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Azelia Barolo San Rocco 2014
The Azelia story began in 1920 when Cavalier Lorenzo Scavino decided to start making wine from his family’s vineyards in the prized Barolo heartland of Castiglione Falletto. Before long his son, Alfonso, began bottling the estate’s wine and shortly afterwards Azelia wines were exported for the first time. Today the estate is under the visionary leadership of Luigi Scavino who has worked tirelessly to transform Azelia into one of Barolo’s most sought-after producers.
To ensure the estate produces the best quality wines possible the vineyards are worked by hand and are farmed organically. In the winery Luigi insists on only using a light touch of oak with wines typically aged in large oak botti or used oak barrels. The single vineyard San Rocco Barolo is one of the estate’s finest which very small quantities produced each year from the 55 year old Nebbiolo vines in the 1.5 hectare Serralunga d'Alba vineyard.
On the nose there is an explosion of spice, liquorice and dark fruit which transform on the palate into intense black cherry, ripe plum, and dried Mediterranean herb flavours. The body is generous and full with firm tannins and a bright streak of freshness which bring balance to this powerful Barolo. The well-developed structure and long finish make this a great match for red meats, but it will also continue to develop and evolve in the cellar over the next decades.
Elio Altare Barolo 2016
This charming Barolo from Elio Altare is crafted from top quality Nebbiolo grapes from the communes of La Morra, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d'Alba, and Barolo. The grapes are fermented using indigenous yeasts and the young wine is then aged in French oak barrels for 24 months before it is bottled.
On the nose there are generous aromas of raspberries, black cherries and cassis along with hints of dried herbs, rose petals and liquorice. The first sip reveals a rich, smooth texture and full body which is complemented by the intense dark fruit flavours and touches of sweet baking spice from the oak ageing. The firm tannins and well-developed structure make this an excellent contender for cellar ageing and it will continue to evolve and develop over the next six to eight years.
The Elio Altare estate is a modest family-run winery with a reputation for producing excellent Piedmontese wines in a thoroughly modern style. In 1948 the family purchased a farm in La Morra which formed the foundation for the estate, but it wasn’t until Elio Altare was inspired by his travels to Burgundy in the 1970s that the property began to make a name for itself. Today the estate is run by Elio’s daughter, Silvia, who continues the family tradition in her own way.
Aurelio Settimo Barolo Rocche dell'Annunziata 2015
Decanting time: two hours.
Well-known for its exceptional production of Barolo vintages, the Rocche vineyard offers distinctly elaborate, romantic wines with rich floral and dried red berry undertones. This is a classic, traditional and mature Barolo originating in the Rocche cru in La Morra, which meets all expectations of the house while offering a delightful complexity of aromas and flavors.
The wine is a leathery, reddish purple in color with delightful glimmers of black. An inviting yet dusky nose exposes warm, spicy berry notes with light hints of black pepper. This sophisticatedly earthy and rustic wine delivers a full mouthfeel, exploding with bright, lively berry flavors, undertones of tar, bergamot, tobacco and licorice for a full umami experience. Notable smooth, raw tannins lead to a clean, insatiable and beautiful finish. Subtle, full-bodied and well-balanced with a concentrated, bold structure that promises depth and complexity at whatever age it is enjoyed. A powerful and enticing nebbiolo.
This vintage is exceptional as one would expect from a Barolo by Aurelio Settimo but particularly demanding and intense in comparison to some of the other vintages. Not one to be missed for the serious wine lover. Pair with rich, savory eats such as beef, veal, lamb, hard cheese and mushrooms.
Cordero di Montezemolo Barolo Monfalletto 2016
Sure to please lovers of big Italian reds, this majestic Barolo opens with powerful aromas of raspberry, cherries, violets, dark chocolate and tobacco. On the palate there are firm tannins, a generous full body, and luscious dark berry flavours carefully balanced by a gentle streak of freshness. The long, intense finish is peppered with hints of smoke and spice, making this a great partner for hearty red meat dishes such as slow cooked beef or rich tomato-based pasta dishes.
The noble Cordero di Montezemolo estate can trace its history right back to 1340 with 19 generations of the family involved in managing the Monfalletto property in the famed town of La Morra in Barolo. Today the estate is run by Giovanni Cordero di Montezemolo and his children Elena and Alberto who together take care of 51 hectares of prime vineyards in the Barolo appellation and beyond.
Their magnificent Barolo Monfalletto is crafted with around 70% fruit from the Gattera cru and the remainder from the Annunziata vineyard which are both located in La Morra. The young wine is aged in barrels for two years before release and is considered a classic Barolo style with excellent ageability.
Gaja Dagromis Barolo 2016
An intense red in colour, the nose shows floral notes but with ripe red and black fruit, herbs, spice and even a hint of liquorice. Flavours of ripe fruit, spice and vanilla with hints of tobacco and leather. The silky tannins are well integrated and balanced with high alcohol and great acidity. This leads to a long, lingering finish with a hint of spice at the end.
A fantastic match for rich beef stews, steak, venison, rich cheese and game.
The winemaking process starts with hand harvested grapes that enables them to arrive at the winery in the best possible condition. Fermented in temperature controlled steel vats for 3 weeks, the wine is then aged initially in oak barriques for 12 months followed by a further 12 months in large oak vats.
The name of this wine comes from the family from which the vineyards were acquired. The family name was Gromis and the name DaGromis translates to "at home with the Gromis family". The Nebbiolo grapes from which DaGromis is made come from two very old vineyards in Serralunga and La Morra. The vineyards are south east and south west facing and are almost 1000 ft and 1500ft above sea level. The result of this is high levels of sunshine that ripens the grapes but with the cooling effects of the altitude, and combined with the clay and marl soil, the wine that is produced is classic Barolo.
Mauro Molino Barolo Bricco Luciani 2016
Occupying an idyllic setting near the enchanting hilltop town of La Morra, the Mauro Molino estate dates back to 1953 when the winery was founded by Mauro’s father. These days it is Mauro who heads up the estate along with his two children, Matteo and Martina, who both graduated from enology school and decided to join the family business.
In total the Molino family have 12 hectares of land in and around La Morra which are largely planted with Nebbiolo, Barbera, and Dolcetto. The Bricco Luciani Barolo has a special place in the Molino family’s hearts since the grapes are sourced from the vineyard right in front of the family home where Mauro and later his children used to play.
The grapes are typically harvested in October at optimum maturity and then macerated and fermented in stainless steel tanks before being transferred to French oak barrels for 18 months of ageing. Unlike many Barolos which can require years of maturation before they become approachable, the Bricco Luciani is a softer, more elegant expression of the Nebbiolo grape which is exceptionally pleasant to drink even when young. The nose offers a complex mosaic of dark berries, truffles, and aromatic forest floor aromas, while the first sip reveals fine tannins, a firm structure, and plenty of balancing acidity.