14 September 2014

Cascina del Monastero - Annunziata, La Morra

The next day, we made our last stop of the trip at Cascina del Monastero in Annunziata.  We had met Beppe at a tasting in Asti earlier this year and had told him we would stop to taste all of his wines the next time we were in the area.  Cascina del Monastero is also an agriturismo so contact them if you are going to the area around La Morra for a nice place to stay and try their wines.

First was the 2011 Nebbiolo Langhe, 14% alcohol.  The bottle was opened for us.  Quite acidic with subdued fruit.  Recommend 3-4 years in the cellar to let it smooth out.  Euro 10 per bottle.

We then tried the 2009 Barolo Pernot, 14.5% alcohol.  This bottle was open for 24 hours before our arrival.  The fermentation time on this wine was 25 days under controlled temperature.  Light fruit, tannin and acids.  We consider this ready to drink.  Beppe then brought out the same wine that was produced for the Chinese market.  It had only eight days of fermentation which would practically eliminate any tannins and increase the fruit in the mouth.  Euro 20 a bottle.

Next was the 2010 Barolo Bricco Luciani, 14.5% alcohol.  Good fruit and acids with a nice nose.  Leave it four to five years in your cellar.  Euro 26 a bottle.

Last was the 2007 Barolo Riund Riserva, 14.5% alcohol.  We had tasted this one in Asti and wanted to put it in our cellar for further aging.  The wine has a beautiful Barolo nose with light acids and tannin.  Let rest for one to two years.  Euro 30 a bottle, purchased for our cellar.

26 May 2016  We opened the first bottle of the 2007 Riund Riserva Barolo today with a lunch of Russian Borsch and Lebanese Dolma.  We had expected the wine to be quite "big" and robust.  It was not.  The wine was quite soft (should not have been, IOHO) and should have stood up to the Borsch.  We now know that it is quite soft for a Riserva and should be drunk as a "conversation wine" rather than with food.  We will open another bottle around the end of 2016 to see if our opinion has changed.  This weekend, I hope to see Beppe at the Vinessage in Asti to talk to him about the wine.  If there are any things to report, you may read them here!!

2 November 2016  We opened, as promised, another bottle of the 2007 Riund Riserva Barolo for lunch today.  We served it with a lightly seasoned meal (see review just above) of sauteed vegetables and ground turkey.  Similar to the first bottle, there was a strange taste that neither one of us could pin down nor could we tell you what it was.  The best description of it was "unpleasant".  We decided to leave the bottle open for about 45 minutes to see what it would do, remain or go away.  It was still there after the 45 minutes but gone after one hour.  We have pushed the opening of the third bottle out to no earlier than June of 2017.  We hope that the strange flavor will have decided to fly away when it sees the cork gone.  In any case, a light Barolo, could be considered a conversation wine but leave it open for a hour if you open it now.

19 February 2017  We opened the next to the last bottle of the 2007 Riund Riserva for lunch today.  It seems like Sunday is "Barolo Day" in our house.  We have a number of bottles that are ready to drink so it might spill over to other days of the week but in any case, we will drink them.  Similar to the first and second bottles, there was a strange taste that neither of us could identify much less tell what it was.  After about 30 minutes, that strange taste was gone and what we had in our glasses was a very nice Barolo.  We felt it was not a "big" Barolo as we prefer but there really is nothing wrong with it if you give it a hour open before you pour it.  Of course, if you are in a hurry, just decant it and swirl it in the decanter.  We served the wine with a plate of pasta with a bagnetto sauce (as for the recipe).  It was an abnormal Sunday lunch as we had been to a Polenta dinner in Monale the evening before and were not interested in a big meal.  Next and last opening will be in late summer.

9 April 2017  The last bottle of the 2007 Riund Riserva was opened today for our lunch.  The menu was mozzarella di buffala, a plate of pasta with fresh asparagus tips from the garden of a friend and a hunters' turkey stew which had red bell peppers, sauteed mushrooms and onions seasoned with Sicilian oregano in a jar of tomatoes from our garden.  The wine matched very well with the stew.  If you have this, we would strongly suggest that you open a bottle to see its progress of maturation!

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