Looking for Luca (and the 04 Barolo Villero Riserva)

In addition to making great wines, Luca Currado and Elena Penna works relentlessly to reach wine lovers all around the world with their stories and, of course, wines.  We have been fortunate to meet up with the family not only in Castiglione Falletto, but also at various tastings around the world.  Some of the highlights include a sip of the 03 Barbera d’Asti La Crena many years ago, and last summer when Elena opened the 07 Barolo Brunate (we promised Elena to never tell Luca about this, so please keep a secret) at a cellar visit. Vietti regularly gets Three Glasses (or tre bicchieri) for one or more of their wines in the annual Gambero Rosso guide.  And every year, some or most of the tre bicchieri winners go on tour (Gambero Rosso’s Vini d’Italia Tour).   Luca travelled this time with the 04 Barolo Villero Riserva.

A tad late (well it was an Italian – long – type lunch at the City Winery in South Village, NYC), but highly motivated, we entered the venue.  Much larger than the previous year, and absolutely buzzing with people.



Elbowing our way through, we finally hit the table with Vietti on it.  But not much more than a sign, 2 empty bottles, a half-empty glass, and tons of red wine (04 Villero Riserva, I might add) stains on the white table cloth.




That others, like Braida, was there, and had bottles to spare, made up some of our disappointment, but not all.  However, surrounded by some of the best wines in the world, and some of its best winemakers, we decided to search for the next best thing at the show.




It turned out, as it always does, that every year the Italians have a lot of great wines to offer.  Although your palate takes a beating at tastings like these, we enjoyed both the wines, the stories, and the passion, even late in the afternoon.  Among many wines that were divine, our two favorites were the 07 Vigna Rionda from Massolino, and the 09 Pomorosso from Coppo.  As different as Piemonte wines can be, but with a level of quality it is hard to find anywhere else. 


The representative from Azienda Agricola Negro Angelo e Figli wishing she had less bottles, and could join Luca and the others who where missing class, after a long and busy day.



The always smiling Giorgio Pelissero pouring his 08 Barbaresco Vanotu

Was Luca the only one who had left the building early?  No, he was not.  We noticed a few, with one of the other notables being Tenuta San Guido.  I guess the 08 Sassicaia went down pretty fast, and that they were better off joining Luca in search of a beer.  Than sitting around, offering excuses for having one of the most popular wines at the event.




In our quest to find Luca, next try is the Dalla Terra’s Annual Portfolio Tasting, this time in Portland (May 1), Seattle (May 2), Los Angeles (May 3), and San Francisco (May 4).  If the US West Coast is too far away, the Dalla Terra tour returns to the East Coast in 2013.    And then, of course, we will stalk the winery this summer.  After all, when Luca is not home, Elena gets out the good stuff.  And we would not like to miss that, would we?

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