2003

Parusso

In mid-December 2002, I visited three growers near Alba, in the Langhe region, Piedmont, Italy:

Marco Parusso twice said: "we buy yeasts" and he justified it thus: native yeasts create problems during the fermentation. This is consistent with another sentence he used twice: we direct the highest possible level of work onto the vineyards, the winemaking must be reliable and minimal.

Parusso explains how work in the storehouse tends to a minimum

Parusso explains that storehouse work is minimal

His installation is new and enormous (three storeys). The industrial process is impeccable: cultured yeasts, rotating vats and expensive barrels - Marco Parusso announces only Allier new oak here, with intermediate level of toasting (which he calls "light"). The impression is indeed one of a winemaking free of human errors, or oddities.

You find commercial ambition, big investment. Nature is not permitted to interfere.

Parusso twice said: "we thrive to emphasize fruit". He does not mean juiciness or freshness. He means mouth impact and density. And this I got in the glass.

Now to the tasting:

The 2000 Langhe Bricco Rovella Sauvignon is not my taste - a nose of butter, plant, sponge cake - palate-wide, smoked - smokiness dominates the aftertaste.

The 2000 Langhe Bricco Rovella (60% nebbiolo, 20% barbera, 20% cabernet sauvignon) smelled of earthenware and raspberry - palate was fresh, with lots of tannins from oak - an aftertaste of vanilla, hard and dry.

Bussia Mugnia is the most famous Barolo of the house. It is pleasurable not in 1999 or 1998, but in 1997 and 1996.

1999: aging potential - nose with rose, rich - palate fresh, burnt (from toasted oak), dense, dries the teeth, dries the palate

1998 - nose with rose, vanilla, fresher than 1999 - flavours of toffee and vanilla

1997 - a fresh nose, with rose and toffee - balanced, powerful

1996 - blue cheese, vacherin cheese (vacherin is a fairly strong and creamy cow-milk cheese) - almost onctuous, fresh, tackles the teeth - dries the palate
 
 

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