While having a glass of wine, or two at Vin Cafe recovering from Slow Cheese 2011 we spied a flyer advertising something called "Festa Del Vino" even my rudimentary Italian understood that, and my even more rudimentary German understood "Das Weinfest" Reading inside it looks as if there are twenty two wineries showing about 100 wines. Right up our alley, literally since we walk out of our front door into stand four.
This is stand seven of twenty two. Being the first one that we were about to visit our task was starting to look a little daunting. What's this we see, forty six different bottles? A little more than we were expecting. Things are starting to become clearer, there was a stand for each commune (town) in the Langhe Region, this one was for Dogliani and they were showing only some of their Dolcetto from vintages over the last decade.
This was our first taste of the day, a lovely soft wine with light tannin and a slight bitterness, a perfect wine to start a meal.
This I've written in my notes as perfumed and fruity. My notes stop after a while and could be very brief, suffice to say we didn't try any wine we didn't enjoy, with one exception which I'll talk about further on.
Lovely and fruity, finely balanced.
Smoother and soft, surprising for such a young (2010) wine.
The 2001 Crsta had slight cigarbox notes and was better than the 2005 San Frolo which was very good.
We then moved to the La Morra stand.
Not quite as many here (sigh of relief, as anybody who did the math would imagine we were going to look at over a thousand wines, it was more like two to three hundred). All Borolo here.
2005 Serradenari, a fine wine with some slight sweetness, light but fell short on the finish.
2005 Vigna, light and fell away quickly.
It was here that we decided not to worry about Borolo, this stand was turning into a 5h1t fight with the predominantly Swiss Tourist trying just Borolo, we did manage a few more during the day. The most common phrase heard during the afternoon was " Do you have any Borolo?" in English with a Swiss accent. Say no more Paalo, you'll get into trouble.
Next stop was our home town Alba. While the first two stands were manned with Sommeliers this was where we met our first wine maker of the day proudly showing his wines. There's a sign, which I will let you into the secret of, of how to know someone who cares about the wines they are letting people taste. If the first thing they do is offer you water to wash your glass out or pour a small portion of the wine to rinse your glass you know you are talking to someone who cares. The reverse is also true, when visiting these types of wine shows you should always use your drinking water to wash out your glass before drinking. You don't drink water? Shame on you. Start with your first wine, not your twentieth and you will find that you can meaningful continue your tasting of wine for hours.
Two Reds, correction, Vino Rosso and two Vino Bianco where on tasting. The Barbera and Nebbiolo and a Favorita and Roero Arneis. Now this was not our first taste of the white varieties in Alba but it reinforced how this style of wine was becoming a favorite of ours. This being one of the stands that was selling bottles so sixteen Euro quickly got swapped for three bottles and we were on our way. Me to drop them of in our apartment which was further up than across and Haalo to taste some truffle salami. Thank You Aurelio Nota www.notavini.it
We next travelled to Verduno to taste their Pelavergas. Yep, I never heard of it either. It's a red varity native to Piemonte and has DOC status only in Verduno, La Morra and Roddi. There were six to taste, the three above and the three below. This was where I found the exception, the one wine I didn't enjoy. I stress the I, as neither Haalo or the Sommelier on the stand could see a problem with it, so I'm not saying which one it was! In general they had fruit and pepper, fragrent and excellent ruby colour. Full flavored and tasted older than their vintage.
Next, manned by the wine maker Umberto Fracassi, was stand numero uno, Cherasco. www.cantinafracassi.it
Now I have stopped taking notes, there's only so much my thumbs can take on an iphone, I'm on holidays not working! I do remember that I was lucky that they didn't have bottles for sale here as we already had too much to drink back in the apartment.
Next - Angelo and Mary Sassi of San Cristoforo, a vineyard of three and a half acres, the stand ably manned by both Angelo and Mary. Vintage is well under way at this time in Alba, with grapes still on the wine for some styles. It was impressive to see so many winemakers participating in this festival knowing that they must all be itching to get back to their wineries. www.sassiwines.com
Next - Winemaker Paulo Sandri, his Business Card simply states Produzione Vino e Frutta
Next - Massucco, www.massuccovini.com one of the larger wineries in both volume and styles.
This stand had the winemaker and his two (of his three) young sons in attendance, all looks good for the next 60 years or so!
They produce a couple of wonderful crisp clean spumante style wines, there went the one bottle a day as a couple of these wines entered the bag.
Next - Brinet Arneis Poderi du Sulda
Next - Cascina Del Pozzo www.cascinadelpozzo.com yet another stand manned by the winemaker
Next - Moretti www.morettivini.it
Next - Destefanis, where Federico looked after us. Yes another winemaker.
Somehow a bottle of this found it's way into my bag.
Next - Wine maker Carlo Sottero www.sottero.it
Next - Giovanni Munt Dur di Lora from Guarene
These are wines made with love, he produces only about 10,000 bottles a year as he sells most of his grapes. These are beautifully made and again we were glad/sad that he had none to sell on the day.
Next - Ghiomo www.ghiomo.it
Every thing we tasted was wonderful, larger winery, needless to say manned by the winemaker, slicker marketing was reflected in a slightly higher price for the wines. Oh yes, a bottle of this also ended up in our bag.
Next - Ceste www.cestevini.com
I have a price list from this winemaker that would make any Australian wine drinker weep.
as would these.
Next - Nizza Silvano www.nizzasilvano.com
Had to make a quick trip back to the apartment after chatting with Silvano, bag was getting too heavy and I had ran out of spare change. I did say two bottles a day didn't I?
Apparently we also tasted this from Cascina Fiorenza, Nebbiolo 2010
and finally back to Del Pozzo
for the Rosso to conclude six hours of tasting in the Alba Sun.
and finally, yes a bottle of that Passito also made it back to the apartment.