mercoledì 11 aprile 2018

Nebbiolo and his shade

Nebbiolo and his shade…
Thursday 19th April

Nebbiolo dinner at Michelangelo, Queen street CBD.
Pouring exclusively “Nebbiolo” Italian wines

Matteo will present 3 dishes paired with 5 glasses of Nebbiolo from Italy.
The pairing will be done by Mastrovincenzo Raffaele, Gourmet Traveller Australia Sommelier of the Year 2016.
Raffaele loves the cuisine and the service of Michelangelo so this collaboration comes quite naturally between Ilaria, Matteo and Raffaele.
Matteo will prepare dishes with complexity, subtleness and regional characteristic which will marriage the choice of wines made by Raffaele.. Ilaria will bring her magical service into the night.

Nebbiolo is definitely the king grape varieties of Italy.
From Northern Italy on the West part, mainly on the region of Piedimonte and Lombardia.
Barolo and Barbaresco are the main Appellation or Denomination which made him “Nebbiolo” famous around the world.
These two denominations are producing cellaring wines to be drunk after a while of the state vintage, long ageing potential and definitely great pleasure with food.
Nebbiolo takes his name from the foggy layer or dust on the skin of the grape; a foggy resemblance.

This grape varieties before release needs time in barrel to give a softened element to the tannin which are the main characteristic of this variety.

Long ageing process result on oxidative notes elements through nose and palate: dry rose petal, violet, licorice and sour red fruit… element of minerality as tar, dusty rocks and leather which come from the calcareous stony bed rock soil of this area.

In this tasting we would like to showcase wines coming from Nebbiolo grape in different areas as well the classic Langhe denomination Barolo and Barbaresco.

In the northern part of Piedimonte there is an area called ALTO PIEMONTE with more heroic viticulture with psophourous, lime and clay soil. The Nebbiolo locally called Spanna is made here, it is still having a great ageing potential, however the different soil and this more austere climate definitely 100% continental, will give to the wines fresh crispy tension acidity but with finer elegant tannin with the core of minerality you expect on the brother Barolo and Barbaresco.

The two denomination we will pour will be Gattinara, a DOCG and the neighbourhood Bramaterra DOC.  

In Lombardia region in the north part there is another denomination called Valtellina that perfectly capture the pure essence of Nebbiolo and here the vines are all built on terrace perimeter by ancient stone wall. Soil is calcareous and full active limestone, Nebbiolo locally called Chiavennasca is bright cherry, mineraand silky present tannin.

Cheers & Salute!

215 Queen St, Melbourne VIC 3000

mercoledì 28 marzo 2018

2005 millesime / Avize / Champagne / Anselme Selosse

2005 millesime / Avize / Champagne /  Anselme Selosse 

The Vintage 2018 has been for me a great start, I decide to have more time for my self.
So with a little sadness and great excitement I decided to finish work as a Restaurant manager and Wine director for a restaurant in Melbourne in the last 2 years. 
Working at IDES in Melbourne has been a great opportunity and learning process, however as always happening in the world of Hospitality there is always an end. 
So good news I can start again looking after my little tasting diary in this space, unknown for the majority of people. 

I have been drinking numerous great wines in the last years, and i would like to go back and write about them. 

Last week I was very fortunate to try the new vintage of Anselme Selosse 2005. 
Selosse is a man who changed the philosophy of Champagne in the region. 
With Lydia and Claude Bourguignon he began to revive his soils. He started with organic and later with biodynamic farming, but he couldn't find the harmony he was looking so he didn't pursue either. 
A true believer of Terroir, for Anselme a terroir has three core elements 


Soil is a complete micro-cosmos "Aerobic top soil and Anaerobic subsoil" every tiny part in this two division between the soils plays a role. 

Winemaking is like an art collector; needs to put together lots of pieces of art to create an exhibition, so Selosse put together all the pieces the land gives to him into a cuvee. 

Harmony is making sure through the vineyard and the winery every step contains a balance and therefore a harmony. 

2005 blanc de blanc
is opulent, elegant, zesty, oxidative great tension, an abundance of citrus zest fruit orange and grapefruit, stewed apple and pear juice, toasted cashew nuts, long saline finish. 
through the time we were drinking this millesime it was a continuous evolving stage....




