Tuesday 2 February 2016

Barolo Boys Does 1999 Barolo

Sverker invited to another Barolo Boys get together, with some hang arounds present, eager to get in to this most exclusive group...:-)

The state of the 1999 vintage, based on the wines tasted on this evening, is very good. None of the bottles tasted were really mature and for most of them some real cellaring time would be rewarding, at least 5+ years. There is a fine sweetness to the fruit without being a opulent year and the tannins balance and gives structure to the wines. I would love to have more 99´s in the cellar.
All wines tasted double blind.

Flight I
1999 Barolo Pressenda, Marziano Abbona
This was a gift to the Barolo Boys from the estate when we visited a couple of years ago, and we have saved it for this tasting. The nose is deep and somewhat mature with fine notes of cherry liquor, violets, sugared coffee and a whole mushroom forest. A very fine sweetness to the fruit.
The taste is more withdrawn than the nose and it shows of notes of liqourice, red cherries, gravel and tobacco. Some old school rustic tannins in the long, warm finish. Could be drunk now or cellared for 6+ years.
89p   (tasted 2016/01)

1999 Barolo, Josetta Saffirio
This is a stunner. When I have tasted younger Barolos from Saffirio I have found them to be good but not great. This is. The nose is deep and concentrated with some animal scents and additional notes of asphalt, ripe black cherries, bay leaves and forest floor. Very, very good. Refined yet broad shouldered.
The taste is tight and intense with notes of black cherries, undergrowth, dried mushrooms and gravel. A very structured, long, dry finish with some powerful tannins still. This should be cellared for another 5+ years.
94p   (tasted 2016/01)

1999 Barolo Rocche dell´Annunziata, Renato Corino
This just reeks of VA and other unpleasantness.
50p   (tasted 2016/01)

1999 Barolo Vigneto Arborina, Elio Altare
The 99 Arborina is a stunner. The nose is deep and intoxicating with notes of mushrooms, raspberry truffles, liquorice and a touch of VA, in a complex sort of way. A lovely sweetness to the fruit. Great.
The taste is still young, tight and focused with notes of hard cherry candy, raspberries, forest floor and liquorice. Great structure. The finish is over a minute long and there are some finely polished tannins that show themselves at the end. I would wait 4+ years before opening the next bottle.
94p   (tasted 2016/01)

Flight II
1999 Barolo Cannubi Boschis Riserva, Virna/Borgognot
The 1996 was really good a couple of months back. Lets see how the 99 express itself. The nose is cool and elegant with notes of dried rose petals, hard cherry candy, veal stock and mushrooms. This is as good as the 96 on the nose.
The taste follow up the nose with a cool red cherry fruit and notes of coffee powder, rosehips and mushrooms. A long, distinct finish with some yet unresolved tannins. Could be drunk now but preferably cellared for 4-6 years.
91p   (tasted 2016/01)

1999 Barolo Cannubi Boschis, Sandrone
Aaah, a perennial favourite of mine, the Cannubi Boschis from Sandrone usually gets my taste buds on highest alert and both the 1990 and the 2001 have earned perfect scores. And this is good, make no mistake about it, but when it was revealed I was a tiny bit disappointed. The nose is elegant and focused with notes of ripe red cherries, rose petals, gravel and beet roots. Very balanced.
The taste is tighter than the nose leads you to think, with fine notes of ripe red and black cherries, earth, tobacco and rosehips. The finish is very long, very structured and very fine. Still young, this would need 5-7 years in the cellar.
93p   (tasted 2016/01)

1999 Barolo Cicala, Aldo Conterno
A deep, elegant nose with notes of cool red cherries, hard cherry candy, tobacco and a mushroom forest. Very nicely structured. Fresh, still young. Very fine.
The taste is concentrated and seedy with lovely notes of ripe red cherries, rosehips, some dusty earth and dry liqourice. The finish is long, cohesive and structured. Really fine. Still needs 5+ years in the cellar.
93p   (tasted 2016/01)

1999 Barolo Granbussia Riserva, Aldo Conterno
Aaah - Granbussia! The depth, concentration and focus of this wine is of the highest pedigree, and you now before it is revealed that this is from one of the best producers (I guessed it to be Sandrone´s Cannubi Boschis...). All is in place and it only needs another 6-8 years before perfection probably is achieved.
97p   (tasted 2016/01)

Flight III
1999 Barolo Margheria, Luigi Pira
The first Pira wine has a deep, laid back, focused nose with notes of rowan berries, red cherries, gravel and some tobacco. Cool and refined. Very, very good. Still young.
The taste is seedy and liniar (in a good way) with notes of ripe red cherries, liquorice, dusty gravel and a hint of tar. A long, structured finish. Still young, wait 5+ years for the next bottle.
92p   (tasted 2016/01)

