Skip to main content

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! 


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 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