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Piemonte Barbaresco

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Bruno Rocca Barbaresco 2015 (1x75cl)

The Rocca family originates from Barbaresco. Bruno Rocca took charge of the family business when his father died in 1978, and decided that all the wine produced by the estate would from then on be sold in bottle. The family now has 15 hectares of vineyards. Stylistically, Bruno is a consummate modernist, making wines with great intensity of fruit while retaining the structure and elegance of the Langhe at its best.

The Nebbiolo grapes for this wine come from younger vines, grown in Bruno Rocca's vineyards in Neive, Cru San Cristoforo, Marcorino and Fausoni. The soil originates from the Tertiary Period or the Cenozoic Era of nearly 70 million years ago and is rich in limestone and micronutrients ideal for growing Nebbiolo. The Neive vineyard is particularly sandy and tufaceous, creating full-bodied wines with firm tannins.

The summer of 2015 was one of the hottest and driest of the last 20 years. The harvest started in the first part of September, around two weeks earlier than usual. The grapes harvested were very ripe and healthy. The weather during the harvest was consistently sunny and rather hot for September.

The grapes were hand harvested and selected in the vineyard. A second selection took place on the sorting table. Fermentation was carried out in stainless steel tanks and lasted 20-25 days. The wine was aged in French oak barriques for 18 months, and then spent eight months in bottle before release.

Intense garnet in colour, this wine has fruity aromas of blackberries, wild black cherries and plums with overtones of subtle rose, violet with hints of spice. Warm and elegant, the long-lasting flavours finish with a hint of cocoa.

£42.65

Conterno Fantino Barbera Dalba Doc Vignota 2016 (1x 75cl)

A wine ruby red in appearance with cherry reflections. Elegantly scented with pleasant notes of cherry and sour cherry. Very rich extractions on the palate, persistent but simultaneously soft.

£20.45

Conterno Fantino Barolo Vigna Del Gris Docg 2010 (1x 75cl)

A powerful, concentrated, complex and commanding nose. The palate is full and structured but surprisingly well rounded with black fruit, liquorice and mocha flavours, hints of rose petal and a defiant finish.

£65.25

Conterno Fantino Dolcetto Dalba Doc Bricco Bastia 2017 (1x 75cl)

This wine is from 4.5ha of land close to the Conterno Fantino winery. At just under 600m a.s.l. the vineyard is high for the Barolo region and average slope is consequently steep, at 25%. The composition of the soil is predominantly sandy (57%) which is ideal for the production of perfumed, floral Dolcetto with an attractive acid structure. The average age of the vines is 15 years, and over recent seasons quality has been improved through top grafting with small-berried, loose-bunched clones. Yields are low for Dolcetto, at slightly over 50 hl/ha.

The grapes are selected and picked by hand at the beginning of September. Alcoholic fermentation and maceration take place on the skins in stainless steel horizontal fermenters over 4 - 5 days. The wine is then aged for 8 months in stainless steel tanks before being bottled.

This wine is made from organically grown grapes  certified by CCPB srl - Bologna 

Mouthwatering acid structure and agreeably soft in texture. Displays lovely cherry, berry and floral flavours, with an earthy, barnyard note. Ready to drink.

£16.45

Fontanafredda Barolo DOCG 2014 (1x 75cl)

The Fontanafredda estate was bought in 1858 by Vittorio Emanuele II as a gift to his mistress Rosa Vercellana, also known as "La bela Rosin". Later, it was handed down to their children, Maria Vittoria and Emanuele Alberto, Count of Mirafiori and Fontanafredda. After several changes of ownership Fontanafredda is once again in the hands of Piedmont natives. In 2017 Fontanafredda was named “European Winery of the Year” by the prestigious American magazine Wine Enthusiast.

Relying on the most advanced models for sustainable agriculture (organic, integrated and biodynamic), they have adopted the agricultural disciplinary guidelines of Vino Libero which defines the vineyard-cultivation techniques they use whilst striving to both reduce the environmental impact and safeguard human health.

The fermentation is done in a traditional way and is carried out for an average of 8-10 days in stainless steel vats at a controlled temperature (30-31°C) with a floating cap and frequent pumping over of the must. The must is then left on the skins for several days to optimize the extraction of the polyphenolic substances and to help the malolactic fermentation get underway. This wine ages for at least two years in large casks made of oak (from Slavonia and mid-France), followed by no less then twelve months in the bottle.

The results of lengthy ageing, above-all on account of their natural qualities, these robust, well-bodied wines are packed with structure and are well capable of withstanding the test of time. Barolo has an attractive ruby-red colour with garnet highlights which become orange with the passing of time. Its bouquet is clean, full and intense, with the wine's typical traces of withered flowers, dry leaves and underbrush. Ideal with rich red meats as well as medium and mature cheeses, this is also a perfect after-dinner wine.

