Friday, January 9, 2015

Making the Case–for Barbaresco

It’s time to put away the preconceptions and admit to the fact that Barbaresco can be just as great as Barolo.

I’ve been a fan of Barolo for as long as I’ve been into wine. It’s just something about its imposing nature and how Barolo makes you wait for it to blossom. There’s a challenge in loving Barolo, as you have to study and pay close attention to truly enjoy it. You don’t just open a bottle on a whim; instead you spend time deciding which bottle would be best at the moment and for the occasion. When you make the right choice and give Barolo the proper amount of air (in bottle, not decanter), you’re rewarded with an otherworldly experience. Barolo is in many ways about chasing those experiences. You won’t always find euphoria, and oftentimes you’ll be let down, but when you open a great bottle, it’s worth all the effort.

1998 Bruno Giacosa Asili
However, what I failed to understand is that the same experience can be found with Barbaresco, usually for less money and without having to wait as long as we do for our precious Barolo to mature. So you question if it can age as well as Barolo, and my response is a definitive YES! What it took to open my eyes was my involvement with a tasting group of friends who are all Barolo enthusiasts. Often, the evening would call for a blind tasting, and in each of these a Barbaresco would manage to find its way in. Would it surprise you to know that in almost every instance, the Barbaresco came out on top?

To continue reading and for tasting notes and photos, 
visit my new Blog: The Cellar Table


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Year in Review: My Top Wines of 2014

It’s that time again. 2014 is coming to a close, and the holidays are in full swing. I’m sorting through recipes for Christmas Eve, Christmas parties and New Year’s bashes. However, before I get too deep into things, I love to look back over the past year and my 500+ tasting notes for my top wines of the year. This isn’t a list that’s built through politicking or overthinking the subject. Instead, these are my favorite wines of the year in four categories: mid-priced gems, top-shelf wines, vintage wines and eye-opening experiences. You may notice that I don’t have a value wine section, but that’s because my article “Give the gift of wine for Christmas” spells out many of the best value wines I’ve had this year.

Looking over this list, I’m not surprised to see such a large representation of Riesling, as this year my eyes were truly opened to the heights of which they are capable. If you happen to be looking for a vinous New Year’s resolution—I would highly recommend exploring this amazing variety.

Italian wine continues to amaze me for both quality and value. Nowhere else can such world-class wine be had for the relative value Italian wines represent. However, I’m also very happy to see wines from Burgundy (a region I’m only now beginning to truly understand), Austria and California. I've tried to include links wherever possible, but unfortunately, the greatest winemakers of the world don't always have the best websites.

All kidding aside, there’s something for everyone here. This is truly my “best of the best” list. I would love to put any of these wines in my cellar.

To Continue Reading Visit: The Cellar Table


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Nebbiolo Beyond Barolo and Barbaresco

2010 Barolo is driving me broke!

In years past, I’d usually have no less than three cases of Barolo in the cellar by now. Unfortunately, with the average 20% increase on my typical value-buys, and my beloved single vineyard wines up about 50% or more, I’ve been forced to cut back in a big way. So where does this leave the Nebbiolo lover? You could turn to Barbaresco, but even there the prices are starting to creep up. So why don’t we look outside of Barolo and Barbaresco for our Nebbiolo fix…? Do I hear silence? Why, because you once tried an Alto Piedmonte wine that came off as too light, acidic or just plain disinteresting? I think we’ve all been there before, but I am telling you now that it’s time to take a second look at Nebbiolo outside of Barolo, and I’ll tell you why... Keep Reading at the new home of The V.I.P. Table; 
The Cellar Table at Morrell Wine.