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Northern Italy


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An evening of Northern Italian wines

2005 Marchesi de Grecy Moscato d’Asti ‘La Serra’ – a 5.5% alcohol slightly sweet bubbly that was a nice start to this event. Hint of veggie in the nose was the only weakness, otherwise copybook moscato.

2001 Inama ‘Vigneti di Foscarino’ Soave Classico Superiore – not you average Soave by any means. Lots of mineral, fruit and a slight hit of wood in nose, clean and balanced and very dry finish. The nose added a nuttiness with time.

2000 Fontanafredda Barbaresco – this producer’s wines tend to drink well early and in good vintages age with grace. The wine was light in colour, with bright cherry fruit that later picked up some smoke and blood. Lots of acidity needed some food to tame it.

2000 Prod. del Barbaresco Rabaja – love these single vineyard offerings – even the regular wine is always dependable. This one was also lighter in colour than the wines in the 1996 vertical I did recently. The nose was earthier than the Fontanafredda and it had lower acidity. Nice wine, but I doubt it will have the longevity usually expected of this vineyard.

1990 Batasiolo Vigneto Bofani – the tasting was blind and the person putting the wines in order would have made the right call on this one, had it been a recent vintage, as this producer hasn’t been performing as well recently, but the 1990 Bofani is a heavy hitter, and as I had intended, a fairly traditional style of Barolo. Just wonderful aromatics in the nose, with tar, licorice and fruit nicely melded together. Smooth on palate with soft tannin and good length. The nose became significantly riper as it opened in the glass.

2000 Castello di Verduno Barbaresco Faset – doon’t know this one. Good colour, sweeter but less traditional nose, turning more mineral later. Medium body, decent length.

2001 Cantina del Pino Barbaresco Ovello – another modern wine with a perfumed nose and lots of oak. Still quite tannic but with good length, it needs time.

1988 Ceretto Barbaresco Asij – finally another traditional nose! Not a big wine, rather an elegant style, with some tar and cherry in the nose, and quite good flavour concentration on palate, ending smoothly. I love this old style of wine that takes years to smooth out, and regret the modern tendency to make earlier maturing wines with lots of new oak. The ‘Californication’ of Piemonte?

2001 Vignalta Gemola – an IGT blend of cab (possibly franc) and merlot (30/70) this shouted out California in the nose with the cab more immediately evident than the merlot. Dark, with lots of wood, and long smooth finish, this wine would be a perfect ringer in a blind tasting of meritage wines.

2001 l’Arco Valpolicella Classico – no idea how the waiter lucked into putting this last as a Valpolicella isn’t my first bet for a finishing wine. It worked because this was a ripasso style with more than the usual amount of stuffing, made by an associate of Quintarelli. Fairly dark, with a ripe sweet nose with chocolate (I thought I detected a hint of nutmeg), the wine was fresh and lively and complemented the cheese very nicely.

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