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Piedmont rollercoaster ride


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Special Reserve Haifa May 6th 2004.

Two of the world’s best red wine regions in terms of diversity of single grape flavors, tradition and complexity are Burgundy and the other is Piedmont.

Nothing I can write about this wine region can even begin to explain its greatness. The large amount of concentration, patience and open-mindedness required when tasting these wines is a key to understanding and enjoying this phenomenon.

The tasting began with Michele Chiarlo highly appreciated efforts of bringing the best out of the largely common yet most of the time far from interesting Barbera.

Off we go…

Barbera D`Asti Michele Chiarlo, Le Orme 2001.

Just in case you had a bad experience with Barbera before, this is the reason for forgiving. A Sharp well tuned expression of Asti with the acidity requiring some breathing before this wine is fully balanced. Green, ripe, herbal flavors crumble under this wine’s fine acidity with surprising elegance.

A great start - even positively surprising

Barbera di Asti Cipressi della Court, Michele Chiarlo, 2001.

Ever wondered about Terroir flavors and diversity? The Cipressi is a fine example.

Greater body overshadows fine backbone acidity and a bit of patience reveals one of the better expressions of Barbera. A blind tasting of this wine could have easily lead the taster to believe it to be an Alba with the somehow rounder texture but within several seconds in the mouth, the acidity creeps out stamping the wine as Asti.

A great experience.

Barbaresco Asili, Michele Chiarlo 1996.

Farmers and villagers are terms sometimes used in a negative sense when city dwellers are aggravated and wish to express superiority. The grapes chosen for this wine are inferior to heaven alone thanks to the dedication and skills of those who respect it. Tasting this magnificent wine made me thankful.

A somehow sharper wine than other traditional Barbaresco but extremely well tuned with layer of flavors leading the drinker to a quest for more.

Beautifully drinking now but will keep until 2008 – 2010.

Barbaresco Vietti marsseria 1996

Following the 1996 Asili is en experience recommended to beginners and professionals alike. Although not as focused as the Assili, Vietti’s Masseria proved no less complex. A great deal of soft tannins required more patience while tasting / drinking this wine that slowly developed into a memorable experience.

The diversity between these two wines was incredible and pretty much expressed what Piedmont is about. Drink now – 2007.

Barolo Vietti Lazarito 1995

What is the difference between Barolo and Barbaresco?

Looking back at the tasting I will sum it up in two words: an extra dimension.

This unique grape is magnificent in well made Barbaresco but patience and concentration reveals an extra dimension of slowly developing depth.

So it is a Nebbiolo, Barolo by an excellent producer, single vineyard from a good drinkable year. What an experience of depth, well balance earthy - oaky characteristics with just the right amount of sweet and ripe aroma.

An experience.

Barolo Vietti Brunatte 1995

Privileged to compare these two vineyards I detected some heavier aromas of molasses with a bit more dominant liquorices and again perfectly balanced.

It is not before 12 seconds in the mouth does the wine start to reveal its full flavors and harmony. Plenty of tannins yet more round and in a way feels “older” than the Lazzarito yet no less complex or interesting.

Barolo Ornate Pio Cesare 1993

Different year – a different world when great wines are concerned. Mr. Cesare, perhaps the master of Barolo blends, offers a well focused single vineyard that although impressive, I found it missing that extra complexity that appeals to the emotions, found in other single vineyard producers. I believe this one is fully mature yet there is no rush to drink it in the coming 5 years.

Barbaresco Il Brico Pio Cesare 1993

This is a great tasting Barbaresco that is perhaps better left for the winemaker’s notes.

I do not believe this wine can gain further complexity by aging and it is perhaps one of the finest examples of mature Barbaresco with its unique complexity and harmony.

Pio Cesare “Il Bricco” Barbaresco

Il Bricco is the name of the estate vineyard in Treiso, in the area of Barbaresco. The word "Bricco" in Piedmont dialect means the peak of a hill. The Il Bricco estate is not a generic peak, but the official name of that estate, marked on the government maps to indicate the specific hill dominating part of the territory of the Treiso village.

This single vineyard Barbaresco has been produced since 1990 from a selection of exclusively selected Nebbiolo grapes grown in plots on the Il Bricco estate. It is only released in top-quality vintages, and is different style from the traditional one, but still showing the typical character of a great traditional Barbaresco.

The color is very deep, with intense scents of ripe fruit. The tannins are sweet and mellow, but complex and elegant. This is a wine with great structure and complexity, with a very long ageing potential

Barolo Prunotto Bussia 1993

A great vineyard that could have been better expressed. This wine clearly has more muscle but seems to lack the balance, complexity and extra dimension found in the other Barolos of this tasting, Lacks the finesse that terms great Barolo as an art.

Barolo Rocche Vietti, Magnum 1995.

Now this is it!

Sit back, relax and let this emotionally moving great Barlo sweep you of your feet and lead you through the darkness of outer space to the illuminating colorful heavenly planet called earth.

The winemaker’s note:

“Geographical location of the vineyard: Rocche of Castiglione Falletto

Grape from which it is produced: Nebbiolo - Michet (75%), Lampia (20%), Rosט (5%)

Aging: two years in Slavonian oak barrels and one year in bottle.

Aging potential: 4 - 8 years, but for special vintages it can be cellared as long as ten - twenty years.

Organoleptic characteristics:

Color: intense ruby red with tendency toward garnet that with aging takes orange reflections; brilliant.

Bouquet: rich, ample and elegant, continuous, from the "goudron" emerges the aroma of violet, dried rose, reminiscence of leather.

Taste: complete, austere, elegant.

Gastronomy: excellent with roast of red meat, game, typical is brasato cooked in Barolo and then served with the meal; hare "al civet" and generally with all foods having truffles; aged cheeses. Also excellent to enjoy at any hour to relax.

Serving temperature: 20°C - 68°F. If it is impossible to open the bottle two hours before serving, Barolo should be decanted in carafe”

A creation to be proud of.

With many other international grape varieties invading this holly place, namely Cabernet and Chardonnay, I pray for this uniquely gifted area to respect its own valuable tradition.

Andre Suidan

I was taught to finish what I order.

Life taught me to order what I enjoy.

The art of living taught me to take my time and enjoy.

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Sounds like fun.

I like those Vietti Baroli a lot. Each shows well the vineyard where it was born: the power of the Serralunga Lazzarito, the delicious texture of the La Morra Brunate and the incredible aromatics of the Castiglione Falletto Rocche. Usually when younger this last wine is overshadowed by the other two as they are more dramatic, but with age it evolves into a sublime wine - truly a great vineyard.

I would disagree that the difference between Barolo and Barbaresco is an added dimension, but would describe it as a different dimension. More like the difference between Pomerol and St. Emilion or Volnay and Vosne Romanee. I do not see Barbaresco as inferior to Barolo in any way - just different: and I like the difference. It is very easy to mistake a Barbaresco for a Barolo and vice versa depending on the vineyard and the producer.

...by the way I just reviewed these same Vietti wines from the 1999 vintage.

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Andre Suidan

I was taught to finish what I order.

Life taught me to order what I enjoy.

The art of living taught me to take my time and enjoy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


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