Decugnano dei Barbi tasting and dinner with Enzo Barbi
4th August 2015
La Locanda, Gisburn, Lancashire
La Locanda is a
wonderfully authentic Italian restaurant, rooted in the concepts of
agriturismo and slow food, taking primarily local produce from
Lancashire's Ribble Valley and using it as they would in Italy, with a
number of DOP products being imported from Italy.
Enzo Barbi had come over to present these wines, after he'd spotted a
tasting note I'd posted earlier in the year, having had - and written
about in glowing terms - a bottle of the Decugnano dei Barbi Il Bianco
at La Locanda.
We started downstairs with some excellent Prosciutto di Norcia and
glasses of Decugnano dei Barbi's fizz:
Decugnano dei Barbi Brut
markedly rich nose, with the pinot noir evidently to the fore in this
classic Chardonnay-Pinot Noir sparkling blend. Rich and really quite
Rich and full on the palate, with a slight sensation of sweetness. Lots
of ripe black fruit. An interesting wine. A bit different than the
usual fizz, with rather more character. 91/100
Moving upstairs to the dining room, the first course was an antipasto
of various Italian cured meats and some local chicken livers.
Decugnano dei Barbi Maris Umbria IGT
A brand new release, on sale just a few weeks now. This is a single
vineyard Chardonnay from a vineyard particularly rich in oyster shells.
Just 3000 bottles were produced.
A big, full perfumed, minerally, saline nose, feeling a bit extracted,
with aromas of seawater, butter and pear fruit. On the nose, you would
never guess this was so young.
On the palate, it's a lovely, mouthfilling savoury chardonnay. Very
individual and characterful. Quite different than you might expect, and
An excellent match with chicken livers and truffle, and very good with
smoked goose breast and a wild boar mortadella with black truffle.
Antipasto naturally comes before the pasta, and today it was a
homemade, hand-rolled sort of fat spaghetti called picchiarelli that
was served with a sauce of two types of pecorino cheese and guanciale
(a sort of cheek bacon) from cinta senese pigs (a bit like British
saddlebacks, I understand). Delicious, and well matched by the
complexity of the Il Bianco.
2011 Decugnano dei Barbi Il Bianco
Very minerally, chalky nose. Very elegant and refined nose, with some
citrus and garriquey herbaceousness, with a hint of anise.
Lovely precise palate: fresh, minerally, balanced. Somehow this manages
at the same time to be both delicate and aristocratic-feeling, and deep
and complex. Enormous length, with some hints of fennel on the finish.
This really is a remarkably impressive wine. 95/100
Moving onto the main course, or secondo piatto and to eat with the Il
Rosso, we had an excellent, and certainly hearty dish of local, organic
Gazegill lamb leg stuffed with pancetta, chicken breast and cheese,
served with Castellucio lentils.
2011 Decugnano dei Barbi Il Rosso
A blend of sangiovese, montepulciano and 40% syrah, part aged for a
year in oak, and bottled in 2013.
This has a very attractive nose with rich, silky black fruits. You can
really feel the syrah on the nose, not least in some chocolate notes,
though there''s a nice herbal lift too. An utterly charming, elegant,
On the palate, it's much, much fresher feeling than I was expecting
from the nose. Quite zingy actually, initially, with a touch of
greenness, though a greennes of underripeness at all. Initially the
alcohol is quite evident, but it quickly softens in the glass. At this
But it then improved greatly with food, and with just sitting in the
glass. There's a fascinating depth of flavours. After twenty minutes in
the glass, it comes across much more integrated. Some peppery spice
right on the end of the finish.
While the syrah seemed to be dominant on the nose, in the mouth, the
montepulciano seems to elbow itself to the fore. There's some nice
cherry fruit character that starts to come through after a while. Then
some cherry-stones and peach kernels on the finish. Fascinating stuff.
2013 Decugnano dei Barbi Orvieto Classico Pourriture
Noble Muffa Nobile d'Umbria
apricots, sea water and oyster/mussel shells on the nose - an unusual
combination in a sweet wine, but very attractive.
Very sweet attack, but it is very quickly balance balanced by a notable
acidity. An unusual combinaton of sweet and savoury in a glass. Very
balanced, very attractive wine. Superb length.
Went fine with a selection of different pecorino cheeses, but could
really have done with some gorgonzola or other blue cheese. It was,
however, excellent with the marmellata and the fruit accompanying the