Piedmont Reds

Reviewed: 15 September 2011

This is the second Piedmont tasting that I have written up in the last few weeks. This time the venue was Lamont’s in Cottesloe. A point of difference with this tasting was that I was not part of the tasting. Instead, I was helping out my friend John Jens by facilitating the tasting and pouring the wine.

Two of Perth’s most qualified Piedmont aficionados, Kristen McGann and Brendan Jansen, provided the excellent commentary that accompanied the tasting.

I managed to sneak a look at the wines and compiled the brief tasting notes below. More commentary on some of the wine can be found here.

NB. This was not a blind tasting.


Arpatin – Barbera d’Alba DOC – 2008 – (16.7). Fresh, ripe and vibrant fruit showing cherry and spice. Acid a touch sharp, but nice fruit weight. Early consumption with or without food. (A bargain at $15).

D’Annona – Barbera d’Asti DOC – 2006 – (17.6). Greater colour and much more fruit intensity on the nose. This is quite a serious wine. Complex, with some new oak influence, the fruit is more in the dark spectrum. Very good!

Il Cascinone – Barbera d’Asti – Rive – 2007 (17.8). More perfumed than the Albas. Very silky. There is excellent structure and mouth-feel, though this needs several years to show its best. A serious wine.

Guiseppe Mascarello – Langhe Rosso – Barbera d’Alba – Santo Stefano – 2005 (17). Starts off quite closed. A more traditional style that is savoury and spicy. This will make a good foil for a light meal.

Bruno Giacosa – Dolcetto d’Alba – di Treiso – 2008 (16.7). Pretty wine. Floral and fragrant with gentle spicy notes. Quite straightforward on the palate, with a pleasant rounded finish. (16.7)

Guiseppe Mascarello – Langhe Rosso – Status – 2001 (17.5+). More red fruits. Quite rustic (authentic) palate where the fruit is subdued, but the textural components are the main contributors. Showing the benefit of a few years in the bottle, the length and mouth-feel are excellent. Received great support from many of the attendees.

Oddero Estate – Nebbiolo – Lange – 2007 (17+). Lovely perfume with cherry, Satsuma plum and some red berry notes that really add to the appeal. Dense and structured, with trademark nebbiolo tannins. Silky and supple, this will develop well over 5 years.

Arpatin – Barbaresco DOCG – 2006 (17.8). Feminine and seductive. There is a core of red fruits running through the nose, but there are lovely complex notes as well. The palate has souring fruit and very silky, supple tannins. This is complex, long and savoury. A really smart wine and outstanding value.

Castello di Verduno – Barbaresco – Rabaja – 2000 (18). Closed, and quite modern by comparison. A touch more primary fruit than the Apartin, but more angular and quite lean. Really evolves in the glass. Very long and structured, with excellent depth to the palate. Tannins a touch firm but will soften. Very youthful. One of the favourites of the tasting.

Bruno Giacosa – Barbaresco – Santa Stefano – 2007 (17+). An interesting blend of the last two. Savoury and long, with some herbal and menthol notes. A touch medicinal to close. Drinks well with air.

Arpatin – Barolo – DOC (18). Very clean and fresh. The quality of the fruit is exceptional. Subtle, fine-boned and elegant, this is a lovely wine. Real length and depth to the palate and the texture is a highlight. May not be “traditional” but it is extraordinary value. (Develops more traditional aromas with air).

Gianni Voerzio – Barolo – La Serra – 2005 (18+). Again, a very refined, yet modern style. Silky, but with more of the sour cherry fruit characters. The finish is a touch tarry, and cries out for food. An excellent wine that would make an excellent introduction for palates raised on Australian shiraz.

Castello di Verduno – Barolo – Massara – 2004 (17.6). Souring fruit that is gentle and supple. Only medium bodied, but with excellent penetration on the palate. Very good drinking.

Luigi Einaudi – Barolo – 2004 (18.5). Quite closed, but the palate is amazing. Vibrant and powerful fruit that has cherry and tar. Very long, the fine tannins shut down the finish. Superb wine with a long future.