Cesanese del Piglio DOCG
If Maximus drunk wine you can bet your bippy it was Cesanese del Piglio. Leave the monks their Est! Est!! Est!!! and the senate their sweet Mulsum, Casanese del Piglio is a wine for tough guys and Lazio fans. Cesanese del Affile (90% min variety in Cesanese del Piglio) is a difficult, stubborn little grape, gesturing in its back yard yet unwilling to travel but; is he worthy of honour?
Since the year dot (well, Roman times, if anyone knows when the year dot was I'll send you this bottle, scroll down for competition) they've been producing wine on the red soils of the Ernici mountains, yet it took until November 2011 for this plucky little wine, produced solely in Frosinone province to be awarded its very own DOCG and get the chance to show some true potential. For many, this was a DOCG too far and Cesanese del Piglio has some work to do to disprove the naysayers.
With DOCG status comes the responsibility to get these wines up to international snuff and emerge as THE Lazio wine.
However, the Italian Wine quality drive has arrived in Frosinone. In recent years these wines have gained some following in the capital (Rome, not London) but also in Germany and some unexpected notoriety in the USA, still currently enjoying its Italian Varietal fad. But what about Blighty? Sorry, no. To the best of my knowledge not one of the major wine retailers, even those specialising in Italian wine carries a Cesanese del Piglio, and considering its rich, long history and growing reputation I think that's a bit rubbish.
Learn a little about Cesanese del Piglio
From the province of Frosinone, around 100kms south-east of Rome covering around 15,000 hectares, Casanese del Piglio DOCG lies on the volcanic red slopes of the Ernici mountains.
The soils are, in general, severely lacking in nutrients but cover a large area so lots of variation exists within the general quality of the grapes from the region as a whole, with vines planted from 200 m to 1000 m above sea level the exposures also vary. As with any large appellation knowing which vineyards produce the best fruit and which producers control their yields effectively is important. One variable this region shares in common is climate, and it shares that climate with Rome. Hot summers that cause drought for 1-2 months of every year. Within DOCG regulations in Cesanese del Piglio it is permissible to use irrigation in times of stress.
So what's a Cesanese del Piglio like?
As a dry red it can be bitter and this is why several other grapes are permitted as a small part of the blend to add that touch of aroma/acidity. Currently it is permissible to add 10% Sangiovese, Barbera, Montepulciano, Trebbiano or Bombino Bianco. Cesanese del Piglio is available in a variety of styles including still, sparkling, dry and sweet. These wines are said to accompany smoked cheese and smoked meats rather well, traditionally they display blackberry and tobacco notes and can be rustic and tannic if handled poorly.
Who are the best producers of Cesanese del Piglio?
Tre Bicchiere Awards have gone to Antonello Coletti, but excellent and good value, reliable Cesanese del Piglio are produced each year by producers such as Casale della Iora, Marcella Giuliani, Colletonno, Giovanni Terenzi, Villa Simone and La Viscola.
Are these wines available in the UK?
You tell me? If you can find one, I'll throw up a link.
Win this bottle of Cesanese del Piglio DOCG?
Q1. When was the year dot?
Q2. Do you think the bottle in the photo is pronounced "dives" or "divvies"?
Best answer wins. Leave your mail address but space it or you could get spammed! (ex. wine90 @ gmail . com)
Antinori's Tignanello 2008 has officially reached the status of wine bling. One of a handful of Italian wines (particularly Super Tuscans) set to climb in price over the next 12-18 months, out of reach for the majority of UK wine buyers as Chinese collectors and oenophiles begin to buy up Italian "status" wines. Was it only a year ago I was lamenting the price of Tignanello 2006? Too bad, the '06, '07 and '08 vintages can expect to reach and exceed £100 in the coming months according to all sources. There's been plenty written about the potential for Italian "status" wines to go stratospheric in the press lately (see Decanter April 2012 and Vino Al Vino) but it wasn't until a Bordeaux wine investment company called my home number and tried to flog me a few cases of Sassicaia that I realised how hot these wines are right now. How do these people get your number and know your interests? And if they know this much, why don't they know I'm not good for several cases of outrageously priced wine? They're not quite as irritating as the "Turn your computer on, you have a virus and must download some software from www.dodgybuggers.org" people, but they're still rather creepy.
Will the demand be sufficient and the trend long enough to dampen my Italian city breaks for the foreseeable future?! (!)... (!!!)
Well, nah, the great thing about Tuscan wine in the 21st century is the amazing depth and breadth of fantastic quality wines available, as the older STs have inspired producers, old & new, to get into the game and produce blended wines of outstanding quality all hoping to be the next big thing in Tuscan wine. So if you 're mad for Sangiovese based Super Tuscans but don't fancy the £80 price tag then there are plenty of great alternatives that fly a little further under the radar (for now!)
