On Value – 2010 Barolo From Aurelio Settimo

Monday, March 6, 2017 12:04 PM

What constitutes good value? Well, M-W.com defines the word as, “A fair return or equivalent for goods, services, or money for something exchanged.” Keeping in mind that the word “fair” is subjective; we all want our money’s worth when purchasing anything. Here at TWH, we always seek good value when tasting and deciding which wines to import and stock on our shelves. At every price point, there is value to be had here.


If one is searching for the best values among our bins, it is obvious to begin with wines that we import ourselves. It just makes sense – as there are no middlemen taking their cuts as the wine moves from producer to our shelves. We pride ourselves on being able to provide good value at every price point, from the $10 bottle well into the hundreds. In the world of fine wine, there exists a law of diminishing returns. After all, is a $100 bottle of wine really twice as good as a $50 bottle? There are many reasons for a particular wine’s price to exceed that of similar wines from similar locales. Some brands have excellent marketing arms and are able to command more due to a heightened reputation – deservedly or not. Taking all this into consideration, I have quietly enjoyed a very special wine recently. It’s from a fancy appellation – one that includes wines which sell for hundreds of dollars. I’m talking about Barolo. Specifically, the 2010 Barolo from Aurelio Settimo.


Two weeks ago, I wrote about an Italian white wine which we directly import. Within the write-up I mentioned a tasting room experience in which Tiziana Settimo suggested we try a line of wines made by a friend of hers. The fact that we all really fell for those wines further solidified Tiziana’s reputation in our eyes.


Around a year ago, we introduced Aurelio Settimo in the form of a Sunday email, calling them “Time Machine Wines.” Please click here to access it. Tiziana Settimo, after taking the reins from her late father in 2007, has continued the winemaking tradition in the family, maintaining the estate’s style. Her wines sing beautifully of quality fruit expression and sense of place. When the line of Barolo arrived last year, I was surprised to find that her 2010 Barolo was not only outstanding, but with a little decanting, it could be enjoyed now! I put my money where my mouth was and brought a bottle to Restaurant Picco in Larkspur to enjoy with dinner. I am friendly with several members of their staff, and shared tastes of the Barolo with many of them. The response was unanimous. They all loved it! It is a true Old World wine. The aromas are marked by the quintessential tar and a hint of rose petal, there is some wild cherry in there too, as well as dusty sandstone and herbaceous notes. The palate is medium bodied and elegant, dare I say silky. It’s altogether balanced, and the finish is prolonged by the buoyant acidity. It’s a fancy wine without being flashy. In other words, it’s a classy Old World wine.

2010 was an excellent vintage in Barolo, and among the famous labels, marketing departments or not, prices can be pretty steep. Due to the benefits from direct importation, the 2010 Aurelio Settimo Barolo is not $100 per bottle; not even $50. It comes in at $41.99, and even better, as part of any mixed case, the price gets down to $35.69. For Barolo.

It has been a banner week here at TWH. We co-hosted an intimate dinner at the aforementioned Restaurant Picco in Larkspur this past Tuesday with the Cru Classé wines from Bordeaux’s Bernard Magrez, represented by his daughter, Cécile Daquin. It was a great success, and we hope to have more opportunities to host more dinners in the future. Speaking of Bordeaux, we’re less than a month away from the annual En Primeurs tastings. There are still some loose ends to tie up for me schedule-wise, though I am confident they will be in order sometime this coming week. We’re hearing good things about 2016, but I will reserve judgement until I taste them for myself. That’s what we do here at TWH, and there’s a whole lot of value in that! – Peter Zavialoff

Aurelio Settimo del Piemonte – Time Machine Wines

Thursday, February 25, 2016 7:24 PM


The arrival of a new container ’round here is always exciting, but the excitement always builds when wines from a new (to us) producer are on it! How do we find new producers? There are several ways, but each winter there is a trade tasting featuring many Italian producers in search of importers in New York City. It was at this tasting where David first met Ambra Tiraboschi, and signed up Ca’Lojera for direct importation. It may have taken a trip or two to find another Italian producer, but we are super excited to be able to introduce the wines from Aurelio Settimo to you! The Settimo line includes Dolcetto, Langhe Nebbiolo, and a few Baroli.

In this day and age where so many wines are being made in the “International Style,”it is so refreshing to taste high-quality wines made the old school way! In their cellars, one will findno new barrels. As a matter of fact, thereare no small barrels of any age to be found! Everything is made usinglarge wooden casks, concrete and stainless steel tanks. The wines have theunmistakeable character of the terroir they come from and reflect their unique personalities due to minimal intervention.They’re real “Time Machine” wines.

 

 
The Settimo story goes back to 1943 when Aurelio’s parents settled into an old farmhouse in the hamlet of Annunziata, north of Barolo. They had chickens, cows, and rabbits. They grew fruit and nut trees and grape vines. The vast majority of wine grapes were sold off to local wineries, with a very small portion retained to make wine for

friends and family.By the end of the 1950’s Aurelio’s father, Domenico, was bottling his own wine under the Settimo Domenico label.Aurelio began to understand how special the family’s land was, and after his father’s passing in 1962, he scrapped the farming biz and committed to viticulture and expanded their holdings. This commitment was costly, as a new home and winery were built during this time. Aurelio was still selling half of his grapes to larger, local wineries, but that ended in 1974 when all production was vinified right there at the estate. The family style is to maintain traditional practices in their winemaking, letting the fruit and terroir do all the talking. Little has changed since Aurelio’s passing in 2007, as his daughter and right-hand woman, Tiziana runs the estate and continues the family tradition.
 
