Day 2 in Piedmont (Giacosa, Conterno, & Cavallotto)

Piedmont, Italy

Tasted May 23, 2017 by tooch with 558 views

Flight 1 - Bruno Giacosa Tasting (6 notes)

A very exciting visit for us. Thanks to Ken for helping us set this up! We only had 90 minutes to visit, so our tasting was, admittedly, rushed. I enjoyed the wine we were able to try and hope that next time I visit, I will get the opportunity to learn more about the estate.

White
2016 Bruno Giacosa Roero Arneis Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Roero
86 points
Very tropical wine with pineapple, apricot, melon, & herbs on the nose. Its palate is crisp with more tropical flavors and a sweet finish. I prefer the Vietti Arneis to the Giacosa version - this one doesn't have as much acidity.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Bruno Giacosa Nebbiolo d'Alba Valmaggiore Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Nebbiolo d'Alba
A very young wine that was tough as nails. It had aromas of currants and roses, but the palate was a wall of tannins at this point. There was a bit of toast, and some bits of strawberry, cherry, & currant. This will need time to mature.
Red
2014 Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
Another youthful wine to the point of austerity. It had a core of tightly wound cherry, roses, & earth. The tannins, though...so, so, so, tannic. For me, the tannins were distracting to the point of being unenjoyable.
Red
2013 Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Rabajà Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
91 points
You could sense the oak influence a bit on the nose here but it integrated nicely with cherry, strawberry, tar, and earth. The palate had a great core of red fruit - deep and concentrated. The tannins were there, but unlike a couple other of the young Giacosa's, the tannins were silky. Thought this showed really nicely and should develop really nicely.
Red
2013 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Falletto Vigna Le Rocche Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
93 points
Liked this a lot. The aromatics were vivid with beautiful red fruits, touches of florals, some darker earth tones, & lovely spiced notes. The palate had a good balance of fruit with structure & acidity. Its balanced composition of fruit/structure should mature very nicely together.
Red
2011 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Riserva Falletto Vigna Le Rocche Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
95 points
8,000 bottles produced. A very elegant wine already with seductive tones of cherry, mineral, tar, roses, & earth. Its palate was fantastic - very elegant, with a "great core of everything". Things seem to be coming together very nicely for this Riserva. Age should do wonders.

Flight 2 - Giacomo Conterno Tasting (6 notes)

A tour de force. We ended up hanging out with Roberto Conterno for 2.5 hours. The visit started out with a 45 minute discussion about his cork preparation. He has taken the responsibility to do what he can to reduce TCA spoilage rates and can now guarantee that none of his bottles will have cork taint. The process is meticulous and as you spend more time with Roberto you realize that his obsession with cork taint bleeds into the rest of his operation.

I've never seen a cleaner winery. Period. The floors are spotless, He cleaned the barrel taps with a rag after serving us barrel samples...from top to bottom, the place was impeccable.

Roberto was a very serious man during our visit, but when Izzy produced his bottle of 1967 Monfortino, Roberto's eyes lighted up. He had opened one not long before and it is his favorite vintage from the 1960s. Unfortunately, the bottle brought from the states wasn't in great shape.

An incredibly afternoon with an icon. His wines are remarkable and I look forward to opening more of his wines in the future.

Red
2015 Giacomo Conterno Barbera d'Alba Cerretta Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Barbera d'Alba
89 points
Barrel Sample.

Beautiful color - electric pink/purple. Nose had explosive aromatics of violets, plum, and cranberry. Structure was there and it had a nice red fruited core. Should be a nicely complex and structured Barbera. Very good.
Red
2015 Giacomo Conterno Barbera d'Alba Francia Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Barbera d'Alba
90 points
Barrel sample.

Spicier than the Cerretta that we tried immediately before. Palate has tons of acidity...more than the Cerretta but didn't share the same juiciness. That said, this was more complex and a bit more shy. Really lovely palate with minerals, cherries, plums, and floral notes. Very zippy wine. Going to seek this out.
Red
2013 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cerretta Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
93 points
Barrel sample.

Palate was shy with subtle, classic Barolo tones. Tar, roses, cherries...just lovely. The palate was rigid and broad with a lot of structure. Tannins were silky so the wine felt very elegant and refined. Really enjoyable.
Red
2013 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Riserva Monfortino Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
95 points
Barrel sample.

A real treat to try this even in its infancy. Technically, this is still Francia Barolo while in barrel, but it is destined for a Monfortino designation in time. The aromas were very perfumed and floral with elements of pepper, dark floral notes, subtle earth, & some tar notes. The palate was really complex. We did not have large samples so it was hard to let the wine wash over you...but from what I could tell this has a beautiful core of red fruits, earth, & spices. Beautiful wine...will need time.
Red
2010 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Riserva Monfortino Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
97 points
From an unlabeled bottle at the winery...pop and pour.

