Italian Wines

Latest releases from Cantina Mauro Sebaste – Spring 2019

Mauro Sebaste and his clan!

2017 Sebaste, Nebbiolo d’Alba, Parigi (RT 89) An interesting bottling, this 100% Nebbiolo grown in vineyards located in villages in Alba and Diano d’Alba and aged in a combination of 400-liter tonneaux of 60% American and 40% French oak for 12-14 months. I don’t the level of macaroon I often associate with American oak aging, which is nice! Translucent ruby in hue with notes of light Morello (sour) cherry, ripe strawberry, raspberry and balsam lead to a delicious palate feel with tasty fresh fruit and a mid-length finish. A fine bottling in the low $20 price range. Drink now-2024+

2016 Sebaste, Barbera d’Alba Superiore, Centobricchi (RT 91) From the same vineyards as the Parigi comes this Barbera, which is aged for 12-14 months in new French oak tonneaux. Here the quality of fruit shines through as its deep ruby hue leads to notes of black cherry, sous bois, anise and new leather. The palate is built on a firm layer of minerality as it delivers delicious fruit, tasty acidity and a lovely, softly tannic finish. This should be a nice mid-term age-worthy wine for under $30. Drink 2020-2030+

2015 Sebaste, Barolo, Trèsüri (RT 92) Sourced from estate grown fruit from three excellent vineyards – – the Trèsüri Barolo is aged for three years in mostly 1600 liter French oak barrels with a small amount in 400 liter tonneaux. It reveals a deep garnet hue that reveals notes of mentholated cherry, balsam, rose petal and a hint of truffle. The mouthfeel is a thing of beauty, with lovely fruit, balance acidity and tannin and should age very well for the coming few decades. An exceptionally well-priced Barolo under $40. Drink 2025-2040+

2015 Sebaste, Barolo Cerretta (RT 94) Sourced from estate grown fruit from the exceptional Serralunga Cru Cerretta, this fabulous bottle is aged for three years in 1600 liter French oak barrels with a small amount in 400 liter tonneaux. While the hue here is similar to the Trèsüri, the aromatics are ramped up significantly with penetrating notes of mentholated cherry, cranberry, licorice, fresh rose petal. With time in the glass notes of goudron and violets emerge. The palate is exceptionally endowed with a firm balance of fruit, acidity and fine grained, ripe tannin. A real gem that runs in the $70-80 range and is worth every penny! Drink 2025-2045+

Paitin – 2019 Releases from this great Piedmontese winery!

2017 Paitin, Langhe, Arneis, Elisa (RT 90) With a straw hue, the 2017 Arneis shows a lovely ripe and rich bouquet with notes of white stone fruits, pear, a whiff of jasmine and a hint of salinity. The mouthfeel is relatively full for Arneis with ripe fruit and fresh acidity. A lovely Arneis that offers great quaffing at an affordable price. Drink now-2023

2017 Paitin, Nebbiolo Langhe, Starda (RT 89) Starda offers a superb value in the world of Nebbiolo. Crafted from young vines grown in a cooler (read less-warm than Serraboella) part Barbaresco, it is aged for one year in large Slavonian cask. Showing a light translucent ruby garnet hue, notes of ripe strawberry and red raspberry, smoke and rose hips waft from the glass. The mouthfeel is light and easy drinking with a well-balanced combination of fruit, acidity and soft tannin. Drink now-2025+

2015 Paitin, Nebbiolo d’Alba, Ca Veja (RT 91) This vineyard site dates back to the 1500s. Ca Veja translates to “old house”. Contrasting to the lighter hued Starda, here the visual are a bit darker and larger scaled. Deeply nuanced notes of dark red cherry, cranberry, hibiscus with a slight twang lead to a tasty mouthfeel with a traditional bent, showing firm acidity and a soft but ripe tannic finish. Another tasty treat, Paitin has hit its mark with this affordable Nebbiolo. A lovely food wine. Drink now-2025+