We were able to land a small amount of 2011 Barolo and 2008

Barolo Rocche dell’Annunziata,though they’re both currently in short supply. Don’t worry. We LOVE these old-school wines; we’ve already loaded up on more, and we’ll be getting more of the ’08 Rocche, and the 2010 Barolo and Rocchelater this spring. We will not hesitate to alert you all when they arrive! In the meantime, check out the Dolcetto and the Langhe Nebbiolo. Both offer great character and amazing value. Won’t you join us inwelcoming Tiziana and the entire Aurelio Settimo team to our ever-growing lineup of producers!Benvenuto!


2014 Aurelio Settimo Dolcetto d'Alba 750ML

 

2014 Aurelio Settimo Dolcetto d’Alba 750ML

 

 

The 2014 Dolcetto d’Alba from Settimo has dusty forest floor aromatics with a bright cherry fruit profile. Lively and fresh on the palate with a tangy finish. The dial is clearly pointed to old-school styled Dolcetto here as the grapey aspect of modern Dolcettos is absent.

12% ABV

Reg. $15.59

buy 2014 Aurelio Settimo Dolcetto d'Alba 750ML


2009 Aurelio Settimo Langhe Nebbiolo 750ML

 

2009 Aurelio Settimo Langhe Nebbiolo 750ML

 

6+ years since harvest, the 2009 Langhe Nebbiolo has those snappy tar & roses aromas that the variety is known for … and then some! Showing impressive layers of complexity such as leather, all-spice, and forest floor, this Nebbiolo is as honest as it gets.

14% ABV

Reg. $23.99

2010 Barolo from G.D. Vajra

Saturday, April 11, 2015 5:45 PM

2010 Barolo from G.D. Vajra
 
If you haven’t yet heard, the 2010 vintage in Barolo was outstanding. When word began spreading about the fine quality of the vintage, it was natural for some to wonder if all the high praise was mostly hype. Not so it seems. As with all great vintages, the story begins with the growing season and in 2010 the season began late as winter lingered long into March. Overall 2010 had cooler than normal temperatures, promoting a long ripening season. Most producers harvested in mid-October. The 2010 vintage is characterized by power, intensity and precision. Neither austere nor over-ripe, the 2010’s are perhaps best summed up as modern classics, for they achieve fruit ripeness without losing site specificity.
 
Bricco

Bricco delle Viole courtesy G.D. Vajra’s Facebook page

 
The Wine House is offering two beautiful examples of 2010 Barolo from a family-run estate, G.D. Vajra. We’ve been stocking their entry-level BaroloAlbe for several vintages now, as it offers elegance and class at a very reasonable price (yes, like fine Burgundy, Barolo can be expensive).

 

 
G.D. Vajra began when Aldo Vaira fled city life and returned to his family’s estate, situated in Vergne – the highest elevation village in the Commune of Barolo – to farm the land. This was the early 70’s, a time when most people were looking for a way out of rural life and wanted to head to the city. Not Aldo. From the beginning, Aldo devoted himself to making the highest quality wine possible.Over time and with careful planning, Aldo was able to expand his vineyard holdings to the current 40 hectares of which 10 are planted to Nebbiolo for Barolo. Today, his son Giuseppe is the winemaker and brand ambassador. The Wine House was pleased to meet him for the first time back in January when he visited our store, bringing along a gorgeous line-up of G.D. Vajra wines. –Anya Balistreri
Giuseppe
Giuseppe Vaira courtesy winery’s Facebook page
The 2010 Barolo Albe comes from three vineyards,Fossati, Coste di Vergne and La Volta. The vineyards are all between 400-440 meters above sea level, with both young and older plantings. Here is a review by Antonio Galloni:
“Rose petal, mint, sage and licorice meld together ina supple, racy Barolo endowed with both tons of near-term appeal and the potential to develop beautifully in bottle. Vajra crafts the Albe to be accessible young, but 2010 is a vintage in which a few years in bottle will only help. The Albe is one of the very finest Barolos in its price range.”93+ points.
 
The 2010 Barolo Bricco delle Viole is magnificent.Bricco delle Viole is one of the highest altitude crus with clay/calcium rich soils. Only the oldest vines go into this bottling. Antonio Galloni had this to write about the wine:
“The 2010 Barolo Bricco delle Viole is going to need quite a bit of time to fully come together. Dark cherries, plums, tobacco and spices burst from the glass in an intense, structured Barolo that hits all the high notes. Next to the Ravera, the Bricco delle Viole is more floral, lifted and finessed, especially with time in the glass. Rose petals, savory herbs and sweet spices add the last nuance of complexity. The 2010 is fabulous; it’s as simple as that.” 96+ points.

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