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Andrea Sottimano

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  1. Andrea Sottimano

    2004 Vintage

    Another great, sunny day in the Langhe!At now it's a optimal vintage for Nebbiolo: hot during the day, very cold in the night( less than 12°C, this night!) Yesterday we began to harvest the Dolcetto, very healthy grapes.We are going to press them now, I will send some photos. Best, Andrea
  2. Andrea Sottimano

    Hallo to everyone!

    It's been a very interesting and enjoying week for me! I hope you have enjoyed it too, I'm sorry if my english is not good sometimes. As I write before, I will continue to write my "updates" every 2-3 days, togheter with some photos to Craig. Now I have really to go to begin the harvest! All the Best, Andrea Sottimano
  3. Andrea Sottimano

    Barolo vs. Barbaresco

    Hi Robert, I welcome visitors without problems, if you phone or mail to arrange an appointment it's the best. Good Question!I like to think at the differences between Barolo and Barbaresco, as the differences between Cote de Nuit And Cote de Beaune in Burgundy. There are geografical reasons, climatic reasons, geologicals reasons and, also very important, historical reasons.I am sure that you will fell the difference from the tannins of a Barolo from Monforte and the elegance of a Barbaresco from the lower part of Neive; but I am also sure that It will be less evident in a comparison between Castiglione, for example and Barbaresco or Treiso. I mean that the differences are between one zone and the other; if you see it from this particular point of view, things become maybe a little more complcated at the begin but very very interesting! I'm sorry that I've to go, now.I will continue it, if I can, on this forum or I will send you an E-Mail this evening or tomorrow morning. Best, Andrea
  4. Andrea Sottimano

    2004 Vintage

    Another great day, here!Sun is shining and no clouds. Tractors are ready and in 5 minutes we will begin to harvest.Usually, the greatest problem is the littlehumidity in the early morning; in that case we have to wait until it's gone(about 9-9,30 am).But this is a very dry morning and there are no problems with it. We will begin to press this night or tomorrow morning, very early. I will continue to send to Craig Camp some "updates" of the vintage,( i will try to do it every two three days, but I can't guarantee!) and some photos, too. Best, Andrea
  5. -Dolcetto, the most food friendly, simply but at the same time rich and fruity, with some tannins that reminds you that we are in Piemonte....On a great pasta. -Barbera, this wine is, now, unrecognizable for that ones that tasted it at the begin of 80's.It's a variety that produce normally very high yealds, that means high acidity and very low colour, not to mentione the lack of complexity.In the last 20 years, yealds are rapidly went down, more and more; now a Barbera from a good producer is a rich, with a wonderful fruit, complex wine, with that "fresh" touch at the end that makes it a perfect match with a lot piemontese dishes. -Nebbiolo.Well, what to say ?A great "cepage", it has not a deep colour as the others, but, starting from the nose, you will fell its class: flowers in some zone, more fruity in others, licorice, mint, a multilayered parfume that change and evolve as the minutes go by; the mouth could be richer or less, elegant as the wines from La Morra or Neive or powerful and tannical as the wines from Barbaresco, Serralunga, MOnforte. Every zone here has a different personality, it's you that you could find your favourite one! Best, Andrea
  6. Andrea Sottimano

    Restaurants In Piedmonte

    How many places and how little time that I have! Of course, on the way from the exit of the highway there are the Cascinale Nuovo, at Isola d'Asti and " La Locanda del Boscogrande", two places absolutly to don't miss! In the Barolo zone: I would need hours to mentione everyone, but the first that came in my mind are: -Belvedere in La Morra, great wine list and food, Borgo Antico in Barolo, Della Posta, Brezza, Le Torri in Castiglione,Osteria Veglio in La Morra,La Salita in Monforte,etc........
  7. Andrea Sottimano

