the limited spots available fill up in a matter of hours.

The wines either come from my cellar in Italy or cellars of individuals who attend the dinners. Last week we looked at a decade of Bartolo Mascarello Barolo, next month it is a decade of Giacomo Conterno Monfortino and in September, twenty vintages of Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco. Talk about educational.

There is nothing like sharing great bottles with friends over dinner and last week we shared many great bottles. Apart from the 1999 and 2011 which weren’t great bottles (but I would still happily drink them if on my own) the line up overall was of a very high standard. These are the best of the best. Rare collectors items and it is good to see them drunk rather than hung on to.

Below are some brief notes by myself on the wines. I have also listed Antonio Galloni as a comparison and sometimes with these wines, it is more about the bottle than the wine.


Reviews by Antonio Galloni to give you another perspective of the wines and  my comments in italic’s on the wines:

Bartolo Mascarello Dolectto 2012

The 2012 Dolcetto d’Alba is drop-dead gorgeous. Dark cherry, plum, violets and lavender all flesh out in a soft, supple Dolcetto laced with expressive dark red/purplish fruit. Mascarello’s Dolcetto can sometimes be a bit austere and compact, not the 2012. It is stunning, classic and utterly delicious. 2014 – 2019 91 points Antonio Galloni

Upfront and perfumed, lovely weight and structure. A wine to drink young and enjoy the yummy upfront fruits.

Bartolo Mascarello Langhe Nebbiolo 2010

Readers who want to get a sense of the quality of the 2010 vintage in Barolo should check out the estate’s 2010 Langhe Nebiolo, which is essentially one cask of declassified Nebbiolo entirely from Barolo-designated vineyards. Sweet, perfumed and utterly gracious, the 2010 is all about grace and finesse. Layers of expressive Nebbiolo fruit flow through to the effortless and hugely inviting finish. 2013 – 2020 89 points Antonio Galloni

Structured and intense, just starting to enter it’s drinking window with upfront typical Nebbiolo fruits and still with enough acidity to see it continue to improve in the short term.


Bartolo Mascarello Langhe Nebbiolo 2011

Mascarello’s 2011 Langhe Nebiolo is one of the great, hidden gems in Piedmont. Freshly cut flowers, rose petals, sweet red berries and mint are all woven together in a wine of impeccable balance and total class. The 2011 is at once delicate and perfumed, but also has an extra level of richness from the warm vintage. The Langhe Nebiolo (note the traditional spelling with one ‘B’) is made from pre-selection of fruit taken in the vineyard and destined for a shorter fermentation/cask aging regime in the cellar. 2014-2021 92 points Antonio Galloni

Riper in colour and more developed than the 2010. A bigger wine but not better than the 2010. I would drink this whilst waiting for the 2010 Langhe Nebbiolo to come round.


Bartolo Mascarello Barolo 1999

Medium red. Mascarello’s 1999 Barolo is a brilliant effort, offering a perfumed, elegant nose and lovely notes of red cherry fruit, menthol and minerals that flow onto the palate in a display of extraordinary purity. As it sits in the glass subtle notes of earthiness and tobacco appear, the fruit becomes more ethereal, and the wine changes from its initial impression of power to more understated, nuanced expression of Nebbiolo. Deceptively medium bodied, it also has the structure to age well, and will still be a compelling Barolo at age 30. As has been the case in recent vintages I find more bottle variation than I would like, but this was the finest of the three bottles I tasted. 2013+ 93 points Antonio Galloni

Not a great bottle of 99 and already showing signs of oxidation. Storage is not an issue (climate controlled since release) so obviously a cork issue when you compare to Antonio Galloni’s notes.


