Sunday, October 5, 2008

Roberto Voerzio Cerequio

The Schild was the warm-up act for the 1997 Roberto Voerzio Cerequio Barolo. There is a bit of a parallel story to it. The 1997 vintage is widely hailed as the vintage of the century in Piedmont. Wine Spectator gave it a 100 point rating, I think a first for any vintage anywhere. They crowned Roberto Voerzio as the king of the vintage and gave its Brunate 100 points. This wine, from an adjacent vinyard, scored 95. I was in Piedmont after the releases to taste a range of these wines. To buy them, after the acclaim, was another story. I succeeded to take one bottle of the Brunate home. I finally managed to get a couple of bottles of the Cerequio in Australia. There probably is not more than one case in the country.

I decanted the wine during the rugby match and then served it with a rib-eye fillet. The bouquet in the glass was fantastic. Aromas of flowers and many fruits combined to enormous intensity and complexity. The taste continued this theme. I mainly tasted strawberry and lively red cherry fruit. Roberto Voerzio belongs to the 'modernists' in Piedmont. This means that the fermentation period is short, and his focus is on meticulous treatment of the vineyards. As a result, the fruit stand out, the tannins which are often so dominant in Nebbiolo, play second fiddle. The wine is medium bodied, very lively, and elegant and balanced. It will go on for many years. If I am asked what was missing, probably from an Australian perspective, a bit more depth in the fruit without losing finesse would have made this perfect. Beats me how this scored less points than the Schild (but see below).

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