My three recommendations for Sangiovese based Super Tuscans that hit all the right notes are:
Il Blu by Brancaia - £40
Primamateria by Poggerino - £25
Il Futuro by Colombaio di Cencio - £35
Tignanello 2008 - Antinori - BUY - £80
Deep, intense ruby red. Aromatically very fruit forward with black fruits dominating hints of spice and earth. On the palate this wine is impressively smooth, with medium + acidity and layers of black fruit, particularly dark cherries unfolding easily and readily on the attack & through to the finish. Of course this wine is tannic right now but even for early drinking this Tig was well balanced. Tignanello 2008 has an elegant yet firm structure and great length. How it will unfold over the next 10-15 years? I'm afraid I'll only have to guess! 95 Points
Antinori's Tignanello 2008 has officially reached the status of wine bling. One of a handful of Italian wines (particularly Super Tuscans) set to climb in price over the next 12-18 months, out of reach for the majority of UK wine buyers as Chinese collectors and oenophiles begin to buy up Italian "status" wines.
Was it only a year ago I was lamenting the price of Tignanello 2006? Too bad, the '06, '07 and '08 vintages can expect to reach and exceed £100 in the coming months according to all sources.
There's been plenty written about the potential for Italian "status" wines to go stratospheric in the press lately (see Decanter April 2012 and Vino Al Vino) but it wasn't until a Bordeaux wine investment company called my home number and tried to flog me a few cases of Sassicaia that I realised how hot these wines are right now.
How do these people get your number and know your interests? And if they know this much, why don't they know I'm not good for several cases of outrageously priced wine? They're not quite as irritating as the "Turn your computer on, you have a virus and must download some software from www.dodgybuggers.org" people, but they're still rather creepy.
Masciarelli Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2009
"Give it a shake and aim it at yours friends" - is surely more fun?
Valle d'Aosta Wine
The Valle d'Aosta; currently synonymous with numerous oddities, skiing, snow, castles, Savoy, Italians speaking French, being tiny, many things, although the Valle d'Aosta produces fabulous wine, some extraordinary and celebrated, the UK wine radar does not pick up the Valle d'Aosta wine waves.
Having had a taste-tastic past experience with Les Cretes, the Gambero Rosso luvvy of the region, I thought I would organise a tasting of the best wines from the Valle d'Aosta from my family home in Umbria and host it at the house of my vintner near neighbour. Possibly a mistake...
Valle d'Aosta wine is nothing like Tuscan or Umbrian wine, its not even close, the grapes are different, the terroir is different, the weather is different.
Valle d'Aosta wines may be considered atypical in terms of our anglo-impressions of Italian wine, in fact blind, you may think these wines are from Germany or Eastern Europe.
Will a Sangiovese/Merlot winemaker, with a healthy dose of campanilismo give these wines a warm reception?
Not a chance. Is he wrong? Certainly.
Nowhere is it more obvious that wine evolves around the food of the region than in Italy, this IS a time when you can generalise about a country's wine. The wines of the Valle d'Aosta represents their region, of course its terroir and indigenous grapes, but also, it's food.
This wine was not made for the palates of Southern Italians or our English palates, so ingrained with Sangiovese and Sun when we do Italian. When trying the wines of the Valle d'Aosta for the first time you may need to do some mental readjustment (unless you are already au fait with the Piedmont). Certainly with the reds, less so with the whites. We Brits cope well with Muller Thurgau, Muscat and even Petit Arvine but it's the regions Chardonnays that will spark recognition and therefore often, enjoyment, for most.
Last month we tried 50 of the best Valle d'Aosta wines kindly provided by some of the very best producers in the region. Wines from Les Cretes, Anselmet, La Crotta and rising star Elio Ottin were kindly sent direct from the producers themselves and the next 4 blog posts will be dedicated to each producer in turn. But before this, let's get up to speed on this little region with big potential.
10 Valle d'Aosta Wine Facts!
1. Valle d'Aosta is Italy's smallest region and has a wine production of just 3 million litres per year.
2. Although 25 different wines are produced here, from Nebbiolo and Chardonnay to Petit Rouge and Pinor Noir there is but one DOC, the DOC Valle d'Aosta.
3. The Valle d'Aosta is home to the highest classified vineyards in Italy at Morgex.
4. The Valle d'Aosta's most celebrated/decorated wines are its Chardonany and Fumin.
5. Barolo fans may find something interesting in the wines of Donnas, a Nebbiolo wine just over the Piedmont border in the Valle d'Aosta, these wines have been steadily improving in quality over the last 10 years but are still relatively cheap and unknown outside Italy.
