Home Winners > Winners 2018 > ITALY: North-West Reds, including Barolo & Barbaresco

Winner Details

Italy: North-West - Red, including Barolo & Barbaresco

2018 Gold 10         Silver 14           Bronze 2              Commended 12
2017 Gold 5           Silver  13          Bronze 4              Commended 13

With high prices and plenty of vintage variation, it’s perhaps no surprise that we’ve had big swings in the number of medals awarded in this category. But 15 medals, four or five of them Gold, would probably be about average. So to get so many awards – and our first ever haul of double-figure Gold medals – was truly exceptional. It gave the reds from this corner of Italy a very real claim to being one of the categories of the competition this year.

And if you are able to recalibrate your ‘value-for-money-o-meter’ they really weren’t badly priced either. Sure there were some super-premium wines in here picking up deserved top medals, but half of the Golds were £20 or less, which in this neck of the woods isn’t bad going. The Dezzani, in particular, which also won a Food Match Trophy, was excellent for the money. And while the Barolos weren’t cheap, they were utterly beautiful wines, beguiling all who tried them.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘The Nebbiolos were some of my favourite wines, with perfume and elegance and a deftness of touch.’ Jade Koch, team leader

‘[The Barolos] were an intriguing flight. Not consistent, but some stand-out wines… It showed the diversity of styles within the region.’ Christopher Parker, Lime Wood Hotel

‘At the top end [the Nebbiolos] were very expensive. With wines like that you’re usually paying for the name of the producer.’ Charles Pashby-Taylor, consultant

‘Age is pretty critical for Barolo, so you need to be thinking ahead, looking at the component parts and imagining how it’ll be in the future after some time spent ageing. But it’s a must-have for your list.’ Richard Cavagin-Carey, The Harwood Arms

‘Barolos are mature-drinking wines that you don’t find in other regions.’ Andre Luis Martins, Cavalry & Guards Club

‘When you get to the £20 mark with Barolo you get what you pay for – elegance, finesse, balance – the whole lot’s there. You can’t go wrong.’ Robert Mason, Cheese at Leadenhall

Award winners

Found 38 wines

Italy: North-west, Red including Barolo/Barbaresco

Anna Maria Abbona, Barolo 2013, Piedmont, Italy

Gold medal winner

‘A distant, autumnal, poetic nose: a lark ascending,’ mused team leader Nigel Lister, who, back on the ground, appreciated this Gold medallist’s ‘lovely red fruit’ and thought there was ‘great potential in a lovely wine, made for rich game dishes’. Lazaros Engonopoulos of Coq d’Argent agreed, finding ‘intense floral aromas, dried petals and cardamom spice notes, sous-bois and cocoa notes with juicy tannins’, while Leonie Loudon of Mediterroenean – Wines of the Mediterranean was taken with its ‘beautiful robe of violets and red and black fruits, elegant tannins and a hint of rosemary on the finish’.

£29.23 Moreno Wines

Dezzani, La Luna e Le Stelle, Barbera d'Asti Superiore 2015, Piedmont, Italy

Gold medal winner Food Match

As this was elevated to Gold, Hakkasan’s Olivier Gasselin was taken by its ‘very bright aromas of spiced cherries and plummy fruit’, followed by ‘sour cherries on a bitter-sweet palate with good typicity and balanced ripeness’. Elisa Soggia of Kai Mayfair, meanwhile, was impressed by ‘violet and raspberry on the nose’, which was followed by ‘plum and cherry fruit on the spicy palate, leading to a nice finish with more violet and some mint’.

£9.60 Eurowines

Rovellotti, Chioso dei Pomi, Ghemme 2011, Piedmont, Italy

Gold medal winner

Clearly a Gold medallist, to go by the generous praise from our judges. Team leader Lionel Periner highlighted ‘notes of kirsch and dried flowers’, while Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason found it ‘complex and excellent, with dark chocolate, coffee-mocha, tar and tobacco aromas, woody and earthy, tomato skin with dark cherries, plum and damson on the palate’. All of this, plus ‘lots of potential for ageing’, thought Crafthouse’s Andrea Rossi.