Bartolo Mascarello Barolo 2000

After many years I have finally concluded that Bartolo Mascarello’s 2000 Barolo will always remain a mystery to me. From bottle, the 2000 Barolo has never been satisfying. I have gone through a number of bottles, mostly from my own cellar, and been consistently disapointed. As the wine has aged the ever present rustic bouquet has developed but not disappeared. Autumn leaves, mushrooms, dried cherries, tobacco and faded roses are some of the nuances that emerge from the glass. The unpolised qualities reappear on a finish marked by hard tannins. 2013-2020 86 points Antonio Galloni

Oddly enough, from magnum, the 2000 Barolo is magnificent, with none of the imperfections I have found in so many of my bottles. The wine shows considerable 2000 personality in its warm, radiant fruit, but the large format has maintained freshness and verve. Readers who can find the 2000 in magnum will want to consider the wine. 2013-2025 96 points Antonio Galloni

 A surprise packet and showing extremely well. In the first stages of it’s drinking window, it is complex and unforced with beautifully rounded fruit and the structure to hold this length for many years to come.



Bartolo Mascarello Barolo 2001

Barolo remains one the most quirky and idiosyncratic wines on the market. Initially soft and delicate, it offers a lovely core of open-knit, expressive macerated cherries, raspberries, spices, tar, freshly ground coffee beans and earthiness, giving the impression of being fairly ready to drink. With air, multiple tastings reveal a wine that has put on considerable weight, completely changing its personality to a big, structured Barolo supported by plenty of acidity and tannins to age. Though it freshened up considerably over time, it never became completely clean. At once highly compelling yet frustratingly flawed, it will appeal to readers who can look past its funky notes. That said, several recent bottles have been outstanding so I have upgraded my score accordingly. 2013-2026 92 points Antonio Galloni

Like the 1999 this bottle was not a great example of the 2001 Mascarello Barolo. Hints of brett on the palate has stripped back some of that fruit leaving a wine that does not show it’s full potential.

Bartolo Mascarello Barolo 2003

Sweet tobacco, dried flowers, mint, and dried herbs meld together in the 2003 Barolo. The aromas have just begin to develop hints of tertiary complexity and nuance, while there is more than enough depth to support another decade of very fine drinking. The 2003 doesn’t have the finesse or polish of the best vintages, but it has certainly held up well. Exceptionally well. 2013-2024 92 points Antonio Galloni

Probably the surprise packed of the night. Beautiful wine. For a vintage like 2003, which was one of the hottest on record in Barolo, this is a sensual, delicately poised wine that still has plenty left in the tank. A wine that shows you not to generalise vintages when you have masters like Mascarello in control.


Bartolo Mascarello Barolo 2004

Her pure, finessed 2004 Barolo offers a compelling array of perfumed violets, dark cherries and baking spices with superb clarity and delineation. A weightless, ethereal Barolo, it reveals notable freshness and supple tannins on the long, finessed finish. Although I have tasted this wine many times from cask, I first encountered it from bottle at a blind tasting where it was immediately recognizable for its style, purity and class. This is the best young Barolo I have tasted here in many a year. Fans of traditional Barolo won’t want to miss this superb effort. The 2004 Barolo was fermented for 20-30 days in cement. The malos progressed at an unusually slow pace and weren’t finished until the following summer. The wine was aged in medium-sized casks. Readers can also look forward to promising wines in 2005, 2006 and 2007. I also had a chance to re-taste the 2003, which is a lovely Barolo for nearer-term consumption. 2014-2029 95 points Antonio Galloni

Close to perfection and the reason why Mascarello is held in such high esteem. Long, layered, unforced, complex and etheral. Still with decades in front of it, yet drinking so well from a young age.


Bartolo Mascarello Barolo 2005

The 2005 Barolo is super-delicate and finessed. This is a decidedly restrained, feminine style of Barolo laced with roses, raspberries, jasmine and berries. It will be fascinating to see which direction the 2005 takes from here. At times the wine appears to be putting on additional weight, but it nevertheless retains an element of frailty that is actually quite attractive. I rate the 2005 just behind the 2004, 2006 and 2007, but it is a gorgeous wine, and easily one of the very finest wines of the vintage. 2013-2025 95 points Antonio Galloni

Another fantastic Mascarello, not in the same groove as 2004 but in terms of quality, this is a very fine Barolo. It is still a few years away from entering it’s drinking window, but once it does arrive, the future is bright for this wine.