2017 Paitin, Dolcetto d’Alba, Sori’ Paitin (RT 90) The fruit for this dolcetto is grown in the southwest-facing slopes of the Serra Boella vineyard and is aged for five months in large Slavonian cask. Its medium ruby hue leads way to deep notes of black cherry, ripe plum, spice, new leather and hints of minerality. The mouthfeel is fruit-driven and layered with bright acidity and firm tannin that will cut through fatty foods beautifully. A terrific pizza wine! Drink now-2026+

2016 Paitin, Barbera d’Alba, Serra (RT 91) Grown on the east-facing slopes of the Serraboella vineyard where more sandy soils exist, this is aged for one year in Slavonian botti (cask). Revealing a deep ruby hue, notes of dark cherry, plum, new saddle leather and licorice emerge. With time in the glass hints of mulberry and a light chocolate note come out. The mouthfeel is excellent and full, with generous ripe fruit, soft acidity and round, lush tannin. Drink now-2026+

2015 Paitin, Barbera d’Alba Superiore, Campolive (RT 92) Lower yields and longer aging – 18 months in Slavonian botti – have delivered a beautifully delicious Barbera. Slightly more dense and deeper in hue than the Serra, here notes of ripe dark cherry, saddle leather, cured meat and dried herbs leads to an attractive mouthfeel layered with ripe fruit, soft acidity and a punctuated tannic finish. A really lovely Barbera, this is perfect for mid-term cellaring. Drink now-2028+

2014 Paitin, Barbaresco, Serraboella (RT 92+) The Serraboella cru vineyard – home to the Paitin winery – is the only hill in Barbaresco that combines Serravalliano and Tortoniano soils, an unusual combination that is accentuated by its perfect, south-west exposure. Aged for 20 months in Slavonian botti, this base Barbaresco is crafted from young vines currently 24 years of age. Showing a light ruby garnet hue, it shows notes of red cherry, rose petal, balsam, cedar and a hint of white flowers. The palate is focused like a laser with a beautiful balance of elegant fruit, acidity and ripe tannin on the finish. This is a killer buy for a base Barbaresco that in my view rivals the go-to Produttori del Barbaresco normale’ with style and grace. Drink 2020-2032+

2014 Paitin, Barbaresco, Sori’ Paitin (RT 94+) Paitin’s fabulous Barbaresco Sori Paitin is aged for 36 months in Slavonian botti and is sourced from older vines averaging 45 years of age near the sunny hilltop, thus the name. Here the hue is light ruby with a garnet tinge, and the bouquet is utterly seducing with mentholated notes of morello cherry, ripe red raspberry, fresh rose petal and a mineral driven punctuation mark. The mouthfeel is so exquisite, with a beam of focus that only great winemaking can produce. Balanced and elegant on the palate displaying a captivating weightlessness, gorgeous fruit, refreshing acidity and a long silky ripe finish. Superb! Patin has crafted another masterpiece! Drink 2024-2044+

2014 Paitin, Barbaresco Riserva, Sori’ Paitin Vecchie Vigne (RT 95+) Crafted from old vine fruit planted 66 years ago by Giovanni and Silvano’s father. This is aged for 36 months in Austrian oak botti and for good reason is the wineries’ flagship bottling. Here the wine displays a slightly deeper, fuller ruby garnet hue and the bouquet echoes this display with rich, alluring mentholated notes of dark red cherry, a smattering of violets, and pinch of balsam and a punctuation mark layered in minerality and white floral notes. The Austrian oak lends a beautiful influence on the wine, as the mouthfeel is decadently rich and sappy, the fruit well balanced with the acids and superbly ripe tannins that keep luring you back for another sip. This is artful in every way, I can’t wait to see how this evolves with cellaring. Drink 2024-2044+

May 11, 2019 – A lovely evening at my dear friend Suzy’s with many of the attendees working on the MS training program. This night provided some lovely wines, with the whites mostly leaning toward early drinkers and the reds showing some quite profound bottlings.


