Tag Archives: Piero Benevelli

2013 Benevelli Langhe Nebbiolo has arrived in Oz….!

Denise and Massimo Benevelli
Denise and Massimo Benevelli

 

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?

That is why I think Massimo and myself have become good friends.
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.

Massimo’s wines are becoming harder and harder to buy. With international demand for his wines growing every vintage (and whilst we still manage to get a great allocation for Australia) it means that demand far exceeds supply on all his wines. In the USA, he has been picked up by legendary wine importer Kermit Lynch which is great for Massimo and I have no doubt it will reach a stage where the wines of Piero Benevelli will become as scarce as hens teach.

The 2013 Langhe Nebbiolo from Massimo is a great illustration of what he is capable. The word that instantly springs to mind is unforced. It is unforced in that it is not trying to be something it is not. Nebbiolo stripped back in it’s purest form. In this form this grape variety has fantastic fragrance, well defined tannins and a depth of palate which will enable it to age for many years. The 2013 Langhe Nebbiolo is Nebbiolo stripped bare and presented in it’s purest form.

 

 

Italian wine today: one of the world’s great bargains….

Serralunga (Barolo)
Serralunga (Barolo)

Whilst the economy might be in the doldrums (or not exactly sure what it wants to do), there is no doubting the thirst for Italian wine. Just as I shudder when I get my upcoming invoices, duties, etc before we know it and almost as soon as the stocks land, most of the stocks have already found a home, either to one of the restaurants we love, or independent retail and private customers.

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Within the space of a week of arriving, every single bottle from Lamoresca and Passopisciaro (all the cru’s and 70% of the standard Etna Rosso) have been sold. Whilst these wines are from the South (and it is a region that I am most passionate about) the trend is all over.

We simply cannot import enough (or be able to buy enough) Piero Benevelli with the 10,000 bottles landing in Australia in the past two months already sold. At the end of the month, his 2009 and 2010 Barolo’s will land and it is going to be a tough job allocating these out to the trade. It will be in bottles rather than in cases.

What it shows to me is that not only do we have a good understanding on what our customers want (well that is a lie as I import wines I love, not wines I think will sell) but Italian wine in general is well in demand.

Why buy Bordeaux and Burgundy at such crazy prices, when one bottle of good Burgundy will get you a case of 2010 Barolo? One could argue that the longevity of Barolo will be longer and in regards to the 2010 vintage, you cannot argue that the best Burgundies are more complex than the best Barolo.

I have seen so many great Baroli for under $100 a bottle. These are wines that will age with decades with complexity to burn. Whilst my cellar is generally all Italian, the thought of buying good Burgundy and Bordeaux makes my wallet shudder. It would be interesting to ask importers of Spanish wine if they are getting an uplift in demand from fine wine buyers moving from French to Italian and Spanish wines.

 

 

Piero Benevelli Langhe Nebbiolo 2011: the eagle has landed…

If there was one wine that bowled be over on a trip to the Langhe earlier this year, then hands down it was the Piero Benevelli Langhe Nebbiolo 2011. This wasn’t the most expensive wine I tasted on the trip: in fact it will retail for $30 in Australia. What blew me away is that this wine has serious complexity, structure and Nebbiolo fruit tannins that made me do a double take when I tried it.

It was amazing wine and as soon as the wine past my lips I twisted Massimo’s arm for a large allocation for the Australian market.

Massimo Benevelli knows how to make wine. He has been running the winery for many years and at 35 years old, he is an old head on young shoulders. He is not a person who wants the limelight. Rather he is crafts some amazing wines and let’s the wines do the talking. The 2011 Langhe Nebbiolo certainly does that and this wine highlights just how talented Massimo is.

The historical town of Monforte.

My notes on the 2011 Langhe Nebbiolo winery visit was brief but to the point:

Perfumed, intense, underlying power, intense red savoury fruits, benchmark tar and roses balanced by bright acidity.

This wine has just landed in Australia and it will be interesting to see this wine now in Australia and I can’t wait to see it in four or five years bottle age.

The eagle has landed… 2008 Piero Benevelli Monforte Barolo now in Oz.