Wine writer and listening sculpture sound: Abruzzo & Melbourne


wine / spirit / lambic / drinker

venerdì 1 gennaio 2016

Thomas Pico Pattes Loup visit in Courgis Chablis

Thomas Pico is a very young producer located at the edge of Chablis in the village of Courgis.
Thomas study enology in Beaune, his family are traditional producer in Chablis with the Domaine Boys D'Yver.
In 2004 take over from his family 8 hectare of vineyard and converted in organic farming, currently certified Ecocert.
2006 was the first vintage bottle under the name Pattes Loup.
All his production and family production are certified organic.
We visit him not long ago in our trip to Chablis, quite unforgettable experience we arrived in the afternoon around 4:30pm and we were welcome by a nice lady, she was very kind and let us tasted some wines while we were waiting Thomas.
The wine was the 2013 vintage a quite rich fatty vintage but the wines of Pattes Loup especially the 1er cru Vaillons and Beauregard were fully of energy with slight rich apple nose, fresh, clean and tension.
When Thomas arrived we went into the cellar and show us the way he work with his grape, traditional hand made harvest the latest as possible for get enough tertiary aroma. The grapes are pressed and than without pumping so for gravitation the juice going straight to the cave were rested before going back to the tank to be assembled and bottle. His philosophy is quite simple old barrel or as well some concrete eggs to not let the wine take excessive flavor and tannin from the oak.
He doesn't do any battonage because he think this mechanical exercise forcing something in the wine making him too rich.
His wines especially the premier cru are not filtered, he told us the dead lees after 18 months in barrel are good sediment for the wine, which will keep them alive.
the cave "cellar"
des ouefs

Thomas is showed me as he is using his barrel straight to the maximum of their life, he will never changing one if it work.
Until they are the perfect container he will push it.
in the vat room were we tasting mostly the 2015 vintage, here the wine looking very mineral full of energy, but quite tight needs to be in the bottle and restaurant and wine shop cellar.
I things in my wine list, would be appropriated to listed..
thanks to Thomas and his wine, amazing experience.

domenica 27 dicembre 2015

Tiny cellar in Poinchy by Laurent Tribut.

Tiny cellar in Poinchy by Laurent Tribut. 
A very small vigneron with only 7 hectare as AC Chablis, Beauroy, Cote de Lechet and Montmains as premier cru.
His approach is very traditional old barrel, minimal intervention only ambient yeast and Sulphur is used only for cleaning the barrel. his wines looks tight, cheesy and mineral.. As every good producer in Chablis the wine to get the right balance needs 5 to 7 years to express their potential, to me is one of the best Chablis producer. 
Last week in his cellar we tasted from the barrel all the 2015 
Ac Chablis very express with less minerality but perfect acidity 
1er Cru Beauroy the fattest of all his 1er cru, quite expressive with longevity and fattiness.
1er Cru Cote de Lechet quite limestone, shellfish fossil minerality as well body and fattiness but a bit more tight than Beauroy.
1er Cru Montmains is my favorite of all his cuvee reductive mineral with crazy acidity and quite salty…
                                                             Laurent pouring the wine
                                                                 selecting the barrel
        good friend

         an old barrel from Dauvissat grand father 

lunedì 21 dicembre 2015

Renè & Vincent Dauvissat cellar

visit at Dauvissat cellar

We managed to get an appointment at Rene & Vincent Dauvissat by our friend importer of wine.
This winery is in the centre of Chablis just 2 minute walk from Domaine Raveneau; 
we were greeted by the daughter of Vincent which at first glance didn't
 believe we had an appointment, but in a minute she realize we were booked as soon as we told the name of the Italian importer.
So she called Vincent, this skinny fit man lead us to his barrel cellar, an underground space full of 228l barrel and of course some Feuillette barrel 132l.
The cave is full of mould on the wall and very old, my mind thought the bacteria and the ambient yeast present in that cellar make this wine quite special.
For me every time i drunk one of his bottle it was always an incredible experience, these wines with Raveneau wines with some age become incredible, fascinating details and full of expression.
To me Dauvissat are the perfect example of the terroir of Chablis, we tasted the vintage 2013 which was a hot one and by the press and talking with the producer they all talk about the difficult on acidity but generosity and fattiness it is the style; however for Vincent is quite a classic vintage.

