Imports & Aussies

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There are many great producers of Barolo but, for my money, Vietti is one of the very finest.

I know, it’s only a few weeks ago that I raved about the 2010s that Vietti (tastings) entered in the Nebbiolo Prima tasting in Piedmont in May, but a week later, winemaker Luca Currado was in Sydney showing off his wares.

The bait was a four-vintage vertical tasting of his rarest wine, the Villero Riserva (tastings), which is only made, on average, every fifth year. It’s been produced nine times in 45 years!

Currado was launching the latest vintage, 2007 (tasting) (yes, a seven year-old wine – take note, Penfolds!) and they don’t give it away, at $600, but then why should they?

It’s academic, though: even if you’ve got deep enough pockets, you’ll be lucky to find a bottle as there was very little imported.

I don’t often score wines as high as 99, but the 2004 Villero (tasting) scaled the heights for me. Mature nebbiolo from the greatest sites and best winemakers is among the world’s most complex and fascinating wines. Hot on the ‘04’s heels were the ’01 (tasting), ’06 (tasting) and ’07, in that order.

Among the great imported wines I tasted for the latest uploads are the Champagnes of Louis Roederer: the full range of new releases, including a six-vintage vertical of its flagship, Cristal (tasting).

These are wonderful Champagnes, and the new vintage Cristal 2006 (tasting) is a blinder, but don’t overlook the new regular Roederer vintage 2007 (tasting). At a little more than one-third the price of Cristal, it’s attractive value. I also think the 2008 Blanc de Blancs (tasting) is a beautiful wine, and the new stock of NV Brut Premier (2010 base vintage) is outstanding (tasting). 

Also in the latest uploads are the 2012 Bass Phillip wines (tastings), the new chardonnays from the Farr family (’13 Farr Rising – tasting and ’12 By Farr – tasting – both sensational), the three superb 2013 William Downie pinot noirs (tasting) and the 2012 Giaconda Chardonnay (tasting).

Phew! Take a breath. 

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