Whilst today did not snow, there was a distinct chill in the air and many in the Langhe think it could snow this week. As a type this post, there is loud thunder and threatening clouds in the horizon. It is a good night to be in with my laptop, glass of Barolo and a plate of truffle risotto by my side.
Today I went to Barbaresco to the cellars of Produttori del Barbaresco to meet with Aldo Vacca and try some of my favourite Barbaresco. Whilst I do not import Produttori it is a winery that I always make an appointment and visit when I am in the Langhe. I have a deep rooted respect for the way this coperative does business and treats their growers. It reflects in all the quality of their wines.
The most facinating aspect of todays’ visit was a tour of the new cellar by Aldo’s assistant Luca who is himself a grower in Ovello. The new cellar was spotless and at a cost of $4.4 million Euro’s it is money well spend as I can see that the new set up will (if it is possible) raise the quality of the wines of Produttori.
Whilst I did not try as many wines as I would have liked (time constraint), it was good to try the 2008 Barbaresco which to me is already drinking amazingly well, even after only being on the market in Italy for the past month. Whilst I think the 2006 and 2007 is a better wine for the cellar, the 2008 is almost ready to drink now and should hold this line and length for many years to come.
Tomorrow I head back to Barbaresco to visit the cellars of Gaja and meet Gaia Gaja.
Today I drove to Barbaresco to visit Flavio and Franco Traversa who are based in Neive. They are staunch traditionalists with a few to maintaining the traditions of the past in all their wines. They still use the tall traditional Barbaresco bottles and hold their wines back so that they are released with more age than most Barbaresco producers.
Current vintages for their wines are: Langhe Nebbiolo 2007 Sori Ciabot Barbaresco 2006 Staderi Barbaresco 2007 I also had the opportunity to try the upcoming vintages (2010, Langhe Nebbiolo. 2007 Sori Ciabot and 2008 Starderi) and all the wines look fantastic. As young wines they are supremely tannic but with time mature beautifully with fruit and tannin playing equal parts.
The highlight of the tasting was trying a 1978 Sori Ciabot Barbaresco that looks magnificent. Still with amazing acidity, it had freshness, fragrance, fantastic palate length and a classic Barbaresco colour and profile.
Today I am heading back to Barbaresco to meet Alda Vacca at Produttori del Barbaresco and try some of my favourite wines on the planet.
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 🙂
Anthony D'Anna: Italian wine importer and merchant in Australia