Lino Scavino, relaxing on one of his many dog beds at the Paolo Scavino winery…
I was having a rough time this morning, trying to generate something worthwhile here. And then I remembered, I can always go back to the places I am happiest.
I am no wine critic- I’m just a girl with a blog and a passion for Italian wine. I work in the wine business too, and sometimes my hobby (wine) and my career (more wine) intersect with my personal life (even more wine). No place is this more true than within the warm brick walls of the Paolo Scavino winery. I used to sell these wines. Then I met Elisa, Enrica and Enrico Scavino and I fell in love with this family. As both a professional and a hobbyist, I truly believe in the work they are doing here. The proof is in the wines! Continue reading
Work is never finished for a farmer, and especially for a wine grower! This is a picture of Enrico Scavino with some of his Italian sales agents and a few local Alba boys who stopped by the winery to taste and take a tour of the facility. On a Sunday. In the middle of the harvest. These people work so hard- it’s truly impressive.
After the tour group departed Elisa and Enrico invited me to have lunch with them in their family home. It was such a beautiful experience- and if you ever have the chance to taste Elisa’s Aunt’s cooking, you’ll understand completely.
We tasted the 2007 Rocche dell’Annunziata Barolo with lunch (locally made tajarin and Zia’s ragu, roasted beef, long beans from the garden…). Always an elegant wine- she is ripe and full of promise right now. This is a baby with at least 35 years to go before we will know her true beauty. The discussion turned to glassware, and Elisa insisted we taste the wine in a series of different glasses. Enrico had been part of a panel of producers who went to Riedel with Angelo Gaja to develop the “Nebbiolo” glass, and he is a big fan of this fluted, wide-bowled shape. I love the way the spread lip encourages the wine to spill over your tongue and all over the inside of your mouth so easily.
It was a lot of fun to taste the wine with the two of them from different glasses. The shape makes such a huge difference in how aromatics are perceived, and how “hot” the alcohol reads. Now I understand why so many of our customers have a standard glass they always use to taste wine. At least it will give you a baseline for what you are tasting.
Bravo, Papa Enrico! Bravo!
Ercole “Lino” Scavino. Barrel Snob?
There are those moments when I realize I am being a bit of a spoiled, judgmental brat.
Just the other night, I stuck my nose in a glass of Travaglini’s 2006 Gattinara Riserva and made a snap-judgement. I thought to myself, “Too much oak. What the heck are they thinking?” Continue reading
This funny piece of pop artwork comes from Gerald at Weimax Wines & Spirits. Gerald must have created it for at least two reasons.
Firstly, because it is true. In some way, Barolo is always the answer.
Secondly, I think Gerald made it to make Elisa Scavino smile. If you’ve ever seen Elisa smile, you’d know this is also a perfectly good reason to do pretty much anything.
This is a very important question:
What does a winemaker drink, when she’s not drinking her own wine?
Just in case there was any doubt… In Vino Veritas.
Two of my favorite things. My dog, Mugsy, and Barolo. And not just any Barolo: Paolo Scavino’s Bricco Ambrogio Barolo from 2006. The Bricco Ambrogio vineyard is in Roddi, one of the lesser-known townships in Barolo. However, Mugsy was happy to find out that Roddi is home to the historic Truffle-Dog Training School. Now he wants to go to Italy, too.
Bricco Ambrogio’s marly, limestone soils have an unlimited potential to produce stunning Nebbiolo, and we are only beginning to see its potential as a cru from the Scavino family. Clearly, this 2006 single-cru Barolo is still a baby. However after it was open for several hours (and had been sloshing around in my wine bag all day), it developed that unique, dried-rose-petals and mineral quality so many of Scavino’s Baroli share. The tannins had also just begun to unwind themselves, unveiling a more luxurious texture, and flavors of silky-smooth cherries and tobacco. This is a beautiful wine from a serious vintage- it will age gracefully for another 40 years. Maybe even longer.
*I am employed by Banville & Jones Wine Merchants, and sell the Paolo Scavino wines. I also happen to love the wines, too! Also, please pardon the gratuitous dog photography. I am in love with this mutt!*
I was invited to a dinner party hosted by some good friends recently, and I knew (thanks to “The Captain” Bob Loudy) that there would be copious amounts of roasted beef for dinner.
Without hesitation I concluded immediately we needed Barolo. Paolo Scavino to the rescue! What I didn’t know was that my little Barolo would be up against some of California’s heaviest hitters… Continue reading
My company, Banville & Jones, sponsored an Italian Wine Tasting a few weeks ago at A16 in San Francisco. Our winemakers came from Italy to showcase their wines, and A16’s chef David Taylor’s food provided the perfect backdrop… especially when he and his team started breaking down a whole hog on the other side of the kitchen counter. Continue reading
I love stumbling on a hidden gem on the back rack of a wine shop… forgotten older vintages are like familiar old friends. These are the wines you always remember- they mark a time and a place in your life you never forget.
I had a bit of wonderful luck in Seattle when I rescued a 2001 Paolo Scavino Barolo Carobric, from the shelves of a local retailer. We decided to open it at Sitka and Spruce, where we shared it with anyone who was willing to taste. When you feel this good, you have to spread the love around. Continue reading