NV Ricci Curbastro, Franciacorta, Brut (RT 89) A blend of60% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Blanc & 10% Pinot Noir with 8 grams/liter dosage, aged for 30 months. Bright, energized and crisp with white stone fruit and a hint of yellow peach. Drink now-2021+

2017 Bruno Giacosa, Roero, Arneis (RT 91) A lovely showing for this Arneis, crafted from a warm vintage! I’ve followed Giacosa’s Arneis for many years now, and I love this bottling from warmer vintages when hints of ripe tropical fruit shine through, as opposed to the many acid searing versions of this grape from cooler vintages. Bravo to the Team at Giacosa! I recently had a bottle of 2005 that was drinking incredibly well at age 13, very impressive! Follow your hearts’ desire when it comes to vintage style. Drink now-2027+

2003 Ronco del Gnemiz, Colli Orientali del Friuli, Sauvignon Sol (RT 92) Showing a beautiful golden hue, this aged Sauvignon Blanc reveals fresh notes of lemon, white melon and yellow stone fruits. Beautifully mature, but in no thread of sliding over the hill anytime soon. Drink now-2025+

2015 Orsi Vigneto San Vito, Vigna del Grotto (RT 89) Crafted from 100% Grechetto Gentile grown in the hills around the town of Bologna, this shows a slightly maderized (oxidized) character with notes of hazelnut and old barrel smells. Certainly unique, and perhaps popular with natural movement aficionados, but in my view could be better with a less rustic winemaking approach. Drink now -2022

2016 Edi Kerber, Collio (RT 90) A blend from the border of Italy and Slovenia of Ribolla Gialla, Tocai Friuliano & Malvasia Istriana. This is a lovely fresh white that reveals a core of yellow stone fruits, fresh white flowers and and a hint of terroir. Excellent acidity, but not too much, this delivers a lovely sumptuous mouthfeel. 20% of the wine was aged in concrete egg, the balance in stainless. An excellent wine that will drink well for the coming near term. Drink now-2026

2017 Pra, Soave Classico, Monte Grande (RT 91) A blend of 70% Garganega, 30% Trebbiano di Soave aged in large French oak casks for 10 months, lending a decided richness to the wine. Round and voluptuous with a pungent bouquet of yellow peach, an alluring floral aspect and notes of wheat grass that brings you back for another sip. Showing the slightest caramel aspect as it unwinds in the glass. Drink now-2025+

2015 Livio Felluga, Terre Alte (RT 93) A wonderful blend of Friuliano, Pinot Bianco & Sauvignon Blanc, the Pinot Bianco and Sauvignon fermented at controlled temperatures in stainless steel tanks, where they matured for ten months. The Friulano fermented and aged in small casks of French oak, then the grapes are blended. This is lush, rich wine with notes of yellow melon and jasmine with a hint of tropical fruit. Totally digging this great bottling, a go to white wine! Drink now -2025+


2014 Roberto Voerzio, Barbera d’Alba, Il Cerreta (RT 89) I found myself measurably disappointed in this bottle as the overall impression was one of thin, dilute and overly acidic, despite Voerzio’s obsession with minimal harvest yields and crafting concentrated wines. Not sure what happened here, but it’s not a typical showing for Voerzio. Showing red cherry, and a bit of leather with a hint of smokiness, it offers fresh acidity but soft tannins. Drink now-2024

2015 Vietti, Barbera d’Alba, Vigna Scarrone (RT 92) A benchmark bottling for this famed Piedmont producer, this and the Scarrone Vigna Vecchia are their top two Barbera bottlings. Showing notes of black cherry, new leather, coffee and spice, it reveals a lovely level of acidity which keeps it fresh, and a soft tannic finish. Drink 2022-2030+

