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A Tribute to Beppe Rinaldi at NoMad

Italy: Piedmont, featured

Antonio Galloni, March 2019

Barolo has lost many of its older guard over the last decade or so. But Beppe Rinaldi’s passing last summer somehow felt different, almost as if it signified the end of an entire chapter in the history of Barolo. That, along with the rarity of the wines gave this retrospective tasting a real feeling of emotional gravitas. The wines were truly spectacular, but as so often happens on nights like this, the shared moments were even more special.

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2015 Barolo…The Bigger Picture

Italy, Italy: Piedmont, Piedmont, featured

Antonio Galloni, Feb 2019

Barolo lovers have become spoiled over the last fifteen years or so. While 2015 is clearly a mixed vintage, in any other previous era there is little doubt it would have been considered outstanding. Readers will find a number of dazzling 2015s, even if quality is uneven across the board. More importantly, though, the number of young growers and re-born older estates making compelling wines is greater than at any time since I first visited Piedmont in 1997. Quite simply, Barolo, and Piedmont more broadly, is going through a remarkable boom. I came away from my tastings more energized than ever.

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Asti & Moscato d'Asti: The Delightful Lightness of Being

Italy: Piedmont, Piedmont, featured

Ian D'Agata, Dec 2018

Asti and Moscato d’Asti are two of Italy’s best-known and most delicious sparkling wines. Light in alcohol and strong on flavor, Asti and Moscato d’Asti are the ultimate party wines, but they can be remarkably nuanced and terroir-specific, too.

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Ceretto Barbaresco Asili: 1974-2014

Verticals & Retrospectives, Italy: Piedmont, Piedmont, featured

Ian D'Agata, Dec 2018

Asili is arguably one of Italy’s greatest vineyards, and Ceretto owns probably its best section, the bricco at the top of the hill. Ceretto’s Barbaresco Asili ages splendidly and can rightly claim its place among Italy’s most distinctive red wines.

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Vinous Table: La Ciau del Tornavento, Treiso, Italy

Italy, Italy: Piedmont, Piedmont, Vinous Table

Ian D'Agata, Dec 2018

One of Italy’s best and most beautiful restaurants, La Ciau del Tornavento offers memorable views of the vineyards and one of the country’s “top ten” wine cellars, making it a must-visit, especially in the off-season.

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Cellar Favorite: 1990 Gaja Barbaresco Costa Russi

Italy: Piedmont, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, Piedmont

Antonio Galloni, Nov 2018

The 1990 Barbaresco Costa Russi brings back a rush of memories from a tasting that feels like it happened just yesterday. Time has been exceedingly kind to the 1990.

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Cellar Favorite: 2002 Luciano Sandrone Nebbiolo d’Alba Valmaggiore

Italy: Piedmont, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, Piedmont

Antonio Galloni, Nov 2018

Through severe cropping and selection, Sandrone made a Valmaggiore in 2002 that is truly eye opening.

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2014 Barolo: Late Releases

Italy: Piedmont, Piedmont, featured

Antonio Galloni, Nov 2018

The 2014 Barolo vintage offers readers plenty of intriguing options, although a little work is required to cull out the gems and avoid wines that were affected by a growing season with some of the most challenging conditions in recent memory. In a few cases, growers decided not to bottle some or all of their top single-vineyard wines, making a number of the entry-level Barolos particularly compelling. I remain just as excited by the top 2014 Barolos as I was when I first started tasting the wines in November of that year.

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Cellar Favorite: 1955 Cantina Mascarello Barolo

Italy: Piedmont, cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites

Antonio Galloni, Oct 2018

What a thrill it is to taste Cantina Mascarello’s 1955 Barolo from a perfectly stored and cared for bottiglione, a traditional Piedmontese large format that is no longer used.

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Barbaresco – Out of the Shadows: The 2016s & 2015s

Italy: Piedmont, featured

Antonio Galloni, Oct 2018

I came away from my late summer tastings of Barbarescos deeply impressed. Reference-point estates are upping their game, while a number of ambitious, young winemakers are making significant improvements in quality. The 2016 Barbarescos, wines from a potentially historic vintage, are hugely promising. As I traveled from producer to producer, I experienced that sense of excitement and energy I always feel when in the presence of important vintages and wines.