£29.30

Fontanafredda Coste Rubin Barbaresco DOCG 2014 (1x 75cl)

The Fontanafredda estate was bought in 1858 by Vittorio Emanuele II as a gift to his mistress Rosa Vercellana, also known as "La bela Rosin". Later, it was handed down to their children, Maria Vittoria and Emanuele Alberto, Count of Mirafiori and Fontanafredda. After several changes of ownership Fontanafredda is once again in the hands of Piedmont natives. In 2017 Fontanafredda was named “European Winery of the Year” by the prestigious American magazine Wine Enthusiast.

Relying on the most advanced models for sustainable agriculture (organic, integrated and biodynamic), they have adopted the agricultural disciplinary guidelines of Vino Libero which defines the vineyard-cultivation techniques they use whilst striving to both reduce the environmental impact and safeguard human health.

To see an excellent information sheet and tasting note for this wine from the winemakers at Fontanafredda, please click the blue link below.

Fontanafredda Coste Rubin Barbaresco DOCG - fiche technique

£31.40

Fontanafredda Marne Brune Nebbiolo D Alba D.O.C. 2016 (1x75cl)

The Fontanafredda estate was bought by King Vittorio Emanuele II as a gift to his mistress Rosa Vercellana, also known as "La bela Rosin". Later, it was handed down to their children, Maria Vittoria and Emanuele Alberto, Count of Mirafiori and Fontanafredda. 

Only grapes of “controlled” origin are used at Fontanafredda. The estate vineyards, managed directly by their own technicians, cover a total of about 100 hectares (247 acres), cultivated mainly with Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto, and Moscato: the typical varieties of the Langhe. This production only satisfies 20% of the business’s yearly needs. Therefore, each year, during harvest, over four hundred local vine growers deliver their own grapes to Fontanafredda, respecting generations-old fiduciary relationships. These grapes are also grown according to the firm guidelines of Vino Libero which guarantee zero chemical residues. Thanks to these additional grapes, the company annually crushes about 6 million kilograms of grapes.

Once picked the grapes used in "Marne Brune" undergo fermentation with maceration for 10-12 days at a temperature of 28° C. It is then aged in barriques (oak from Allier) for 12 months followed by a period of 6-7 months in the bottle.

Nebbiolo "Marne Brune" stands out for its fragrance, which is already evident in its ruby-red colour of varying intensity depending on the vintage, and is confirmed on the nose by bouquets of flowers and wild fruit, and on the palate by its strong personality and dry taste.

£19.55

G.D. Vajra Barbera D Alba 2016 (1x75cl)

Aldo Vaira's wines are characterised by pristine flavours and clearly defined perfumes. These characters are attributable to the position of his vineyards at about 400 metres above sea level in the village of Vergne in the commune of Barolo. G.D. Vajra was established in 1972 and named after Aldo's father, Giuseppe Domenico Vajra. Aldo has been gradually increasing the area under vine to 60 hectares, of which 10 are Nebbiolo for Barolo, located in such strategic spots as Bricco delle Viole, Fossati, La Volta and Coste di Vergne. A traditionalist, Aldo adheres to old-style winemaking methods, though blends these with new techniques, such as temperature controlled fermentation, to produce such superbly elegant wines.

The grapes were grown in six different vineyards from three different areas. Four vineyards are in Barolo, on chalky, Tortonian soils, facing either south-east or south-west, with vines planted between 1968 and 2004. Here the chalky soil results in delicately aromatic wines, with high acidity and red berry characters. The two vineyards planted in Novello and Sinio are on Helvetian soils, giving wines with ripe, black fruit characters, balsam and minerality, with firmer tannins. The Novello vineyard, called Piedicucche, produces the fleshiest wines whereas the Bertone vineyard, in Sinio, gives wines with the darkest, most graphite aromas.

2016 saw a hot and dry summer in Piemonte. A cool spring with some rainfall was followed by a hot June and July. Large shifts between day and night time temperatures throughout August helped to balance grape ripening and produce healthy, ripe grapes with refreshing acidity.

The Barbera grapes were harvested in the second half of September. Vineyards and blocks were picked separately in multiple stages. Once at the winery, bunches were selected on sorting tables, and again after destemming. Fermentation lasted 15-20 days in vertical vats, with gentle punch-down and pump-overs, at a temperature below 31°C. Spontaneous malolactic fermentation followed. The wine was then aged for 12-16 months mostly in stainless-steel tanks and no more than 10% in oak barrels.

A violet red colour alludes to the sweet dark fruits, giving this wine a refined elegance. Powerful and rich on the nose, it is concentrated and smooth: rich and fruity while leaving room for hay, tobacco and spices. On the palate, black fruits are layered with mineral graphite notes.