6. Although the Valle d'Aosta is located in the alps it has a continental climate with long, hot and dry summers with harvest time in early September.
7. The region is split into 3 main vineyard areas; the Valdigne, the Valle Centrale and the Bassa Valley (that's Upper Valley, Central Valley and Lower Valley to you).
8. You heard that Phylloxera wiped out the vineyards of Europe? Not so in the highest most reaches of the alps where, at over 3900 feet, those bugs took one look at the mountains and thought "nah".
9. Even in such a tiny and mountainous area, there are marked differences in the soils of the area. As a rule of thumb you can say the higher up you go the sandier the soil, the lower down, the more alluvial with clay and gravel featuring.
10. The region produces a diverse range of wines. Not only are their 25 different wines produced, these include light and bold red and whites, sweet and sparkling wines. It's an interesting and diverse region and one any wine lover should take some time to get to know.
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Favourite Valle d'Aosta Wine? Cant stand Valle d'Aosta wine? Never heard of Valle d'Aosta wine? Talk to me!
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Rivetto Barbera d'Alba 2008 Zio Nando
FACTFILE - Rivetto Barbera d'Alba Zio Nando 2008
Name: Rivetto Barbera d'Alba Zio Nando
Grapes: 100% Barbera
Classification: Barbera d'Alba DOC (Sinio)
Style: Barbera is food wine. High acid, with a black cherry profile and at their best capable of ageing. This Barbera is very well made with a sense of place due to some interesting forest floor notes. Maybe that's the 08 rain showing up! 18 Months in oak, manual harvest, stalk removal, partial 1944 vines = quality, care & attention.
Vintage: 2008 started poorly in the Piedmont with rain and cool weather bringing rot to some areas; there was much work to be done in the vineyard during the first half of the vintage. Rain continued into the summer months although the final ripening of the grapes was accompanied by some more stable warm weather. The vintage suited Nebbiolo rather than Barbera, although Barbera is a hardy grape and with loving care some fine Barbera wines were crafted.
Food Pairing: Meat and Pasta - naturally! Though such an acidic grape makes a wonderful pairing for many dishes including veal, lasagne and cheeses. What you really want to know... will Zio Nando go with actual Nando's? Surely a challenge begging to be taken?
Uncle Nando would be pretty chuffed with this wine. A 90 point Barbera d'Alba without hesitation with his name on the bottle and a % of the grapes from the vines he planted in 1944. Brothers, Alessandro and Enrico Rivetto currently produce 12 different wines at their Langhe estate which has been run by the Rivetto family since 1939 although the family story in wine goes back even further than that. These wines are all of a fairly small production, this 08 Barbera runs to just 10,000 bottles, their other wines, to similar low figures.
Total Rivetto Production
3 Barbera d'Alba
1 Dolcetto d'Alba
1 Langhe Nebbiolo
1 Moscato d'Asti
1 Langhe Nascetta
I wonder if the Rivetto estate is visited by slightly more females wine enthusiasts than male?
Rivetto Barbera d'Alba Zio Nando 2008 - BUY - £25
Thick dark ruby red in the glass. The perfume of this wine is divine, with forest fruits coming through strongly as well as sweet vanilla and a touch of chocolate, reminds me of a Mon Cherie chocolate. Evolves on the palate with a gentle attack, fruit forward mid palate (cherries) and a strong acidity that is well balanced. The fruit continues throughout the experience. Really strong effort especially considering the strife of '08. 91 Points
Where can I buy this wine? - Everywine
This Rivetto Barbera d'Alba 2008 Zio Nando, together with the Rivetto 2007 Barolo Serralunga, was very kindly sent to me by Rita Barbero who is in charge of their wine blog and marketing.
Germano Ettore Barolo Prapo 2005 - ENTER BAROLO COMPETITION HERE
The last I heard, there were only 12 more entries needed before the first draw of this competition so if you fancy bagging yourself the two previous Barolo wines I have reviewed (and this one) get yourself over to the Design Wine's Barolo competition. All you need to do is enter your email to stand a chance of winning all three of these Barolos. Design Wine are giving you four chances to win this Barolo trilogy and time is running out, so off you go, I'll wait here while you're doing it.
Finished? Okay, good. So onto this wine, the Germano Ettore Barolo Prapo 2005.
Germano Ettore Barolo Prapo 2005
A mid garnet red, the wine invites you to take in its aromas by teasing you from the cork pop. On the nose this Barolo offers plenty of oak but dies away a little to reveal strawberries, some herb notes (thyme) and a touch of graphite. The palate is full bodied, tight and tannic telling me we may need to wait a while to see the best of the Germano Ettore Barolo Prapo 2005. The finish is of good length and pleasantly persistent. 86 Points
For those wondering why anyone would call their wine "Prapo", this is a Barolo cru, like Ginestra or Rocche, it is not simply another mannered example of Italish.