With him i tasted from Petit Chablis, Sechet premier cru which is a Lieux dit in Vaillons, Foret premier cru a Lieux dit in Montmains and Vaillons 1er cru:
this wine weren't exotic at all but tight and minerally with a green apple nose. Sechet shows more dimension and complexity, Foret was full of energy but very nervous was fighting with my gum/ teeth; they have an attitude as 2011 from my memory. 
After that we tasted grand cru Les Clos a salty mineral wine with body and extra dimension from the 1er cru site, last bottle was a Les Preuses bit more feminine than Le Clos but complex and minerally but less sapidity and body.
After we talked a bit with my poor french, and very lucky my italian sim card worked in the cellar so I had access to google translate to create more sense of my questions, we talked extensively about ambient yeast or cultivated use of yeast and he suddenly opened a 2002 La Foret.

This was a very good surprise, when you smell a 13 years old Chablis you feel in heaven.. then if it is a Dauvissat one and opened by Vincent for a minute i felt the happiest person in the world, Foret which means forest is small parcel in Montmains with a small forest nearby, 02 was  deeper in color but with green shade on the rim showing is youthful nose here was a bit open, yellow skin apple, apple juice, citrus skin, mushroom, crust hard cheese and definitely depth and complexity with honey and dry flower, palate great length.

Back to the yeast Dauvissat told me he's using it almost always with wild one but some vintage due to the crazy cold temperature in Chablis he needs to inoculate at the beginning of the fermentation.
This was a 45 minute visit and was quite remarkable for my personal memory.

venerdì 18 dicembre 2015

Domaine Raveneau

I have been very fortunate to visit Domaine Raveneau in Rue de Chichee at the number 9 in Chablis.
To welcome us was Messier Raveneau and his daughter Isabelle.
Was an outstanding experience quite unforgettable. We tasted through the 2014 vintage from barrel from chablis AC and a good extensive tasting on the premier cru.
Raveneau work quite traditionally hand picking, malolactic is always done but not forced, elevage in old barrel 228hl and some Feuilletes half size of a barrel, which in chablis is the measure to sell wine in a negociant market.

From 2014 we tasted the lieu dit FORET and BUTTEAUX from the hill of Montmains premier cru.
Both very tight and full of energy show some kerosene character which Isabelle told us, great acidity and champignon mushroom hints.
Then the surprise come from the Monte de Tonnere vineyard the 2014 was showing and acting as a grand cru, very closed with an acid structure high but balanced from the malo which give the smoothness and the length to the wine.
Vaillons also very citrus, mineral and very closed, this wine need some aging in bottle before express their potential.
The Grand we tasted were Valmur and Le Clos:

Le Clos was my favorite salty and super mineral shellfish, crush rock and "fleur du rock" a salty stony but also very closed.
The surprise come at the end, when Bernard open a bottle of Valmur 2008 to show us how the wine age, as well even here was super fresh, mineral with tension and energy.
We told him we drunk for lunch just down the road in gastronomy restaurant Hostellerie du Clos (who has a really good chablis wine list) a 1999 Monte de Tonnere from Bernard and that was an amazing experience.

Long life to this amazing producer, we had a really great time and their hospitality was superbly good.

giovedì 13 agosto 2015

The Nouvelle Vague of Barbaresco

The Nouvelle Vague of Barbaresco 

Cascina Roccalini 
Paolo Veglio is the man behind Cascina Roccalini, Veglio was born in 1978, He does the farmer since he is 14 years old. Since 1993, the grapes were transferred to Giacosa wines, which told him in private that these plots are one the best grapes in the whole area of Barbaresco. It is no coincidence that just attached to this vineyards are the vineyards that give life to Sorì Tildin of Angelo Gaja.
Paolo from 2004 decided to start bottling his wine and label under the name Cascina Roccalini. He challenged the crisis and initial it was not easy. Initially it got help from Dante Scaglione, the winemaker of Bruno Giacosa; the man did the most beautiful red labels of the Langhe; and then for unknown reason has been fired and replaced by the winemaker of Batasiolo. Dante Scaglione is perhaps the most important and expertise winemaker of the Nebbiolo. Veglio was part of the Vini Veri association but not anymore . His is a very small production just 3 Bergamotto Botti and few bottles and strongly traditionally. So far I had the 2009 and the 2010 vintage lovely pure wines which great finesse and class.. And minerality the core of his wines

