05 September 2020

Casetta, Vezza d'Alba

Please note Vezza d'Alba is not one of the Barolo "towns".  All of his grapes are grown within the "towns" and transported to the winery/cantina in Vezza.

All bottles were opened for us including some that were yet to be labeled.  We shall indicate which had not yet been labeled.

19 August 2020    The first was the 2012 Nebbiolo d'Alba, 14% alcohol.  The wine had the nose of Nebbiolo with a small amount of acid in the mouth.  We thought that the wine had a off taste right in the beginning but was gone almost immediately.  The wine had a bit of a brown color which could be explained that the a cousin of the grape is used to make Barolo which tends to turn a brownish color as it ages.  Leave for two years before opening.

The next was the 2009 Nebbiolo d'Alba, 13.5% alcohol.  It had a Nebbiolo nose and a good mouth with a slight acidity.  Leave for a year before opening.

Third was the 2006 Nebbiolo d' Alba Vigin, 13.5% alcohol.  This was a spectacular Nebbiolo.  All what you would ever want in a Nebbiolo is here.  We will leave in our cellar for a minimum of one year, more than likely longer. In our opinion, this is not a "food wine".  We believe it is a "conversation wine".  The label on this wine shows an old photo of the father of the secretary at Casetta carrying a box of grapes.  Purchased for our cellar.

Fourth was the 1996 Nebbiolo Roero Superiore, 13.5% alcohol.  For those that do not know the indication "Superiore", it means that the wine spent some time in small barrels.  Spectacular nose, heavy fruit.  We believe that you should leave this in your cellar for at least two years but if you cannot wait, give it a minimum of one year.  Purchased for our cellar.

Next was the 2006 Barbaresco, 13.5% alcohol.  The wine has a light Barbaresco nose that disappeared quickly but a very good Barbaresco mouth.  Leave in your cellar for a year before opening.

Sixth was the 2007 Barbaresco Riserva, 13.5% alcohol.  A nose with wood indications since it had spent time in barrels.  It disappears after some glass working.  Give it at least two years of rest before opening.

Next was the 2004 Barbaresco Riserva, 13.5% alcohol.  An acid nose, little wood therein, both overwhelmed by one of the best mouths we have encountered for this grape.  Give it at least three years in your cellar (and ours also).  Purchased for our cellar.

Eighth was the 2016 Barolo Casa Nere.  This was not labeled so alcohol was not available.  It had been in the bottle for only 20 days before we tasted it.  The nose is spectacular.  It has a very young mouth with heavy tannins.  We believe that it needs a minimum of five and probably up to ten years of rest before it really is ready to drink.  Purchased for our cellar.

Next was the 2014 Barolo Casa Nere, 14.5% alcohol.  Light Barolo nose and mouth.  We believe that this would be best as a "conversation wine".  Leave for two years in your cellar.

The 2011 Barolo La Serra Riserva was next, again a bottle not labeled.  Cherries in the nose, good mouth, serve with light foods.  Let rest for three to four years.

The 2010 Barolo La Serra Riserva was the eleventh wine.  This wine was the reason we contacted Casetta as we had tasted it at the 2019 La Morra Degustazione.  It was the only wine that day that we rated a 5!  It has a heavy Barolo nose, albeit slightly acidic.  The mouth was subdued with little or no tannins.  We believe it needs a minimum of five and probably some years longer for it to become the wine deserving of the high rating.  Purchased for our cellar.

Last was the 2009 Barolo Nicolello Riserva, 14.5% alcohol.  The nose is what you would expect for an older Barolo with a mouth slightly off that came around with some working of the glass.  We expect you should leave this in your cellar for at least three years.

We want to thank Ernesto, the owner for the hospitality and tasting.  We had arrived at the cantina around 1100 and ended up going to lunch after a few wines and returning for more afterwards.  We will add Casetta to our list of yearly visits.

04 April 2021 As we have written previously, we are running out of wines that are ready to drink, mainly because it has been almost a year since we have been able to visit a cantina to find new wines because of the lockdown here in Italy.  However, today as is all Sundays, Natalya had the kitchen.  It is Easter and she wanted to do somethings that she had not tried previously so I went into the cantina and brought up a bottle of the 2006 Nebbiolo d' Alba Vigin.  When I had tasted in at the cantina in Vezza, I thought that it was a very good example of the grape.  After tasting it seven months from bringing it home, I am convinced that we should have purchased at least two boxes of the wine rather than only one.  With only one exception, the wine went extremely well with lunch today.  That exception was that of Natalya's borsch.  The wine got lost in the different flavours of the soup.  However, she had also done chicken breast, sliced potatoes and sliced zucca on the barbecue.  All went quite well with the wine.  When we get the opportunity (and can leave the house), we will travel to see Ernesto to see if he has more.  We can only hope so.  Great grape juice, start to drink now for the next year.

2 September 2021  We are still, as noted above, short on great wine that is ready to drink.  Thus, another bottle of the 2006 Nebbiolo d'Alba Vigin was opened for Natalya's efforts in the kitchen for this Thursday.  It was very successful.  She made, using peppers from our garden, stuffing them with two different mixes...one was porcini mushrooms with cabbage and the second with ground chicken thighs (no antibiotics) and carnaroli (the type you should use for risotto) rice.  Great combinations in the very tasty green peppers!  Brava Natalya!

