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Home Winners > Winners 2019 > ITALY: North-West - Red (including Barolo & Barbaresco)

Winner Details

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

2019 GOLD: 11      SILVER: 10      BRONZE: 2      COMMENDED: 14
2018 GOLD: 10      SILVER: 14      BRONZE: 2      COMMENDED: 12

The North-West Reds category of the Sommelier Wine Awards is in with a shout for being one of the most interesting and dynamic of the whole competition. For many years, it was heavily dominated by the big hitters of Barolo and Barbaresco – sometimes with wines that were years away from being ready to drink.

But more recently we’ve seen significant changes – and all for the better. Those two A-list regions, for instance, are doing a great job of producing wines that have both longevity for the future and drinkability now, and they’re being backed up big time by other areas and/or grape varieties, too.

This year’s record haul of 11 Golds was typical: a string of great Nebbiolos, some astonishingly good (and often well-priced) Barberas to act as a base, and some majestic wines from Barolo and Barbaresco to top things off. The latter were not cheap (in fact sometimes they were very expensive), but they were seen by our judges as fine-wine counterparts to Bordeaux and Burgundy. And viewed in that light they deliver very well.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘[The Nebbiolos had] structure, but some were quite floral, which makes them easy drinking, too. These are definitely food wines. Instead of Barolo for £300 you can drink something more palatable like this. Some of the best wines we’ve tried.’ Sonal Clare, Purnell’s Restaurant

‘The cheaper Barberas showed much better than the more expensive ones. A lot of modern winemaking and use of oak. You don’t really need this over-extraction.’ Ieva Markaityte, Portuguese Concepts

‘Barolo is increasingly popular – after Bordeaux, it’s the most popular. And it deserves to be.’ Carlos Ferreira, team leader

‘Nebbiolo is important to list, as people recognise the grape, and it’s good with food, too.’ Julien Sahut, Sexy Fish

‘Barbera is a discovery for a lot of people still. But when it’s made in the lighter style it can be a good replacement for Pinot Noir. In the last five or six years I’ve started looking at it seriously.’ Andre Luis Martins, Cavalry & Guards Club

‘Styles of Barolo have diversified – rich and powerful versus light and refined. There are different styles for different palates.’ Diana Rollan, D&D

‘I wish there were more [Barbarescos] that are ready to drink now.’ Ieva Markaityte, Portuguese Concepts

‘Some fantastic wines in the Barbera flight. Real elegance and real finesse.’ Charlie Carter, Ten Green Bottles

Award winners

Found 37 wines

Italy: North-west, Red including Barolo/Barbaresco

Boroli, Cerequio, Barolo 2013, Piedmont, Italy

Gold medal winner

As this took its rightful place on the Gold List, La Trompette’s Virginia Fontò spoke highly of its complex combination of ‘strawberry and sour cherry notes, as well as tobacco, cigar box, black pepper and dark chocolate, as well as truffle and wet autumnal leaves’. D&D’s Diana Rollan found it ‘floral, with notes of dried herbs and tar – an elegant and delicate wine with a beautifully balanced palate and lovely concentration and texture’, adding: ‘This would be a great wine for your perfect steak.’

£81.14 Top Selection

Negro, Barbaresco Basarin 2015, Piedmont, Italy

Gold medal winner

This Barbaresco snapped up Gold with its ‘red cherry and green peppercorn aromas, leading to firm and chalky tannins, culminating in a long, elegant finish’, according to Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club, while team leader Martin Lam appreciated its ‘fresh, lifted-fruit nose, with lots of spice and lovely liquorice, as well as some sweet and sour fruit’. ‘Intense and highly structured, with leather and tobacco leaf,’ added fellow team leader Laurent Richet MS, who thought that made it ideal for ‘wild boar with smoked peppers’.

