Skip to main content

More wines from Piemonte - Fabrizio Battaglino

I seem to be drinking (sorry, make that "tasting") a lot of Italian wines these days but it's not my fault. When the pallet arrived with Enrico Giuseppe's wines (a 2006 Barbaresco Riserva was quickly removed and consumed), an extra case was discovered from one of Enrico's friends, Fabrizio Battaglino.

Fabrizio is a winemaker in the Roero district, north of the Langhe region where Barolo and Barbaresco hail from. Nebbiolo is still the main grape here and Fabrizio concentrates on this for most of his reds. Last night, we treated ourselves to a tasting of the three reds he had sent.

First, a 2009 Nebbiolo d'Alba which is aged in stainless steel for 12 months. Young fruits dominate the nose – sweet, red, summer fruits (strawberry and cranberry) which follow through to the palate which has some spice, good concentration and mouthfeel (medium bodied) and  soft tannins which are slightly dry at present (it’s a young wine) and mute the wine a little at this stage. It will be better in another year or two and over the following four or five years but there’s plenty to enjoy now. 

Next up, the 2008 Nebbiolo d'Alba "Colla".  This wine is aged in 225 litre barrels for 12 months and is destined for the longer term. Quite restrained on the nose but wafts of purple fruits including raspberries and blackberries. A little closed at present but there is clearly much to look forward to: the palate is richer than the basic Nebbiolo and has deeper, darker fruit. More structure here so leave it for five (?) years when it will have begun to evolve into its secondary phase with more meat. For drinking 2015-2020+.

Finally, the 2008 Roero, also aged for 12 months in 225 litre barrels. More expressive than the Nebbiolo Colla 2008 with an enticing perfume of stewed red fruit which comes through on the rich palate alongside such bittersweet flavours as chocolate and coffee. Well wrapped and rounded and surprisingly accessible but I suspect it will close down to re-emerge in a few years as something quite spectacular. 2015-2020++.

Fabrizio also makes a white from the local Arneis grape, which we tried at the weekend. Quite citrusy - fresh - this is a sophisticated, balanced wine with a lovely long finish.

The other wine we tasted is the unusual, but exotic, late harvest Arneis (probably unique in that sense) which Fabrizio thinks of as his answer to Sauternes. I find it quite different, offering an uncanny reminder of the tinned peaches I loved as a child (OK, I don't like them so much now but this is grown up tinned peaches). Obviously there is a lot more going on here than just that though. 

So, time to start saving up for yet more wines from Piemonte!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Decanter’s top Rhône wines under £20

The moratorium is over. Decanter’s December issue has been published and I can announce our successes in the recent tasting undertaken by their Rhône expert, Matt Walls who has recently returned from a year and a half in the region. If you look on Decanter.com today (November 2020), you will see a link to ‘Top Côtes du Rhône wines under £20’. What the article doesn’t tell you is that the brief of its writer was to taste and rate wines from across the valley in that price range and that the top scoring white wine was actually a Ventoux. No prizes for guessing that it was  Château Juvenal’s 2019 ‘Ribes de Vallat’ Blanc , awarded 91 points, which, at £12.60 is also the best value of any of the white wines on the list: 'From 30- to 40-year-old vines grown on granite south-facing slopes; half of the wine is matured for six months in demi-muid leaving no overt oakiness to the aromatics. Full-bodied, rich and opulent style, very ripe and fulsome. Some mango and pineapple juice. Unmist

Postcard from Provence

With lockdown more or less over, we made a dash to the other side of the Channel and are currently languishing in the Vaucluse  d épartement , home to the wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape  et al . Mont Ventoux, known to cyclists the world over, is staring at me as I write, only providing a shield from the sun in the early hours of the morning before the heat hits. Exercise here, recently so highly prized (the French were allowed no further than 1 km from home to exercise during their lockdown), is necessarily limited to a gentle morning stroll around the village to collect bread from the  boulang ère.  In time it may be possible to acclimatise but, looking at the locals, I wouldn’t bet on it. France went into lockdown before us, of course, and came out earlier as well so, if we in the UK are fortunate, what I am seeing is a glimpse into the future. We are welcome here – I know plenty of people with concerns about this but it is the Parisians they fear most here it seems. The UK, until

Watching and drinking Perseides concurrently.

Being British, I am obliged to comment on the Provencal weather this summer. Mostly hot with the occasional Mistral wind and, a few weeks ago, a threatened storm which yielded some highly unusual clouds, identified by a friend’s meteorologically talented daughter (moments before o ne of my own clever clogs) as being of the mammatus variety, these being, in effect, upside down clouds which, said expert explained occur when   the cold, moist poc kets of air sink rather than rise. Pic included of clouds over neighbouring property (would you believe me if I said it was sunny over us? No?).   What I ca n ’t give you a picture of bec ause (a) it hasn’t properly occurred this year yet (a brief flirtatio n last night but that’s all so far) and (b) my technological wizardry has yet to master how to tak e a still image of a (literally) flying circus, is tonight’s extravaganza of shooting stars, known as   Per séide s . (Some of you will, by now, have figured where this is going.) The useful peop