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Castello di Verduno Barolo Massara 2012
Decant for two hours.
A beautiful purple/ blue colour immediately promises a sophisticated experience. On the nose there is ripe, jammy fruit with floral hints and a little spice mixed with cherries, tobacco and leather. On the palate, these flavours follow through with a tremendous mix of ripe fruit, cinnamon and vanilla. The tannin is rich and silky with great acidity to balance. The finish is luxuriously long as you would expect from an ultra premium full bodied wine.
Match with steak, goose, truffles, game, risotto and rich smoked cheese.
The Castello di Verduno is one of the top vineyards in the region with a perfect combination of terroir and aspect to produce the highest quality fruit. The philosophy is to keep intervention to a minimum whilst making sure that the fruit is nurtured to produce the best berries possible. Hand harvested to ensure the best and ripest fruit is used, the fruit is macerated and fermented in stainless steel for 25 days. It is matured for 26 months in oak casks before spending a further 8 months in steel tanks. It is bottled without any filtration (hence the need for careful decanting) and left for 2 additional years prior to release.
Virna Barolo 2012
Ruby red in color, with a hint of copper at the rim, this Barolo is a fantastic, balanced offering from the cellars at Virna Borgogno. Aromas of bing cherry, baking spices, and violets scintillate the nose, while the palate gives fleshy, juicy black cherry, tobacco, orange zest, and plum. Grippy, drying tannins on the finish betray what this wine is meant for: long term cellaring. However, after a long decant, the tannins become silkier, and the ethereal texture of the Nebbiolo grape starts to come out.
Braised beef (preferably braised in a couple cups of Barolo) with fresh shaved truffle or wild mushroom sauce, gamey duck or pheasant, or steak tartare would all be excellent pairings with this delicious wine.
Azienda Virna Borgogno, newly named after the winemaker, quite recently changed its name in 2001 to introduce the fact that after many, many years of working under her father, Lodovico, Virna herself was now the winemaker and proprietor. Her sister Ivana helps out on the bureaucratic side of things, with the company now an exciting, female run winery; a rarity in this part of Italy. Their Barolo, made of 100% Nebbiolo spends 24-30 months in Slavonian Oak barrels, and further ages in bottle for one year prior to its release.
Aurelio Settimo Barolo 2012
Ideally drink now through to 2026
Decant for 2 hours
Intense garnet with purple flashes, this 2012 shows its older siblings that youth can be a very good thing! The nose offers intense fruit with ripe cherries and raspberries, plum and floral notes that are rounded off with a hint of spice. The palate offers a full bodied, well balanced wine with fine tannin and great acidity. The fruit is ripe with the cherries, plum and raspberries all intense and a more subtle spice and vanilla note coming through. There are also hints of chocolate, mocha, and the buttery effect of the oak maturation. The finish is long and ends with the cinnamon and vanilla notes coming through.
A truly great wine that is perfect with steak, game, venison, paté and strong cheese.
At Aurelio Settimo only the very best wines are produced and carry the DOC and DOCG status for red wines. Vinification follows traditional methods with long fermentations on the skins (15-20 days) which draws maximum colour and tannin into the wine. This is then matured in large oak casts that typically hold between 2,500 and 3,500 litres for two years prior to bottling.
Scarpa Tettimorra Barolo 2012
This sensational Barolo opens with seductive notes of rose petals, gunpowder, and crushed dark berries, while the first sip reveals firm tannins, a bold structure, and complex layers of ripe fruit, leather, and earthy notes. The Tettimorra is perfectly suited to extended cellar ageing and will continue to develop over the next decade or so. If you prefer to drink it now, it will show beautifully alongside a hearty meal of braised meat or game, or with aged cheeses like Parmigiano Reggiano.
The Scarpa estate has a noble reputation in Piemonte and has been producing wine in the Monferrato hills since 1854. In the 1960s it was purchased by Mario Pesce who has preserved traditional local winemaking techniques while introducing a modern, outward-facing approach to business.
The estate’s Tettimorra Barolo is a textbook example of classic Nebbiolo which is aged for extended periods in large casks. The fruit is sourced from Scarpa’s prime Tettimorra vineyard and fermented in large wooden vats. The new wine is then aged in 2000 to 10,000 litre casks for four years followed by several years of bottle ageing before release. This produces a remarkably elegant and complex wine which should be decanted before drinking.
Ciabot Berton Barolo Roggeri 2012
Decant two hours before serving.
This eloquent single vineyard wine comes to life on the gentle rolling hill of Roggeri close to the small town of La Morra. Home to some of the Oberto family’s oldest Nebbiolo vines which have an average age of forty years, the prestigious vineyard sits at 300 metres of altitude on a bed of deep clay. This helps to give this stellar Barolo a firm structure and lively freshness to balance the rich flavours and generous full body.
In keeping with traditional winemaking methods of the region, Ciabot Berton uses long macerations and ageing in large Slovenian oak botti to enhance the pure varietal character of the Nebbiolo. The Roggeri spends six months ageing in used French oak barrels before transferring to the botti for a further 18 months.
Red cherry, plum jam and prune aromas are the first to emerge, evolving slowly into warming festive spices, violets and leather once the wine has been decanted for a couple of hours. Well-rounded and powerful on the palate, this bottle is a fantastic candidate for extended cellar ageing up to at least 2030. If you prefer a firmer wine, the Roggeri can also be enjoyed now alongside another luxurious local delicacy from the Piemonte, white truffles lavishly shaved over fresh tagliatelle.
Fratelli Alessandria Barolo 2012
The gorgeous hilltop town of Verduno where Fratelli Alessandria is based was once the heartland of the Barolo wine region where the very first modern-style Barolo wines were made. These days the commune is enjoying a revival thanks to the passion and commitment to local families like the Alessandrias who have been making wine here since the estate was founded in 1870.
Today the estate is in the capable hands of Gian Battista, Alessandro and Alessandro’s son, Vittore, who seek to express the authentic character of Barolo through their elegant, expressive wines which capture the complexity of the local terroir. Their Barolo is made with top quality grapes from five different plots in Verduno as well as a small proportion of fruit from Monforte d’Alba.
The relatively high elevation of these vineyards helps to craft grapes with abundant freshness and aromatic complexity. In the winery the must is fermented with wild yeasts and the young wines are aged in large used Slavonian and French oak casks for three years. This produces a remarkably elegant Barolo with intense aromas of dark cherries, baking spice and dried Mediterranean herbs. On the palate there is a distinctive freshness, medium body and fine tannins which make this an excellent option for extended cellar ageing.