Wine Tasting Notes Piemonte May 1 Weekend

Again, stayed at Corte Gondina in la Morra.  The hospitality of Bruno Viberti and the team is unprecedented.  And a great location for easy access to some of the greatest wineries on the planet and numerous immaculate food joints.
My travel companions had visited Valle d’Aosta before they met me.  And could not stop talking about the great minerality and incorporated oak of Les Cretes’ 06 Chardonnay Cuvee Bois.  First off for me was Gillardi in Farigliano.  A bit out of the way, but worth it for the wine, the view, and the winery itself (interested in interior and architecture, this is the winery for you).  Tasted the Harys, the “Grenache” and the Merlot out of the barrels, and they were all great. The Syrah (Harys) was up to its normal standard, and the “Chateau-neuf-de-pape clone” is nothing short of amazing.  Close your eyes, and it’s hard to tell where you are.
Lunch at Altare was a blast.  Less a tasting, and more a wine-food pairing test of Norwegian aged cheese and hams with the best of the best the Langhe has to offer of reds.  I still believe that Altare’s Dolcetto is on of the hidden secrets of the wine world.
The Enzo Boglietti winery has moved down the road from the old location, but the commitment to quality has remained.  We tasted through the range of their current bottlings, with the 04 Casa Nera as the highlight.  We had the pleasure of barrel tasting the 06 Barolos, and the Casa Nera looks set to become a winner.  Even more elegant and structured than the 04, with a tad of earthiness to it.  Remember also to pet the dog while you’re there.
We branched out this time around, and spent a day in Monforte d’Alba.  Of many highlights, the entire range at Conterno Fantino was great (in line with their hospitality).  And their 05 Barolos are not that much off their 04s.  The Zero Brut and L’Angelica (Chardonnay) at Rocche dei Manzoni was also extraordinary.
Accompanying food (recommend Osteria la Saracca, Felicin, and Osteria dei Catari in Monforte, and Bovio, Belvedere and Vineria San Giorgio in La Morra) we had great wine all around (not exactly hard to do).  But the 96 Barolo Vigneta Arborina from Altare and Felicin, and the 98 Alter Ego from Coppo at Vineria San Giorgio, was a notch above the others.
Anyone want more details, please let me know.  I would love nothing more than to share the great sights, tastes and stories of the Langhe.
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