Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Piedmont wines in Dulwich tonight

Note: updated after the tasting!

The Dulwich Wine Society has a new meeting venue since I last visited, more conducive to the enjoyment of fine wines. I was there last night to present, for the first time in the context of a wine club, a selection of wines from Piedmont. Here's the running order...

White wines
1.    Fabrizio Battaglino, Roero 2010 Arneis
2.    Giovanni Manzone, Langhe Bianco 2010 Rosserto
3.    Nada Giuseppe, Langhe Bianco 2009 "Armonia"

All the whites were very well received: the Arneis surprised most tasters who had little or no experience of the grape for its slightly austere nose but fuller palate. The Rossesse was showing well and was also well received as a new wine to everyone in the room. As always, Enrico's wine wowed tasters with its assortment of varieties each bringing something different to the well integrated whole.

Red wines
4.    Nada Giuseppe, Dolcetto d'Alba 2010 Casot
5.    Serradenari, Langhe Rosso 2007 "Renoir"
6.    Crissante Alessandria, Barbera d'Asti 2007 "Rugé"

Enrico's Dolcetto pleased everyone who, like me, seemed a little disdainful of the light, Beaujolais-style Dolcetto that is so common in the region. The grip of this wine was more to our liking. The Renoir showed more Pinot character than usual - tasters asked me to convey to the producers that they appreciated the blend and hoped it would continue to be made, now that the Pinot vines are deemed mature enough to produce a mono-varietal wine. No surprises that Alberto's rich and ready "Ruge" was a big hit, of course.

7.    Fabrizio Battaglino, Nebbiolo d'Alba 2010 Colla
8.    Nada Giuseppe, Barbaresco 2009 Casot
9.     Giovanni Manzone, Barolo 2007 Gramolere
10.  Giulia Negri, Barolo 2007 "La Tartufaia"

After a short break for cheese and biscuits, the Nebbiolo stretch was encountered with Fabrizio's youthful but vibrant "Colla" leading the way. A very different wine, Enrico's 2009 Normale was rather more traditional in style (albeit in a modern way) and very drinkable, as always. The Gramolere needed quite a lot of aeration to get past the oak and tannins but pass it we did and it revealed a magnificent future. A discussion about the ethereal quality of Nebbiolo was checked by the Negri Barolo which is a more powerful wine but one which was also enjoyed by tasters.

Dessert wines
11.  Fabrizio Battaglino, "Bric Bastia"
12.  Grasso Fratelli, Moscato d'Asti 2011

The final pair were the sweet wines. Fabrizio's Bric Bastia should have been chilled but still found favour with tasters who conjured up a myriad of flavours and nuances in this most delicious of wines. The Grasso Moscato provided some welcome relief at the end of the tasting to a group whose palates were not flagging (on the contrary, they seemed to be just warming up!) but who seemed to find its light, grapey, light fizzy manner charming.

The only estate missing from this list is the excellent Filippo Gallino whose wines are in transit as I write (I hope!) which is a great shame as their excellent and superb-value Barbera is always a crowd pleaser and their Roero wines simply stunning.

It's going to be a long but, I suspect, highly enjoyable night! 

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