Friends old and new in Barolo & Barbaresco

Sebastian Payne MW & Shaun Kiernan continue on their trip visiting some new producers along with existing ones and discovering great food stops and artistic talents along the way.

A short stop next day to see Mauro Mascarello, about to reach his 80th year but still active, though his son Giuseppe and also his delightful daughter Elena now do much of the work. We will ship his 2013 Monprivato in January 2018, to offer to members this spring.

Mauro Mascarello with daughter Elena and wife Maria Teresa Mauro Mascarello with daughter Elena and wife Maria Teresa

The Cavallotto brothers

Sebastian and daughter Valentina overlooking the family's 25 hectares of superbly placed vineyards Sebastian and daughter Valentina overlooking the family's 25 hectares of superbly placed vineyards

On the next fold of the hills north from Monprivato with the same south-west exposure is Cavallotto's great Bricco Boschis vineyard. Brothers Alfio and Giuseppe are away but we are extremely well looked after by Valentina who lets us survey the vines from their father's traditional seat above the vines, before inspecting the cellar buried into the hill below the top of the vineyard. Cavallotto are traditional in the best sense, making wines to age, so the cellar has several vintages maturing away and the family home and private cellar has many older vintages.

The Barbera Vigna Cuculo (cuckoo) which impressed us last year is again wonderful in 2015. A wine with a good ten years life span. Their Barolo Bricco Boschis 2013 is a great wine but deserves keeping till 2023 so this we will store for the future.

...and this is the view ...and this is the view

A new address in Serralunga

A new address Schiavenza in Serralunga provides an excellent first visit but we are new here so our first order will be small. Enrica and Walter also have an excellent restaurant with a view of the vines, which is compensation

Schiavenza in Serralunga Schiavenza in Serralunga
A restaurant with a fabulous view of the vines A restaurant with a fabulous view of the vines

Barbaresco – deserving of more attention

I have long felt we have not paid enough attention to Barbaresco which saw knockout wines in 2015 and some excellent 2014s, because it had the best of the weather with much less rain than in Barolo.

At famous Barbaresco estate Paitin we saw Luca Pasquero Elia, recently returned from university and highly articulate and informed about the family estate. His more reserved father, Giovanni, is in the USA. We taste an impressive range from 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013 which proves a great start to our Barbaresco study. Paitin is based in Neive with their top wine from Serraboella.

Luca is highly articulate and informed about his family's estate Luca is highly articulate and informed about his family's estate
Enrico and his labels Enrico and his labels

Next step is Rizzi in Treiso where we renew friendship with Enrico Dellapiana and his sister Jolé. They have 15ha, soon to be 18ha in Rizzi, Nervo and Pajoré. Both 2014 and 2015 are looking terrific here, with nicely differentiated nuances of bouquet and flavour between each vineyard. Rizzi elegant and spicy; Nervo scented and flowery; Pajoré spicy, deeper and more assertive. Their Langhe Nebbiolo 2015, a baby Barbaresco looks a steal. My colleague Shaun Kiernan was also highly impressed by Enrico's artistic talents.

Rizzi labels Rizzi labels

Shaun Kiernan Shaun Kiernan

'This was my first trip to Barolo and Barbaresco and one of the highlights for me, and there were many, was a visit to Rizzi in Treiso, Barbaresco to see the very talented owner and winemaker Enrico. As well as making some really great wines, which include a delicious sparkling wine, Langhe Nebbiolo and some top Barbaresco crus, he also hand paints all the labels on his Riserva magnums. Every label tells a different story, all beautifully hand-painted separately. Production is small, offering something unique. Sadly, these are extremely sought after in China, making them a little pricey for us, we felt.'

Is there no end to the hidden talents of these passionate Italian winemakers?'

Shaun Kiernan
Fine Wine Manager

Last visit of the trip

Our last visit before driving back to Malpensa is to see Aldo Vacca, who has made the Produttori di Barbaresco one of the most successful well-directed co-operatives in the country. We have been selling his 2013 vintage which began to open up fully at the end of 2017, but I am even more impressed by his 2014 which shows the lovely violet bouquet and charming characteristic of Barbaresco backed by a seductive creamy palate. Look out for this over the coming weeks.

Gastronomic delights from the trip

Ravioli Barolo style Ravioli Barolo style
Truffle with a bit of pasta Truffle with a bit of pasta
Some cheese sir Some cheese sir
Some unusual glassware with a glass ball to airate the wine Some unusual glassware with a glass ball to airate the wine

Where to go next?

> Back to Barolo

> Return to trip overview

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