£22.70 Rovellotti Viticoltori in Ghemme

Michele Chiarlo, Tortoniano, Barolo 2013, Piedmont, Italy

Gold medal winner

Impressing Richard Cavagin-Carey of The Harwood Arms with its ‘herbs and tar on the palate, great fruit all in place and well-structured tannins’, for Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club this clear Gold candidate also revealed ‘dark cherry with gentle farmyard aromas, black pepper spice with fresh plum notes on the palate and complex tannins’. ‘Rustic and polished at the same time’, summed up Andrés Ituarte of Coq d’Argent, describing ‘layers of flowers, forest floor and worn oak’.

£35.57 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

San Silvestro, Brumo, Nebbiolo d'Alba 2015, Piedmont, Italy

Gold medal winner Food Match

A ‘great value and good all-rounder’, according to Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason, this took its place on the Gold List, offering ‘ripe red cherry notes, with some floral perfume and a raisin note too’. He went on to describe ‘good, ripe tannins and a light, fresh body, with clean acidity’, while Mario Tomekovic of Smiths of Smithfield highlighted ‘cherry and ripe plums, as well as blackberry, on a rich and complex palate with a long aftertaste’.

£10.03 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Bruno Rocca, Rabajà, Barbaresco 2014, Piedmont, Italy

Gold medal winner Critics Choice

This highly acclaimed Gold Lister was ‘a big wine’, according to consultant Charles Pashby-Taylor, who admired ‘lots of fresh new oak that will integrate with time, underlying rich ripe fruit with bright acids and fresh tannins, and classic high notes of red fruits’. Team leader Tom Forrest praised ‘spicy cedar and oak, with some violet aromas too, leading to a soft palate with pepper and cherry joining more cedar, spice and floral notes’.

£58.70 Liberty Wines

Cabutto, Tenuta La Volta, Barolo 2011, Piedmont, Italy

Gold medal winner

The first Gold in a massive medal haul for Barolo this year, this had ‘sweet red fruit aromas with mossy, mushroom hints, and juicy and exotic fruit on the palate, with tobacco and spice’, began Lazaros Engonopoulos of Coq d’Argent, while team leader Nigel Lister enjoyed its ‘tarry, smoky nose, young bright fruit and glistening acidity, showing good typicity’. ‘A very fine, elegant structure, with a perfumed nose and ripe, fresh fruit on the palate,’ concluded Mattia Mazzi of Lutyens Bar & Restaurants.

£20.88 Wine Traders

Scarpa, Tettimorra, Barolo 2012, Piedmont, Italy

Gold medal winner

Double-decanting was advised for this ‘youthful, tarry, meaty’ style that captured the hearts of our judges while taking the Gold, and leaving an impression on Lazaros Engonopoulos of Coq d’Argent with its ‘botanical aromas, great tannins and well-integrated oak on the palate, with good length and a juicy finish’. ‘Composed, elegant and balanced,’ added Mattia Mazzi of Lutyens Bar & Restaurants, who enjoyed its ‘developing bouquet, with undergrowth, dried leaves and flowers, and a tar note too’.

£42.72 ANTICA CASA VINICOLA SCARPA srl

Olim Bauda, Barbera d'Asti, Nizza 2014, Piedmont, Italy

Gold medal winner

As this took its place on the Gold podium, The Don’s Carlos Ferreira described ‘black and red fruits, dried tomato and black olives on the nose, and an elegant palate’, while team leader Angela Reddin enjoyed its ‘sandalwood and tobacco aromas with Morello cherry fruit, brisk tightness and lovely freshness’, adding that it was ‘very well made, elegant and delicious’. ‘Intense and fresh at the same time, and both rounded and elegant on the palate,’ summed up Elisa Soggia of Kai Mayfair.

£20.75 Tenuta Olim Bauda

Villa Oppi, Pallido 2015, Piedmont, Italy

Gold medal winner

A wine with a difference, and deserving of Gold, with Christopher Parker of Lime Wood Hotel noting ‘fresh herbs, dill and tarragon, along with red berries and lashings of Turkish Delight’, and team leader Simon Woods also enjoying its ‘quirky style, with earthy strawberry fruit, dainty and lively palate with good balance and a slightly herbal finish’. ‘An interesting wine with a big personality,’ said Janusz Pawel Sasiadek of Bottles & Battles, who liked its ‘spicy cherry fruit and a lovely freshness’.

£13.33 The Wine Drinker

Dezzani, Gli Scaglioni, Barbera d'Asti Superiore 2011, Piedmont, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Ripe, rich and impressive,’ began team leader Simon Woods, who found it ‘deep, plush, very modern and flashy, but balanced and intense, with dark cherry and blackcurrant fruit’, while Hakkasan’s Olivier Gasselin enjoyed its ‘big, chunky, spicy, smoky, musky’ character.