£18.70

GD Vajra Barolo Bricco Delle Viole 2014 (1x75cl)

Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their Italy 2019 supplement as part of an article on Barolo (see blue link below).

GD Vajra, Bricco delle Viole 2014 - February 2019 Decanter review

Aldo Vaira's wines are characterised by pristine flavours and clearly defined perfumes. These characters are attributable to the position of his vineyards at about 400 metres above sea level in the village of Vergne in the commune of Barolo. GD Vajra was established in 1972 and named after Aldo's father, Giuseppe Domenico. Aldo has been gradually increasing the area under vine to 60 hectares, of which 10 are Nebbiolo for Barolo, located in such strategic spots as Bricco delle Viole, Fossati, La Volta and Coste di Vergne. A traditionalist, Aldo adheres to old-style winemaking methods, though blends these with new techniques, such as temperature controlled fermentation, to produce such superbly elegant wines.

The 'Bricco delle Viole' vineyard is located at altitudes of 380-470 metres above sea level in the commune of Barolo and covers 4.79 hectares. One part of the vineyard is planted with vines which are now over 60 years old and yield less than 30 hectolitres per hectare. Its high altitude and long ripening season gives the wine an aromatic complexity and richness that is lacking in lower vineyards.

In Piemonte, 2014 was a surprising year. It was cool and wet, so work in the vineyard was the key. Hail hit some vineyards and those who cropped too high or didn't work hard enough in the vineyard will have produced pretty poor wines. Those who did - including the team at GD Vajra - have made good wines with good colour and perfume and good levels of acidity.

Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at temperatures up to 31°C and lasted four weeks, with regular pumping over. The wine was then matured for 42-48 months in Slavonian oak barrels.

Brilliant ruby red, this Barolo has aromas of cherries, dark berries, violets and dried roses with nuances of citrus fruits and mint. On the palate, there are silky tannins. The wine is well balanced with a long delicately spiced finish.

£69.55

Giacomo Ascheri Dolcetto Dalba DOC, Vigna Nirane 2017 (1x 75cl)

Ths vineyard is situated in the western part of the Barolo area as the estate is located partly in the municipality of La Morra and partly in the municipality of Verduno. It is on the South-West and South-East facing slopes at an altitude of 350 m above sea level. Usual harvest time in the vineyard is between 15th and 30th September.

Fermentation takes place in stainless steel for about 6 days at 25°C. This preserves the delicate primary aromas of the grapes, giving the wine a fresh character.

This wine is ruby red in colour with violet nuances. It has a generous, persistent bouquet, with small red berries and cherry fruit nose. Round and persistent, the palate is well balanced. This is a  harmonious, pleasant wine with great tipicity.

£15.55

Michele Chiarlo, La Court, Barbera d'Asti Superiore Nizza 2015 (1x 75cl)

The 2013 vintage was awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their Italy 2019 supplement as part of an article on Barbera (see blue link below).

Michele Chiarlo, La Court 2013 - February 2019 Decanter review

A richly textured wine with nuances of coffee and chocolate together with red fruit flavours, elegant and beautifully balanced.

Michele Chiarlo is one of Piedmont's truly great winemakers. The family owns 60 hectares of vineyard in three of the classic growing areas - Langhe, Monferrato and Gavi and have access to a further 50 hectares through long-term relationships with their growers. Michele has insisted on total quality since his first vintage in 1956, an ethos which his sons Stefano and Alberto adopt today. The Chiarlo style is highly elegant, they make complex wines that can age for decades but above all reflect their provenance - some of the finest vineyard sites in Piedmont.

A not-excessively-cold winter, but heavy rain and snow created an abundant water reserve. A mild spring led into a warm summer with a complete absence of rain from mid-June until 10th August, which contributed to the grapes' perfect ripeness. September saw excellent diurnal temperature differences leading to the development of vibrant aromas and excellent phenological ripening of the red grapes. 2015 is being hailed as one of the greatest vintages of the last two decades.

The grapes come from the La Court vineyard. A prestigious site originating from the 1800s, the single parcel covers three hectares. The vineyard has a southeast to south western exposures at 240 metres above sea-level and produces very low yields. The vines are Guyot trained. The soils are designated as ‘Artisane Sands’ which consist of calcareous clay marl of sedimentary marine origin with high lime and sand content. They produce ample, intense and elegant wines with good structure and longevity. Manually harvested.

100% Barbera.

The grapes were fermented on the skins in 55 hectolitre oak barrels for 15 days at controlled temperatures of between 27° to 30°C. A gentle shower system of submerging the cap was used to extract flavour, colour and structure. Malolactic fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks. The wine was refined for 30 months. Oak maturation lasted for 12 months: 50% in 55 hectolitre French oak barrels and 50% in Allier oak barriques, followed by a further 18 months in bottle prior to release.

