On the 30th of November, the Barolo Boys lands in the holy land of Nebbiolo. For three days we will drink, sip, taste, occasially spit, eat truffles, coniglio, braised meat; and meet those fantastic people who transforms Nebbiolo into nectar.
It has been too long since tha last trip.
But these visits have to be planned. More so than the D-Day. So I opened a couple of bottles and we discussed what producers and restaurants we will grace with our visit...
2008 Special Club, Juillet-Lallement
I tasted the 2006 recently and liked it a lot. Lets see how the 08 is. The nose is fresh and racy with notes of lemon peel, matchbox, green cabbage and gravel. Very good. Young of course.
The taste is perky and fine with notes of white peaches, lemons, gravel and the white beneath the orange peel. A long finish with a hint of bitterness. Needs some time. Very, very good.
90p (tasted 2016/10)
1964 Eltville Marcobrunner Riesling Auslese Cabinet, Langwerth von Simmern
I opened these two older gems to go with some coniglio paté and truffle salami. The Eltville shows a big, mature, round nose with notes of rubber, dried apricots, moist earth and cigarette ash. A fine maturity. A bit loose around the edges though.
The taste is mature, velvety and semi dry with notes of blood oranges, dry honey, moist earth and a hint of saffron. The acidity is a tad low. Good.
85p (tasted 2016/10)
1964 Niersteiner Hehr Riesling Feine Auslese, Heinrich Seip
Beforehand I thought that the Eltville was to be the winner, but with old bottles you never know. This is a stunner! The nose is deep, mature and vivid with notes of dried oranges, spices, some honey scents and lots of wet crushed rocks. A very fine balance. Perfectly mature.
The taste is mature, long and semi dry with lovely dried orange fruit and additional notes of smoke, rubber and minerals. A fine acidity. In a great drinking stage. Very, very good.
91p (tasted 2016/10)
The first red flight was three old Barolo´s from Enrico Serafino. A few years ago I had a very good 58 from this producer. We had gnocchi with pancetta and fried sage with these bottles.
1947 Barolo, Enrico Serafino
The 47 has a deep, round nose with notes of undergrowth, dried flowers, candle grease and some animal scents. With more air, they all got 1,5 hours in the decanter, dried mushrooms and smoke comes forward. Deep and fine.
The taste is dry and intense with notes of dried red currants, cigarette ash, dried mushrooms and a hint of tar. A long, dry finish with a fine warmth. Very, very good although this bottle has reached its peak some 10+ years ago.
88p (tasted 2016/10)
1949 Barolo, Enrico Serafino
A great bottle of aged Barolo! The nose is deep, compact yet lively and rich with notes of dried red cherries, wood smoke, rosehips, dog fur and mushrooms. Very, very good. Some veal stock scents. High and fine. A very fine maturity.
The taste is mature, velvety and dark with notes of dried red cherries, red tea, rose petals, cigarr smoke and undergrowth. A long, lingering, dry finish. A laid back power and intensity. This is really fine. Bottles like this will hold for 10+ years.
1952 Barolo Riserva Speciale, Enrico Serafino
Oh dear. Even if you strain the wine from lumps in it.....its not drinkable. Looked good but have been badly stored somewhere along the line.
50p (tasted 2016/06)
Second flight of Baolo´s and I had HIGH expectations. A cep and sweetbread risotto was served to go along.
1982 Barolo Granbussia Riserva, Aldo Conterno
The 82 sports a mature, high, ethereal nose with notes of mushroom soup, dried cherries, liquorice and a beautifully perfume of aged Nebbiolo. Very deep. This has aged in a gorgeous fashion. Velvety. A great nose.
The taste is not as great as the nose, sorry to say. It is fine, oh yes, but the fruit has dried out somewhat and the finish is a tad liniar. Notes of hard cherry candy, mushrooms and forest floor. Long and warm, and dry. But, with the risotto it created magic, the best combination of the four wines.
