The stroke of genius came from Cavour, who hired a French winemaker to come and sort things out – Louis Oudart, from Champagne admittedly, but with a passion for the thrilling reds of Bordeaux. In 1843, the Marchesa also employed him. What Oudart found in Barolo was that the Nebbiolo was allowed to crop very heavily, that it ripened only at the end of October or even into November, and then it was picked and bundled into dirty, unhygienic cellars. There, an erratic fermentation took place that was usually halted by the icy grip of winter well before all the sugar was fermented out. And you were left with a souring, sugary, prickly pale red. Oudart cut the yields, ensured his grapes were picked ripe, cleaned up the cellars, bought in new equipment, and heated the fermentation areas so that he could produce a full-flavoured, balanced and dry red wine. He had the great red wines of Bordeaux in mind. I’m sure his wines didn’t resemble them one bit, but it was his vision of their flavours, his knowledge of their techniques, that allowed him to literally invent what is now Italy’s greatest red.
The best way to determine the value of your decanters is to buy a Jim Beam price guide. There are several available. Jim Beam made several over the years but they are out-dated now. They are, however, great references because they have pictures of the bottles (most in color) and give a brief history of each decanter. There are also several antique guides that include bottles. Kovells is one of the best and it is published each year. The one I use is a small paper back that fits easily into your back pocket or purse. It’s called ‘MARIO’S PRICE GUIDE TO MODERN BOTTLES’. (Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, Mario passed away near the end of 2001 and this price guide is no longer available.) It lists more distillers than any other books I have come across. Mario prints a new issue four times a year. I think this is the book of preference for most serious collectors. A single issue costs $ and that includes shipping. Additional books are available at lower prices. To order this book, you mail your check to Mario Latello at 146 Sheldon Ave; Depew, NY 14043. It’s a great little reference and I recommend it highly. When you order his book, he will put you on his mailing list and you will also receive his list of bottles for sale. I think he may also consign bottles. He also furnishes a want list for his subscribers who are looking for bottles.
A stylish venue, with an urban feel, the reclaimed wood bar sits proudly surrounded by exposed brick walls. Wine is the specialty at The Decanter, who has used expert wine suppliers to create a wine list to wow the people of Leeds. You can expect aromatic and zesty white wines, rich and luxurious reds, to crisp and fruity rose’s, sourced from the finest vineyards from all corners of the world. Along with all of your favorites, you will also find lots of wines on the list that are more adventurous! Aimed to widen your knowledge and taste buds, the menu will guide you to alternatives of your favorite tipple! The Decanter are proud to boast the largest ‘by the glass’ wine list in the city, which allows you to enjoy a variety of amazing wines, at great prices!