Piemonte adventure (3) Barolo, Castiglione Falletto, Alba and Bra

A day of travel. From La Morra, to Barolo on a Sunday morning. This may be the village the famous wine is named after, but it’s smaller than La Morra and not as interesting. It’s the main tourist draw in the region, and it gets quite busy. There are restaurants and wine shops clearly targeting this tourist market. We stopped by the musuem of wine, which is based in an old castle. It’s very imaginative and is designed for all, irrespective of any interest in wine, but it’s also a bit weird.


Then it was off for a drive through vineyards to Castiglione Falletto, which is a small hilltop village that’s quite pleasant, and has lovely views over vineyards.

Third stop was in Alba. It’s the largest town in the region, and has a long main drag of shops. But leaving this, we managed to find a really cool wine bar (Petricore) and enjoyed a superb Barbaresco by the glass.

Albino Rocca Barbaresco 2017 Piemonte, Italy
At Petricore Enoteca in Alba. Beautiful nose of floral red cherry and plum with some rose petal and spice. The palate is supple and fine with silky red fruits and nice depth, finishing with some fine spicy tannins. Lovely elegance and flow here: very refined. 95/100

Then it was off to Bra. This is where we stayed for four nights while I was to be lecturing at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, just down the road. Bra is a lovely town, big enough to have some good restaurants and bars, but not too big. It’s the home of the Slow Food movement. Not much open on Sunday night so we stopped at Zero Enoteca Coviviale, which is a lovely wine bar specialising in low intervention/natural wines. Good international selection, too, but we stuck with the local wines.

Cascina Roera Ciapin Vino Bianco 2022 Piemonte, Italy
Long skin contact. 70% Arneis 30% Cortese. Golden bronze in colour. This is powerful and bold with some raisin, spice and mineral, as well as pithy citrus fruit. There’s a richness to this wine with mandarin and marmalade, but also some citrus and spice. Lovely stuff in quite an extreme orange style. Distinctive but lovely. 93/100 

Morra Gabriele Foravia Langhe Nebbiolo 2021 Piemonte, Italy
Whole bunch carbonic then aged in barrel. Supple and rounded with sweet cherries and berries, some strawberries and dried herbs. There’s also a stony edge to the fruit with fine spices. Shows lovely floral fruit and also some grip, and has a sweet core. 92/100 

De Simone Barolo 2018 Piemonte, Italy
From Serralunga D’Alba. Organic, not certified and low sulfites. This is juicy, fine and elegant. Bold, sweet cherry and plum fruit with some grippy tannins, but they don’t intrude. I love the texture here: this is grainy and detailed with some elegance as well as taut structural notes. There’s a purity and ease to this wine. 94/100 

Alberto Oggero Valledei Lunghi 2021 Piemonte, Italy
80 year old Arneis vines scattered in in a Nebbiolo vineyard, fermented on skins. Full golden/amber colour. Fruity with some tropical notes: mango and melon. Nice weight in the mouth with some orange peel and a bit of structure. Lovely fruit here, showing mastery of skin ferment. 92/100