Last night Claudio and I were lucky enough to be invited to an industry event V’incontro at Agenzia di Pollenzo where we could finally taste local but world famous wines like Gaja and Marchesi Di Gresy … for free! This was an unmissable opportunity because even though I live in Piemonte, I still don’t have the pocketbook to taste wines like these. In fact, this was going to be my first “Gaja” experience! What I didn’t expect was to have so many other “firsts”! 

There was such a vast selection of esteemed and quality wineries that it is hard to sum up all together. So I am going to share with you the wines that really dazzled me. The ones that prevail in your memories, and the ones that really stood out.

#1 Bertani

Believe it or not, I had never tried Amarone from Valpolicella (repeat… low budget = no Gaja and no Amarone!) and I think I chose the right one to start with. First, I loved the sales rep Fabio’s accent and warm approach, and secondly I loved the rich deep flavors of the 2009 and even better 2004 Amarone Classico. After honing my palate to tannic Nebbiolo in Piemonte, it seems strange to drink such an opulent rich powerhouse red and not feel that bite in your throat! This almost syrupy wine reminded me of figs, prunes and spices and went down quite easily! Anyway, this amazing bottle goes for about 60 € so it’s a good thing I tasted it there along with an array of delicious cheeses.

#2 Gaja 

Finally it was time for the mythic Gaja experience. The pourer seemed a bit annoyed by this time and wasn’t too helpful in giving us lots of information. The first red was from Gaja’s Tuscany estate which was a Bordeaux Blend called Magari. This wine totally took me back to Napa with its rich smooth fruity flavors and as I reminisced about this, the pourer said that although he could see my point he made sure to emphasize that this was different because this was the working of Gaja! Ok… whatever. Then…the moment of truth… Gaja’s Dagromis Barolo 2007. Coming from quite youthful vineyards in both La Morra and Serralunga, this wine was well…great but wouldn’t say “awesome”. I think they kept the good stuff elsewhere…one day…

#3 Scavino

Our Turnover crew was all hovering over the Scavino table so we rushed over to join them. Of all the many wines I tasted last night … this was the trophy winner! Elisa, the server and daughter of Enrico Scavino, really impressed me because of how down-to-earth and dynamic she was. She kept pulling out the Barolo map to show us the million cru areas and better explain so many of their fabulous wines! The first barolo Monvigliero comes from the feminine side of langhe in Verduno close to our property. Without a doubt I smelled and tasted smooth notes of balsamic and eucolyptus. This was incredible and definitely more my style! Then we tasted the 2008 Cannubi cru which is in the Barolo zone and still on the feminine side. The feminity of dark chocolate, cocoa powder gave this wine incredible sensuality. We tried both the awesome 2008 Bric del Fiasc which reminded me of milk chocolate, blackberries and earthy forest floors and the 2003 vintage which was even more incredible. It kept changing with every whiff and sniff! Ripe blackberries, and dried rose petals and tar. By far my favorite was the 2006 Riserva Rocche dell’ Annunziata (97 pts. Parker) which tasted like all the flavors of those before blended richly and elegantly together all in perfect harmony.

Last night I fell in love with Paolo Scavino and his whole range of Barolo! Now I can’t wait to visit the winery and one day eat dinner at the Guido Restaurant in the Agenzia di Pollenzo. What a great way to start the week! Cin Cin

Via Fossano, 19
12042 Pollenzo Cuneo
0172 458422

Azienda Vitivinicoli Paolo Scavino
Via Alba-Barolo 59
12060 Castiglione Falletto (CN)


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