Last year’s visit to the hills of Barolo did not include the cantina of Luca Currado from Vietti, and what a shame.
But I managed to drink his arneis and Langhe red-Perbacco on several occasions in local establishments.
However the best result was for Lucca to recently hit Australian shores with his wonderful dolcetto, barbera and nebbiolo, showing 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 examples.
A visit to his winery and vineyards will have to wait until next October.
Luca’s Dolchetto was heavenly-fresh, juicy and really lively. Vietti Dolcetto D’Alba Tre Vigne 2009; 13.5% (USD 40.50); +++; totally vibrant colour and aromas, really shrill, palate soft, juicy, acid angular but that’s due to its level and dominance over tannins, made in stainless steel. Tre meaning three-there are three vineyard sites-Monteforte D’Alba, Novello and Castiglione.
Vietti have spent considerable effort in rejuvenating the barbera grape away from nebbiolo heartland. Vietti Barbera D’Asti Tre Vigne 2008; 14% (USD 46.50); +++1/2 from outside Alba, in Agliano Terme, logically from the labelling being the Asti region. This looks and smells or cherries and violets; average colour density but above average personality. It’s fruity, soft, oak is hidden, the dryness is partnered by bitterness streams which are fruit intensity.
Vietti Perbacco Nebbiolo 2007 and 2008; 14% (USD 49.50); +++1/2 and ++++; 07 has lovely youth and vibrance, lots of nose and soft, tight composed palate; 08 shows youth colours but aging on the nose, toffee, molasses, lots of character and early-formed complexity.
The company says these qualify for Barolo as the vineyard sources include Bricco Boschis, Ginestra, Mosconi, Liste, Brunella, Crocetta, Permanno di Fossati and Ravera di Novello e Scarrione. Obviously the better selections and vineyards become the Barolo.
Vietti Castiglione Barolo 2006 and 2007; 14.5% (USD 121.25); ++++1/2 and ++++; the 06, a great year, is just starting to go into maturity, florals, herbs, long and tight, long liver, silky now and will continue that way; 07 has perfume, light colour though huge palate; multiple layers of tannins and more, atypical to have such body as well, a monster drink now but will settle.
Vietti has three traditional single vineyard Barolos; Vietti Rocche (Castiglione Falletto), Brunate (La Morra) and Lazzarito (Serralunga D’Alba) 2007; 14.5% (USD 268); ++++; ++++1/2; and ++++; Rocche all dried herbs, violet, has minerality along the talc and chalk effect on tannins and acidity, finessed, silk, Brunate, sweet nose, barley sugar fruit intensity, sweet again on palate, just wonderful flavours, Lazzarito is just great, again talc-like minerality but grippier tannin, long on texture and the flavours hang.
I cannot say much more other than to underline that Vietti’s nebbiolos are a knockout. And the labels colourful.
Peter Scudamore-Smith is a Brisbane-based Master of Wine, winemaker and educator www.uncorkedandcultivated.com.au
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