Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Vertical Chosen with Emotion

As promised in one of my previous blogs I will share with you my experience of the vertical tasting of Braida’s Bricco della Bigotta last Friday during Vinitaly. My lovely friend Nadine Weihgold was really helpful in providing me with a ticket for this tasting and I happily attended. Held in a small room at the Taste and Dream section of Vinitaly other than the pompous halls aimed mainly for media attention, created a warm intimate atmosphere.

This tasting was dedicated to Anna Bologna, the mother of Raffella Bologna who together with Paolo Massobrio presented the tasting. Anna Bologna who recently passed away, held together both the family and the winery after her husband passed away in 1990. Giacomo Bologna is synonymous with great Barbera. He was one of the few people who recognized the potential of Barbera when everyone was ardently producing Barbarescos and Barolos from the famous Nebbiolo grape in Piedmont. The first vintage of Giacomo Bologna takes us back to 1985 and today they own 56 hectare of vineyards in the heart of Piedmont.

Bricco della Bigotta comes from a 5 hectare amphitheaterically shaped vineyard with soils composed mainly of calcare, argilla and ferro. The vines are mainly 30 to 40 years old and were all bought in 1998; such move provided the family with more hands on vineyard management. This wine spends around 12 to 15 months in French oak barrels and another 12 months in bottle before being ready to drink. Yet from the tasting held Friday I think that a newly released Bricco della Bigotta needs to age for a few more years in bottle before showing its full potential.

Raffella Bologna started off the tasting by expressing her feelings behind this vertical tasting, why she chose these particular vintages. Was it a matter of quality? A matter of market demand? A matter of vintage variation? With tears in her eyes and with an emotional voice Raffella explained that the reason behind the vintages chosen was simply an emotional one.

Emotional Vintage Trail

2006 - the wine’s most recent vintage which is ready to be appreciated as the 07 is still far too young according to Raffaella

2004 – Anna Bologna starts fighting against her sickness. This fights ends on the 6th February 2010.

2001 – Raffella gets married.

1997 – Raffella’s brother Giuseppe gets married.

1990 – Giacomo Bologna dies and his wife together with her children decide to run the company and continue pursuing Giacomo’s dream.

One of my favourite vintages was 2001. This wine had still a vibrant ruby colour with tartufo, spices, forest fruit notes and hints of violet on the nose. The palate had beautiful silky tannins with lovely complex mature fruit. Raffella described this as “Piemontese autentico con identita”! Obviously this vintage did not only award her with love for her new life partner but also with love from the vine.

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