(2022) A Cru vineyard Barolo from a warm vintage, this was aged six months in barrique before being transferred to 2,000-litre Slavonian oak casks for a further 24 months prior to bottling. The soft ruby core moves to brick on a broad rim, and the nose is mellow and developed, a little truffle and rose perfume over ripe autumnal hedgerow berries. Tobacco and a touch of Sandalwood underpin. In the mouth the wine flatters with creamy and soft mature fruits, but then a bit of the steely core is revealed, with very firm tannins and plenty of juicy acidity to enliven the more giving fruit of the mid-palate. A tough one to judge, but I think this still feels youthful and as though there is the balance there for considerable ageing potential.
(2022) 100% Cortese from the Gavi di Gavi DOCG in Piedmont, it sees a little skin contact and ageing on the lees. The nose has a bit of that skins grippiness, like melon rind or citrus peel, delicate apple and blossom fruit too. In the mouth it is typically light and saline, but there is a slippery texture to fill-out the palate, and plenty of juicy orange and lime fruit and acidity.
(2022) Available mid-May 2022, this is 100% cortese from the Araldica cooperative, aged four months on the lees. Very attractive nose combining something leafy and green, like soft wild herbs, with melon and a hint of Riesling-like waxiness. Plenty of crisp, lemony fruit and acidity on the palate, and that lees ageing adds some texture too for a useful lightweight white with a bit of substance.
(2022) Justerini & Brooks has worked with the Scavino family for thirty years, the company run today by sisters Enrica and Elisa Scavino. This is one of the 'modernist' estates of Barolo, using smaller French oak barriques in the cellar, but also concentrated on improving vineyard practises. Pale to medium soft ruby in colour, there's a delicately and exotically spiced plum compote character here, the Barolo 'tar and roses' description fits well, but elegant and discreet. In the mouth it is fresh and direct. Oak is very under-played, this being driven by a lean, firm fruit focus and pert acids, the grip of tannins adding to the slightly austere feeling of the wine.
(2022) From a vineyard that sits 290 metres above sea level and faces south to south-west on limestone soils. Aged for 18 months in large, old wooden cask. Beautiful perfume touching florals and kirsch, crisp tannins and acids, a fulsome creaminess and real fruit sweetness before a delicious, bitter herbal tang in the finish. Superb.
(2022) A Cru Barolo from this family estate, aged for over two years in large Slavonian oak casks. A firm, graphite and polished wood character here beneath taut, youthful black fruit, it is immediately concentrated and serious, but there's a floral, violet lift too in this young wine. The palate is equally polished and tight, the black fruit sinewy and dense, the very fine, authoritative tannins and acid balance suggesting cellaring will see this blossom over a decade or more.
(2022) David Dudley-Jones describes this as "Barbaresco by any other name," coming from younger vines of the Crus Pora & Rio Sordo. Lovely pale to medium colour, but youthful, with a delicate nose of violets and old roses, something that reminds me strangely of candy floss, and then a nutty, chestnut note beneath. That complexity does continue on the palate, where really grippy young tannins and tart black cherry acidity frame succulent red plum and cherry, some leather and firm spices into a long finish, ending on fruit and acidity in lovely harmony.
(2022) Musso produces its Barbaresco from its 10 hectares of family vineyards. Pale to medium Ruby in colour, the nose has crushed red berries, like cranberries and redcurrants, with floral tones and a certain peppery quality. In the mouth a fine, mineral-etched, dry and savoury character, the hint of juicy red fruit sweetness swept up in orangey acidity, that pepper again, and firm tannins adding a bit of sinewy grip.
(2021) From the Araldica co-op, 100% Cortese fashioned in a brisk style, mountain-stream fresh with firm pear and some leafy dill aromatics, then a strict palate of apple and apple cores, lemon and just softened a touch in the finish with a little fruit sweetness persisting.