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Showing posts from October, 2015

Poggio al Gello in Gambero Rosso

Gambero Rosso's annual publication of Italian wines is regarded as the authoritative guide to the country's wines covering all regions. For over 25 years, a selection of the best cellars are reviewed and their wines rated and, more important, commented on. Ratings are, famously, one to three glasses with the coveted Tre Bicchieri keenly fought over. Piedmont regularly comes out top in the Tre Bicchieri round-up with Tuscany close behind.

From our list of suppliers, many are too small to be on the radar of the Gambero Rosso team although Fabrizio Battaglino has been a regular for the last few years. It is very surprising that Nada Giuseppe hasn't made it in yet but Cantina Rizzi's entry is well-deserved as is that of Giovanni Manzone. I would not be surprised if others find their way in soon.

In Tuscany, we currently only work with two estates, one from just outside Volterra, a terribly unfashionable area for wine-growing although Alberto Antonini clearly thinks it has …

More from Barbaresco - Cantina Rizzi

In a year when I have posted very little, I am now doing my impersonation of a fleet of buses - here is post number two!

It boils down to excitement over a new estate for the list: Cantina Rizzi in Treiso is one of the top estates in Barbaresco, one which, if googled, might actually reveal some professional critiques. Much of this is down to the sheer size of the estate which, at around 90 acres, must surely be one of the largest in Barbaresco but quality obviously plays a major part too.

I read about them when a friend handed me a copy of Kerin O'Keefe's Barolo and Barbaresco: The King and Queen of Italian Wines (well worth reading if you like Nebbiolo) which includes chapters on each of the communes in both denominations and profiles a small number of recommended estates from each. In Treiso, it was pleasing to see Nada Giuseppe included (especially given its relatively small size) but I was intrigued by the write up of Rizzi so I had to go along to take a closer look.

What …

Grasso Fratelli make it big

Forgive the pun in the title but the Grasso brothers have had a couple of top ratings this year which I want to share, not least because I have just ordered some for the UK market (inevitably).

Last time I visited them, I was impressed, as always, by the Barbarescos but there was a new one, a 2008 Riserva, which really hit the spot. So it was no surprise to learn it had been awarded the Decanter Regional Trophy for Red Piedmont wines over £15 in the DWWA 2015:

'A wonderful example of its type with a broad, spicy nose of ripe red fruit, spice, wild strawberry jam, cassis and liquorice. Fine in body with a plush but elegant palate bursting with juicy, ripe fruit and a long, velvety, warm finish.'

An impressive wine! I have tried it three times now and have found it more pleasurable each time as the tannins soften and the fruit develops - slowly - its secondary characters. One to hide at the back of the cellar.

For more immediate enjoyment, the brothers' 2014 Dolcetto is a win…