All roads lead to … Liechtenstein?

15 Nov
2008

Andrea, Stefano and myself met at 5am at the winery this fresh Saturday morning and left for Liechtenstein where we were to conduct a degustazione (wine tasting). We weren’t the only ones of course participating. On the way we stopped in Neive and picked up Claudia Cigliuti who is one of the two daughters who work at Fratelli Cigliuti of Serraboella and Vigne Erte fame. The other vehicle we went with had Chiara Boschis of E. Pira e Figli stunning Barolo wines, the dude from Prunotto and Alberto Gresy of Barbaresco and the owner of the famed Gaiun and Martinenga crus. Claudia and I shared the 4-hour journey together in the back seat through Piemonte, Milano, Switzerland and finally into Vaduz, Liechtenstein. The scenery along the way was gorgeous with the towering Alps around us and already there was snow on top of the caps.

Liechtenstein

The national language of Liechtenstein is Deutsch but they can usually speak alright English and some of them Italian or French. So between the three of us La Spinetta crew we had it covered (Andrea – Italian only, Stefano (French and Italian) and myself (English and some Italian).

Seven hours later with very sort feet we retired to the dining room with the other winemakers and and shared a delicious, intimate dinner on a long table and drank the leftover wines, chatted and acted a little silly. The song ‘Tintarella di Luna’ came on and I surprised Andrea when I sang the first verse correctly. I was seated next to Alberto Gresy who is very well spoken and explained his entire family history to me. His cellarmaster of the winery he owns is Geoff Chilcott who I’d met previously a number of times so I think I’ll make the effort to stop in and visit their winery when I get the chance.

We drank:

2007 Gelbert Muskateller Clos Domaine by Domane Wilfersdorf, Austria for Hofkellerei, Liechtenstein. Overly sweet fruit flavours like Gewurztraminer but not actually a sweet style of wine. Interesting though, but pretty simple.

2007 Riesling Clos Domaine by Domane Wilfersdorf. Simple wine yet again.

2007 Sauvignon Blanc Clos Domaine by Domane Wilfersforf. Not overly fruity but less textural than the Italian styles.

2007 Vaduzer Pinot Noir Herawingert AOC by Domane Vaduz, Liechtenstein. Tank wine, simple, rose’-like, blah.

2006 Vaduzer Pinot Noir Selection AOC by Domane Vaduz, Liechtenstein. Barrel fermented, overly oaky, no marriage. Bowbow…

2007 Verdicchio by Pignocco DOC, Le Marche by Santa Barbara. Delicious example!

2007 Chardonnay from Langhe DOC by Brangero. More typically Chardonnay with greater fruit weight and classic peach flavours with more obvious oak use. Picked later style.

2004 Nebbiolo Barolo ‘Mariondino’ DOCG by Armando Parusso in Montforte d’Alba. A decent standard, lots of body. Chewy.

2004 Nebbiolo Barolo ‘Bussia’ DOCG by Prunotto. Great barolo! Better than the previous, more harmonious and balanced.

1999 Barolo ‘Bussia’ 10 years Riserva by Prunotto. Oxidised and buggered.

2007 Dolcetto d’Alba DOC by Conterno Fantino in Montforte d’Alba. Actually the best Dolcetto I have tasted so far. I was pleasantly surprised. Great body for a Dolcetto.

2007 Barbera d’Alba ‘Vignota’ DOC by Conterno Fantino. Well made, good fruit concentration and not overly tannic.

2006 Monpra’ Rosso del Piemonte DOC by Conterno Fantino. Basic red blend, quite simple, a little touch of Cabernet Sauvignon.

2004 Nebbiolo Barolo ‘Vigne del Gris’ DOCG by Conterno Fantino. A wine with a hell of a lot of body, still needs time in the bottle, little off on the nose but palate overpowered by the strength of the tannins.

2005 Nebbiolo Barolo Sori Ginestra by Conterno Fantino. Just bottled four months ago so like the previous one was overly tannic with too much body and needs time in bottle.

2006 Barbera d’Alba ‘Campass’ DOC by Fratelli Cigliuti. A decent example but not overly impressive. Lacking in body and concentration of flavour.

2004 Nebbiolo Barbaresco Vigne Erte by Fratelli Cigliuti. Light style, savoury flavours in balance with a lighter body and salty (?) finish.

2004 Nebbiolo Barbaresco ‘Serraboella’ DOCG. Better than Vigne Erte, older vines, so concentration of flavour is higher, well balanced acidity to flavour and body all in one. Delicious!

2004 Nebbiolo Barbaresco ‘Camp Gros’ Martinenga by Tenuta Cisa Asinari di Gresy. Lots of body in the wine, needs time but will eventually sing.

2000 Nebbiolo Barbaresco ‘Camp Gros’ Martinenga by TCAdG. Better after time in the bottle, ready to be drunk. from south-facing vineyards, balanced but with some real guts, more masculine.

2000 Barbaresco ‘Gaiun’ Martinenga by TCAdG. Elegant and a more feminine style of wine, in my opinion more approachable and more attractive in flavour profile.

1996 Nebbiolo Barolo ‘Cannubi’ DOCG by E.Pira e Figli. Drying tannins, mouth-coating bottle-age characters. The low pH and high acidity are apparently typical of the ’96 vintage. What a wine.

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