Saturday 10 September 2016

Barolo Boys Does (Mostly) Riesling & Nebbiolo - Chapter Two

In which a yellow card is handed out to M because of the three Barbaresco´s in the first flight (only Giacosa Barbaresco is the approved exceptions!), but after that faux pas things shaped up nicely...:-)
All wines tasted double blind.

Flight I
1997 Barbaresco Vigneto Starderi, Spinetta
When the veil was lifted there were som ooohs and aaahs of suprise - could this (in the past) oak monster really have turned into this beautiful aged Nebbiolo? It really has, with a deep, ethereal nose with lovely notes of dried cherries, moist autumn leaves, soya, mushrooms and roses. Very complex and fine. A beautiful maturity.
The taste is mature, velvety yet with some gripping tannins in the end of the finish. Fine notes of sweer/sour cherries, tobacco, undergrowth and asphalt. Long, long and intense. Could go on for another 10+ years but I doubt it will become better than this.
95p   (tasted 2016/08)

2001 Barbaresco Vigneto Loreto, Albino Rocca
Again, a surprise when the bottle was revealed, beacuse this should have been better. A Albino Rocca from this great vintage should have rocked, this one didn´t. Mind you, not a bad wine, but...
The nose is deep, meaty and a tad warm with notes of cooked cherries. moist mushrooms, coffee grounds and dark earth. A tad volatile from time to time. A fine sweetness though.
The taste is big and warm with lots of cooked cherries and noted of dusty earth, coffee and bakelite. A long, warm finish which is a bit angular. Even so, a good drink. Maybe mistreated along the way?
85p   (tasted 2016/08)

2004 Barbaresco Vigneto Rabaja Riserva, Produttori del Barbaresco
This reliable producer has turned out a fine 2004 from the Rabaja vineyard. The nose is deep, cool and finely structured with notes of red cherries, cigarette ash, fresh mushrooms and a hint of bitter chocolate. Very, very good.
The taste is young, tight and focused with notes of ripe cherries, violets, rosehips and earth. Still on the young side of things. Finely polished tannins, promising this a fine future.
92p   (tasted 2016/08)

Flight II
1970 Barolo, Paolo Scavino
This and the 1990 below were tasted together only a month ago. With wines with this age there can be great differences between bottles, depending on storage and handling over the years. These bottles apparantly came from the same source and thats probably the reason why they were, if not identical, very much alike. The 1970 on this nigth has a tad brighter fruit on the nose and a better finish than the previous bottle.
90p   (tasted 2016/08)

1990 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
The 90 Bric acted more its age on this night than the previous bottle than behaved much younger. Starting to mature with great fruit and focus and the finish os long, sturdy and so rewarding. Great wine now and the coming 10+ years (and the bottle a month ago the coming 20+ years...)
95p   (tasted 2016/08)

2005 Barolo Bric dël Fiasc, Paolo Scavino
This youngster sports a deep, meaty nose with notes of ripe black cherries, sweet roses, earth and some wood smoke. Very deep and promising.
The taste is tight and intense with notes of ripe cherries, scorched earth, rosehips amd a touch of melted asphalt. Very long and concentrated. Needs time, I would give it 6-8 years before opening another bottle.
91p   (tasted 2016/08)

Flight III
1990 Barolo, Gianfranco Alessandria
A mature, round nose with notes of dried black cherries, forest floor, Christmas spices and some tapenade scents. A fine maturity. Soft and good.
The taste is mature and a bit sturdy with notes of Cherry Heering, dried spices, moist earth and some tobacco flavours. A fine dried up sweetness and a medium long finish. Fully mature and maybe a tad so.
88p   (tasted 2016/08)

2004 Barolo, Bartolo Mascarello
On our last visit to Bartolo Mascarello I walked past a big pile of 1964 in magnums in the cellar - I begged, I pleaded, I appealed, but to no avail, I guess they are still lying there...
But we move forward 40 vintages and drink the 2004 instead! The nose is deep and satisfying with lovely notes of hard cherry candy, ripe lingonberries, tobacco and red liquorice. Complex and refined. Still very young. Very, very fine.
The taste is tight and seedy with notes of ripe red cherries, dry liquorice, mushrooms and a hint of rusted steel. A long, long intense finish. Needs lots of time in the cellar, wait at least 8 years. This is going to turn out great!
94p   (tasted 2016/08)

2007 Barolo Rocche, Brovia
Maybe marked a bit by the year, because this sports a deep, warm, sweet nose with notes of Christmas spices, cherry jam, moist earth and a smoking ashtray. Very warm. Nice though. Lots of violet pastilles after some time in the glass. Very good.
The taste is big, warm and open with notes of cooked cherries, fried spices, earth and tobacco. A long, warm finish with a hint of tootpaste. Very good but a little marked by the warmth of the vintage.
86p   (tasted 2016/08)

Flight IV
2010 Barolo Ravera, Vietti
A Galloni 100p wine. Well, even experts are proned to make mistakes. A really good bottle of Barolo, no doubt, but a perfect one (if that indeed excist (yes it does - 1964 Monfortino for one...)) no way.
The nose is laid back, refined and focused with fine notes of cool red cherries, liquorice, ceps and tobacco. With air a lovely strawberries-cooked-with-Christmas-spices aroma comes forward. Really fine fruit. Very deep and promising.
The taste is young, intense and tight with notes of hard cherry candy, mushrooms, violets and expensive tobacco. The finish is long, refined and shows some neatly polished tannins. Gonna be great but will never (IMHO) reach the three digit score. And ironically, because of Gallonis score, this now cost as much as all the other Nebbiolos on this night combined...
93p   (tasted 2016/08)

2010 Barolo Brunate Riserva, M. Marengo
This however is a candidate for perfection. Its not far from it on this night. The nose is expressive, willful and breathtakingly beautiful with notes of perfectly ripe cherry fruit, raspberry liquorice, a whole mushroom forest and sweet flavourful tobacco. If I just somehow could fit my nose in to the glass! I could sit and sniff this forever. Just stunning.
The taste is a great as the nose, with intense notes of sweet/sour cherries, rosehips, gravel, red liquorice and moist leaves. The finish goes on for minutes and every screw and bolt is in the right place. Great for drinking now and my guess is that it will be even greater to drink the coming 20+ years. This is a must buy!
97p   (tasted 2016/08)

2010 Barolo Cannubi, Comm. G. B. Burlotto
This solid old fashioned Barolo was a perfect finish on this splendid night. The nose is deep, concentrated and rustic with notes of lingonberries, dried spices, iron and cigarette ashes. Very, very good. Almost withdrawn and recluse like, it delivers utter joy to sit and sniff. Great stuff.
The taste is young, tight and a tad foursquare, but the cherry fruit is polished and of the highest quality. Fine notes of dry spices, rosehips, dried mushrooms and some blood & iron. Long, long and structured. Really fine. Should evolve gracefully for 20 years. Loving it!
93p   (tasted 2016/08)


  1. Thank you for sharing this....excellent review !
    So Vietti down.....Marengo up....funny World !!
    I keep reading positive notes about Marengo...and I think is just a really underestimated one...hopefully Galloni does not give 100 ...soon

    1. Thanks! Not that Vietti was a bad wine, not at all, but not what it is cracked up to be. I have tasted wine from Marengo for many years now, and they keep on getting better and better...

  2. That's a very naughty-naughty thing to do...with those Barbarescos. ;-)

    1. Indeed! I will not make that mistake next time...