Aromas were fantastic.Gorgeous spice notes combined with sweet currant, cherry, & cranberry. Its palate was edgy and tart. Lovely flavors of tart cherry, cranberries, earth, stone, & plum. Such a young wine, so we were just scratching the surface here, but there's a lot of potential and class here. Hopefully I'll have the opportunity to try another bottle of this sometime int he future.
Red
1967 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Riserva Monfortino Speciale Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
flawed
Carried over from the United States to open with Roberto Conterno. Unfortunately, this was an off bottle...I think Roberto commented that based on the taste it must have been heat damaged at some point.

Flight 3 - Cavallotto Tasting (5 notes)

If I'm being honest, this was a bit of a let down after our tastings at Giacosa & Conterno. The wines were also far darker and richer than what we had expected. Their Bricco Boschis is a regal wine, but found myself somewhat disappointed outside of those.

White
2015 Cavallotto Chardonnay Langhe Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
84 points
Very tropical aromatics of pineapple, mango, & pears. The palate was sweet and sappy with medium-to-low acidity. Tasty, but not in my chardonnay sweet spot.
White
2015 Cavallotto Piemonte Pinot Nero Pinner Italy, Piedmont, Piemonte DOC
86 points
Light pink/orange hue in the glass - very beautiful color. Aromas had strawberries and herbs with some spices, too. The palate had medium acidity with tart strawberries, some currants, & cherries. We tasted this at Cavallotto and took the rest of the bottle home - it was great on the deck. Very refreshing.
Red
2014 Cavallotto Langhe Nebbiolo Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
78 points
This was a tough wine to enjoy. So much tannin without much besides some tart cherry and spice notes. One of the least enjoyable wines of the trip.
Red
2012 Cavallotto Barolo Bricco Boschis Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
91 points
A very dark and spice wine. Palate was silky and toasty with some evident oak influence. In addition to the toasty notes, there were some really nice cherry and rose notes buried beneath. Probably needs time. Thought this was pretty nice with a lot of upside.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Cavallotto Barolo Bricco Boschis Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
92 points
Broad-shouldered wine with a lot of muscle. Aromas were dark, rich, and deep. Spice notes accompanied plum, blackberry, and some herbs. Its palate was very nice and the tannins were there - luckily, they were relatively silky. Very enjoyable wine.
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Flight 4 - Dinner at La Ciau del Tornavento (5 notes)

Amazing views from this restaurant. It has a massive cellar, but most wines are super young and expensive. We found some good deals on the list and had the classic tasting menu. Food was very nice, service was terrible.

Wine was tasty, though.

White
2013 Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Bianco Toscana IGT Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
90 points
First time I had ever seen this wine before. A great way to kick off a great dinner. Aromas of pears, nectarines, & melons...very tropical with some more steely hints buried in there. Its palate was tropical, but also had some nice acidic notes that balanced out its round core. Pretty delicious wine.
Red
2011 Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair Echezeaux France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Echezeaux Grand Cru
91 points
A taste.

Very nice warm cherry notes with some dark spices. The palate was wholly approachable and very delicious. Can't say that this was overly complex, but it was very delicious. It's worth mentioning that there were not green notes whatsoever.
Red
2011 Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Aux Reignots France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru
94 points
A taste.

Drank alongside the 2011 Liger-Belair Echezeaux. The Reignots was, to me, far more interesting and complex. Concentrated red fruit and earth notes on the palate were regal and elegant. While it was a dense/concentrated wine, it felt incredibly silky and elegant. Delicious.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2002 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Riserva Monfortino Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
95 points
Roberto Conterno talked fondly of this wine while we visited him, so when we saw it on the list at dinner for a reasonable price Izzy picked it up. After a decant, the wine had some nice aromas of red fruit...some sour cranberry gave the wine some initial tartness, but the rich cherry tones kicked in and rounded out the flavor. A beautiful wine that had a lot of elegance and class to it from a very tough vintage. This will have many many years of great performance ahead of it.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2006 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
95 points
From magnum.
After decanting this showed a lot of rich cherry, plum, rose, & earth tones on the nose. The palate was just awesome. Incredibly elegant and silky. The tannins were kicking in, but they were (mostly) silky and gave the wine extra elegance. The finish was length and acidic. Thought this showed incredibly well...despite its youth. I expect great things from this wine in its future.
2 people found this helpful Comment
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