We visited this producer in Annunziata on the 9th of October 2011.
We were greeted by Walter who is the proprietor of this cantina and escorted to the tasting room. Soon thereafter, arrived a local woman with two winemakers from Puglia.
The first wine presented was his white which I did not taste but Natalya did.
Before we start on the discussion of his reds, we must tell you that we tasted the 2006 Barolos but were offered the 2004, 2005 or 2006 to buy. We took the 2004 as it is known to be a more approachable vintage than the 2006. Thus, this discussion is about the 2006. When we begin to open the 2004, we will update this post.
The first Barolo was the 2006 Rocchettevino which he called his "Barolo di base". It was aged one year in botte. This is not a "big" wine, more of an elegant one for lighter foods or even without a meal. The nose is very very nice. In our opinion, it still needs one year in the bottle.
We then tasted the 2006 Arborina. This was aged 22 months in barrique. It also has a very nice nose, is quite tannic and requires, IOHO, at least two years in the cellar. We bought bottles of this Barolo but, as noted above, the 2004..
We then tasted two of his Barberas, both very good wines.
The next wine was the 2008 Langhe Nebbiolo. It was aged one year in used botte. It also is quite tannic and needs a minimum of two years in the cellar to even out. We bought a full box of this wine.
The last was the 2004 Gattera. This was aged three years in large botte. The Gattera vineyeard is 85 years old so the wines can be considered to be of the top tier of his production. It is also quite tannic and requires at least three years in the cellar. We purchased the 2004 Gattera also.
These wines are highly recommended for those that have time and patience to allow them to reach their full potential.
28 December 2011, we opened a bottle of the 2008 Langhe Nebbiolo for lunch, just to see how it is doing. The bottle was opened at 1240 to drink with our lunch around 1430. By chance, the workman who we asked to fix our piano cottura some months ago arrived. Thus, lunch was delayed. We finally got to taste the wine around 1630. The tannins showed very well as did the grape. As lunch progressed for the next two hours, the wine came around and at the end of the bottle, we realized why we had purchased a full box. It had become one of the best Nebbiolos we had had in some time. We still recommend that it remain in the cellar for another two years but we will try another bottle around this time in 2012 and also try to purchase another box. It is really good grape juice.
25 November 2012 We opened a bottle of the 2004 Arborina for lunch with Chinese food today. It is still (please see previous comment above) a very tannic but very fruity wine. We opened it about a half hour before the first taste and tasted it throughout lunch for about another 90 minutes. We still believe it needs at least another year of cellar time before things begin to balance out but rest assured, it is a fine example of the type of Barolo that we enjoy...big and bold with lots of flavors and enough tannins to balance the fruit. As to our desire to purchase another box of the 2008 Nebbiolo, we spoke with a representative of the cantina at the La Morra tasting who assured us that the last six bottles would be ours when we passed the cantina the morning after. However, that trip was for naught as there was no one there when we arrived and after a half hour, we gave up. Obviously we were quite disappointed.
17 December 2014 For lunch today, we opened the last bottle of the 2004 Gattera. We had prepared a simple meal of chicken, potatoes from our garden and other vegetables. With regret, we must advise you that the Gattera is on its last legs. The wine, if you would have served it to us without any note of what it was, would not have shown as a Barolo. Luckily it was the last bottle in our cellar.