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More from Piedmont

I gave in to the pressure from Piedmont (actually the pressure all came from me: I couldn't hold out any longer!) and have wines from Crissante Alessandria and Filippo Gallino en route (what's the Italian for "en route"?)

Alberto Alessandria's family makes some superb Baroli. I was particularly struck by the 2007 Galina which seems quite modern in style but I think that has more to do with the vintage. Also, I was intrigued by his 2006 Roggeri, a typically tannic example but with some superb fruit. It needs time. However, in some ways, the star of the tasting was his 2007 Barbera  "Ruge", an astonishingly complete wine (I have never tasted Barbera like this before, hence it being the star wine for me) with superb ripeness and low (for Barbera) acidity.

Filippo Gallino is head of a family based in Roero, just across the Tanaro River from Barbaresco, and the third main region for Nebbiolo based wines. However, it was their 2009 Barbera which came across as a superb bargain: silky and refined ripe fruit with lovely acidity and not too much weight (a real contrast to the Crissante Alessandria Barbera). I also couldn't resist the sweet wines: "Chinche", a late harvest Arneis to contrast with Fabrizio Battaglino's "Bric Bastia" and an intriguing sparkling red called "Birbet", made from Brachetto. With only 5.5% alcohol, the closest comparison I can make to the uninitiated (which included me until a couple of weeks ago) is Moscato d'Asti but, actually, I preferred this.

To wrap things up, I also yielded to the temptation of Serradenari's flagship label, Giulia Negri. The wines come from a tiny vineyard next to their truffle forest - hence they are called "La Tartufaia" - and are produced from low yielding Nebbiolo and Chardonnay vines, the latter from cuttings from a well-respected Meursault vineyard.


Oh, and Mauro Manzone (of Giovanni Manzone) is being very persuasive too.

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