Tag Archives: Serralunga d’Alba

Oddero’s Vigna Rionda 11 years on..

If you ask me, the Vigna Rionda is probably the best vineyard in Serralunga d’Alba, Barolo. However, you still need a skilled producer to make it justice. It is certainly not an easy wine, but one to be patient with and that is why most producers release it very late. Usually at its 10 years birthday and Oddero is no exception. We met up with them back in 2013 and you can read about our visit here.


2005 Barolo “Vigna Rionda”, Oddero

As always less transparent with dense, ruby red colour.

The perfume is immediate, intense and compact with a noble combo of wood glue, dried flowers (lavendar, peony roses, lilies), bergamot, under vegetation, pine tree and exotic spices; mainly nutmeg and clove. Follow this wine for some hours, because it is rewarding. The terroir is very unique here and on the nose it is surprisingly much like the structured 2006 vintage.

On the palate there is gravel, earthy muchrooms and dry spices. It is compact, deep and well structured. The 2005 vintage is ok, but normally not for the long run: It was rainy and too little sun, so sometimes it lacks structure, fruit and can be perceived as diluted and unbalanced. This is far from dilution and it got pleanty of structure. However, tannins are still massive and it is not even near integrated either, so this will need plenty of more time in the cellar still. It may not be the most balanced wine and texture is displeasing, but I think it is rich offering a lot of terroir and the acidity is just enough to keep it fresh wrapping bergamot in the very dry finish. It is certainly not a main stream wine for the crowd, but it is from a very unique terroir. Open in 2022 is my educated guess after tasting wines from this vineyard. Tasted on the 2/12-2016.


Another interesting Serralunga d’Alba barolo producer

We know several Conternos’ in Barolo, but we had never heard of Diego Conterno before, but their 2011 barolo is actually very good and simply adds to the quite long line that stands out in the 2011 vintage of traditional baroli from Monforte d’Alba in this case and its neighbouring area, Serralunga d’Alba. After a quick search on the net, it turns out that this is one of the cousins that started up the estate Conterno Fantino, who still makes overly modern and pointlessly, market-pleasing and insanely, oaky baroli had us worried at first, but fortunately this wine was no such wine. Diego and his son Stefano appear to be worshipping their lands and work traditionally including long extraction and neutral barrels; which is fine music to our ears as long as you do everything right in the vineyard and conduct meticulous selection of grapes. We just had to compare it to the fabulous vintage 2010 that is still around.


2011 Barolo, DIego Conterno

Typical rubber rain coat on the nose, obvious glycerine, beeswax, Asian spices, nutmeg and subtle tar hits the nose directly after opening the bottle, but much later, after several hours of decanting, a complex, compelling and fragrant nose of rose petals, white lilies, cardamon and green curry arrives to the scene.

A fresh, balsamic acidity wrapping dried honey and minerals is very good in here and lifts it all. Sweet, racy and ripe blue- and red fruit, notes of newly cut ginger, anise seeds, fennel, cinnamon, and chalky, dark minerals infused with delicate metals. In addition, some pleasant notes of chewing tobacco as well. Still this is slender bodied, but with high concentration, authority and some precision. However, its backsides are tannins, even though they are smooth and soft, that appear somewhat separated from and outside of the rest and the fruit is unfortunately a little cooked in the heat and smudgy.

The nose on this wine alone is great and considering its youth, It has an unexpected elegancy and focus, but fruit is a little cooked and tannins not integrated well. Open now or wait until 2018 to let the tannins polymerise even more, but please be very observant to temperature; like many other barolo 2011s’, it surely needs its 18 degrees to show off its freshness.


2010 Barolo, Diego Conterno

On the nose, again, as with the 2011, glycerine, beeswax as well as obvious details and precision from dominating wild strawberries in this one, but the palate here also contains plum, blueberries and notes of blackberries. Some deep fruit and chalky minerals too, but overall the nose is overly subtle, less enchanting and subdued.

Very unexpectadily, it is diluted and volatile in an easy and perfect vintage. It is ok and price-worthy though and persistent. As expected, texture is better here than in 2011.



Luigi Baudana impresses with its classic style in 2011

Vajra bought this traditional winery in 2009 and acquired great parcels in the vineyards Cerretta and Baudana of Serralunga d’Alba. This is the base barolo bearing the previous owners name “Liugi Baudana” on the labels and combines the calcareous minerality, elegancy and freshness of Cerretta with the structure, density and persistence of Baudana from younger vines compared to their single-vineyard siblings. Moreover, they are sold in half-bottles too which is a great if you intend to drink them soon and just want to enjoy a few glasses, which we certainly are. Approachable barolos are rare from this part of the Barolo area, but we have been especially impressed with barolos from Serralunga d’Alba in the very approachable vintage of 2011.

DSC046212011 Barolo, Luigi Baudana

Sir Galahad:

Glowing dark-red to blood orange, clean and dense colour with transparency.

A very dense and complex nose of pedigree with notes of worn leather, lavender and notes of rose petals. In addition, after one more hour; distinct violets, rose hip, mushrooms, some cinnamon cookies and some notion of metals as well, that just adds to the exiting complexity, emerges. A lovely lingering perfume and all together a quite deep and complex nose.

On the palate, it is racy, complex and dominated by dry lime- and mineral infused luscious fruit; dark cherries, tasty plums and black berries as well as spices, worn leather, anise seeds and crushed stone. The acidity is crisp and impressively fresh wrapping balsamic herbs, deep minerals, iron and dry grape juice. Then, slowly the very firm and thick Serralunga-tannins kick in, and with authority, but even though they are pleasantly chewy, they are still too rough and coarse. We sure lack precision and elegance, but it is generous, medium-bodied, well concentrated and persistent with the classic notion of austereness at the finish line.

An overall balanced, approachable, fresh and persistent Barolo with some complexity, but unfortunately framed in rough and coarse tannins. The texture is its obvious backside and elegance too, but It is still price-worthy at €27, but definitely not at the steal-level of the much better 2010 Vajra Albe. Enjoy with thick sauces, tenderloin and well butter-fried chanterelles or just truffle pecorino cheese. It might improve a little in the next two years, but probably not much.



Incredibly dense nose with dark berries, rose petals, tar and tobacco but also strong notes of mushrooms and some under vegetation.

The acidity is direct and energetic but lacks some precision. Very good tannic structure that adds grip and never gets dry.

This is a transparent and honest Barolo with a rather masculine expression.