Monthly Archives: May 2015

The 2011 Brunate from Beppe “Citrico” Rinaldi


On our current trip to Barolo we made a stop today to say hello to Enzo Brezza. We also had our lunch at his restaurant on top of his wine cellar (cantina). He has a great wine list that also includes other fellow wine makers. Today we decided to taste the newly released 2011 vintage of Brunate from Beppe Rinaldi. Readers can probably recognise the Barolo castle in the background.

Beppes Brunate is always great, but nothing yet compares to the amazing 2010 vintage tested here.

If anyone has missed out on our visit to them it is here.

2011 Barolo “Brunate”, G. Rinaldi

Sir Galahad:

Very transparent, blood orange red colour with light edges.

A lovely, quite immediate, very pretty and seductive perfume opens up in the decanter just after some minutes. Moreover, some Asian spices, violets and anise seeds. As always a dense and complex nose of which you can sit with for a while.

It emerges on the palate as very generous, filled with sweet, very ripe red fruit. In addition, pastry, anise and crystalline minerals. Balance is impressive and it is seamless with remarkably crisp acidity that effortlessly brings forward the aromas with just right level of freshness. Texture is impressively and unexpectedly smooth and soft too for this vintage. It lingers beautifully and with precision in the long, and pleasant characteristic finish. The fruit maybe just a little overly sweet as well as it may lack some complexity and depth, but everything else is perfect for this vintage.

It might be the best 2011 so far, only competing with the Francia from Roberto Conterno. It is approachable so open now but even better in two years. It will not be long lived.



Rather fruit driven and open nose with a slight sourish touch to the fruit, some balsamic notes, but also a floral expression containing some white flowers. Generous and open start to the wine.

On the palate the red fruit is very juicy and almost chewy, combining well with the tannic structure that is quite careful but adds texture. There are also some hints of salt and liquorice, and very soft barnyard notes. The fruit also gets more sweet in the finish of the wine. The acidity gives a careful tingling sensation on the tongue and adds energy and freshness more than precision.

This Rinaldi is generous, juicy and seductive, rather than elegant and complex. Exactly the expression this vintage should convey.


The 2012 version of the little “Chapelle” from Paul Jaboulet-Ainë

Like its superior bigger brother wine, this is a blend of the diverse terroirs (granite, gneiss stone, sand, etc) from the following vineyards; Les Bessards, Les Greffeux, Le Méal and Les Rocoules. The goal is to achieve richness, complexity and longevity. The chapelle eventually became the property of the negotiate Paul Jaboules Âine in 1919. Syrah grapes are raised in 20% new oak.

2012 Hermitage“La petit Chapelle”, Paul Jaboules Âine 

Colour is glowingly, deep red purple.

The nose emerges with an abundance of spices; salvia, rosemary, obvious black pepper but also ginger. All lifted by careful oak treatment, even though noticeable, it is still done with skill. In addition, eucalyptus leaves, balsamic fur, crushed stones and savoury notes.

On the palate it is fleshy, quite soft, round, supple and very thick, or should we be frank and say.. somewhat heavy and big, but strangely not powerful or hard at all even though the tannins take a some grip in your cheeks at this level. Aromas here are really dense from juicy, dark cherries, blackberries, iron-soil, roasted meat and very metallic minerals in the solid, highly concentrated and pleasantly persistent finish. Moreover, there are Acidity is really fresh and vivid wrapping saline black olives and balsamic dark, somewhat heavy, chalky minerals.

This may not be very elegant and overly complex yet, but currently it compensates this with precision, freshness, bold flavours and some depth as well as dry, persistent finish. After all, these are wines to lay down 10 years on.


A famous house in Barolo is not performing when it should

According to historical notes, the unifier of Italy, Vittorio Emmanuell II, the king of Sardinia, registered this estate’s piece of land in Barolo to his beloved Rosa that then named one of Fontafredda’s vineyards in Serralunda d’Alba. The barolo “normale” aims to render a classic blend that reuses their classic silver label. All good and promising and with a nice price tag to it as well.

2010 Barolo, Fontanafredda

Glowingly dark red colur with ligh edges.

After two hours, the nose emerges with typical rose petals, some grill smoke, dog rose, herbs and surprisingly notes of toasted oak. Unexpectedly, no tar but an overall fine nose.

The tannic cut is edgy and texture is not soft in accordance with the vintage characteristics, rather rough, dirty and sandy. The fruit is fine and just a little dry. Moreover, the palate offers saline underbrush, stew, some unpleasant bleach coffee, cedar and metallic chalky notes. It is bold, quite unbalanced and dissonant. In addition, even though it is quite persistent, the finish is unfortunately overly saline, too austere and dry.

No, even when considering the low price tag, this does not impress and the blend put together by winemaker Danilo Drocco and owner Andrea Farinetti truly under-performs in a vintage that is fantastic. Did they do a mistake or is this their cynical perception of a classic barolo really the kind with rough tannins and dried out fruit?


Two Roagna barbaresci from a warm vintage

We are great fans of Luca Roagna and his father’s wines and their focus on natural farming with flowers and multiple varieties of high grass growing between the vines that attracts pollinating insects. The Pajé vineyard that is just below their house in Paglieri and the nearby Asili are both offered in special bottling from older vines (vecchie vigne); 50 years or older.

2007 Pajé “vechie vigne”, Roagna

Colour is translucently dark red with blood orange nuances with transparently light-orange edges.

The nose emerges with distinct adhesive, burned firewood, tar, glycerin and beeswax. After several hours, there are no flowers but there is a subtle perfume and it is as always a very unique nose.

On the palate, now a little overly sweet dark cherry is dominant but also anise seeds, black tea, orange-peel and dry savoury notes. The acidity is fantastically balsamic, fresh and vivid wrapping passion fruit and dry honey. Texture is soft and tannins are now dense, chewy and approachable. It is medium bodied and and dense without any weight.

There is always this combo of balsamically fresh acidity and bold flavours, due to the 3-month very lengthy extraction, that make it such a unique experience to drink Roagna’s wines. The only downside here is the overly sweet fruit, but there is definitely no excessive alcohol and the label says 13.5% in a really warm vintage. Open in 2017.


2007 Asili “vechie vigne”, Roagna

Colour is translucently dark red with blood orange nuances with transparently light-orange edges.

The nose emerges with savoury notes, distinct oil paint, dried red flowers and smoke. After another four hours, thankfully, an interesting inner perfume arrives to the scene.

On the palate, there is an abundance of sweet fruit coated in fresh minerals, distinct savoury aromas, tar, anise seeds, orange peel and grime. As always the balsamic acidity is impressive and energetic wrapping dried honey. Body is mid weight and the wine is pleasantly mouth filling and quite forward, currently without finesse, in this warm vintage. Texture is soft, velvety and tannins are ripe but needs some more time to evolve into perfection. It is quite deep but it has not yet come together really, so needs a few more years of integration.

Acidity is great, has depth and as always it is full of bold flavours, but the wine is overly sweet and lacks the expected level of elegance from this site and older vines. However, no disturbing alcohol and tannins are perfectly ripe. Open in 2017.