Not one, but two great Piedmontese wineries held tastings in Sydney on the same day recently: Bruno Rocca and Gaja.
My recent tasting of 100 grenache and blends, together with fringe Italian and Spanish varieties, yielded a stack of lovely drinking wines.
A flurry of interest in Italian grape varietals in this country produced some interesting wines when I invited wine producers to send samples of “NZ red wine other than Pinot Noir or Syrah”.
It’s a catchy opening line for an Italian wine salesman. Norbert Reinisch used to be a doctor of internal medicine, but he “changed from the curative side of medicine to the preventative” when he joined the wine business. This he did when he married the daughter of Giacomo Bologna, and now he’s the export sales manager for the Piedmontese winery Giacomo Bologna ‘Braida’. Bologna himself, whose nickname was Braida, is a hero of modern Italian wine. He’s credited with doing more for the barbera grape than anyone. He’s no longer with us, but the job is continued faithfully by his family, including son-in-law Reinisch.
Coriole Barbera, McLaren Vale 2012 $25 Deep red-purple, bright colour. Subdued but true aromas, ripe and clean with some density and latency. The same on palate: full-bodied and firm, deep and structured with very good flavour, depth and concentration. Very good indeed, with real grunt
There’s a lot of wine out there, and I’ve been tasting furiously, uploading 465 new reviews from my October tastings. They include verticals from Yeringberg, Sally’s Paddock and Tarrawarra Estate – all of whom are celebrating anniversaries – plus swags of chardonnay, rosé, sparkling and
I can’t decide which I like most: the diverse and fascinating wines of Italy, the county’s complex cuisine which is an art form or the warm and extraordinarily hospitable Italian people. Together they’re a devastating combination that keeps drawing me back.