The plans for the Arione parcels are up in the air, awaiting the results of his first vinification with the fruit later this year though it seems as though the Serralunga parcels are in good shape, while those in Roddino might need to be replanted. Obviously there was no Arione to be tasted today, though the wines from Cerretta are ample proof that something profound will come from Arione someday. A bit sandier than Cascina Francia, and with a full southern exposition, the vines might suffering warm vintages but when everything is dialed in to Roberto's liking expect great things.
The wines all showed well, Cerretta being fruitier, rounder, and less crystal clear than the Francia for both Barbera, which I would prefer today over the Francia, and the Barolo, but as usual the highpoint here were the Monfortini. 2008 out of bottle and 2010 out of cask. I can't afford these wines anymore, who can? But wow, absolutely gorgeous purity and definition on the palate, even if both are excruciatingly youthful.
After our visit with Roberto we returned to Montanello for lunch, a brilliant frittata with fresh peas, sage, and local tom cheese, the usual salad, grilled vegetables, and coffee before heading back out for the day. Second visit at Scarzello where we tatted through Several vintages of Barolo and Barolo Vigna Merenda. The 2009s here will make a believer out of anybody, really fine stuff though in an arch-traditionalist style that can take a bit of getting used to. These wines seem to have everything in place to age like classics from the 60s and 70s, sweetly fruited but savory and subtle.
The point of reference wine here is, oddly enough, not a red wine, or even a white, but rather the sparkling Epecrife. A Nebbiolo rose method classico. Originally intended, in 2000, to be a blanc de noir, the producers, four young friends from enological school, found that to remove even the lightest of rose tints from Nebbiolo required so much carbon that the aromatics were crushed. The solution? Make a rose, and it is a lovely wine. Pas dose, fresh, notably fruity, but in a subtle and refined way.
That's the day in total, back at Montanello at 1am, making this a bit of a rough morning. Now it's back to Verduno for a tasting with Fabio of all the current release Burlotto wines. More to come tomorrow!