Like the previous two wines, this is a low production example of Barolo and pretty rare. Not sold at all in the UK in fact except by Design Wines. Only 5000 bottles of the '05 exist and knowing the Italians half of them will have had their lives cut tragically short already. So this is your chance to take home a piece of Serralunga memorabilia and give a Barolo a good home.
Let me know if you win! Happy Wimbledon Ladies Quarter Finals Day.
*New Blog edited by me Smichov Hotels Prague
G B Burlotto Barolo Acclivi 2005 - Enter Competition to Win 3 Bottles of Barolo
Italian Wine Fans unite! This is the first of three Barolo entries on the run from DesignWine and one of the wines offered in their fabulous competition to win 3 bottles of Barolo for the terribly difficult task of entering your name and email here. There are 4 minipacks of Barolo to be won and the winners will be drawn at random every 250/500/750 and 1000th entry, thems are pretty good odds what not?
But, is this particular Barolo worth winning? Having had some experience of the three Barolos on offer I had a fair idea that this wine would give a pretty good show. 2005 was a super little Barolo vintage and the third in a run of five high class Barolo years but the 2005 G.B.Burlotto Acclivi was new to me and what surprised me was how well this wine is drinking today. I'm not sure this wine is really going to improve significantly over the next few years.
This wine, the Acclivi, is one of five different Barolo wines produced by G B Burlotto, their top wine being the Monvigliero which I'm sure is still a long way from being ready.
So to this wine, the 2005 G B Burlotto Barolo Acclivi ....
G B Burlotto Barolo Acclivi 2005 - WIN - £25-30 where sold.
Beautiful ruby red in the glass, takes a good hour to open up but when it does the intense aroma makes its way to you before you lift the glass. Typical and stunning Nebbiolo notes with strawberry, glazed cherry, marzipan, sweet spicy oak and a touch of orange peel. A silky mouth feel offers firm tannins that are gently washed away with perfect acidity although the finish is a little clipped. You are left with a somewhat watery finish and this is a surprise considering how enjoyable the first 30 seconds of this wine were. A good Barolo and fair for this price but not awesome, however, ready to drink and displaying good typicity. 89 Points
Where can I buy this wine?
Why buy it when you can win it? I guess if you don't win the 3 pack you could buy it instead. This particular wine is easy to locate, available in the US, Italy, Europe and the UK from many online wine stores and of course, Design Wine. If you're still stuck may I suggest - wine-searcher.com
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As always, any reviews of Burlotto Barolo welcome and if you are one of the lucky 4 winners it would be really cool to hear from you and how you enjoyed (or didn't!) this Barolo.
Barolo 2005 - Design Wine Competition - ENTER COMPETITION HERE - 4 Chances to Win!
Who fancies some Barolo? If you're like me the answer is "yes please" and "always". Italian wine fans generally agree that Nebbiolo is the Italian grape and Barolo, her finest expression, and so it's with great excitement that I can tell the readers of the Wine90 blog and its incessant Twitter feed that I, together with Design Wine, have created a fabulous competition allowing all wine fans FOUR chances to win 3 superb bottles of Barolo from the excellent 2005 vintage. Four lucky Wine90 readers will win these wines (worth £109) - Barolo 2005 Trilogy by doing nothing more than registering with Design Wine, which, if you're a UK Italian wine fan, you should deffo do anyway!
Design Wines (www.designwine.com) have established themselves very quickly in the online wine market within Italy offering hand selected Italian wines via a clean and informative website and are now ready to operate in the UK. Even though we, the British, are the second biggest importer of Italian wine, it can still be, as we at Wine90 know all too well, tough to source the finest Italian wines. So, I for one am really chuffed to see Design Wine now able to sell to us Brits especially as around 60% of their wines are just not available in the UK.
OK, you want to know how to win the wine? You don't want to hear how I am going to be reviewing a wine each day and that you can taste along with me? No, you don't want any of that, you just to want to know how to win? Pft
Fine. Very simply - sign up here - http://www.designwine.co.uk/
We are looking for just 1000 registrations, every 250th registration will win the 3 pack of Barolo, simple as that, you can get your friends to register, your mum, her mum, probably not her mum but maybe... there are but two snags,
1) You must be old enough to drink
2) You must live in the UK or Ireland
Tell your chums, tell everyone you know who likes wine and even if you don't win yourself, who knows, they may save you a glass (though probably not, I wouldn't).
Leave a Comment:
I will be tasting all 3 of these Barolo wines in the upcoming blog entries but what I would really like to know is... which competition for Italian wine would you be most interested in? Would you like to win wines from the Alto Adige, wines from 2001, wine books, how can I tempt thee?