Andrea Sottimano seemed like a jolly nice bloke. He is passionate about Piemonte and Barbaresco and is making the sort of wines that he wants to make. I thought the wines obviously excellent in their style. Unfortunately the style was one that I, with my limited palate, did not enjoy other than intellectually. The wines were well made, were tasty, did have a soul - but they didn't taste of Nebbiolo nor Piemonte to me. They tasted like deep and complex "modern" wines: the terroir didn't reveal itself through these wines. Andrea Sottimano does want to express the terroir of his different vineyards, and the four 2003 Barbarescos did taste different. But though compared to each other, all were different, none seemed Piemontese, Italian or even Nebbiolo-like to me. I guess I just don't get these wines, sorry.
Ratzenberger Riesling Brut Bacharacher Kloster Fürstental 2001
A very Rieslingy nose, with a touch of petrol, lots of lime and crushed strawberries. Rather inelegant mousse, but lovely palate: acidic and fruity in just the right amounts, fine length. Very drinkable. I'll never turn down a glass of this.
Sottimano Dolcetto d'Alba Bric del Salto 2005
A typical enough Dolcetto nose: raspberry and a bit of yoghurt. The palate is fruity but with enough structure to be balanced
Barbera d'Alba Pairolero 2005
Dilly oak, spoofy nose. The palate was better with ok acidity and plush fruit.
Barbera d'Alba Pairolero 2004
Still an oaky nose, but again the palate was fine with nicely high acidity and sweet but not over the top fruit.
Barbaresco Pajoré 2003
An oaky nose, toffeeish, some fleeting sightings of Nebbiolo-fruit underneath, but frankly very spoofy. The palate was in better order, with genuine depth and balance, but not recognisable as Nebbiolo.
Barbaresco Fausoni 2003
A fresh and lifted nose, the most Nebbiolo-like of the lot, but still spoofy and toffeeish and oaky. The palate had surprisingly fine acidity for the year and was genuinely balanced and nice despite the year and despite the apparent spoofiness on the nose. Still not Nebbiolo-like, though.
Barbaresco Currà 2003
Toffee. Some fleeting Nebbiolo aromas, but once again I do not fall in love. The palate is a let down compared to the first two as the lack of acidity makes this flabby.
Barbaresco Cottà 2003
Smoky, chocolatey nose - spoofiest of all. The palate was flabby and too acidless.
Barbaresco Currà 1999
A very sweet and liqueur-like nose - but some nice scents also like peach stone. The palate was enjoyable but not Nebbiolo-like. (Do you see a pattern evolving?)
Barbaresco Fausoni 1996
This stuff rocks! It smells like a bit like a bretty Chinon: shite, vegetation, red fruit - this is the first that truly smells of wine rather than spoof-juice! But it still doesn't smell like Barbaresco! The palate is lovely also: fruity, with high acidity, ripe but very noticable tannins, very young, but lacking that Piemontese feel to it. But this is bloody good anyway, though it isn't very terroiry.
Saracco Moscato d'Asti 2006 is perhaps the best of the type I've had (not that I've had many). Very Moscatoy nose, very mineral also. The fizz is fine, the palate isn't too sweet, it is savoury and I could probably drink a whole bottle of this. Very yummy.
Alessandria Barolo Monfigliero 2000 was very sweet and un-Piemontese smelling, but nice if you like über-ripe fruit. Not to my taste, but did have such elements that I'd like to try it in a cooler vintage - I just don't seem to get 2000 Piemontese wines.
Barbeito Madeira 3 YO
Apples. That's all. Anders would like it!
Barbeito Madeira 5 YO
Toffeed apples. That's all. Anders still would like it!
Barbeito Madeira Malvasia 10 YO
Wheee! I like it too. Good acidity, savoury, but not very volatile so (yup, you guessed it) Anders will like it!
Hmmmm. Interesting these ones. Good desserts all three of them, but frankly not very Madeira-like - or maybe I was just too drunk despite spitting to have understood them. I'll stick to the bloody brillian Barbeito Malvasia 1834 if I can ever find a bottle of it again...
A fun evening, and it is always nice to taste with the producer present. But I really do find it a shame that I cannot enjoy Sottimano's wines more, as he is obviously committed to his cause and is a jolly nice chap. But we can't like it all, I guess.