9 January 2022 A good lunch with a spectacular 2006 Nebbiolo d'Alba, from Casetta.  We served it with Pollo Milanese and Natalya's perogi.  The wine can still rest for another year but it is good now.

12 February 2022 Today we decided to open a bottle of Casetta's 2009 Nebbiolo d'Alba.  We had picked up three boxes from the winery for a holiday party we went to at La Mussia owned by our friends Laura and Claudio.  It went very well with all the different dishes that we served at the party.  One of the family, a wine maker, thought the wine was really a Barolo or very close to being one.  In any case, for our lunch, we had Thai yellow curry shrimp with green onions, tomatoes and some added peperoncini.  It was served on pasta that had been cooked in the curry.  It held up to that food very well.  We were very please with the wine.  We will contact the winery to see if they have another box that we can put in our cellar.

19 February 2022  Lunch today was made spectacular by a bottle of Casetta's 2009 Nebbiolo d'Alba.  Start was a spinach salad with black olives, ricci lettuce and avocado.  Then, Natalya's borsch.  Then, straciatella with french toast.  The main course was my rabbit stew with peperoni, garlic, rosmary, carrot, origano, tagliashe olives, cherry tomatoes, laurel, butter all sauteed in Arneis wine.  Again, the pasta was cooked in the liquid of the stew.  Great wine, did very well with the complicated dish.

12 June 2022 Today we opened a bottle of Ernesto's 2006 Nebbiolo d'Alba.  Natalya had made dolma, picking the leaves fresh from our grapevine and a pirogi of trout and potatoes.  The wine had a touch of off nose upon opening and continued off and on throughout the meal.  The mouth was fine and for the most part, the mouth was fine.  We have one bottle left in our cellar and will drink them sometime this year.

25 September 2022  The last of the 2006 Nebbiolo d'Alba has been served with a Sunday lunch:  steamed clams and mussels with sauteed salmon, pirogi of potato and porcini mushrooms, a salad of beets, corn, carrots, onion and black olives.  Desert was piroshki of apples from our orchard.  The wine was quite light in the mouth and was almost gone when the last was poured.  We strongly recommend that you open a bottle now to make sure your are not losing a very good wine.

29 December 2022 It was Natalya's day to make lunch and she made one of my favorites...dolma!  Dolma is stuffed grape leaves (for us, chicken and rice) and simmered in a tomato liquid.  She opened a bottle of the 2009 Nebbiolo d'Alba that I brought up from the cellar.  After just a minute or two, the wine took to the dolma (or was it the dolma to the wine?).  It was a perfect match.  If you have the wine, it is ready to drink.  But, we will go to Ernesto after the holiday to see if he has any more and to taste to 2008 Riserva Barbaresco.  It is a very good wine!!

12 February 2023 Today we had a filet of fish for lunch with Natalya's sauteed potatoes.  I had been wanting to open a bottle of the 1996 (yes, year is correct) Roero Superiore Nebiolo from Ernesto.  I had my doubts that the wine was still good.  The wine is very good and may need another six months to make it as good as it was made to be.  We have five bottles left.  I wonder if Ernesto has any more...Short trip calendared!

4 April 2023 We opened our last bottle of Ernesto's 2009 Nebbiolo d'Alba to celebrate my return from the hospital.  It was a great wine to bring me home.

5 April 2023 Natalya stuffed some pasta with ground chicken and soft cheese to handle the 1996 Casetta Roero Superiore Nebbiolo.  It went very well.  Be aware that the wine is a soft wine because of the age!

28 May 2023 Every time we open a bottle of the Roero Superiore 1996, we are surprised how good the wine is.  We had some new potatoes lightly sauteed after boiling and some chicken slices with sauce made from a Thai sauce.  The wine stood up to the lunch.  The wine should be on your table soon as it is 27 years old after all.  It is very good.

18 June 2023 We opened another bottle of the Roero Superiore 1996 for lunch today.  The wine is still very good that went well with a stuffed a pasta with bio chicken and mushrooms.  It was very good but we only have two bottles of the 1996.  Ernesto, any more or is the 1998 the next one available?

16 July 2023 We had one of Natalya's light taste lunches today.  So, I brought out the last bottle of the 1996 Roero Superiore Casetta wine.  The wine had been in large wood barrels (about 1200 liters) for three years.  The wine was perfect for the lunch especially after Natalya had gone to the wine class last year, she is quite good at talking about the taste of the wines we drink.  We have one more bottle of the 1996 so we have to go to Ernesto to see if he has more the '96 or if another year that is as good.

7 August 2023 It is Monday so it is chicken burger day!  We opened the last bottle of the 1996 Roero Superiore.  It went well with the burger.  Too bad it was the last bottle but it is ready to drink.  Have to go to Ernesto's to see what other older wines he has...

01 September 2023 The three years that I thought it would take to make the 2004 Barbaresco Riserva would be ready to drink so it was time to open a bottle for lunch.  Well, I was extremely close.  The wine went very well with Natalya's Thai shrimp, pasta and a vegetable sauce for the pasta.  We left a glass for me to taste in the evening to see if it needed more time in the cellar.  We decided that it was very close to be ready so we will leave the bottles left in the cellar for another six months.  It is a very good Barbaresco, better than the one we had a restaurant last Tuesday for my birthday.

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