Vinhulen visits the wine producer Giovanni Manzone 2008

The visit to Giovanni Manzone was the very first visit on the 2008 Barolo trip. It took place on Monday the 10th November 2008 in Monforte d'Alba, where the Manzone family are resident.
Through the last half a dozen years, via the Danish importer Ole Jensen, we have had the pleasure of following Manzoni's wines. They have been fantastically well made and always stable - even in the poorer vintages which Barolo from time to time suffers from.

The Manzoni family's residence seen from the entrance to the driveway.

We were immediately welcomed by the son, Mauro, who is the outgoing person in the family. We also had the pleasure of meeting his father Giovanni, but he speaks only Italian.
We started with a little introduction to the fields, which can be seen from the family's terrace around the house. The tour then went down to the basements where the family is in the process of building an entirely new production, which you can see in the following picture.

It is an extensive work involving the installation of a lift, the incorporation of a natural underground water source / well, and much more. Work should be completed in early 2010, but it will be nice to see how the finished project looks like when we come back...

A bit of new building which is yet to be finished.

fter this little tour, it was time to have a look at wines. We tasted:

Langhe Bianco 2007
Dolcetto Le Ciliegie 2007
Dolcetto La Serra 2007
Barbera 2007
Barbera Sup. 2007 (fra ståltank)
Langhe Nebbiolo 2006
Barolo Casteletto 2004
Barolo Le Gramollere 2004
Barolo Bricat 2004
Barolo Le Gramolere Riserva 2000

These are some wonderful wines, with the usual high standard across the line. The 2004 vintage is generally fantastic in Barolo, and that can also be tasted in Giovanni Manzones wines.
On the day Bricat seemed to be the wine that was in top form. It was the most stylish and elegant, while overall, it was the Barolo Le Gramolere Riserva 2000 that was the greatest experience. It of course had the advantage of having been stored a few extra years, so it had had time to evolve in the bottle.
Barolo Riserva has a maceration period of 21 days, while the other Barolos have only 15 days. The Riserva clearly tasted more old-school.

Throughout the tasting in the classic taster room with trophies and awards hanging on the walls, Mauro told us about their production of roughly 40,000 bottles of wine per year.

Here are the bottles we tasted all lined up.
Note the characteristic caps in yellow, silver, red, etc.

After that little trip, it was time to go down and see the actual production, where Giovanni himself was working. It was an opportunity to meet the man who for years had stood alone at the head of production, though now he has his son Mauro to be the public face of the family – which he does well. Friendly, welcoming and very professional throughout his tour. These are all characteristics that the family can use in its emergence on the international market. Mauro has also his own views on the production of wine, and these we will see more of in the coming years as he gradually assumes more responsibility for the production.

In the photo, Mauro can be seen in conversation with Thomas and Michael (hidden) between Enox tanks, hoses, barrique and other wine production equipment.
In the foreground Giovanni Manzone looks on.

That was the end of the tour and wine-tasting for day one, and our 2008 tour had started with a bang. Now we had an idea of what the rest of the week would be about.

It was good to start with such a strong and talented producer. It was a great pleasure to meet the family, see their wine production and get to know the people behind the distinctive wines.

The time was 12, we climbed into our tour car and drove onward to new adventures in another region of Barolo...

In Denmark, Lundens Vin Compagni A/S imports wine from Giovanni Manzone.