Back on track again? Italian Wine Day 2019, Operaterrassen, Stockholm (31-01-2020 by Nenad Jelisic)

 

Italian Wine Day was the last major wine tasting of the year. It was held at the Operaterrassen in Stockholm the 25th of November 2019. Of the 167 tasted wines, 42 wines got more than 2,5 NJP, i.e. 25%, which is a good result. The result is a clear improvement compared with the result of the corresponding tasting in 2018, when only 15% of the wines got 2,5 NJP or more. At the Italian wine day 2015, 2016 and 2017, between 25 and 28% of the wines got more than 2,5 NJP in ratings. It feels like the Italian wines are back to normal level again. Unfortunately, only 10 wines got over 3,0 NJP in ratings. It is remarkable that only 2 white wines got more than 2,5 NJP in ratings. Unfortunately, it was the same trend at this tasting as at the other trade tastings in recent years; the most well-known producers and their prestigious wines were missing. This is both a very dull trend and a big difference to how it was for just a few years ago. The result could be much better if we, for example, got to taste the wines from Capannelle, Dal Forno Romano, Gaia, La Spinetta, Le Macchiole, Monteverro and Tua Rita or the wines as Masseto, Ornellaia or Sassicaia, to name a few. The wines that stood out in terms of quality and taste were mainly wines from Tuscany and Piedmont. From the tasting, NJ Wines must highlight the wines of the producer Terreno. At the last year's tasting, NJ Wines selected Terreno as the best producer at the tasting and at this year's tasting, Terreno was only beaten by the legendary Piedmont’s producer Aldo Conterno.

 

The following wines got more than 3,0 NJP (in alphabetical order): 1. Alberto Burzi, Barolo, Capalot, 2015, red dry wine, Piemonte, 3,5 NJP, 2. Il Pino di Biserno, Tenuta di Biserno, 2014, red dry blend wine, Tuscany, 3,5 NJP, 3. Isole e Olena, Cepparello, 2016, red dry wine, Tuscany, 3,5 NJP, 4. Poderi Aldo Conterno, Barolo, Cicala, 2015, red dry wine, Piedmont, 4,0 NJP, 5. Poderi Aldo Conterno, Barolo, Colonnello, 2015, red dry wine, Piedmont, 4,0 NJP, 6. Poderi Aldo Conterno, Il Favot, Langhe, Nebbiolo 2016, red dry wine, Piedmont, 3,5 NJP, 7. San Leonardo, 2006, red dry blend wine, Trentino, 4,0 NJP, 8. Terreno, ASofia, Chianti Classico, 2015, red dry wine, Tuscany, 3,5 NJP, 9. Terreno, Lignanello, Chianti Classico, Riserva, 2010, red dry blend wine, Tuscany, 4,0 NJP and 10. Tignanello, 2016, red dry blend wine, Tuscany, 3,5 NJP.

 

The best wine producer at the tasting: Poderi Aldo Conterno. Poderi Aldo Conterno is a well-known wine producer from Monforte d’Alba i Piedmont. The history about Poderi Aldo Conterno begins in 1969 when Aldo Conterno bought the farm Favot and founded the estate Poderi Aldo Conterno. The estate, which has 25 hectares of vineyards today, is run by Aldo's three sons: Stefano, Giacomo and Franco. Around the turn of the millennium, a quality-enhancing work was started in the vineyards. Above all, this work meant that the harvest yields decreased sharply. From 2005 onwards, an extra thinning of the grapes has been done, which has resulted that the total production has been halved since the late 20th century. This has also meant that the quality of Poderi Aldo Conterno’s wines has probably never been as high as in recent years. The total production amounts to approximately 80,000 bottles annually. Today, Poderi Aldo Conterno produces nine different wines, five of which are Barolo from three high class vineyards located in Bussia (Monforte d’Alba). The vineyards Romirasco, Cicala and Colonnello are located on the southern/southwestern rolling hills in Bussia, which gives them a very good sun exposure. Together with calcareous clay soils, it provides the perfect conditions for growing world-class Nebbiolo grapes. Poderi Aldo Conterno produces Piedmont-wines that use to be a little fruitier and more approachable upon release. Unlike the "modern" Barolo-producers, Poderi Aldo Conterno does not age its wines in small oak barrels. Instead, it uses large oak casks, so called botti.

The best wine in all categories at the tasting: Poderi Aldo Conterno, Barolo, Colonnello, 2015, red dry wine, Piedmont, 4,0 NJP of 5,0 NJP (90 points of 100 points). The wine maker Stefano Conterno, with his extensive knowledge of the vineyard’s terroir (a perfect south/southwest exposure and perfect soils for Nebbiolo-grape), has made a masterpiece with this wine. The wine has a big, complex, intense and fruity aroma of ripe cherry and strawberries, roses, violet, licorice, herbs, cedar and tobacco. The flavour is big, complex and fruity with ripe cherry and strawberries, blackberries, vanilla, licorice and herbs. The wine has a perfect balance between fruitiness, acidity and powerful tannins and a very long aftertaste that remains for ages in the mouth. Colonnello 2015 is very enjoyable to drink now, but to its complexity become even bigger, it should be aged for 10 to 15 years. The grapes for the wine come from 43 to 48 years old vines from the vineyard Colonnello i Bussia, Monforte d'Alba. The soil in Colonnello consists of calcareous blue clay. The grapes are handpicked and sorted carefully in both vineyard and winery. The wine is fermented/macerated under varying temperatures (max 32°C) in stainless steel tanks for 30 days. After the pressing, the wine is transferred to other stainless steel tanks where it is aged for 4 to 5 months. Final aging takes place in 2,500 litres Slavonian oak casks (botti) for 28 to 30 months. A total of 5,000 bottles of Poderi Aldo Conterno Colonnello 2015 were produced.

The best appellation at the tasting: Barolo. Barolo is an Italian DOCG-appellation that belongs to the Piedmont (Piemonte) wine region. The appellation has 2,161 ha planted with Nebbiolo grapes, which can only be used for Barolo-wines. Barolo extends over 11 municipalities of Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Cherasco, Diano d'Alba, Grinzane Cavour, La Mora, Monforte d'Alba, Novello, Roddi, Searralunga d'Alba and Verduno; the most known of them are: Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, La Mora, Monforte d'Alba and Searralunga d'Alba. The allowed yield is 56 hl/ha, while the average is 48 hl/ha.

 

Barolo grapes, 100% Nebbiolo.

 

Barolo soils, calcareous blue clay.

 

Barolo the best vintages, 1958, 1971, 1978, 1982, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2016.

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