Mr. Barval - A New Edition to Prince
Who is Mr. Barval? He is Margaret River | Barolo and Valtellina
I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Mr. Barval to the Prince Wine Store database and I hope you’ll take a chance on these elegant expressions. I have no doubt your expectations will be far exceeded.
Having scrapped his Marine Science career to pursue Winemaking and Viticulture, Rob Gherardi began his path at the age of 27. Once commencing his undergraduate degree, Gherardi applied for a casual summer role tending vines at the prestigious Moss Wood, Margaret River and would remain there all through his studies. Gherardi then went on to become their Assistant Winemaker for two consecutive years. From there Gherardi did a vintage at Brown Hill Estate and then went on to be the Assistant Winemaker at Cullen Wines where he would learn under Vanya Cullen for the next three years. It was there that his deep understanding of fine traditional and natural winemaking techniques were developed.
During his time with Cullen Wines, Gherardi had the pleasure of working a vintage abroad at the world-famous cantina of Elio Altare in Barolo. It was there that Gherardi’s sense of “old-world” winemaking really started to take shape. He then had the pleasure of working with another Barolo producer: Conterno Fantino where he would learn to hone his own style and vision and finally it became time for Gherardi to set foot on his own soil and begin turning his visions of purity and length into a reality. Naturally, he chose the Margaret River.
I was first introduced to these wines in January of this year and truly I cannot get them out of my mind. The elegance, length, and balance coupled with the tip-of-the-hat to tradition; It is almost like you go on a journey through time with Gherardi as you can pick out the nuances in each wine and the skills that he gained along the way.
While the 2019’s have yet to be reviewed, have a look at James Halliday’s review of the 2017 Cab/Merlot below. I’ve just tasted to 19’s next to the ’17 Cab/Merlot and the quality is just soaring.
The two white wines: 2019 Mistral (Viognier & Marsanne) and 2019 Chardonnay pay homage to their original birthplace of France and quite frankly give you an elegantly complex and well-rounded drinking experience for half the price of a Burgundy or Rhone Blanc.
The 2019 Nebbia (Nebbiolo) is a Class-Act and, as a deep Italian varietal lover, myself, I can sincerely say that this is one of the BEST examples I have tasted of the varietal in Australia to date.
Then we circle back to where it all began for Gherardi: his first educational experience – Moss Wood – where Cabernet Sauvignon reigns supreme. The 2017 Cabernet Merlot is all you ever could want from this blend; grippy yet silky fruit coupled with varietal-specific characteristics that one would look for in a WA Cab/Merlot blend. I have steered away from Cabernet in recent years, but this one got me pondering why I ever stopped in the first place.