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Giovanni Rosso Barolo DOCG Cerretta 2008, Italy

Guest writer Chek Wong, associate member of the Institute of Wines and Spirits, contributed his thoughts on a number of Italian Barolos from Giovanni Rosso writing on Singapore’s Local Nose.

The Giovanni Rosso winery is located in the village of Serralunga d’Alba in north west Italy where owner and winemaker Davide Rosso typically bottles two single-vineyard wines from his vineyards in Ceretta and La Serra.

Of this 2008 vintage he said: “The Cerretta vineyard has a thicket of trees at its base, which acts as a windbreak. It is located 360m above sea level, with calcareous clay or marl soils, producing wines that Davide describes as feminine. Aged in 25 hl Fontainebleau oak for 36 months.

“The 08′ has a medium ruby robe with an orange rim (characteristic of Nebbiolo), showing notes of balsamic and violets on the nose. The palate has small red berries with dense, sinewy tannins. Alcohol is noticeable but integrated. An extraordinary length. Feminine perhaps, but more G.I. Jane than Anne Hathaway.”

Giovanni Rosso Barolo DOCG Vigna Rionda “Ester Canale” Rosso 2012, Italy

The limited Tommaso Canale collection comes from vines planted in the family’s Vigna Rionda vineyard by Davide Rosso’s grandfather, Amelio Canale, and his father, Aldo Canale, not long after World War II.

Of this 2012 Barolo Wong said: “A barrel sample of a production that runs only to 150 cases a year (less than DRC, jokes Davide). 2012 was described as a vintage of balance between acidity, fruit and colour. Intensely floral and perfumed on the nose, but brooding and closed on the palate, shielded behind a thick wall of tannins.

“Still very early in its development, showing lots of dark fruit and a savoury, umami character. Prepare to wait at least a decade for this flower to blossom.”

Giovanni Rosso Barolo DOCG La Serra 2009

The Piemontese region of Barolo is known for producing some of Italy’s finest red from the esteemed Nebbiolo grape. By law, Barolo must be aged for a minimum of three years with at least two in barrel.

Of this Barolo produced from Giovanni Rosso’s La Serra vineyard, Wong said: “La Serra is located at an elevation of 378m above sea level, where the soil is most calcareous.

“A pronounced nose, floral with intense notes of violets, cotton blossom, and red plums. Impressively fresh and pure, with chewy tannins and light vanilla spice on the palate. Finishes clean and long.”

Domaine Rodolphe Demougeot, Pommard Les Vignots 2010, Burgundy, France

Wai Xin, writing on his blog The Blabber, shared his thoughts on this red Burgundy which he said was “beautifully balanced”.

He said: “Reds in the land of white are often described as less intense. True for this wine but such gentleness was greatly appreciated. A feminine style with fresh red berries, light floral perfume and sweet mushroom earthiness. The palate was beautifully balanced with the elegant acidity.”

Château Olivier 2001, Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux

Xin also recommended this red from Pessac-Leognan in Bordeaux – an appellation carved out of the left bank Graves region in 1987.

He said: “Nicely developed for a wine of such age. Fresh aromas of yesteryear reduced to dried berries, coupled with a sweet incense-like note from the oak. But there remained plenty of liveliness on the palate with its juicy and firm tannins. Although the alcohol level was 12.5%, the finishing alcohol heat left a sense of imbalance.”

1961  Petrus, Château Petrus, Pomerol, Bordeaux, France

1947 vintage pictured

This 1961 Petrus was among the wines tasted by Jeannie Cho Lee MW, in March writing on her blog, The Asian Palate.

She said: “A powerful Petrus with a firm mid palate and velvety tannins. Still youthful – one would not guess it is more than 50 years old.

“The wine bursts with flavours that include cloves, sweet cinnamon and dried dates. This is a beautifully preserved wine that will keep for another 10 years.”

1961  Palmer, Château Palmer, Margaux, Medoc, Bordeaux, France

1979 vintage pictured

Cho Lee also gave her thoughts on this 1961 Château Palmer.     

She said: “This bottle is not as vibrant or fresh as the one I enjoyed at the chateau a year ago. However, there is still beautiful dried flower and dried red berry aromatics with silky tannins.

“For a 53-year-old wine, this wine has great energy and depth. A classic Palmer from a great vintage.”

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