Back in July, I wrote a blog post about how I thought 2008 Barolo was better than I first thought. Click on the link to read the post ‘2008 Barolo: better than I first thought’ but my general thoughts have been that these wines have really grown in the bottle. It is going to be an under rated vintage and the wines will have fantastic longevity like 2005.

The township of Monforte, Italy

When I tried the 2008 Piero Benevelli Monforte Barolo back in 2010 it was still in it’s infancy and not giving much away. It was closed, with buck loads of tannin and no real indication on how good the fruit was. However, a visit early this year was a different story. The wine was looking so well balanced with every in place for a long future ahead of it.

Like the just arrived, Traversa from Barbaresco, we will let these wines sit for a couple of weeks before showing them in the trade.

 

Piero Benevelli: one of the shining lights of Monforte…

After a fantastic morning at the winery of Paolo Saracco and then lunch at Antica Torre Trattoria in Barbaresco, I drove to the cellars of Piero Benevelli in Monforte and tried all the upcoming vintages for Langhe Nebbiolo, Barbera Superiore, Barolo and his Barolo Riserva.

Trying so many different wines showed me just how good a commune Monforte is and also how talented a winemaker Massimo Benevelli. Whilst he already has a fantastic reputation in Barolo and around the world already, I believe he will be considered one of the shining lights out of Monforte in the future.

His wines show a common theme of perfume, complexity and power. They are made with a gentle hand, but a hand that knows site, soil and style of Piero Benevelli.

Denise and Massimo Benevelli

At the winery of tried the following wines:

2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 Barolo plus 1993.

2009, 2010 Barbera Superior

2009, 2010 Barolo Riserva

2011 Langhe Nebbiolo

Common theme is these wines will age long term. All the different vintages of Barolo have very similar structure. The main differences between the wines are the variation in years. Vintage 2008 sits in between the structure of the 2006 and the ripeness of 2007. Today the 2007 Barolo looked amazing.

2011 Langhe Nebbiolo was the big surprise for me. Heaps of complexity, layers of plush dense fruit. Perfumed with plenty of capacity to age.

2010 Barbera Superior (due in 8 weeks) was up there with the 2007 in quality and complexity.

Piero Benevelli Monforte Barolo 1993

The 1993 was amazing. Still primary with balance, poise and structure. Fruit and tannins now perfectly integrated. This wine was made by Massimo’s father, Piero and it showed for me how well the Barolo’s of Benevelli will age.

My tasting note on the wine was as follows:

Fantastic colour; still a beautifully perfumed nose. The amazing is still fresh with amazing power, beautiful acidity and benchmark tar and roses.

Whilst Massimo is young and does not have the history of many of the superstars of Monforte, he has the site, the winemaking talent and the personality to achieve greatness in the area.

If you have not tried the wines of Piero Benevelli, it is well worth the experience, either in Italy or the rest of the world.

A great review for Piero Benevelli Langhe Nebbiolo 2010…

As I have written previously, our family and the Benevelli’s from Monforte share a close bond. It was actually my father who pushed me to try the wines of Piero Benevelli and I am glad I did.

Massimo knows how to craft magical Nebbiolo and Barbera from his special plot of land in Monforte and he does it year in year out. Whilst his Monforte Barolo is the best wine he makes, he also crafts some pretty amazing Barbera and his Langhe Nebbiolo is a great reference point on what Langhe Nebbiolo should be.

From the first bottle of Benevelli we imported into Australia, Gary Walsh from The Wine Front was probably one of the first journalists to recognize and write about about the amazing quality of Piero Benevelli . This is Gary thoughts on the 2010 Langhe Nebbiolo:

Welcome to the world of affordable Italian Nebbiolo. I wore lemon pastel pants with a cobalt blue shirt to taste this. Importer: Mondo Imports

Nutty almond-like barrel characters, strawberry, cherry and spice. It’s medium weight, beautifully balanced and even, with lightly chewy chalky tannin and a surprisingly long finish. Charming. Lively. Delicious. In short, yum. Drink : 2012 – 2018 92 POINTS Gary Walsh, the Wine Front

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.