Some Welcome Delights: Wines from Mauro Sebaste

Castello di Serralunga

Castello di Serralunga

Last fall I tasted and enjoyed Mauro Sebaste’s wines in the course of the IGP Barolo and Barbaresco tasting, and was therefore quite pleased when Mauro contacted me this spring to ask if I’d like to taste through more of their line. They sent two whites, a Viognier and a Roero Arneis, and a number of reds, including a very classic Dolcetto, a deftly oaked Barbera, and a Nebbiolo d’Alba that I found delightfully bright. Of the Baroli they make, they sent Prapò, which is from a vineyard in Serralunga, the part of the Barolo production zone that tends to yield the most structured wines, wines that are generally very young upon release and that require years to really emerge and show their best.

Mauro Sebaste Centobricchi Langhe Bianco DOC 2012
Lot LBC/1
Brassy gold with golden reflections and brassy highlights. The bouquet is is vinous, with bitter almonds and some gunflint supported by savory notes, heather of a freshly cut field in summer, and  hops of the sort one uses in making beer. Inviting. On the palate it’s savory, with considerable heather and bitter minerality supported by savory mineral acidity and some gunflint that flow into a clean decidedly bitter savory finish that also has some chestnut honey notes. It’s quite charged, and will work well with flavorful foods, including richly flavored fish, creamy white meats or hearty vegetable dishes. It will overwhelm something more delicate.
2 stars

Mauro Sebaste Roero Arneis DOCG 2012
Lot RA/2
Pale brassy white with brilliant brassy reflections and white rim. The bouquet is deft, with sage-laced loquat fruit supported by savory notes and pleasing white blossoms; there are also hints of gunflint and bitterness. On the palate it’s bright, with fairly rich savory loquat fruit supported by bitter gunflint minerality and acidity, which flow into a clean bright mineral finish. Pleasant in a sunny key, displaying considerable finesse, and will be nice as an aperitif or with grilled or roasted fish; I’d also be tempted to serve it with egg based summery dishes along the lines of an onion frittata, while it will also work nicely with Oriental dishes, including things that are fairly heavily spiced. Worth seeking out.
2 stars

Mauro Sebaste Santa Rosalia Dolcetto D’Alba DOC 2012
Lot DASR/1
Lively cherry ruby with cherry reflections and rim paling overtones white. The bouquet is classic, with red berry fruit supported by bitter almonds and some graphite shavings, while there is also pleasant slightly savory spice. On the palate it’s medium bodied, with bright bitter cherry fruit supported by moderate acidity and to a greater degree graphite laced bitterness and tannins that have a fairly intense bitter burr and flow into a long pencil shaving laced finish. A classic Dolcetto that will work quite well with summer foods, and be ideal at a cookout, while during the cooler months it will be nice with a simple stew.
2 stars

Mauro Sebaste Santa Rosalia Barbera D’Alba 2011
Lot BASR/1
Deep pigeon blood ruby with some garnet in the rim; it’s close to poured ink. The bouquet is intense, with jammy berry fruit supported by cedar and some mentholated accents; it’s nicely balanced in a modern key, but needs another year to come together. On the palate it’s ample and smooth, with fairly sweet jammy fruit supported by considerable warmth and tannins that have a graphite shaving bitterness to them, and flow into a fairly bitter warm fruit laced peppery finish. The palate reflects the nose; in terms of style it’s quite modern but deft. If you like oaked Barbera you will enjoy it, and even if you prefer Barbera in steel you will find things to enjoy; unlike some wines that are termed “modern” it does have nice acidity, and thanks to this acidity will pair well with hearty roasts or stews, for example leg of lamb. It grew upon me.
2 stars


Mauro Sebaste Barolo Prapò

Mauro Sebaste Barolo Prapò

Mauro Sebaste Parigi Nebbiolo D’Alba DOC 2011
Lot NP/2
Garnet with black reflections and almandine rim paling towards orange. The bouquet is moderately intense, with spice and some rosa canina mingled with slight red berry fruit and a certain coolness that brings dappled shade to mind. On the palate it’s medium bodied and bright, with lively sur cherry fruit supported by slight greenish bitterness and bright berry fruit acidity, while the tannins are smooth and spicy, with a slight savory burr that flows into a fairly long tannic sour cherry finish. Quite pleasant in a bright rather zesty key, and will work very well with grilled meats or roasts; while it does have sufficient acidity and structure to age nicely for a few years its current freshness is also nice.

Mauro Sebaste Prapò Barolo DOCG 2009
Lot BP/1
Deep garnet with brilliant ruby reflections and garnet paling to orange in the rim. Classic young Barolo hues. The bouquet is deft, and young, with rosa canina mingled with red berry fruit and spice, and slight deft underlying cedar; one could say that it is together, but it is clearly just setting out, and will benefit from more time. On the palate it’s full, with rich cherry fruit supported by deft slightly bitter berry fruit acidity and by tannins that have a bitter graphite laced burr, and flow into a fairly long cedar-laced finish with underlying warmth and peppery spice. It’s pleasant in a modern – for want of a better term – key, and will drink nicely now with a hearty roast leg of lamb or similar, but will reward those with the patience to give it another 3-5 years or more to come together and develop. And reward those with more patience even more.

Note: The photo of Prapò is from Mauro Sebaste’s site


About Cosa Bolle in Pentola

Italy boasts an astonishing number of varietals, denominations, and wines, and tremendous changes are sweeping the land. New wines are being created, new DOCs are being introduced, and the existing denominations are overhauling their regulations both to reflect the practices adopted by their member wineries and to favor improvements in quality. Even the most staid and stolid region can flower seemingly overnight, emerging with exciting new wines and wineries that require rewriting the enological maps and rethinking one's positions. And, of course, recipes too, because cuisine and wine are closely intertwined and it's difficult to imagine one without the other.
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