Piero Busso
Since 1980 has been making wines of unquestionable quality and undeniable link with the territory of origin located in Neive The Winery Piero Busso are demonstrate great environmental sensitivity, not use chemical herbicides and enriches the soil only with natural compounds.
To all this, the treatment as natural as possible in the cellar, that avoids excessive use of technology and chemistry. They have Cru as San Stunet, San Stefanetto and mostly important the famous Gallina vineyard which was one of the beauty of Giacosa used to meatyage and vinified for a while.
This are wine show lovely tradition Nebbiolo style; even if you notice they using small barrel as barrique which are never new and and very gently handle, just to explode the talking between tradition and modernist..
Gallina 2009 was wonderful class with tones of strawberry and violets, with rich tannin and savory notes and limestone minerality.. A great producers to watch. 

domenica 9 agosto 2015

American history rootstocks

American rootstocks. The search for a solution to the problem of phylloxera led to seek vine plants naturally resistant or tolerant to the parasite. In the places of origin it had developed naturally a form of pest resistance to guarantee a normal life to the local vines. Experts went in search of these screws in the Americas and began attempting to graft. Some were rejected for manifest disaffinity, other for the poor capacity of rooting from cuttings because other undesirable behaviors induced in the graft. They were therefore identified three main species of screw defined suitable for the engagement with the Vitis vinifera. They are the Vitis Rupestris far left, Vitis Berlandieri far right, Vitis Riparia down left... This American rootstock saved the European Vitis Vinifera down right. Except from some vineyards are still in Pie Franc ‪#‎americanrootstock‬ ‪#‎rootstock‬ ‪#‎mineral wine‬

Vitis Riparia is used in fresh soils , with little limestone and in temperate environments , has the advantage of being very vigorous and anticipates budding and maturation . Vitis Rupestris " du Lot " is characterized by root system which tends to be resistance and very adaptable to limestone , good affinity for grafting and very suitable for cuttings , poor resistance to drought . Vitis Berlandieri has resistance to drought and limestone, very resistance to drought.

Rootstock mistakes can cost you a lot.

sabato 25 luglio 2015

old world vs. new world pure juice

Jean Claude Lapalu a small Vigneron in St Etienne La Varenne in Beaujolais. His approach of winemaking is very simple and straight forward a good friend of the oxygen and the grapes. He play with different vessel as barrels and Amphora. The So2 is almost an enemy, the use is very little and dictate by the vessel has been used, apparently the Amphora let him not to use any. 
His wines can have some pleasant VA and sour red fruit all support by the intense minerality showing in the glass.
Jauma from Mclaren vale in South Australia work in the same way of Lapalu but with different grapes. The man behind is a young sommelier in Australia which switch is career and move in other side making superbly nice wines with great drinkability; James Erskine is the man behind Jauma.
from the McLaren Vale sub appellations Blewitt Springs and Clarendon which are an extension of the Adelaide Hills, here in this part of the world there is cool breeze from the ocean and great diurnal temperature range. This characteristic make the wine full of energy and acid structure with great body. James prefer show the characteristic of the grapes rather than mask by the wood which is quite normal in Australian winemaking.
His wine are fresh clean and superbly attractive with not much tannin structure, silky and smooth the concentration of the fruit is paramount but are not sweet and jammy rather fresh and juicy a great vigneron for the New world winemaking.