An appealing and structured wine, which is complex and elegant with layers of black cherry, cocoa and coffee. Harmoniously balanced, it has a velvety palate and a long, silky finish. Its richness and elegance places it amongst the finest wines in Chiarlo's portfolio.

£37.10

Paolo Conterno Barolo Riva Del Bric 2014 (1x75cl)

It all started way back in 1886, when Paolo Conterno founded the Casa della Ginestra, dedicated to the production of Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto wines. An indefatigable worker with a mind of great intuition, he devoted the most favourable parts of the Ginestra hillside to the growing of the grapes, subdividing them by type, exposure and terrain. Furthermore, he had the foresight to predict the existence of a market of connoisseurs of superior quality products, selling his own wine in wooden kegs and produced by himself in his own cellar. Paolo was succeeded by his son Carlo and his wife Giuseppina. The company was subsequently run by Paolo and Caterina Conterno and today the company is managed by their son Giorgio.

This wine is 100% Nebbiolo.

To see an excellent information sheet and tasting note for this wine from the team at Paolo Contino, please click on the blue link below.

Paolo Conterno Barolo 'Riva del Bric' - fiche technique

£30.25

Prunotto Barolo 2014 (1x75cl)

Prunotto was founded in 1904 by Alfredo Prunotto under the name Ai Vini delle Langhe. In 1989, the Marchesi Antinori family began its collaboration with the Prunotto Company, at first handling distribution and later getting directly involved in the production process, maintaining the excellent level of quality which Alfredo Prunotto had always insisted upon.

This wine comes from vineyards in the townships of Monforte, Castiglione Falletto, and Serralunga. The soils from the Tortonian-Messinian period - the so-called “Sant’Agata fossil marls” - are particularly rich in calcareous clays and elements such as magnesium and manganese.

The 2014 vintage, despite the fact that it was one of the most difficult in terms of the management of the vineyards due to adverse meteorological conditions, gave some pleasurable surprises in terms of the grapes which were fermented thanks to a favourable final phase of the growing season. An early spring favoured a precocious renewal of the vegetative activity of the vines compared to the preceding vintage, but a rainy summer (well above average levels) favored fungal attacks which compromised the quality of the grapes. 
Both the month of September and the month of October were unquestionably positive from the climatic point of view, with useful temperature swings between daytime warmth and evening and nighttime coolness, assisting the ripening of the grapes and the completion of their physiological maturity. For the red grapes, the common factor was the elevated quantity both of colouring material and structuring elements, with wines which were highly coloured and vibrant in their acidity.

The selected grape bunches were destemmed and pressed. The fermentation with skin contact lasted a total of ten days at maximum temperatures of 30° centigrade (86° Fahrenheit). The malolactic fermentation terminated before the end of the winter. The wine ages for at least 18 months in French oak casks. A further period of bottle ageing in the Prunotto cellars preceded commercial release.

This wine was made using 100% Nebbiolo.

The Prunotto Barolo 2014 is garnet red in colour with ample and complex aromas of violets and berry fruit. It has a full and velvety flavour and is very well balanced. Its structure and body make it an ideal match for meat and game dishes and for cheese.

£36.90

Vietti Barolo Lazzarito 2014 (1x75cl)

Awarded 97 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their Italy 2019 supplement as part of an article on Barolo (see blue link below).

Vietti Lazzarito Barolo 2014 - February 2019 Decanter review

The history of the Vietti winery traces its roots back to the 19th Century. Only at the beginning of the 20th century, however, did the Vietti name become a winery offering its own wines in bottle. Vietti wines come from Castiglione Falletto wineyards, in the heart of the Barolo zone. The qualities of sandy-calcareous soil in this area gives a unique tannic heritage with very elegant olfactory sensations.

To see the winemakers notes / information sheet for this wine, please click on the blue link below.

Vietti Barolo Lazzarito 2014 - fiche technique

£139.15

Vietti Nebbiolo Perbacco, Langhe 2015 (1x75cl)

The history of the Vietti winery traces its roots back to the 19th Century. Only at the beginning of the 20th century, however, did the Vietti name become a winery offering its own wines in bottle. Vietti wines come from Castiglione Falletto wineyards, in the heart of the Barolo zone. The qualities of sandy-calcareous soil in this area gives a unique tannic heritage with very elegant olfactory sensations. Since 1974 certain Vietti wines have been dressed with specially-designed original works (lithographs, xylographies, etchings, silkscreens, linocuts) inspired by the wine of that particular vintage.

This wine is 100% Nebbiolo.

To see the winemakers notes / information sheet for this wine, please click on the blue link below.

Vietti Nebbiolo Perbacco 2015 - fiche technique

£20.70
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