Our visit to Piedmont started in the most charming way while we were looking for Paolo Scavino in Castiglione Falletto. The navigation system got us to the right place, but there 3-4 people were working in construction - adding a room to the house and no sign of the winery. Asking the man that supervised the work where is the winery we got a big smile and the answer "this is me". Enrico Scavino - the legendary wine maker worked with the construction people. He greeted us warmly and accompanied us into the winery/house where he introduced us to his two daughters: Elisa (winemaker) and Enrica (Marketing). All were dressed causally - they were in the middle of their working day. This is one of Piedmont's characteristics: casual, down to earth yet very sophisticated, beautiful and above all full of charm. Both the land and the people.
Founded in 1921, Paolo Scavino winery consistently produces outstanding and great Barolo wine as well as excellent Langhe blend and Barbera. 2003 was a tough vintage due to the very hot summer. Barolo and Barbaresco producers that did a good job in the vineyards and the winery got very good even excellent wines - which is the case here. 2004 is a different story - a much more typical vintage, but here again those that didn't play it right with mother nature got caught with wet vineyards. Scavino played the dice right!
The charming Enrica led us through the history of the winery and the wine tasting.
Barbera d'Alba Affinato in Carati 2004
Carati stands for barriques, this wine spent 8 months in barriques and 8 months in large oak barrels. The result is an excellent, deep Barbera. Deep colored wine. Ripe blackberries, meat along with a notes pf slight smoke and licorice. round tannins but enough to let the wine age for 4-5 years. Medium but very pleasing finish. 89-90
60% Nebiolo, 20% Barbera, 10% Merlot and 10% C.S. This is a wine that is desired to cater to young people that are not used to drink the sophisticated Barolo wines. Still this internationally styled wine is a success: Very fruity, raspberry, cassis with a good structure and a sweet pleasant finish. 90-91
Barolo Bric Del Fiasc 2003
Light to medium color, Very fruity: cassis, red berries. Even though the high alcohol percentage the wine is very pleasant with a pretty long and very good finish. The tannins are less rough than a usual Barolo of this age, but still provide a good reason to believe that this will cellar nicely. 92-93
Barolo Bric Del Fiasc 2004
We got a barrel sample of what seems to be an excellent vintage. Deep and intense color. Blackberries, vanilla, mediterranean herbs with a sweet liqueur note. It feels powerful and great with surprisingly sweet tannins (this seems to be one of the vintage characteristics in Piedmont). The ending has a orange hint to it. Can't wait to buy it. 96-98
Rocche del'Annunziata Riserva 2001
This is THE real thing! Enrico Scavino bought a vineyard there after his mother, that read every letter in the newspaper, saw an ad. The vines are 60-70 years old and produce small quantities but very concentrated wine. The Riserva is produced only in great vintages. The color is deep, the wine is big and elegant with sweet red berries, blackberries vanilla and truffles. The tannins are elegant still provide an excellent structure for aging. The finish is long and great. 99-100.
In addition we tasted Barolo Bricco Ambrogio 2003 - I don't have the notes, but clearly remember that this is an excellent Barolo, although less than "Bric Del Fiasc" above.