£28.26 Enotria&Coe

Bruno Rocca, Barbaresco, Rabajà 2015, Piedmont, Italy

Gold medal winner

This was clearly deserving of a place on the Gold List, with its ‘intense creosote, oaky nose and sweet, tannic, oak-enveloped palate’, according to team leader Martin Lam, while Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club appreciated its ‘perfumed red cherry and coffee aromas, firm chalky tannins and a fresh long finish’. ‘Nicely balanced,’ said Sunaina Sethi of JKS Restaurants, describing ‘tobacco, leather and underlying red fruit, along with a delicate tannin structure’.

£62.17 Liberty Wines

Tomaso Gianolio, Barbera d'Alba Superiore 2015, Piedmont, Italy

Gold medal winner

‘Power and elegance’ elevated this to Gold, according to team leader Charlie Young, along with its ‘leafy blackcurrant aromas and a super-fresh palate packed with blackberries and spice’. A similarly impressed Tanguy Martin of New Street Warehouse thought this had ‘a really fresh, punchy nose and crunchy red fruits, leading to a palate that is firm and fresh, showing the classic flavours of Barbera’, before concluding that it was ‘yummy and juicy, with great grip’.

£12.96 Top Selection

Vietti, La Crena, Barbera d'Asti Superiore 2013, Piedmont, Italy

Gold medal winner

‘A marvellous wine from start to finish,’ began Daniel Jonberger of Rockliffe Hall, echoing the sentiment of his fellow judges as they elevated this to Gold, and further describing ‘a mixture of soft berries, and a good dose of cedar wood too, with a hint of spice’. Charlie Carter of Ten Green Bottles went on to describe ‘lovely lingering sweet morello cherry fruit character, with mouth-coating tannins that clear nicely to reveal a refreshing, dark fruit flavour’.

£34.12 Bibendum

Vietti, Tre Vigne, Barbera d'Asti 2016, Piedmont, Italy

Gold medal winner

‘Lovely purity of fruit’ made this a clear Gold winner for team leader Charlie Young, who thought it was ‘beautifully defined, with dark red berry aromas, full tannins and good freshness on the finish’. Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club appreciated ‘wild strawberries and gentle herbal hints, with a spicy, cherry fruit-driven finish’, while team Leader Martin Lam enjoyed ‘dark berry fruit notes mingling with violets on the nose, and a palate that’s high toned but balanced, and savoury, too’.

£17.30 Bibendum

Massolino, Margheria, Barolo 2015, Piedmont, Italy

Gold medal winner

‘A top Barolo with superb ageing potential’ was Diana Rollan of D&D’s summary, as this unsurprisingly took Gold. She went on to describe it as ‘floral, with classic rose petal notes and dense red berries, with lovely dried herbs, too, as well as sweet spices, cedar wood and vibrant acidity – great balance and concentration. Delicious.’ A similarly impressed Sunaina Sethi of JKS Restaurants found it ‘pretty and perfumed’, with ‘cigar box, prune, cherry and vanilla notes’ making it ideal for ‘pork with mustard mash’.

£48.57 Liberty Wines

Il Cascinone, Crocera, Barbera d'Asti Superiore 2016, Piedmont, Italy

Gold medal winner

Judges were generous in their praise of this Gold Lister, with Elena Serban of Hakkasan finding ‘great varietal definition, with cherry and plum, and a nice floral lift’, while for Charlie Carter of Ten Green Bottles there were ‘fresh tomato leaf aromas and hints of coffee’. An impressed Daniel Jonberger of Rockliffe Hall further described it as ‘smooth, with notes of lavender’, before adding that ‘the oak gives a lick of caramel, too’.

£6.95 Boutinot

Damilano, Marghe, Langhe Nebbiolo 2016, Piedmont, Italy

Gold medal winner Critics Choice

As this took its place on the Gold List, team leader Jade Koch described ‘tea and purple fruit notes, as well as some chocolate liqueur’, and found it to be ‘elegant and lingering, sweet and taut’, while The Gilbert Scott’s Juan Manuel Marcos Perez noted its ‘intense flavours, with ripe tannins and fruit well integrated with the oak’. ‘A juicy palate of cherries, cedar and tobacco’ all led team leader Laurent Richet MS to picture this alongside a ‘peppered steak with morel mushrooms and green asparagus’.

