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Braida @ Vinitaly 2013

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This year I attended once again the biggest Italian wine fair from Verona – Vinitaly –  and for 2 days I had the chance to taste over 180 wines. This time I made a better preparation and tried to visit some of the most reputable producers. I made appointments in advance and I was very glad to see people remembering me from my last visits at the same fair and also from the visits I paid to the some of the wineries 2 years ago.

I was on SUN, on the first day of the fair, for half day and managed to spend the full day on MON tasting wines. My first meeting on MON morning was at Braida’s booth where the lovely Mrs Raffaella Bologna spent 30 minutes with me tasting together all their wines. This was a great way to start the day because Braida makes the best Barbera d’Asti and sparkling Moscato d’Asti. I was already impressed by their older vintages that I tasted in 2011 at their winery. The new wines continue on the same pace.

Just a little bit of information about how the last vintages were:

– 2012 was very hot, they lost 30% of the crop and experienced 45 Celsius degrees in the summer for several days. It was hot and difficult both for the whites and the reds.

– 2011 and 2009 were spectacular vintages, everything regarding the weather was in place at the right time. The reds have a long life ahead.

– 2010 saw a late vegetation in spring, it was a cold year with plenty of rain and considered a so and so vintage.

I tasted all their wines at the fair and could say they did a great job.

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Il Fiore 2012 Langhe Bianco DOC Delicate aromas and flavors of citrus fruit with a grapefruit palate and bright acidity. (86/100)

Re di Fiori Riesling 2012 Langhe DOC  Pale yellow lemon color. Delicate and elegant nose, bright acidity, clean and mouth watering with a feather like texture and citrus palate. Medium finish with lemon preserves, lemon jam and very good acidity. (87-88/100)

Regina di Fiori Nascetta Langhe DOC Pale yellow-green color, delicate and discreet nose, a bit watery, with citrus and lemon palate. (85/100)

Asso di Fiori Chardonnay 2012 Langhe DOC Medium gold color. A completely different white. Medium plus intense nose, elegant, rich, showing beautiful aromas of honey. Rich on the palate, outstanding medium acidity, lemon jam and apricot flavors, medium finish but so fresh and well balanced. (89-90/100)

Monte Bruna Barbera d’Asti 2011 comes from 12 years old vines. Garnet color, classy nose, medium intense, showing bright red and Morello cherries aromas, chocolate, dark cherry palate. Balanced and fruity. (87-88/100)

The three most famous red Barbera’s are outstanding.

Bricco della Bigotta Barbera d’Asti 2010 Maturated in large Slavonian oak barrels. Deep garnet color. Beautiful, complex and elegant nose, very intense and generous aromas of black cherry, spices, cedar and licorice. Full bodied but supple, with a velvety and weightless texture with ripe but assertive tannins, showing layers of coffee and cocoa under ripe red fruit. Long finish, really balanced and very satisfying. 15.5% alc  (91/100)

Bricco dell’Uccelone Barbera d’Asti 2010 Maturated in small new French oak barrels. Deep garnet-purple color. Developed, complex and intense nose, rich aromas of dark cherry, violets, cinnamon, cloves and licorice. Full body, rich palate, initially tannins show a firm grip but getting very smooth as it aerates. This is a big wine but it is so well structured and balanced that manages to be fresh and appealing. Rich and layered flavors or ripe black cherry, licorice and spices on the palate. Long finish with drying tannins at the moment. 16% alc (92/100)

Ai Suma Barbera d’Asti 2010 A late harvest Barbera. Deep garnet-purple color. Deep and developed nose, elegant mix of different layers of truffles, bacon, smoke,  huge black cherry, cinnamon, licorice and cedar. Rich and dark chocolatey palate, really balanced, rich and smooth texture, velvety tannins and outstanding acidity that makes the wine weightless in spite of all the richness and the high alcohol. Long and intense finish, fresh, fruity and clean chocolate flavors. This is very special. 16% alc (92-93/100)

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It’s impossible not to love the two famous sweet sparkling wines made by Braida: Brachetto d’Acqui 2012 has pure and intense aromas of Bulgarian roses and fresh elder flowers, sweet and fresh palate with 5.5% alc (90/100), while Vigna Senza Nome 2012 plays on the same notes of fresh elder and linden tree flowers, with very pleasant sweetness and a refreshing acidity. 5.5% alc (90-91/100)

Grappa Bricco dell’Uccellone 2009 is surprisingly hiding its 44% alc under the rich layers of vanilla, toffee and dry yellow fruits. A first time for me but so good.

Great way to start the day at the fair.

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