1999 Barolo Marenca, Luigi Pira
The other bottle from Pira is even better with a lovely floral nose, displaying elegance and coolness. Very, very fine. Additional notes of ripe lingonberries, mineral and dried mushrooms flows up from the glass.
The taste is pure and tight with lots of polished tannins and fine notes of rowan berries, red cherries, asphalt and dry liquorice. A lovely concentration. Still on the young side of things. A very fine wine. 6-8 years.
93p   (tasted 2016/01)

1999 Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra, Domenico Clerico
The next two bottles turned out to come from one of my favourite producers - Domenico Clerico. These are not for the wimpy Nebbiolo lover, and those who think that the oak is too much - well, its a free country - still... The nose of the Ciabot Mentin Ginestra is deep, hedonistic and wonderful with notes of spicy cherry jam, moist earth, tar, veal stock and liquorice. A touch inky. Very, very deep and fine.
The taste is big and bold with notes of ripe black cherries, liquorice, sweet violets, ink and sweet flowers. Broad tannins, a hefty backbone and a stunning experience all around. Give this stunner 6+ years.
95p   (tasted 2016/01)

1999 Barolo Percristina, Domenico Clerico
As good as the CMG is, the Percristina is magic. It has all that the CMG has, but the fruit is turned up to eleven. As impressive as it gets. Tasted some two years ago, this bottle was even better. Perfection in the making, just wait 8+ years.
98p   (tasted 2016/01)

Flight IV
1999 Barolo Bricco dell´Violo, Vajra
I have always liked Vajra´s Bricco dell´Violo, and this bottle was no exception. The nose is deep and seedy with notes of tobacco, ripe cherries, rose petals and a interesting scent of banana peels. Very, very good.
The taste is tight and intense with notes of red cherries, forest floor, tobacco and dried rose petals. Fine, caressing tannins in the long finish. Give this beauty another 5+ years.
92p   (tasted 2016/01)

1999 Barolo Vigna Rionda, Massolini
A laid back, refined nose with a lot of stuffing and notes of ripe red and cherries, violets, asphalt and a attractive greenish scent. Very deep. Still young. Very, very fine.
The taste is tight and seedy with notes of hard cherry candy, fresh mushrooms, bay leaves and asphalt. The finish is long and taut with finely polished tannins. This needs lots of time, at least 8+ years. Very high quality.
93p   (tasted 2016/01)

1999 Barolo, Bartolo Mascarello
A big, deep. old fashioned nose with gorgeous notes of rose petals, ripe red cherries, earth, liquorice and forest floor. A bit willful, but oooh so good! A lovely warmth to the fruit. Great wine.
The taste is tight and structured with fine notes of cool cherries, rosehips, dried flowers, gravel and cigarette ashes. A long, intense finish with, from time to time, brutal tannins. Impressive but will need 6+ years before unveiling itself fully.
94p   (tasted 2016/01)

1999 Barolo Monprivato, Giuseppe Mascarello
Too bad - something is really wrong with this bottle without being corked.
50p   (tasted 2016/01)

1999 Barolo Rupestris, Cappellano
S generously poured this instead of the shot Monprivato, and what a replacement! The nose is a posterchild of intensity, concentration, and at the same time, lightness. Wonderful aromas of ripe red cherries, dry liquorice, rose bushes, cigarr ashes (and we all know where that scent comes from...:-)) and fresh ceps. Magnificent.
The taste is light as a feather and yet stings like a bee, with stunning notes of hard cherry candy, raspberry liquorice, tar, mushrooms and dried flowers. The finish goes on forever and the tannins caressing the mouth cavity, leaving a distinct mark. For drinking in 6+ years time to infinity. The wine of the evening alongside the Percristina.
Since the late Theobaldo didn´t want his wines to be scored, I never do.   (tasted 2016/01)


  1. Unfortunately Monprivato customers claims a lot of inconsistency....and guess what ? ....price is going up !!
    Now is almost the same cost of Cascina Francia....
    I had the same frustration with a 2003 Monprivato which I took to local restaurant....just shut down...and end up to buy a bottle of Nebbiolo and say WOW !!
    Someone was saying the inconsistency of Monprivato or other Mascarellos wine is due to very poor cellar conditions...
    Have you been there ??

    Thanks !

    1. All prices seems to going up...:-( Oooooh yes, I have been there, one of the strangest visit I have made in Piemonte country...sufface to say I was not impressed, before the Monprivato was poured.

  2. Haha, yes being sensitive to oaky wines, Clerico certainly went over the top back in the days, but even though carrying additional aromas, I guess percristina might be coming together soon as you say. 1999 is very good year. Ah, also good to hear that the hero Cappellano is doing great in 1999. Surprised over the brutal tannins in the Mascarello though. Great post, Joakim!

    1. Thanks! Yes, the Mascarello was a beast, but a tamed one...:-) It will keep for a looong time. Cappellano - get hold of as many as you could!