On a summery July evening amidst the chaos of a TFL Tube Strike, a number of intrepid wine tasters gathered at Vinoteca in Marylebone for a special Fenocchio Masterclass led by Richard Hemming of jancisrobinson.com.
We gathered in a convivial spirit and tasted through Fenocchio’s range of 2011 Barolos and the 2008 Bussia Riserva. Led by Richard, the evening began with a brief overview of the geography of Barolo, a mere 1,000 ha to the 38,000 ha in Burgundy, as well as a history of the Fenocchio Estate. The annual production of the area is 12 million bottles, but this represents a wide range of quality with Fenocchio clearly towards the top end.
We started with a glass of Fenocchio’s Roero Arneis, a small production wine which prepared our palates for the range of Barolos. The first red sampled was the 2011 Barolo which showed well and is ready to drink now if served with food. It may not be as long lived as the 2010 but it already shows wonderful perfume and promise, excellent at this level.
We then took the step up to the four single vineyard wines from Bussia, Cannubi, Castellero and Villero. The increase in quality was immediately evident with greater concentration and length showing. These wines will all need a little more time to develop, but they can be decanted a couple of hours beforehand and enjoyed already. On the night itself the Bussia was the clear favourite of the 2011’s as voted by those in attendance.
The conversation flowed easily throughout the evening, with an engaged and interesting group. We discussed the quality of the wines on show and it was remarked more than once what good value for money the Fenocchio wines represent. As platters of delicious appetisers circulated and glasses were topped up, it was clear that these Barolos are definitely made to accompany food and really come to life when they are. It was a terrific evening and we all felt ready to face the long trudge home via London buses as the evening drew to a close. Overall a fabulous evening with lovely people and great wines. A good time was had by all.