martedì 28 aprile 2015

champagne tasting in Reims

Last week I spend a week in Champagne tasting in different fairs and I visit some great grower champagne… Some review below:
 Benoit Marguet 
A new small négociant producer. Benoit Marguet is the son of the former Champagne Marguet-Bonnerave single estate (RM) based in Grand Cru village Ambonnay on the Montaqgne de Reims.
His new concern is a small négociant (NM) Marguet Père et Fils which buys in nearly all of its grape needs, partly from the remaining family vineyards and from a network of likeminded growers.
Benoit is also very involved with the viticulture at Launois, he married The daughter of Launois Severine.
This producer is committed to organic working and some aspects of biodynamics involving working by the phases of the moon. No herbicides or pesticides are used. That cultivation drives root systems deeper, making for better vine water supply as roots are forced to go deeper. He experiments with cover crop too, believing grass removing the nitrogen and helping the oxigen in the vineyards and that will affect fermentation with more complex flavours.
About 35% of the wines are fermented in wood, old Bordeaux barriques of 225L.
He is impressed with the theories of two southern Rhône winemakers Alain and Philippe Viret of Domaine Viret at St-Maurice-sur-Eygues who promulgate ‘cosmoculture’, which aims to apply the principles of organics and biodynamism to winemaking and all the organisation of a winery and not simply grape growing.
His production is divide in Cru, Cuvée and Lieu dit
Lately I try Les Bermonts from the vintage 2010 in the village of Ambonnay disgorged in 2014
Chalky white fruit with apple and pear, no oak involved but really complex with toasted nuts, coffee power and ginger lolly. Lots of tension and energy a 0 grAm residual sugar focus in the palate with precise length. The chalkiness "Le crau" is very evident #mineralwine#benoitmarguet #ambonnay

David Leclapart L'Astre from The millesime 2010 is a New Cuvee by this amazing Champagne pruducer. I just spend a week in Champagne and I tasted several cuvée and loved all the producer presenting their wines. However I did find this cuvée very distinctive is a Pinot noir 100% from the village of Trepail below the grand cru Verzy near Villers Marmery; this premier cru is know to be a Chardonnay dominant. This cuvée will replace the famous Rose de Saignee of Leclapart L'Alchimiste. The color is very interesting he did me fall in love with it, copper, bright orange and star bright the French use this term to describe it "Oeil de Perdrix". Obtained in a certain moment of the pressing of Pinot noir, David told me this it did coming because in all his Champagne the first Taille pressing are always involved which give an extra dimension to the wine and also due of the old vines. The nose was smoky, hash, burnt hay, herbal, bruised apple with hint of blueberry and gun flint character. Palate very textural concentrate with lovely crispy acidity and sensation of rock very terroir driving, energetic and tight 

...a masterpiece ... #mineralwine #terresetvins #leclapart

Benoit Dehu from Fossoy in Valle de la Marne is the man behind Pinot Meunier and crazy idea about champagne. This Coteaux Champenoise is somenthing between Chambolle and Cote rotie to use an Oxymora @origineschampagne #origineschampagne#benoitdehu

Alex Chartogne a young winemaker from Champagne in the Village of Merfy. This guy is full of energy and with very precise and profound theory on how express the terroir of his single vineyards and the soil of Merfy.. Amazed about him #mineralwine #merfy
Anselme Selosse visit

We need an extensive visit at Anselme Selosse cellar, we went trough all the barrel cave tasted different lieu fit from different barrique, and find the vin de claire quite burgundian or chablisiene style.
The wine in barrel weren't versus the sharping acidity of the early picking you except for a still wine in Champagne to be ready to go in a bottle for a second fermentation.
After the rating in the cave we went to taste all the actual cuvee of Anselme:

Initial a NV entry level if I can call like that.
"Le Bout de Clos" from Ambonnay
"La Cote de Faraon" from Ay in the  "previously called Contraste for the Italian market"

"Sur le mont" Mareuil sur Ay

"Le Chantereines" from Avize

"Chemim de Chalon" Cramant
"Le Carelles" Les Mesnil

after that we tasted is new project method ancestral Luibe

and to finish is Chardonany passerillage for personal consuming 
Lieux dit Tasting with some Solera at Anselme Selosse #mineralwine #avize
La Cave de Selosse #champagne #avize #mineralwine