The following are just a few of my still wine highlights from my Vinitaly 2015 tastings. Still working on putting together my notes for the sparkling tastings…
It would be too easy to simply post a panegyric on Valter Fissore’s extraordinary expressions of Barolo. I was blown away by the focus and elegance of the wines he showed at the fair this year.
But the wine I can’t stop thinking about is the 2014 Elvio Cogno Langhe Nebbiolo Montegrilli.
Even in a challenging vintage, this wine delivered on every level. Great Nebbiolo with wonderful freshness and transparent fruit. I loved this wine.
In the days that led up to the fair, there was a lot of talk about the Veglio family and their Cascina Bruni’s new partnership with famed Italian enologist Riccardo Cotarella. Offline, a lot of people wondered if this meant a new “modern” approach to the wines (because Cotarella is known for his love of modernity in winemaking).
I was stoked to sit down with Cristiano Veglio and taste through the wines: the old school style hasn’t changed at all. The family has merely used Cotarella’s consulting to improve vineyard management and winemaking practices, he told me.
I really liked the 2009 Barolo Rivasotto, which is already starting to show nicely despite its youth.
The 2010 vintage in Brunello has received so much media attention, said Laura Brunelli, one of my favorite Montalcino producers, that she’s already sold-out of her wine. A lot of people told me that actually.
It’s always great to sell wine, she noted, but she fears that the 2010 will eclipse other solid vintages like the 2011.
The cask sample she shared was gorgeous.
I really liked Barbi’s Brunello 2009, which showed beautifully in the flight that they poured for me. The warm temperatures of that harvest made it a challenging vintage for many growers but Barbi delivered a great wine from that crop.
But my discovery wine from Barbi was its 2013 Morellino di Scansano. The 2013 vintage is going to be such a great one for Brunello and Tuscany (and many other regions and appellations, as well).
I loved the meatiness and texture of this wine and its fantastic, electric Sangiovese character. A great wine to pair with a piece of charred beef.
Another discovery was the Palazzo Vecchio Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. This youthful winery has the growing sites and the know-now to deliver vibrant, traditional-style expressions of Sangiovese.
So much crappy wine comes out of Montepulciano these days, which is sad because even I am old enough to remember when Montepulciano produced a lot of solid wine.
It was great to chat with them — however briefly — and taste these stellar wines. Welcome, new Mohicans!
Anyone who’s ever been to Vinitaly knows that the better winemakers always have something great to nosh on.
My friend and client Silvano Brescianini turned me on to a new — yes, new! — category from Emilian prosciuttoland: it’s a pancetta that’s cured like a prosciutto cotto.
It’s called “Giovanna” by the producer Capitelli (here’s the fact sheet; in Italian).
Man, a taste of the Giovanna and a glass of Silvano’s Barone Pizzini Franciacorta Rosato is pretty much all you need in life beyond love, sex, and rock ‘n’ roll…
Please stay tuned for my sparkling tasting notes next week. Thanks for being here!