I Just Had the 2015 La Badina
– I Feel Like My Brain Is On Fire
– A Thing of Beauty
– Pink Roses, So Perfect They Smelled Still Alive
– As Good As Any Nebbiolo in Italy
– So Elegant, Linear and Perfect
– Old School Vinification
– Needs 6-8 Years to Start to Show
A Wine to Lay Down
– Drink with Your Best Wine Drinking Friends
– Taste Blind Against Ar.Pe.Pe, Burlotto, Bartolo Mascarello
– The Aromatics Are That Good
– Buy a Case and Forget About It
– Micro Production (120 Cases Per Year)
– Fanatical Focus on Quality
– Organic Farming
– Perfect Soils for Ridiculously Perfumed Wines
– Some of the Most Aromatic Wines We Sell from Anywhere
2019 La Badina Lessona
– 95 Points Antonio Galloni for the 2013
– The 2019 Is Very Similar But Perhaps a Tad More Elegant
– Nose: Perfection
– A 9.8-10 Nose Depending on What You Look for
– One of the Most Perfumed Wines I’ve Ever Had from Italy
– So Intense – Almost Searing
– But Paradoxically, in a Gentle, Elegant Way
– Perfect Pink Roses PERFECT
– Hints of Chocolate
– Gentle Nebbiolo Spice
– Palate: Impossibly Precise Early Season Cherry Fruit
– Phenomenally Linear
– Off the Charts Elegance
– Internal Aromatics Are Almost a Sensory Overload
– Gorgeous Cherry Flower
– Acidic Balance and Structure to Age for Decades
– 24 Months in Barrel
– One of the Elite Producers in Piedmont
“The 2013 Nebbiolo Lessona is powerful and deep in the glass, with superb depth and more approachability than many wines offer in this vintage. There is perhaps a hint of new oak today, but time in bottle should help that note dissipate. This is an especially succulent, inviting 2013.” – 95 Points, Antonio Galloni (2013 Vintage)
I Just Had the 2015 La Badina Lessona and I Am Flying Right Now
I decided to check in on a bottle of La Badina before writing this E-Mail and I have to say, right now, I feel like I’m on some sort of high. Of course, I’ve had many before but they were always a few years younger and while I could taste the potential, today, that potential was realized and I feel like my brain is on fire.
From the first sniff, this is a blow you away wine that you will remember forever. If you’ve ever stuck your nose right inside a live pink flower on the vine, you know that the floral intensity and beauty is almost unmatched. Well – this wine delivers on that. And then some. The initial sniff is utterly insane. So gorgeous yet intense – it’s almost searing. Butr, paradoxically in an elegant way. It’s hard to describe.
When you start to recover and analyze the wine, the complexity is there. Gentle Nebbiolo spice. Lilacs. Hints of chocolate. But everything fits together in perfect balance. There is not a flavor molecule out of place. This is simply put, a masterpiece of winemaking. I was blown away. If you like elegant wines, the nose here is a 10. If you veer more towards brute force, it’s still a 9.8.
The palate is in its early window. The early season cherries are intense and perfectly linear. The precision here is that of absolutely elite wines using a global measuring stick. Brisset would love the palate here. The freshness and juiciness is ridiculous. I’d guess that this was a 2020, not a 2015. I really hope that I have some of this left because in 5-10 years I’m guessing that the palate will be as good as the nose.
The finish is still in its youth but it has that elegant cling that I love. Fresh run cherry juice. Elegant nebbiolo spice.
La Badina burst on to the scene in Piedmont with scores that are normally only given to the elite winemakers in the Langhe.
As always, this is a good thing and a bad thing as inventories tend to deplete quickly with good scores. There is not much left of the older vintages at the estate.
I am offering the 2019 Lessona today. This wine is entering its drinking window and I badly want you all to have it. It is a wine of pure ephemeral beauty – it’s more like drinking 30 year old Barbaresco or even pre global warming Burgundy.
La Badina is a remarkable producer who is doing things very traditionally and very carefully.
- The entire estate is absolutely teeny (1.5 hectares) and they are making a tiny amount of wine with an intense focus on quality.
- Winemaking is organic (almost certified) and traditional
- The high pH of the soil makes the wines incredibly perfumed.
These wines are incredible. As good as very, very good Langhe wines ($60-$100). A remarkable level of terroir and vintage transparency. Truly unique expressions of Nebbiolo. This is pedal to the medal cool climate Nebbiolo as one can get.
The wine is the 2019 La Badina Lessona for $36.99 a bottle on a 4 pack purchase. This is the most gorgeously elegant of the La Badina wines we’ve sold. I ranked it at the same level of the 2013 and 2016 – but it’s a bit more towards the aromatic side than even the 2013.
The nose on this wine is pure Nebbiolo magic. It starts off just sweet and beautiful and then evolves into the licorice flower and cherry flower melange that is simply incredible. Gorgeous nose. Chestnut, flowers, tar, roses, very very aromatic. Awesome spice flower and forest right after a rainfall on the nose. A hint of like this dried dusty cherry flower melange (in a good way). Just swirling and complex. Keeps changing and adding layers and nuance. In 5 years this will be a knockout. It’s a knockout now but in ten years its’ Foreman over Holyfield with one punch.
The palate is cherry flower extract and so, so pretty. Terrific acidic balance that just screams Fassy juiciness. Just absolutely gorgeous like a classic old school pre global warming Barbaresco. The fruit is more cherry flower than cherry. Really great juiciness that balances the power of the fruit. This wine is so clean, so pure, so juicy and so complex yet super old school. As it opens up you get like the best most precise cherry flower flavors ever. The acidity is so so wonderful. After an hour, this becomes a total freak show on the palate. Not the fruit, but the internal aromatics. It’s almost a sensory perfume overload – one of those wines that is so intense that your brain almost has to overclock to comprehend what’s happening. This wine needs an hour decant to get going. It was amazing even then. It has the balance and tannic structure to age for 20+ years and it should evolve into something even more gorgeous than it is today as it evolves and opens up. For this price, or even 2 times this price, you can’t find wines with this level of aromatics anywhere.
La Badina was founded in 1999 by Ermido di Betta. It’s a classic Alto Piemonte story. The vineyards were once owned by the Marquis Lamarmora and the farmhouse had fallen into disrepair. The estate is now in a gorgeous little alternative universe that you reach via a dirt road. The farmhouse has been repaired and everything is just so. They have been farming organically and are close to being certified. This is a family operation with the winery run by Ermido’s 2 daughters.
As you know, we believe that strict recitations of tasting notes is only part of the story of a wine. We’ve always tried to include metaphors to try to give our readers a better understanding of how wines impact us. These metaphors have included architecture, painting, music and poetry.
We’re trying something new to help create visual metaphors using Midjourney, a generative artificial intelligence program that is by far the best image gneratour out there. I’ve messed around with a bunch and this is by far the best. We look forward to hearing your feedback.
Please call Cheryl at 949 378 5251 with your order if you are a first time customer (we prefer not to receive credit card numbers over E-Mail).
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I love drinking and selecting wines – but my passion for teaching people about wine is almost as big. I’m happy to announce a block of time each day where people can call me just to chat about wine in general. These blocks are NOT intended to sell wine (I do that all day). This is to talk to me about wine pairings or great producers or how long to age wines or styles of wine making or the latest wine controversy. My goal is to help people learn more about wine and enjoy it more. Call me at 917-912-4355 from 4-7EST Monday – Friday.
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