£32.60 Eurowines

Dezzani, 80 Anni, Barbera d'Asti Superiore 2015, Piedmont, Italy

Silver medal winner

Christopher Parker of Lime Wood Hotel admired this wine’s ‘premium style, gravelly stone minerals with hedgerow blackberry fruit and forest floor notes’, while Hakkasan’s Olivier Gasselin found it a ‘generous, nice quaff, with clafoutis-like, juicy, dark plum and sour cherry fruit, spiced and smoky with a touch of dark chocolate’.

£14.60 Eurowines

Vite Colte, La Luna e I Falò, Barbera d'Asti Superiore 2015, Piedmont, Italy

Silver medal winner

A more scented style, with The Don’s Carlos Ferreira discovering ‘a nose full of cherry and some pine-like, eucalyptus elements, white pepper hints on the palate, which is fruity and well balanced’, and team leader Angela Reddin enjoying a ‘delicious factor in the mouth, silky smooth tannins with abundant and luscious fruit’.

£12.00 VinumTerra

Marchesi di Grésy, Martinenga, Barbaresco 2013, Piedmont, Italy

Silver medal winner

This was a ‘grown-up wine with refined tannins and good acidity’ for Suave Wine’s Joseph Lunn, and Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason enjoyed its ‘floral violets, meaty biltong and suede-leather on the nose, very complex, full and rounded palate with sun-dried tomato, fresh acidity and long finish’, concluding: ‘Delightful.’

£36.31 Boutinot

Fontanafredda, Barolo di Serralunga d'Alba 2013, Piedmont, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Big, juicy, rich and concentrated, tarry and meaty,’ began Lazaros Engonopoulos of Coq d’Argent, backed up by Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club, who liked its ‘fresh raspberry fruit with baked, spiced notes on the nose, meaty complexity with earthy oak notes on the palate, dark olives and a powerful finish’.

£29.30 Enotria&Coe

Vietti, Tre Vigne, Barbera d'Asti 2015, Piedmont, Italy

Silver medal winner

Providing ‘lovely textbook violet and bramble fruit and polished style’ for Le Cordon Bleu London’s Matthieu Longuère MS, this revealed ‘tomato, grass and black fruits on the nose, a palate of cherry liquor and black spices’ and ‘a bit of tannin’ for The Don’s Carlos Ferreira, who thought it ‘very well balanced’.

£15.89 Bibendum

Torraccia del Piantavigna, Gattinara 2013, Piedmont, Italy

Silver medal winner

With ‘violets and cherry aromas dominating, followed by very earthy and meaty notes with a touch of pungent spice’, Mario Tomekovic of Smiths of Smithfield found ‘firm tannins but an enjoyable palate, with fruitiness and balsamic flavours giving complexity, leading to a long aftertaste’, and thought it would be ‘great to accompany main dishes’.

£15.29 Continental Wine and Food

Scarpa, La Bogliona, Barbera d'Asti Superiore 2010, Piedmont, Italy

Silver medal winner

Matthieu Longuère MS of Le Cordon Bleu London liked this wine’s ‘unmanipulated, dry, earthy, Morello cherry and savoury-meaty style’, while Daria Ershova of Ten Green Bottles highlighted ‘red cherry and balanced oak, fresh acidity with very textural, soft tannins, notes of white pepper and eucalyptus and a long finish’.

£28.50 ANTICA CASA VINICOLA SCARPA srl

Scarpa, Rouchet, Briccorosa, Monferrato Rosso 2014, Piedmont, Italy

Silver medal winner

Gabriele Galuppo of Theo Randall at the InterContinental found ‘nice, complex fruit aromas with mineral notes and spices, very food-friendly in the mouth with fruit-driven flavours, ripe and well-integrated tannins’, while Hakkasan’s Olivier Gasselin picked out its ‘precise, pure style with strawberry and anise, and leafy bitter-sweet notes, savoury on the finish’.

£22.05 ANTICA CASA VINICOLA SCARPA srl

Tenimenti Ca' Bianca, Barolo 2013, Piedmont, Italy

Silver medal winner

Lazaros Engonopoulos of Coq d’Argent liked this wine’s ‘dried leaves and tar, goji berries and forest floor on the nose, elegant and supple palate with balanced floral and tarry characters’ and thought it had ‘a good finish’, with Richard Cavagin-Carey of The Harwood Arms noting ‘delicate red fruit and spice following nicely on to the palate with fine tannins and all elements in place’.