Bartolo Mascarello Barolo 2006 (Magnum)

Mascarello’s 2006 Barolo boasts great purity and density in a round, harmonious expression of fruit that emerges from a mid-weight frame. Silky tannins frame the intensely fragrant, dark red fruit as this exceptionally elegant, refined Barolo shows off its pedigree. The finish is long, clean and refreshing, suggesting the wine has many years of very fine drinking in store for readers who are lucky enough to own this bottle. Proprietor Maria-Theresa Mascarello describes 2006 as a hot year. The Nebbiolo harvest here began earlier than normal, on the 23rd of September, the same as 2005. That said, the 2006 Barolo has retained the classic, mid-weight style that readers have come to expect from Bartolo Mascarello. 2016-2031+ 96 points Antonio Galloni

Wow. Up there with the 2004 in that it is close to perfect for a young Barolo. This wine is going to have a very long future ahead of it and already the complexity and class of this wine is obvious. This wine also highlights the  quality Maria-Theresa Mascarello possesses and even with a generational change, the quality at Mascarello has never been higher.


Bartolo Mascarello Barolo 2007

Mascarello’s 2007 Barolo flows from the glass with masses of round, enveloping fruit. This is an unusually soft, juicy Barolo from Mascarello that is remarkable for its textural richness and warm radiant fruit. The 2007 doesn’t have the aromatic complexity of the 2005 or 2006, but it makes up for that with its totally seductive personality. Crushed flowers, berries and sweet baking spices linger on a generous finish that evokes memories of the 1990. 2017-2032 96 points Antonio Galloni

This wine is a product of the year but like the 2003 Barolo, it has handled the extreme heat conditions far better than most other producers. This wine is already on the front foot, without the tannin structure of classic years. It is a wine for those that prefer to drink Mascarello sooner rather than later.


Bartolo Mascarello Barolo 2008

All is forgotten once the audience tastes Maria-Theresa Mascarello’s 2008 Barolo. The room is totally silent. That is usually a good sign. A totally spellbinding wine, the 2008 is flat-out stunning from the moment it emerges from the glass. The fruit is sweet, layered and haunting in its beauty, while the tannins are remarkably polished. This is a perfect example of the new paradigm in Barolo; today’s wines just don’t need decades to come around anymore. I bought these bottles ex-cellar and brought them back to US myself. What a difference that makes. The 2008 Mascarello is simply dazzling. If you can find it, don’t hesitate. 2018-2048 98 points Antonio Galloni

Whilst not showing at this young wine as the 2004 and 2006, there is no denying that this will join these wines in Barolo greatness. So young but if you hold into your wine in the glass long enough, it slowly opens up to show the enormous potential that is possesses.  


Bartolo Mascarello Barolo 2009

Bartolo Mascarello fans will want to stock up on the 2009 Barolo, a great choice for indulging in pure pleasure while vintages like 2006, 2008 and 2010 take their time to develop in bottle. Dried rose petals, fennel, anise, sweet tobacco and mint are all very much alive in the glass. The 2009 is ethereal, graceful and utterly beguiling from the very first taste. I expect the 2009 will mature relatively quickly by the estate’s standards, but there is more positive to that than negative. 2014-2029 94 points Antonio Galloni

A fantastic Mascarello but without hitting the high notes of the previous vintage. Slightly forward and a good example of vintage variation with a typical Mascarello house style.


2010 Barolo…. wow…..

Wow they are good,

Massolino Banner

During my trip to Italy in April I tried a swag of fantastic 2010 Barolo. These wines will live forever and are already supremely balanced.  They drink well from today and for another thirty years.

As these wines have landed in Australia, I have been opening these wines and see how they compared to when I looked at them in April. Sometimes, the distance in travel can shock the wines and it can take months for them to come back to the level there were before the voyage across the world.

Well, not the 2010 wines.  They have hit the ground running and even with some of the wines that have arrived and I have tasted within a day or so of there voyage, they have looked stunning. The  more I try these wines in Oz (and I reckon I have tried close to a dozen Baroli) the more I think that this vintage is going to be one for the ages, and talked about in the same light of the very best post war vintages.

