Not one, but two great Piedmontese wineries held tastings in Sydney on the same day recently: Bruno Rocca and Gaja.
Nebbiolo Prima is an extraordinary event in the world of wine.
What is the ideal age to drink Barolo? Enzo Brezza (pictured) of the Barolo winery Giacomo Brezza paid the Sydney wine trade a visit recently and confessed that he preferred to drink his own Barolos relatively young.
Nebbiolo-head Dave Fletcher, the young Aussie winemaker who works for Ceretto in Piedmont, dropped in to Sydney last week. Two years ago, I visited his future winery, the overgrown former Barbaresco railway station, which he and his wife Eleanor had purchased to renovate as their winery, home and cellar door.
Roberto Voerzio (pictured) is one of the greatest producers of Barolo, but you won’t find him in many of the classic books on Barolo. He established his company only in 1986, having split from his brother and father – also Barolo winemakers. His wines first came to Australia in 1995 when Red + White, which is still his importer, brought in the 1989 vintage.
David Messum is the owner and winemaker of Born & Raised, a young Englishman who has been in Australia nine years and has a plan. His slogan is that he makes small-batch, alternative Australian styles. That’s pretty much what you have to do if you’re a new, small entrant into winemaking these days. It’s hard to get a run in retail shops, and a cellar door is not an option at this stage, but if you can angle your wines at the sommeliers and frequenters of small winebars, you might have a chance.
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”.
Gaia Gaja, daughter of the great Barbaresco producer and promoter Angelo Gaja, visited Australia recently and managed to jam more wines and words into a lunchtime event than I can recall witnessing for some time. I was flat-out tasting 14 wines, doing justice to a Steve Manfredi meal at Balla Ristorante, and concentrating at the same time on the information-packed talk Gaia gave for each bracket of wines. A pity, as these are great wines, and very expensive, and each one deserved to be lingered over. But then, there’s a lot to say about Gaja wine.
It was such a refreshing change, to see three wines of unusual, alternative grape varieties vying for the trophy as top wine of a show. The candidates were a nebbiolo, a malbec and a gewurztraminer at the 2014 New England Wine Show, which I chaired
At the end of each month I find I’ve sampled an assortment of wines that are exciting but aren’t necessarily current releases. Most of what I taste week to week is current-release wine, but one cannot live on raw young wine alone, so there are