ARTICOLO PUBBLICATO SU “NAPA VALLEY REGISTER” IL 16 NOVEMBRE 2018

Eduardo Dingler Wine to Sake:
The wines of Bric Castelvej

Deep in the romantic Piemonte region of Italy,
known for elegant wines like Barolo and the
highly sought-after black and white truffles, lies
the region of Roero, characterized by rolling
hills and picturesque vineyards, backed by
centuries of winemaking.
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of traveling
through the region via a flight of wines
produced by the Gallino family. Patriarch
Domenico Gallino founded the winery, Bric
Castelvej, in 1956, and since then, the quality
vision of Domenico has been carried by his
grandchildren, Mario and Cristiano Gallino.
The location of the tasting couldn’t have been
more fitting: Bottega restaurant in Yountville.
There, we tried the wines presented by Cristiano
alongside culinary staples from the Bottega
kitchen.
Cristiano picked a handful of wines to tell the
story of his estate and proudly explained each
selection with fatherly pride and excitement
worthy of sharing with the world.
The first wine we enjoyed after a proper Aperol
Spritz while we got acquainted was the 2017 Bric
Castelvej Moscato D’Asti, Piemonte DOCG, a style
of wine championed in the Piemonte Region.
The wine, with a frizzy and slightly sweet
nature, exploded out of the glass with peach
blossoms, mandarin zest and enticing electric
acidity, which balanced the kiss of sweetness.
The following wine, a sharp and crisp white
wine, was the 2017 Bric Castelvej Roero Arneis,
Piemonte DOCG, a flagship wine from the region.
This wine exhibited notes of apple orchard,
almond skins and a dry, cleansing profile ideal
for seafood. We thoroughly enjoyed this wine
with the braised octopus with a hint of spice.
We then moved to the red wines starting with a
fun and refreshing 2017 Bric Castelvej Langhe
Nebbiolo, Piemonte DOC, the kind of wine one
wishes for on a daily basis. Light and bright in
color with fresh red fruit, high acid and soft
tannins.
The following taste was the 2017 Bric Castelvej
Barbera D’Alba, Piemonte DOC, a varietal that
often gets overlooked but always delivers an
intellectual wine at great value. This wine was
gentle and complex at the same time offering
sour cherries, fresh violets and a turned soil
layer that teased the senses.
Cristiano followed the tasting with the serious
sibling, 2017 Bric Castelvej Barbera D’Alba
Superiore Vigna Mompissano, Piemonte.
Superiore wines deliver a higher concentration,
this wine delivered a handful of herbs and spices
dominated by cinnamon and holiday spice,
macerated cherry and plum. Ideal for a
Christmas dinner or barbecue tri-tip with the
family.
We ended the flight with a head-turner wine, a
serious contender to your favorite Barolo. The
2014 Bric Castelvej Roero Riserva Panera Alta
DOCG, 100 percent Nebbiolo (just like Barolo)
from 40-year-old vines planted on the stunning
hillside. Both powerful and seductive, like
Sophia Loren, a plethora of aromas takes over
with dried roses, fruit cake, tar and asphalt. On
the first sip, a balance between macerated
cherries and earth with a generous profile
completed by meaty tannins and a lingering
finish that lasted for miles. This wine, alongside
the black truffle raviolo, was like enjoying a
tango performance by Carlos Gardel.
There is no doubt that Cristiano’s winemaking
hand inherited from his grandfather has done
him well. Although Bric Castelvej wines are hard
to find in the United States, I sure can’t wait to
be blue to find them for a weekly rendezvous.
At the same time, I am looking forward to visit
their estate soon.

 

The wines from the tasting of Bric Castelvej winery
in Piemonte.
Eduardo Dingler photo