Italian (varietals) Cellar Tasting

Last Sunday Wine Group

Reviewed 25th August 2013.

Given the reputation of some of the wines tasted, it will come as no surprise to hear that this was a fantastic event.  The big surprise though, was the quality of the Giaconda nebbiolo.  Spectacular stuff.


Mesh – Riesling – 2003 (18).  Developing excellent aged characters.  The acid is softening and the fruit building richness.  Excellent length.  Will last for some time, but drinking a treat now.

Piazzo – Nebbiolo – Barolo – 2008 (17.6).  Hints of tar and roses, in a fragrant package that has leathery edges.  The tannins are fine, though very firm and persistent.  Quite good balance, but needs a few years for the fruit tannins to soften.

Muscarello – Nebbiolo – Barolo – Villero – 2006 (18).  A very light colour here.  Superb nose and palate, showing floral fruit, that is silky.  Initially this is quite soft in the mouth, but there is deceptive depth and power.  Lovely now, but will continue to evolve.

Isole e Olena – Sangiovese – Cepprarello – IGT – 2004 (18.1).  An attractive blend of dense fruit, power and structure.  Shows ripe, powerful fruit that has earth, licoroce and spice notes.  Actually quite cabernet-like with mint and red berry characters.  Has mint and red berry fruit on a palate that is very long and has superb balance and structure.

Tenuta San Guida – Sassicaia – 1987 (18).  Wow, a dense, powerful and structured wine that has medicinal and dusty notes.  Very long and powerful, with chewy, textured tannins, yet the finish is surprisingly silky and supple.

Luke Lambert – Nebbiolo – Heathcote – 2008 (17.5),  Lovely nose showing bright, cherry-like fruit, with some herbal and jube-like characters.  Opens to show blackcurrant, cherry, redcurrant and earthy notes.

Castello del Cuculo – Barbera D’Alba – Bricco del Cuculo – 2010 (18).  Cherry fruit, with earthy/spice accents and cedary oak.  Long, refined, supple and silky, with excellent persistence and length of flavours.

Case Ibidini – Nero d’Avola – 2011 (17.8).  Amazing density here.  Long, fine, rich and persistent.  From Sicily.

Nada Fiorenzo – Nebbiolo – Barbaresco – Rombone – 2006 (18.5).  Superb nose!  Superb palate!  This wine is all about the texture and mouth-feel, yet there is no doubting the quality of the fruit.  Very fine, long and persistent with a finish that is silky, long and balanced.  Outstanding.

Fontodi – Sangiovese – Flaccianello Della Peive – 2007 (18.5).  Wow, the concentration of fruit here is outstanding, with more richness than the Rombone.  Long and supple, showing quite more modern fruit handling and oak use.  Excellent length.

Andrea Oberto – Nebbiolo – Barolo – Vigneto Rocche – 2004 (18).  Super wine that combines depth and intensity with very fine fruit.  Ripe and precise, though this has more savoury complexity.  The finish is concentrated, chewy, long and fine.

San Vinceti – Sangiovese – Stignano – 2001 (17.8).  More savoury than some here, but this is no less intense.  Excellent depth and length to the fruit, with souring acid to close.

Giaconda – Nebbiolo – 2008 (18.5).  Lighter colour, though still red rimmed.  Developing, with tar like complexity.  Chewy, textured, long, fine and delicate.  Silky, supple and oh so drinkable.  Superb wine that has a finish that fans out like a peacocks tail.

Elio Altare – Nebbiolo – Barolo – 2008 (18.5).  Less overt and more tannic than the Giaconda, but equally compelling.  Tar, chocolate, spice and cherry, in a long and silky package.  Spectacular wine.

Roberto Voerzio – Nebbiolo – Vignaserra – Lange – 2000 (18).  Tighter, tannic and firm.  Great fruit, but needs years.

Roberto Voerzio – Nebbiolo – Brunate – 2000 (18.5).  Initially appears quite developed, lacking the overtness of the others.  Silky, long, fine textured, this builds and develops into a super wine.  Stunning power, but still with finesse.  Wonderful wine.