'Mr Rachel', Lee Shaughnessy of Mid Sussex Photography, very kindly acted as official photographer at our fourth Barolo Night at Caravan King's Cross last Sunday night. A grand total of 49 superior 2012 Baroli had been chosen by our Italian specialist Walter Speller and collected and shipped by Federico Scarzello and team at the Enoteca Regionale del Barolo. Almost 100 of us were able to help ourselves to any wines that appealed and, when the wines had worked their appetising magic, help ourselves to some of Caravan's excellent food.
We are particularly pleased to be able to report that the evening raised £2,000 for the Italian Earthquake Relief Fund, a charity chosen before the event by Walter and Richard, who do most of the organisational work.
This event followed a very similar one last month at Tribeca Grill in New York organised by Chambers Street Wines and we asked all those who bought tickets to either event to vote on their three favourite wines. So far the favourites are:
1 Giuseppe Mascarello, Monprivato in Castiglione Falletto 2012 Barolo
2 G D Vajra, Ravera 2012 Barolo
=3 Pio Cesare, Ornato 2012 Barolo
=3 Mario Marengo, Brunate 2012 Barolo
We'll be publishing the tasting notes taken hurriedly by Jancis and Julia before everyone arrived and will let you know if subsequent votes change the favourites at all.
The evening began with the team tasting through the wines. Julia, as usual, could not be accused of a lack of concentration.
Tam and Walter were equally dedicated.
Jancis and Julia tried to ensure they covered the ground between them.
Then the 49 Baroli were lined up by Emily Percival, the WSET Diploma student who helps Tam upload all those tasting notes, and membership supremo Rachel Shaughnessy in the main restaurant area of Caravan. The wines were arranged by commune with maps (on the wall and given away, along with signed copies of The 24-Hour Wine Expert and delicious Baratti and Milano chocolates) in the going-home bags.
A selection of six sparkling Nebbiolos were served on arrival ...
... before Jancis and Walter addressed the assembled guests (who look strangely sparse from this angle!). Federico is on the extreme left. Richard is in fetching red.
Meanwhile, the chefs were hard at work. The smells were a bit distracting so we'll ask for slightly less aromatic cooking at our next events (see below).
Then, the serious business of tasting got underway.
Famous California wine woman Zelma Long and her husband Phil Freese specially timed and routed their return from their Vilafonté project in South Africa to be able to attend our Barolo Night and took notes on every single wine.
As you can see from the pictures above, there was no shortage of female tasters, but in the picture below is Brad Greatrix of Nyetimber while his wife Cherie Spriggs seemed to evade photographer Lee.
Hoping to see you next year! And if you are interested in our Brunello Night, featuring the 2012 vintage, planned for Sunday 5 March and/or our Sherry Night planned for Sunday 23 April, don't hesitate to let firstname.lastname@example.org know that you would like to be informed when booking opens in late February.
Here is some very kind feedback from our guests about Barolo Night 4.
- Great night, thanks again for the tickets. Alison Price
- Firstly can I say thank you and well done on the tasting. The whole evening was very well put together – the venue, lay out, food, information and welcoming atmosphere all really added to the experience of tasting the wines. Simon Clinton
- Excellent tasting, thanks so much for organising it. Apart from very few exceptions the wines were all very good. Marco Salaorno
- Great evening Richard, thanks! John Markland
- Was great, looking forward for the next year. Elvis Ziakos
- It was an interesting tasting. Some will be very good providing the fruit holds up, but the majority need many years and most are well beyond my price range. David London
- It was a wonderful evening, thank you for organising it. Elena Bernal
- Thanks for a thoroughly enjoyable night! One more thing is that I felt we could do with another 30 mins of tasting time - it felt a bit rushed in the end taking into account the time for food. Siu-wai Ng
- It was a very interesting and enjoyable evening. It would be very interesting to be able to reprise the evening in 10 years time, but sadly I doubt that that is possible. Mike Robson
- It was most enjoyable - the wines coupled with the superb food was a winner. The Caravan is one of my favourite restaurants so was very pleased you chose this venue. Deborah Loveluck
- I thoroughly enjoyed the Barolo night and many thanks to you all for making it possible. Paul Brakefield
- My son and I totally enjoyed the event and having an opportunity to meet Jancis. I always knew Jancis was brilliant at what she does but what I learned from meeting her at the event is that she also has a charming, warm and down to earth personality. It was so nice to chat with her. I hope this will become a yearly event. What a nice opportunity to taste all of those Baroli in such a great setting that was not a madhouse like nearly all trade tastings. It really was very well done. Bill Lawrence