£15.89 Wine Traders

Rovellotti, Costa del Salmino, Ghemme Riserva 2013, Piedmont, Italy

Gold medal winner

This ‘taut and beautiful’ Gold winner had a ‘gorgeous floral, tarry nose’, according to team leader Nigel Lister, while fellow team leader Laurent Richet MS spoke highly of its ‘perfumed notes, bright tobacco and sour cherries, as well as some pencil shavings’, and further praised its ‘vibrant acidity well balanced with firm acidity’. Cliveden House’s Francisco Macedo, meanwhile, thought its ‘tertiary notes of dried fruit and liquorice’ would pair perfectly with ‘venison served with a berry sauce’.

£35.25 Mondial Wine

Pelassa, Sot, Nebbiolo d’Alba 2015, Piedmont, Italy

Gold medal winner

This Nebbiolo took home a well-deserved Gold medal for its ‘electric red rose bouquet, with marked red berry aromas’, according to Alonso Abed of Hide Above, who went on to find a palate with ‘piercing cherry and floral notes that invite you to finish the glass’. Sunaina Sethi of JKS Restaurants found it similarly ‘approachable, with a pretty nose of juicy fruits, and good structure – a very bright and vibrant wine’.

£13.14 Davy's Wine Merchants

Angelo Veglio, Barolo 2014, Piedmont, Italy

Silver medal winner

Diana Rollan of D&D described this as ‘spicy, earthy and toasty’ and went on to say: ‘Quite floral on the nose but with notes of white pepper. The wine has good acidity with round tannins making it feel agreeable and balanced.’

£15.60 Bibendum

Conte Vistarino, Tavernetto, Pinot Nero 2015, Lombardy, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘There’s light, fresh and fruity red berries, with a floral and herbal twist of aromatics,’ said Julien Sahut of Sexy Fish, adding: ‘The palate is very well balanced with lots of young, fresh red fruit flavours. The fairly high acidity balances with the elegant tannins.’

£22.95 Eurowines

Vietti, Tre Vigne, Barbera d'Alba 2016, Piedmont, Italy

Silver medal winner

This had ‘clean, pure and fresh blackcurrant aromas’ for team leader Charlie Young, who added: ‘The fruit is very attractive and juicy and the finish is not heavy at all.’ ‘I like the meatiness to it,’ said Tanguy Martin of New Street Warehouse, adding: ‘It’s intense and full but the fruit is sweet with nice touches of mint and liquorice.’

£16.43 Bibendum

Vietti, Tre Vigne, Dolcetto d'Alba 2017, Piedmont, Italy

Silver medal winner

Alonso Abed of Hide Above admired the ‘dense, blackberry and blackcurrant aromas, the beautiful structure and lively fruit finish’, while Rémi Cousin of Le Gavroche noted that ‘the wine is intense, yet fresh; juicy and persistent’.

£14.73 Bibendum

Il Cascinone, Rive, Barbera d'Asti Superiore 2016, Piedmont, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Fresh cassis aromas with some green leaf notes,’ said Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club, also noting ‘gentle, raspberry jam fruit with a touch of black pepper and a nice mouthfeel’.

£10.75 Boutinot

Damilano, Cannubi, Barolo 2014, Piedmont, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Cigar box, cedar wood and spice,’ noted D&D’s Diana Rollan, adding: ‘The red berry fruit has good acidity and the tannic structure is in balance. This is really concentrated with good texture and very good potential.’

