What do I do on my day off from the winery? I go visit more wineries!Since I know very well that this is crunch time for Barolo producers (trying to get in all their Nebbiolo grapes before the rains come) I felt guilty wanting to bother them on a Sunday. But luckily the town of La Morra organizes weekend winery visits during the month in October, so all I had to do was look up the list of wineries open on that Sunday. Giovanni Corino caught my eye.

Run by Giuliano and wife Stefania, they make really fruity, smooth and elegant wines. I was curious to try this so-called “modern” style producer to try something new and expand my horizons. Maybe I had the wrong vision of modern as I was surprised to see the old cool presses!

45,000 bottles, short skin contact time, small barriques with new and used oak, and beautifully aromatic and velvety wines! Stefania ran the tasting but Giuliano was nice enough to spend his Sunday afternoon/evening chitchatting with us about life too. I loved the small family feeling of this winery from the very first moment we stepped out of the car and heard the accordion music coming from the windows up above. Not so modern, I dare say!

In the course of about 3 hours we tried:

Barbera D’Alba 2011, 14%:

Aged in used barriques for 3-4 months. Deep Purply color, slight sulfur/chemical on the nose but softened into roses, flowers, red berries. Full bodied, rich, smooth and velvety. Well balanced with nice acidity and fruit.

Barbera D’Alba Superiore 2010, 15%:

Aged for 18 months in half new oak barriques and half used. Darker deeper color, intense nose, roses, bar of soap, cherry cough syrup, underbrush. Oaky flavors on the palate, vanilla, smooth and nutty.

Langhe Nebbiolo 2011

Stainless steel for 8-10 months. Garnet red. Cranberry, earthy, dried roses and violets, potpouri, graphite, ink, minerality. Very smooth with soft tannin, medium to full bodied. LOVED!

Barolo 2009, 15%

Used barriques for 24 months and 12 months of bottle aging. Clean nose, pralines, brittle, balsalmic, herbal. Refreshing with a short mid-palate, cherry inky finish.

Barolo Vigna Giachini 2009 15%

24 months in half new barriques and half used, 12 months in bottle. Less intense on the nose (just opened), spicy, complex, cocoa powder, cigar box, leather couch, pine needles, underbrush. Fine tannins, very balanced, soft long finish. YUMM!

Barolo Vecchie Vigne 2007, 15%

80% aging in new barriques for 24 months and bottles for 24 months. Intense nose! Cherries “sotto spirito”, cocoa, underbrush, pine needles, licorice, chlorine, raisins. Fine tannins, bright juicy fruit coming through on the palate, full bodied and long finish.

So when it came down to it, I chose the Barolo Vigna Giachini 2008 (risking a vintage I didn’t try) and of course loved the delicate style Nebbiolo aged in stainless steel. As much as I want to think of myself as a traditionalist, I am now open minded to these seamless and especially balanced style Barolos from Corino. As a winemaker once told me here in Italy, “just as we have different seasons, different foods, and different moods, there are wines for every occasion!”

Thank you Stefania and Giuliano for your time and fabulous wines!


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