Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Italian Wine Country: Tasting Barolo and Barbaresco

Aside from the tour at Costa di Bussia (below), most of my tasting in Piedmont came from glasses ordered in bistros and trattorias (typically $8 for Barolo or Barbaresco, $6 for Langhe Nebbiolo, $4 for Barbera or Dolcetto) and from visits to community tasting rooms in Barolo and Barbaresco. A trip to Dogliano was a good occasion to sample the excellent Dolcettos from that area. The White Truffle Fair in Alba, held on weekends during the month of October, was also a great place to get free tastes of both wine and food. At the fair, I was particularly impressed by the lineup of wines from Curto Marco, including the LaFoia Barolo, the Arborina Barolo and the Freisa. From Aurelio Settimo, I enjoyed the 2015 Barolo and the 2015 Barbaresco--both showing nicely developed aromas and flavors even at a young age.

Other wines I tasted and enjoyed on the trip included (listed in rough order of preference): 2015 Negretti Bricco Ambrogia, 2015 Fratelli Barale Cannubi Barolo, 2015 Lodali Barbaresco. 2015 Giuseppe Marcarino Pertinace Barolo, 2017 Fratelli Revello Nebbiolo, 2015 Cortes Rabaja Barbaresco, 2015 Gigi Rosso San Pietro Barolo and 2015 Ca Roma Romano Marengo Rapet Barolo.

Probably best of all, for my taste, were the 2015 and 2016 Barbarescos from Produttori del Barbaresco, the excellent cooperative located in the heart of the Barbaresco village. Consumed with an astounding truffle pasta at the Trattoria Bollito in Alba, the 2015 was so good that I had to order a second glass (a splurge at $6). At the tasting room in Barbaresco a few days later, I had tastes of both the 2015 and 2016 plus the 2008 Riserva. At this stage, my vote goes to the 2015. Then again, 2015 is a good year for early drinking Nebbiolo.

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