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Red Lollipop Cola Wine from France

Posted: Monday, 08 July 2013 16:21

Visit from Vietti: Winemaker from Barolo and Barbaresco

July 08: Francesco Cordero, the young winemaker and a member of the fifth generation owning and running the boutique winery in the Langhe Hills of Piemonte was in India last week visiting Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. Subhash Arora enjoyed meeting with him and the dinner at OTW with Roero Arneis, Barbera d’Alba, Barbaresco Masseria and Barolo Castiglione.

Click For Large ViewThe small boutique winery in Castiglione Falletto in the heart of Langhe, the Barolo producing zone, having 40 hA of its own land-owning vineyards in different locations,  produces only 250,000 bottles but is coveted because of excellent quality, says Francesco Cordero.  70% of the production is exported with US as the biggest market.  He is the 5th generation family member who is also a winemaker and he was on his first ever visit to India, visiting trade people in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore with Vishal Kadakia of the Wine Park importing the wines for the last couple of years.

The winery is currently run by his uncle Luca Currado and father Mario Cordero. ‘We are proud to be farmers. Earlier our family sold grapes. First vintage from the family was released over 100 years ago in 1911 with the Vietti label,’ he says. Cordero feels Barolo is a notch above Barbaresco since it ages better - 20 to 25 years while the feminine Barbaresco is expected to age for 15 years- has softer tannins and is generally considered more elegant and feminine.

Artist Labels

Since 1982, the company has been using labels designed by local artists who are friends of the family. ‘These are local artist friends who were inspired by the vintage and the wine and draw a painting which we use on all the labels - unlike like Mouton-Rothschild where only the chateau wine has a label by an artiste,’ says Francesco. I correct him by saying that the artistes are not paid any money but are given a free case of wine of that vintage as a token. Perhaps this will start a new trend for their artists!

Roero Arneis docg 2010

Cordero had an interesting story to tell about their Roero Arneis wines as we started the evening in the beautiful, exclusive PDR of OTW across the ‘lake’ and were poured the welcome drink of chilled Roero Arneis docg 2010. ‘My maternal grandfather Alfredo Currado discovered in 1965 some plants with white grapes in the Nebbiolo vineyards. Calling them White Nebbiolo at that time, he harvested them separately and released the first white wine in 1967 which later came to be known as Arneis. (Italy has had a history of white grapes planted along with the reds and the field blends used to be fermented together-like in Chianti wines, for instance). Grapes are grown on 15 hAs rented vineyards in Santo Stefano-in the middle of Roero area. Vietti rents some vineyards and grows its own grapes but does not buy grapes, says Francesco. Roero Arneis, which received the well-deserved doc denomination in 2008, makes a delicious dry, light- to- medium bodied wine with fresh floral aromas and such crisp acidity that while conversing one didn’t notice the continuous refilling of the glass. Vietti Roero Arneis is a wine that no one can ever refuse a glass of... or two…or three (if you are not paying for it, that is!)

Barbera d’Alba doc 2010 Tre Vigne

Click For Large ViewWith some of the senior captains of the hotel industry present, Vishal Kadakia requested the hospitality people to let the importers coexist so that the hotels may continue to get interesting wines like Vietti to the country. Because of over-squeezing the vendors in negotiations, some importers are in a perilous state and are on the verge of closing business and that was not a very good sign for the industry, he told the audience.

But this was after we’d had the Barbera d’Alba 2010 made from Barbera grapes picked from the top three vineyards (Tre Vigne) in Monforte, Castiglione Falletto, and Castiglione Tinella. With a floral bouquet and faint aromas of oak in the back layer and the generous fruit flavour of dark cherries and red berries, though still slightly rough on the edges, this was a good example of an age-worthy Barbera, a popular wine from Piemonte. Drinking well and a great match with Foie Gras and Carpaccio, the tannins were ripe and the sharp acidity made it a very pleasant drinkable wine.

Barolo Castiglione 2008

Barolo is produced in the heart of Langhe hills in 11 different municipalities/towns, the more important being Barolo, La Morra, Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d’Alba and Monforte d’Alba. Other communes included are Verduno, Novello, Grinzane Cavour, Roddi, Cherasco and Diano d’Alba. Vietti produces Barolo from different terroirs by harvesting grapes from their own vineyards in different zones-Castiglione, Rocche, Brunate, Lazzarito (in Serralunga) and a Reserva made from the single vineyard Villero in Castiglione Falletto.

We were served Barolo Castiglione 2008 made with the Nebbiolo grapes taken from different vineyards in Castiglione Falletto, Monforte, Barolo and Novello areas with the vines varying in age from 7-35 years. It was served before Barbaresco. Unlike most producers, Cordero does not advocate decanting the two wines. ‘I like to see it evolve in a glass. Every drop then tastes different’ says Francesco enthusiastically.

The Barolo was a dark cherry red, complex wine with good structure and strong tannins - certainly a very young wine that I felt would have been helped by breathing in the decanter for 30-60 minutes or perhaps 30 minutes in the big-bowled glass before drinking. The fact that it was served with fish, made it shy of showing its elegance and prowess. It felt like it would need at least five years to tame the tannins but had enough fruit to continue evolving in the glass. I requested the server to bring some hard cheeses later to try with it. Though still not a perfect match as the cheeses could not measure up to the fine wine, it was more enjoyable, bringing out the classic issue of wine-food match to the fore.

Barbaresco Masseria 2009

Click For Large ViewThe last wine of the evening was also made naturally from Nebbiolo grapes but from the cru vineyard of Masseria in Neive, one of the villages that fall in the Barbaresco zone, besides Treiso the third village. This was lighter on the palate, elegant and feminine with good integration and balance with berry flavours that persisted on the palate for a long time. The wine was juicy enough to make you want to drink more and the ripe tannins let me enjoy the fish though I won’t say it added synergy to the food like the Barbera had done to the Foie Gras with Carpaccio as a starter. It did go better with the chicken dish that was served as an option. It brought vivid memories of Angelo Gaja who is a passionate believer of Barbaresco being a versatile wine that matches well with meats as well as white meats including chicken..

Albeisa – As the wine was being served I noticed the bottles-they were the Albeisa bottles I see often when I visit Piemonte for the annual wine tastings organised by the Albeisa Association. Vietti has been a loyal member of Albeisa - the organization of traditional Piemontese wine producers who also use a typical shaped patented bottled, from the very beginning. His comments, ‘we are chained to our territory,’ explain in simple and lucid terms their respect for the terroir and tradition.

Quality is a part of their passion and philosophy and one could see and taste it generously at the evening hosted by Vietti, the Wine Park and OTW-On the Waterfront, Restaurant. To know more about Vietti Wines, visit

For a couple of related earlier article, visit Barolo and Barbaresco- Burgundy of Piemonte .
Nebbiolo Prima: Barolo Outshines other Piemontese Wines

Subhash Arora

Tags: Francesco Cordero, Vietti, Barbaresco, Roero Arneis, Barbera d’Alba, Barolo, Barolo Castiglione, Piemonte


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