    2004 Vintage

    The sun is come back today, and temperatures are rapidly rising up.After the short rains of the last days, the humidity is very good. As you can see in the photos, the grapes of Dolcetto are ready to be harvested, and we wil begin tomorrow morning. Today we have sampled all around here, and the Babo, (the misure of the sugar-potential alcohol) is very good and the quantity of polifenolic is more than enough. I will try to put here the photos of the first phases of harvest, tomorrow morning, as my last post. Best, Andrea
  8. Piemonte is enormously rich of autochtones varieties: -Arneis, a food-friendly white wine, produced on the "other side" of the River Tanaro, in the zone called Roero.Yellow-green in the colour, flowers, a pleasure, easy wine. -Cortese, a medium bodied white; you will find it in the Gavi zone(south Piemonte), or around there. -Timorasso, an unknown white wine that the lovers of earthy,mineral,multi-layered and fashinating wines don't have absolutly to miss!Some great,great wines in this area(near Alessandria, always south of Piemonte), the first producer that came in my mind is Massa. -Freisa, a fashinating red wine,lighter in colour or in aromas than a Barbera or Docetto, has a very intriguing nose of flowers, in the mouth there is an immense elegance.I love the Vajra Freisa, or, if you're lucky enough, an old Giacomo Conterno.....For the Pinot Noir lovers.It age very well, I've tried several 89 or 90, all good. -Ruche', another elegant, ancient variety.Light-coloured, ethereal parfumes of roses, try the Scarpa's, also after some years. I will continue....
  9. Andrea Sottimano

    Dolcetto dificulties....

    Hi iroc, Dolcetto is, indeed, a not-so-easy grape to vinificate; starting from its time of maturation( in cold vintages he suffer it and it doesn't have the chance, like Barbera and Nebbiolo to have eventually some more sun in September-October), then choosing the right time to harvest( It doesn't have the same polifenolic structure of the others to support too much alcohol, and, moreover,at exception of determinated zones, it needs a balance between every components.So, not too late or too early, if you want a balanced wine.). In vinification it needs a lot of oxygen(that's why someone use wood for it), so you have to "move it " a lot of times(.......and not so much, to don't go to "the other side" of the problem!.....), so that the wine won't not have bad perfumes. (excuse me for my english...). These are the principals problems, not to mentione colours sometimes not too stable, problems with its natural potential tannic..... Next time you will drink a "simply" Dolcetto, think about it.... Best, Andrea
  10. Andrea Sottimano

    Wine Scores and Ratings

    Hello Gordon, I find guides or winejournals very useful when you begin to discover a wine zone in which you don't have points of reference.When my passion brought me into the always difficult "universe" of French wines, the first thing that I did was to buy every guide, journal that could talking about it.After the first great wines and the first big delusions, I choose what was made for my taste and the next year I bought only one guide.....I am still continuing to buy it, but also if my favourite producer of Cote de Nuits doesn't deserve a 9 from Bettane, believe me, If I like it I will buy it! This is to say that journals, ratings, guide must be a complement to your knowledge about wine; what matter is only your own palate and your taste. Of course, Italian producers do pay attention to these ratings(do you remember when I said that the "Tre Bicchieri" pushed everyone here to do better and better?),in some cases they can really move the market in a certain direction! It's undeniable that also for my wines in the US,the good ratings from Parker and WS helped us a lot. I'm happy, always, for a good ratings, but, really, believe me when I say that I don't choose the vinification or the wood in function of the actual state of mind of a journalist or following some marketing strategies! It's not serious, and it's very dangerous.(not to say a little boring, too...) Best, Andrea
  11. Andrea Sottimano

    A Perfect Nebbiolo

    Your question was one of the first that I saw, but I preferred to wait a little... It's very difficult for me to imagine a"perfect"Nebbiolo, maybe because I prefer to think that sometimes what I've tasted was an"almost" perfect wine, but I will always look for(...or,why not? I will try to do it!...)an even better Barbaresco or Barolo. It's like someone asks to you what is you favourite Jazz or Blues song?In your mind there will be not one song , but one thousand!From Skip James, to John Lee Hooker, etc... It's the same for me; my idea of perfect Barbaresco or Barolo is a wine in the middle of a Giacosa 89 or 78, a Clerico 89 or 96, a Monfortino 61, a Gaja 74 or 89, a Sandrone 89, a Scavino 89 or 99....... Best, Andrea
  12. Andrea Sottimano

