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Photo by: David Yellen
Bruce Sanderson
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November 2010

More from Day 3 in Piedmont: Roero, the Wild West
Home to Arneis and more, the Roero is a broad expanse of woods and vines
Posted: Nov 30, 2010 3:00pm ET

Roero may be Piedmont's best-kept secret. For years, famous houses in Barolo purchased grapes from growers in this scenic and dramatic region. The sandier soils give more softness and open structures to the Nebbiolo wines from the Roero, allowing them to be enjoyed earlier in their development than their cousins from Barolo and Barbaresco. They can also age seven to 15 years, especially from a very good year.

My appointment there was with Malvirà, a property founded in the 1950s by Giuseppe Damonte and managed today by his sons, Massimo, the vineyard manager, and Roberto, the winemaker.


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Day 3 in Piedmont: Small Is Beautiful
At Cascina Roccalini, Paolo Veglio makes Dolcetto, Barbera and Barbaresco of great finesse and purity
Posted: Nov 22, 2010 3:00pm ET
On my third day in Piedmont, I started off at Cascina Roccalini, to taste Paolo Veglio's Dolcetto, Barbera and Barbaresco.
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More from Day 2 in Piedmont: Tasting More Barolos, and an Italian Riesling
G.D. Vajra’s Bricco delle Viole offers a fresh, elegant take on Nebbiolo
Posted: Nov 18, 2010 3:00pm ET

As you climb up out of Barolo toward La Morra, reaching the intersection that bisects La Morra and Vergne, there is an amphitheater of vines on the left. This is Bricco delle Viole. These are some of the highest vineyards in the Barolo commune, at 1,300 to nearly 1,600 feet in elevation, but very well-exposed to the south. As a result, the wines have fragrance and finesse.

The G.D. Vajra vineyards come from Aldo Vaira's grandparents, so some of the oldest vines date back to the 1950s. Vaira himself began working in the vineyards in the early 1970s and today farms 99 acres in Barolo and also owns the Luigi Baudana vineyards, which comprise an additional 11 acres in Serralunga d'Alba.


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Day 2 in Piedmont: More Interpretations from Barolo
Giuseppe Rinaldi’s unique expression of place in the commune of Barolo
Posted: Nov 16, 2010 11:00am ET

It doesn't get more traditional than the Barolos of Giuseppe Rinaldi. Tasting in the cellars of this 16-acre estate, I felt like time had stood still. Rinaldi even continues the practice of blending different vineyards for his Barolos, combining two vineyard sites rather than bottling each cru separately.


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Day 2 in Piedmont: Three Interpretations of Barolo
Exploring Serralunga's terroir through three of Massolino's single-vineyard Barolos
Posted: Nov 12, 2010 11:00am ET

After a surprise appearance on Monday, the sun continued to play hard to get. As I drove from La Morra to Serralunga d'Alba, the vineyards were shrouded in fog. My first stop was at Massolino, an estate I looked forward to visiting because I have some bottles in my cellar. The azienda agricola was founded by Giovanni Massolino in 1896.

After tasting the 2008s and 2009s from barrel, Franco Massolino and I tasted verticals of three single-vineyard Barolos dating back to 1982.


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Day 1 in Piedmont: La Morra and Beyond
Down to Annunziato to Renato Ratti, then to Oddero in Santa Maria and Pio Cesare in Alba
Posted: Nov 10, 2010 11:00am ET

It was fitting that I started my visits in La Morra, where I am staying. The morning dawned with rain, but by the time I finished breakfast the sky was breaking and I could see the Alps from my room for the first time since I arrived. I'm visiting 20 or so Piedmont producers while I'm here, casting the net a little wider than the Barolo and Barbaresco DOCGs, to Gavi, Roero, Dogliani and Asti. Today's appointments were with Renato Ratti, Oddero and Pio Cesare.


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Cloud Surfing in Piedmont
Back in Italy to catch up with a few dozen producers
Posted: Nov 8, 2010 3:00pm ET

I'm back in La Morra and in the clouds. Literally.

Bruno Viberti, the gracious owner of the Corte Gondina hotel where I am staying, told me it wasn't fog, but low clouds. La Morra is at nearly 1,700 feet in elevation, in the foothills of the Alps. On this trip, I will visit 20 or so producers, casting the net a little wider than the Barolo and Barbaresco DOCGs, to Gavi, Roero, Dogliani and Asti.


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