Lot’s of people ask me how they should by so they cover enough of the 2010 Barolo without having to take out a second mortgage. For me, I think 3’s and 6’s are a great way to buy. If you can afford it, lash out with 6 bottles, you will never be disappointed. Otherwise 3 bottles will you allow to look at these wines at multiple stages of their life.


Monforte and its Crus @ Scopri Food & Wine last night…

Over the last few months, a group of Italian wine lovers have been working our way through the cru’s of Barolo. Last month it was La Morra, last night in was Monforte and buy did the wines look good.

The menu for our Monforte dinner last night.
The menu for our Monforte dinner last night.

The food as usual was a great match to the wines and whilst it has been a few months since my last visit to Scopri, and it reminded me just how good this restaurant is.

The line up of wines from Monforte.

The line up of wines from Monforte.


In the next few days I will post full notes on the wines, but it was definately a great experience looking at  sixteen wines from the different cru’s of Monforte from 1990 up to the current release 2010 vintage wines.

Serralunga d’Alba: one of the great cru’s of Barolo…


In the next few days I will post my full notes on a special dinner that I hosted looking solely on the wines of Serralunga d’Alba.

We headed back to 1990 and then fast forwarded to the current crop of 2008 Barolo and along the way, the wines we drank really showed why it is considered one of the greatest cru’s of Barolo.

‘2010 vintage in Barolo is shaping up to be a modern-day classic….’ – Antonio Galloni


For those that follow Italian wine, know that Antonio Galloni is the man to listen to when it comes to which vintages and which wines to buy. Whilst there is sometimes a difference of opinion (ie Soldera 2006 with my wine group), I value and judge his opinion more than anyone else on Italian wine.

Antonio Galloni
Antonio Galloni

Vintage 2010 Overview

The 2010 Barolos have all of the attributes of a cool, late-ripening vintage; expressive aromatics, chiseled fruit, plenty of site-specificity and the potential to develop beautifully for years and decades in bottle.  At the same time, the wines have gorgeous depth and richness, perhaps a result of the high temperatures in July. Next to the 2008s, which were generally brought in later, the 2010s have a bit less aromatic intensity, more tannic clout and greater overall structure. A number of growers mentioned that the berry size was small in 2010, which explains why the wines have the tannic presence they do. As always, there are a handful of underperforming wines, but they are the exception rather than the rule. In general terms, it is clear the Barolos are more successful than the 2010 Barbarescos, pointing out the need once again to consider each of these two areas individually. The 2010 Barolos are also several notches higher in quality and far more exciting than the 2009s.

Overall, 2010 can be characterized as a vintage with cooler than normal temperatures and a mid-October harvest for Nebbiolo. Total degree days were lower than both 2009 and 2011. Growers reported fairly normal conditions during fruit set, although for some estates rain in early May delayed flowering. June saw quite a bit of rain, but towards the end of the month, after flowering was completed. July was very dry with daytime temperatures at the high end of normal. Evenings were cool throughout the summer months, creating the diurnal temperature swings that are so favorable for gradual, even ripening. October brought with it high amounts of rain. Well-drained sites handled the rain well, but some vineyards were penalized. In a cool, rainy vintage, proper balance in the vineyards and reasonable crop loads were especially critical. Most estates harvested their Nebbiolos around the middle of October, which today is regarded as a normal time frame. By comparison, both 2008 and 2013 were quite a bit later, while 2007 and 2009 were earlier harvests.

Readers who have tasted the 2010s from Tuscany (especially Chianti Classico) and/or the 2010 Red Burgundies will have a very clear idea of the style of the vintage. It is a year that will appeal to classicists, as the wines are translucent and incredibly expressive. Stylistically, the 2010s remind me of the 2004s, but with more mid-palate pliancy and overall depth. Simply put, 2010 is the greatest young Barolo vintage I have tasted in 18 years of visiting the region and a lifetime of buying, cellaring and drinking these wines. Antonio Galloni

These wines will be released throughout this year and I will be spending a lot of time when I am in Italy and the Langhe in April trying these wines. Throughout the year, I will also try and organise a dinner focused solely on this Barolo vintage.

So bottom line is that if you want to start to collecting Italian wine and Barolo in particular, the 2010 vintage for Barolo is probably the perfect way to start.