2013 Castiglion del Bosco, Brunello di Montalcino, Campo del Drago (RT 92) The single vineyard bottling from Castiglion del Bosco and a step up from their normale’ Brunello bottling. Tis could have used some more breathing time but showed well enough. With a hint of modern polish and no dominant oak showing through, at age 5+ this reveals hints of dark red cherry, Tuscan spice and dark floral notes, but remains on the young side. Made in a well-balanced style, this could grow in its curb appeal with proper cellaring. Drink 2023-2038+

2009 Ronchi di Cialla, Schioppettino di Cialla (RT 91) Friuli Venezia Giulia is home to the Schioppettino grape, which has a long history, but has never really risen to a highly heralded variety and remains sparely planted today. This wine is staunchly traditional in its style, but aged in older French oak barrique. Served from a 375ml., this shows a ruby hue with spicy, peppery notes of red fruits, terroir-driven earthy notes and hints of orange peel. The balance of fruit, tannin and acidity shows excellent wine making, but I’m not sure the 375ml bottling did this justice as it seems a bit advanced. Drink now-2029 from larger formats

2014 La Tena, Valtellina Superiore, Ca Bianche (RT 87) A value priced Nebbiolo that shows sour red cherry with a decided twangy character due to its high acidity. Not terribly enticing with its imbalanced acid dominated character. Drink now

2012 Luigi Nervi, Gattinara (RT 93) From the oldest winery in Gattinara in Alto Piedmont comes this most excellent Nebbiolo, which is aged for 3 years in Slovonian cask. While the DOCG rules allow for blending of up to 10% Vespolina, this wine is 100% Nebbiolo. It shows a delicious, elegant approachable character. Notes of sweet ripe red raspberry and strawberry display how elegant Gattinara can be, the mouthfeel is light on its feet, the acidity and tannin bringing a lovely finish to the wine. A beautiful wine from pre-Roberto Conterno ownership of Nervi. Drink now-2032+

2011 Brovia, Barolo, Rocche di Castiglione (RT 95) Showing the elegance of this fabulous cru vineyard, the 2011 Rocche reveals an enchanting, feminine side of the equation. The lighter translucent ruby garnet hue matches its grace perfectly as it shows fresh, light notes of red raspberry, Morello cherry, balsam and fresh roses. The palate is equally elegant with lovely lift, fruit concentration and balanced acid and tannin. One of the two Wines of the Night. Drink 2023-2036

2004 Francesco Rinaldi, Barolo, Le Brunate (RT 95) Another stunning showing for the 2004 Le Brunate, it shows a broad shouldered, masculine side of Barolo, juxta opposed from the Brovia Rocche. Deep dark notes of black cherry, forest floor and minerality emerge and the mouthfeel is equally impressive showing a depth of fruit I associate with this seriously structured vintage. This remains on the young side of tertiary development but is drinking beautifully with sufficient oxygenation The other Wine of the Night for me. Drink now-2034+

1999 Aldo Rainoldi, Valtellina, Sfursat, Fruttaio Ca’ Rizzieri (RT 94) I picked up this one off bottling many years ago and its been in my cellar since. A superb showing for this late harvest, Amarone-styled Nebbiolo, with its deep ruby hue. Showing superbly ripe red fruit with hints of smoke and a wisp of VA to add punctuation to the package. Delicious mouthfeel with brilliant acidity and sweet, ripe tannin. A mind-blowing delicious late harvest Nebbiolo! Drink now-2029+

2010 Allegrini, Monovitigno Corvina Veronese IGT, La Poja (RT 93) Crafted from 100% Corvina Veronese and aged for four years prior to release, this wine shows a darker, denser side of the equation, with rich, ripe notes of dark red fruit, meats and a beautiful smokiness. The palate is lush yet buttressed with lovely refreshing acidity and a smooth tannic finish. This will age gorgeously and is a serious and structured wine. Drink now-2030+