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Beni di Batasiolo Italian wines from Piedmont were presented by Ricardo March and Stefano Poggi at a grand pizza party at Buona Forchetta in Liberty Station. Photos by Frank Mangio
ColumnsTaste of Wine

Taste of Wine: Molto Bene Amore — Beni di Batasiolo & Buona Forchetta

Now there’s a mouthful to love! For those who are new to these names in the wine and dine scene, Beni di Batasiolo is a leading winery located in the Piedmont district of Italy making lovely Gavi white wines and Barbera, Barbaresco and Barolo reds.

The Batasiolo sales team presented their new release lineup in San Diego recently, in the festive patio at Buona Forchetta Pizzeria, Ristorante and Wineria, at Liberty Station center.

There I met their “star player,” a true authentic Neapolitan wood-fired pizza oven, Sofia. The pizzas and all other traditional menu items are assuredly fresh, simple and delicious with each day bringing a new special entrée from the kitchen, introduced in the dining room by server Federica Tollini.

Brett Preston, The Barrel Room GM, with Silver Oak and Twomey Wines Regional Manager Julie Bart.

It was a special occasion to taste these latest release wines from Batasiolo, located in the Langhe area in Piedmont. Wines from Piedmont (which means foot of the mountain) are in the foothills of the Italian Alps. Owned by the Dogliani family in the village of Barolo, most of the wines with the Batasiolo brand are estate wines, harvested and produced at the winery. It owns nine vineyards for a total of 264 acres. Most are growing the Nebbiolo grape, from which Barolo is made.

Nebbiolo is a challenging grape and not for the faint of taste. Usually grown on steeper, cooler sites, this grape described by Italian wine experts in the “Wine Bible” book of wines as “tar and roses.” Others include “licorice, leather and chocolate.”

In tasting the newest Batasiolo 2013 Barolo DOCG ($31.55), it turned out to be the king of the castle with a complex and powerfully earthy taste. Barbaresco is the other Nebbiolo-based wine that comes from the village of the same name in the Langhe area of southeast Piedmont. It is considered to be more velvety and with great finesse. The 2014 is now out and gained a 93 score in “Wine Spectator” for its refined finish ($40).

Finally, I would point out that Batasiolo produces an easy to drink everyday wine with a surprisingly solid flavor called Barbera.

The lightly oaked, cherry and spice palate-pleaser is branded with the grape’s varietal name and not a village like most. The 2014 Batasiolo Barbera ($14.20) matched up nicely with a Marguarita Pizza at Buona Forchetta. See more information at

Mighty Silver Oak at the Barrel Room

Silver Oak is the grand dame of cult-style Cabernet Sauvignons in Napa Valley. The winery is a rarity in that it has a great presence in both Napa Valley and Sonoma. It was founded in 1972 by Raymond Twomey Duncan, making the decision to concentrate on Cabernet.

In a memorable wine dinner at the Barrel Room in Rancho Bernardo, guests had the rare opportunity to simultaneously taste the Alexander Valley Sonoma 2013 Cab ($93) and the Napa Valley 2012 Silver Oak Cab ($120) In the ’12 vintage from Napa Valley, the Cab stays in barrel for 25 months and 20 months in bottle, with all elements in harmony and drinkable on release, justifying the added year’s vintage. 

Twomey wines give the Duncan family an opportunity to branch out into other varietals like a 2016 estate Sauvignon Blanc ($34), a 2015 Pinot Noir ($49) and a 2013 Merlot ($72). Grapes are sourced from Oregon to the Santa Maria Valley.  See Silver Oak’s site at

Wine Bytes

• Wine Vault and Bistro in San Diego is presenting a Siduri Winemaker dinner with Adam Lee from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 10.  Five high-end high pedigree Pinots will be poured from five different AVAs in California, with a mushroom and truffle enhanced five-course menu. Cost is $79.50 each. Call (619) 295-3939.

• San Pasqual Winery Tasting Room & Gallery in La Mesa is planning a live music event with guitarist Jim Earp from 7 to 10 p.m. Dec. 16. No cover charge, wines by the glass. Cheese, crackers and dessert available for charge. Seating, first come. Call (619) 462-1797.

• Vin Diego, the classy wine-only festival scheduled for 3 to 7 p.m. April 14 at Liberty Station in San Diego, has announced that tickets are on sale for this sixth annual event. More than 300 wines for tasting. Plan now… access

Frank Mangio is a renowned wine connoisseur certified by Wine Spectator.  He is one of the leading commentators on the web.  View his columns at Go to menu then column. Reach him at [email protected].