90p (tasted 2016/10)
1990 Barolo Granbussia Riserva, Aldo Conterno
Aaaaaaaah! What to say, this is sooo close to perfection. The nose is a dream, with notes of sweet rose petals, ceps, dark fudge, tobacco, tar and the same lovely perfumed scent as in the 82 but even better and more intense. Breathtakingly beautiful.
The taste is pure, intense and tight with notes of ripe red cherries, rosehips, ceps, raspberry liquorice and some chocolate wafers. The finish is looong, with a stunning acidity and some tannins creeping up at the end. I could drink this every day of the week. Probably peeking, but will hold for 10+ years.
98p (tasted 2016/10)
1996 Barolo Granbussia Riserva, Aldo Conterno
The 96 is no slouch either. The nose is deep, intense and loaded with notes of ripe red and black cherries, dark roses, forest floor, coffee powder and a lovely perfumed mint scent. Very deep and very fine. Still young. Refined.
The taste is youngish, tight and intense with notes of fresh cherries, hard cherry candy, dry liquorice, tobacco and rosehips. A powerful silkiness. The finish is counted in minutes. Some still sturdy tannins in the end. Give this 8+ years and it will challenge the 90. Impressive.
96p (tasted 2016/10)
2001 Barolo Granbussia Riserva, Aldo Conterno
The 2001 is a real youngster. The nose is upfront, rich and minty with notes of ripe cherries, fresh tobacco, new leather and sweet minerals. Very deep. A bit ungainly from time to time. Very deep and ripe. Needs time.
The taste is concentrated, rich and direct with notes of sweet black cherries, pipe tobacco, forest floor and asphalt. Very intense. The finish is very long and distinct. Needs at least 8 years. Lots of potential here. After two days in the bottle it was even better than on this night, had it 94p but after two days it is
95p (tasted 2016/10)
After the deep impressions of the Barolo´s I thought we needed some Riesling to wind down. Both from half bottles.
2001 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese*, Selbach-Oster
Smells like a perfect summers day! A beautiful, ethereal, delicate nose with notes of butter cup flowers, white peach, chalk and a hint of rubber. A lovely creaminess to the fruit. This is stunning.
The taste is pure, complex and light with a brilliant acidity and notes of peaches, lemon cream, matchbox and minerals. It dances over your tongue. Ooooh so good!
95p (tasted 2016/10)
2001 Oberhäuser Leistenberg Riesling Auslese Goldcap, Dönnhoff
The Dönnhoff feels "heavy" in comparison with the Selbach-Oster, but concentrating on it, it has a lot to offer. The nose is deep and multi layered with notes of ripe pears, gravel, warm grass and some vanilla ice cream. Deep and fine.
The taste is broad and intense with notes of dried apriocts, warm grass, lemon liquorice and minerals. A very long, tight finish. Aristocratic and fine. Still have places to go.
92p (tasted 2016/10)
And now for the sweet stuff!
2015 Vouvray Moelleux Clos de Bourg 1er Trie, Huet
This was brought by S. A cool, grassy, elegant nose with a fine underlying sweetness in the shape of candied orange peels, sweet lime, oilcloth and warm hay. Very deep and fine.
The taste is young, sweet and complex with a brilliant acidity and notes of wet stones, kaffir lime, star fruit and minerals. A long, intense finish that ends semi dry. Very, very good. If this bottle is representative Huet has really got their shit together again.
93p (tasted 2016/10)
1997 Coteaux du Layon Graine Nobles Marie Juby, Patrick Baudoin
A voluptuous, rich, sweet nose with notes of Tarte tatin, almond paste, smoked tea and spices. Very intense, very sweet and very yummy. Some maturity. Very concentrated.
The taste is big, sweet and dense with notes of apricots, almond paste, moist earth and ted tea. A long, long oily finish with a high acidity. Very impressive but should only be drunk in small sips.
92p (tasted 2016/10)