    2004 Vintage

    The weather today is changed a little: It has rained a little this mornig, but now it has stopped.The sky is grey and cloudy, but, luckly, there is a cold wind that will help the grape to dry.Anyway, absolutly no problems for the health of the skins; if the yealds are low enough from the green harvest of this summer and the grapes are well separated the harvest is only posticipated of 2 days (....Sunday.....). For the Nebbiolo this is the optimal weather( of course we will need some more days of sun, but temperatures and humidity are ok at now). We will see!
  13. Andrea Sottimano

    Restaurants In Piedmonte

    I would like to suggest some good places, in the case you are here during the Truffle Fair: Barbaresco: -Antine', 1 star Michelin, traditional with some "fantasy".Young chef, very very talented.Starting from 37 Euro, GREAT wine list of Barbarescos. -Antica Torre, absolutly traditional, wonderful tajarin!normal-good wine list.From 25-30Euro. Treiso: -La Ciau del Tornavento, excuse me if I am a little repetitive, but I love this place(togheter with Antine')and... I will marry there on december....don't miss it!( 1 star Michelin) -Vecchio Tre Stelle( 1 star Michelin), another place in which you will stay great! Young, talented chef, Between modern and traditional cuisine.Good wine list.From 40 Euro. Alba: -La libera, optimum at lunch, good wine list -Trattoria dell'Arco, one of the greatest Q/P of the zone, wine at glass, traditional food, all hand -made, very good wine list!From 25 Euro -La Diletta, in the Castelli hotel, very fantasist chef, Modern ambient, good Piemontese wine list. -Dulcis Vitis, a new place, very elegant in the center of Alba, _VinCafe', the historical wine bar of Alba, you can eat something drinking wine at glass, from 10-15 Euro in the center of Alba, great selection of Piemontese wines and....sparkling wines!( a mania for the piemontese producers...).If you go in the evening, you will surely find some producer, maybe me...... -Osteria del Teatro, wine bar- little restaurant, traditional ambient, you can go for aperitif or a nice dinner.Near the center, from 15-25 Euro. I will continue.....
  14. Hi Pedro, you're right when you say"starting with their colour and finishing with their tannic load.This could be especially painful and unfair in blindfold tasting." I never meet anyone that, becoming a wine lover, begin with a Nebbiolo or a Pinot Noir. Usually( myself included, when I started to be wine passionate)you begin with easier wines, more fruited, richer, softer that you can drink easily.But when you want to "pass" to a superior level of knowledge, you understand that you are looking for more complex wine, maybe less rich but more charming and, on all, that begin to rest in your mind.Depending on your passion, you go on and on, until you can arrive, also, to Barolo and Barbaresco.(but I could say also Burgundy, Rhone, German white wines....). With this I am not saying that you HAVE to like A Barbaresco if you want to be a Real Wine Expert, not at all!I am only convinced that there are some wine that maybe you can't appreciate without a certain "background" of tasting.It's not an elite statement, it's only that I don't like to follow the wine busuness. I am sure that if we vinificate our wines in a softer and international (I hate this word!)way, maybe we will have some more new customers, but we will became a fashion.And like every fashion we will "pass" next year.... We have to continue to promote our wines in the most terroiristic way, insisting on the great differences between one parcel and the other( there is a beautiful map on the web site of www.enotecaregionaledelbarbaresco.it) Best, Andrea
  15. Andrea Sottimano

    2004 Vintage

    Today it's a very beautiful day; the sun is shining, there is a little cold wind but temperatures is rising up.Producers of white grapes will begin this afternoon or tomorrow at maximum. The Babo on the Dolcetto grapes is now more than 20-20,5°, I think we will begin to harvest it on Friday morning, and will press it the same day, I will ask to Craig if I can put some photos on my posts. Nebbiolo grapes are simply wonderful! Best, Andrea