£41.07 Wine Traders

Cordero di Montezemolo, Monfalletto, Barolo 2015, Piedmont, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Pronounced red fruit aromas mingle with dried herbs, chocolate, clove and liquorice in this full-bodied wine,’ said Savoy Grill’s Matteo Cali, while D&D’s Diana Rollan described it as a ‘floral, delicate and complex Barolo with a great texture’ and concluded: ‘Classic style to be paired with red meat.’

£34.60 Eurowines

Michele Chiarlo, Tortoniano, Barolo 2014, Piedmont, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Beautiful nose,’ said team leader Carlos Ferreira: ‘floral with red fruits, really very complex. Very well balanced, fresh and elegant.’ ‘The refreshing acidity makes the wine feel lighter,’ remarked D&D’s Diana Rollan, who found it ‘very round and balanced’.

£35.57 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Michele Chiarlo, 16 Mesi Le Orme, Barbera d'Asti 2016, Piedmont, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Gentle wild berry and bramble nose leads to firm, ripe tannins. There are some nice high herbal notes adding complexity to the finish,’ said Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club. ‘Floral, sappy, perfumed and assured,’ thought team leader Martin Lam.

£11.68 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Michele Chiarlo, Reyna, Barbaresco 2015, Piedmont, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘This has real depth and nuance,’ said team leader Martin Lam, ‘the chewy tannins and nice depth of fruit shows promise.’ ‘Red cherry and fresh plum mingle with meaty aromas and spice, leading to a long finish,’ added Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club

£27.84 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Olim Bauda, Barbera d'Asti, Nizza 2015, Piedmont, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Big on colour, nose and palate! A rich mouthful that explodes in flavour from oak, tobacco, black cherry and supple blueberry fruit. Really rather well balanced though,’ said Daniel Jonberger of Rockliffe Hall.

£22.84 Alliance Wine

Pelassa, San Pancrazio, Barbera d’Alba 2016, Piedmont, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Essence of hay with cherries, too,’ said Daniel Jonberger of Rockliffe Hall, adding: ‘The mouthfeel is calm, with cedar tree and a long aftertaste.’

£11.64 Davy's Wine Merchants

Marchesi di Grésy, Martinenga, Barbaresco 2015, Piedmont, Italy

Commended medal winner

£40.00 Boutinot

Scarpa, Rouchet, Monferrato Rosso 2015, Piedmont, Italy

Commended medal winner

£22.00 Carson Wines

Conte Vistarino, Pernice, Pinot Nero 2015, Lombardy, Italy

Commended medal winner

£24.95 Eurowines

Vietti, Barbaresco Masseria 2014, Piedmont, Italy

Commended medal winner

£53.11 Bibendum

Vietti, Barolo Castiglione 2014, Piedmont, Italy

Commended medal winner

£40.76 Bibendum

Vietti, Perbacco, Nebbiolo 2015, Piedmont, Italy

Commended medal winner

£18.10 Bibendum

Ca’ Bianca, Barbera d’Asti Superiore 2013, Piedmont, Italy

Commended medal winner

£9.00 Matthew Clark

Scarpa, Casa Scarpa, Barbera d'Asti 2015, Piedmont, Italy

Commended medal winner

£8.00 Carson Wines

Scarpa, La Bogliona, Barbera d'Asti Superiore 2012, Piedmont, Italy

Commended medal winner

£26.00 Carson Wines

Fontanafredda, Raimonda, Barbera d'Alba 2016, Piedmont, Italy

Commended medal winner

£13.28 Enotria&Coe

Tomaso Gianolio, Barbaresco 2015, Piedmont, Italy

Commended medal winner

£20.69 Top Selection

Michele Chiarlo, Cipressi, Barbera d'Asti Superiore, Nizza 2016, Piedmont, Italy

Commended medal winner

GD Vajra, Barolo Albe 2015, Piedmont, Italy

Commended medal winner

£26.90 Liberty Wines

San Silvestro, Brumo, Nebbiolo d'Alba 2016, Piedmont, Italy

Commended medal winner

 

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