Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Nada Giuseppe visit

Having arrived in Piemonte yesterday afternoon, we agreed it would be better to visit Enrico this morning when we had had a chance to freshen up from our journey (we had been travelling - slowly - for five days to get here from Cahors). Probably a good idea.

Enrico is quite young (the right side of 30) and confident. He speaks good English (which bodes well for the forthcoming tasting dinners in London) and clearly knows where he wants to take the family estate. Enrico has plans to capitalise on his father's successes (Giuseppe began bottling the wines back in the 1960s, just before Barbaresco received DOC status and built the estate from there).

One thing immediately struck us: the overwhelming friendliness of this family. Enrico sat us down at the family table and we chatted about ourselves, our businesses and our interest in wine. It was a good half an hour before we even thought about opening a bottle. By the time he was pouring the first wine, his white Arneis, called Armonia, his mother, Nella, had brought snacks to the table to accompany the wines and some specifically for the children who were patiently drawing and reading throughout all of this.

We didn't really taste anything new: the Dolcetto was from 2010 (and superb: usually I am not enamoured with this variety but in Enrico's hands it is much more than the Beaujolais of Piemonte) but otherwise we tasted his wines together for the first time: the Barbera, Nebbiolo and Barbaresco 2007 and 2008. These last two impressed most, not only because they should but also because of their development since Easter when we first tried them. Then they showed promise but were, at the same time, quite hard and I felt the difference between these and the Riserva quite marked. Now they are singing and I am regretting not buying more! Still, there is always next time.

One thing we learnt from this and subsequent visits: when in Piemonte, there is no such thing as a lightening visit. If you come here (and I strongly recommend you do), make appointments in advance and allow at least two hours per visit.

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