£18.50 GIV UK

Pelissero, Tulin, Barbaresco 2014, Piedmont, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Earthy and funky, truffle nose, smooth and young on the palate, tannins needing to soften, but fantastic wine!’ said a keen Joseph Lunn of Suave Wine. Cheese at Leadenhall’s Robert Mason was in agreement, noting: ‘Very meaty, leathery, full, with powerful tannins and complex fruits, to be decanted, and will be amazing in a decade!’

£44.63 Alivini

GD Vajra, Langhe Nebbiolo 2016, Piedmont, Italy

Silver medal winner

This left an impression on Melania Bellesini of The Fat Duck, with its ‘beautiful floral bouquet of rose petals, violets and fresh summer berries, elegant raspberry, strawberry and Morello cherry, then a very juicy palate with fine tannins, layers of fresh fruit, sweet spices and vanilla, and long finish of crunchy red fruits’.

£15.98 Liberty Wines

Castel del Lupo, La Gioiosa, Bonarda 2016, Lombardy, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Earthy, fresh berry aromas, really savoury, unoaked, chunky berry-fruit style,’ began Le Cordon Bleu London’s Matthieu Longuère MS, who found it ‘well made in a traditional style that’s perfect for cold cuts’, while team leader Angela Reddin liked its ‘plum and cherry nose with balsamic, iodine hints, bubblegum and juicy fruits on the palate’, making it a ‘good pub wine’.

£8.00 Boutinot

Costaripa, Maim, Valtènesi 2013, Lombardy, Italy

Silver medal winner

A pleasingly different wine for team leader Angela Reddin, with its ‘very distinctive, smoky hot stone, tea chest aromas over summer berries, followed by a lighter and more elegant palate than expected, with a luxurious finish’. ‘Lovely plummy fruit with grip, an interesting food wine,’ added Le Cordon Bleu London’s Matthieu Longuère MS.

£18.32 Alivini

Araldica, Crocera, Barbera d'Asti Superiore 2015, Piedmont, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Ripe cherries and allspice aromas, soft and warm on the palate, but refreshing,’ said Lime Wood Hotel’s Christopher Parker, with Hakkasan’s Olivier Gasselin finding ‘upfront, crunchy berry fruit, soft texture with a hint of bitterness on the finish’.

£6.25 Boutinot

Ca' del Baio, Vallegrande, Barbaresco 2014, Piedmont, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Orange baked notes, alcohol warmth, hints of tea on the nose,’ began team leader Jade Koch, who found it ‘really interesting, long and mineral, cool and lean yet full of secret life, will age but is dancing with purple fruits, pepper and raisins, very exciting’.

£21.45 Eurowines

Araldica, Rive, Barbera d'Asti Superiore 2015, Piedmont, Italy

Commended medal winner

£9.42 Boutinot

Marchesi di Grésy, Monferrato Rosso 2010, Piedmont, Italy

Commended medal winner

£11.34 Boutinot

Pelassa, San Pancrazio, Barbera d'Alba 2015, Piedmont, Italy

Commended medal winner

Michele Chiarlo, Le Orme, 16 Mesi, Barbera d'Asti 2015, Piedmont, Italy

Commended medal winner

Michele Chiarlo, Cipressi, Barbera d'Asti, Nizza 2015, Piedmont, Italy

Commended medal winner

San Silvestro, Ottone 1, Barbera 2016, Piedmont, Italy

Commended medal winner

Ceretto, Monsordo, Langhe Rosso 2015, Piedmont, Italy

Commended medal winner

Vietti, Castiglione, Barolo 2013, Piedmont, Italy

Commended medal winner

£37.03 Bibendum

Nino Negri, Sfursat, Carlo Negri, Valtellina 2015, Lombardy, Italy

Commended medal winner

£23.05 Eurowines

Massolino, Barolo 2013, Piedmont, Italy

Commended medal winner

£27.59 Liberty Wines

Cascina Ballarin, Langhe Nebbiolo 2014, Piedmont, Italy

Commended medal winner

Olim Bauda, Le Rocchette, Barbera d'Asti Superiore 2015, Piedmont, Italy

Commended medal winner

 

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