GIV announces acquistion of Cavicchioli

According to a report published today on the blog Italia a Tavola, the Verona-based wine behemoth Gruppo Italiano Vini will take control of the Cavicchioli winery group in Modena on January 1, 2011.

The agreement, said Sandro Cavicchioli, president of Cavicchioli group, is intended to preserve “continuity” and to further “develop the historic brand and its products.”

The Cavicchioli family, he added, will continue to produce sparkling wines at its Bellei winery in Sorbara (Emilia-Romagna) and its Castelfaglia winery in Franciacorta (Lombardy). It will also continue to grow grapes in estate-owned vineyards in Emilia-Romagna for wines to be bottled under the Cavicchioli brand name.

Founded in 1928, the historic Cavicchioli winery group sells more than Euro 25 million worth of wine every year, 25% of which is destined for foreign markets.

The move by GIV, which purchased sparkling wine producer Carpenè Malvolti in April 2010, marks yet another landmark acquisition in its expansion into the sparkling wine category.

Bartolo Mascarello 2008 Langhe Nebiolo [sic]

Source: Vino al Vino. Translation by VinoWire.

The other evening, as we wait for the true cold to arrive so that I can spend a long evening with a bottle of Bartolo’s Barolo (excuse me! I mean Maria Teresa’s Barolo!), I hazarded a not-so-perfect pairing with an excellent pasta e fagioli prepared by my wife using the legendary white beans of Pigna. (Frankly, my desire to drink this wine was so great that I would have paired with even a humble dish of pasta.) I am tempted to call the wine in question, which I opened and thoroughly enjoyed, a Barolino, even though the handsome label tells us that the wine is a Langhe Nebiolo, sic, with just one b.

In fact, Bartolo’s daughter Maria Teresa does not conceal the fact that “our Nebiolo, with a production of roughly 2,000 bottles, comes from the same vines used for our Barolo. The wine is not released every year and only when climatic conditions and the young age of the vines do not deliver quality worthy of being called Barolo. So we declassify those parcels to Langhe Nebiolo.”

You don’t need me to tell you that this is a 100% Nebbiolo, without the addition of the 15% of other grapes allowed by the appellation (the very same DOC that gave a home to the celebrated crus of a well-known Langa producer, who had a hard time swallowing the 100% Nebbiolo requirement in the DOCG where he makes wine).

As for her Barolo, the Langhe Nebiolo is aged in Slavonian cask, ranging from 25 to 50 hectoliters, “for 9 months or 2 years, depending on the vintage characteristics.”

This wine offers a superb “introduction to Barolo,” with brilliant ruby red color and a clean and precise aromatic profile. The nose is unmistakably nebbiolous, ample and open, with a seductive mix (yet with each one distinctly perceptible) of raspberry, currants, and prune, hints of licorice, aromatic herbs, violet, underbrush, and savory nuanced minerality and earth and “streaks” of tobacco. This wine conveys is intriguing complexity through its harmony and intimacy with the “music” of Nebbiolo, the gateway to the symphonic complexity of Barolo.

Extremely clean and polished in the mouth, with undeniable elegance, a sign of masterful vinificiation. When I tasted this wine, I was immediately impressed by its juicy drinkability, by its great energy. It delivered complete satisfaction to the palate, full, wide, and open, bolstered by robust tannic structure with tannin that made its lively presence felt without aggressive. At the same time, the wine had a meatiness and a juicy, youthfully rich expression of fruit paired with a calibrated acidity and freshness, genuine flavor in a tasty glass.

—Franco Ziliani

Siena court delivers sentences in Brunello scandal

According to a report published Friday, October 1 by the Florence edition of the Italian national daily La Repubblica, a Siena judge has sentenced the current director of the Brunello producers association, Stefano Campatelli, to 16 months of detention and ex-president of the association, Filippo Fanti, was sentenced to 12 months for falsifying public documents. Both sentences were the result of a plea bargain, according to the article. Lamberto Frescobaldi (whose family owns the Castelgiocondo winery) and Castelgiocondo lawyer Niccolò D’Afflitto were sentenced to 3 months and 1 month respectively for the sale of adulterated products, but both sentences were reduced to monetary fines.

Legal representative of Argiano, Giampiero Pazzaglia, was also formally indicted for the sale of adulterated products. His first hearing is set for March 16, 2011, wrote the authors of the report.

Previously accused of lying to prosecutors, enologist Paul Rudolf Harri was absolved by the court.

The six persons who appeared before the court last week were among the seventeen individuals sentenced in the wake of the Brunello investigation. The other eleven had previously negotiated plea bargains with prosecutors and were not required to appear.