15 Top Barolos

Tasting at La Festa del Barolo


These notes are from a March 2011 tasting that was organized by The Wine Advocate’s Antonio Galloni. We tasted along with 15 of Piedmont’s top producers who gave brief observations regarding their wines, the region and life in general.

In regards to the 2007s, it was stressed that the character of the vintage was formed by many complicated elements of the growing season. It was a warmer year, but it was also an extremely long growing season with an early arrival to the cooling nights of autumn.

These elements combined to endow these wines with intense ripe fruit as well as fresh, crisp structures -- an almost unprecedented style, according to Antonio. The wines showed quite well today and in general seem to be better-balanced than the 2007 Barbarescos tasted last year. The extra hand time enjoyed by Barolo seems to have allowed the vines to refresh themselves before harvest. I will be tasting many more 2007 Barolo in the coming months and hope to be able to offer a more complete impression of the vintage then.

2007 Elio Altare Barolo Arborina

A bit toasty on the nose with perfumy French oak dominating. Fine texture up front then the palate becomes compressed and quite oaky with dry wood tannin that extends over the spicy finish. There’s some nice underlying fruit here and the wine remains quite elegant, in spite of the currently overwhelming oak. 90pts

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2007 Luciano Sandrone Barolo Cannubi Boschis

Dense and a bit flat aromatically with a jammy, candied licorice tone and floral top notes over some raw wood notes. Nice tension in the mouth and clarity of fruit up front, which quickly gets obscured by a rather pronounced covering of wood. The finish is fresh with excellent persistence of dark cherry fruit that carries minor tar and licorice notes through the finish. 92pts

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2007 Roberto Voerzio Barolo Cerequio

Tight with some fruit showing through the perfumy French oak with a strongly spicy underlay. Round in the mouth and very ripe, though not jammy. This really exhibits lovely balance with oak that is well-integrated but present, and vibrant fruit that asserts itself through the perfumed finish, which exhibits some nice chalky soil notes before relenting to cinnamon spice on the finale. 93pts

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2007 Azelia Barolo San Rocco

Lots of fruit on the nose in a jammy blackberry vein, with an overlay of spicy French oak. Clearly fruit in the mouth with an early rush of cherries in alcohol, then becoming more compressed on the palate and quite extracted with a short, tannin-covered finish. Not much going on here. 87pts

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2007 Ceretto Barolo Bricco Rocche

Nutty on the nose with mineral, floral and herbal notes over an underlying dark fruit sweetness. A touch rustic in the mouth with lovely open-knit fruit that is a bit simple but offers attractive savory and spicy tones on the mid-palate before the finish tightens up a bit. Will probably offer attractive drinking relatively early on. 89pts

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2007 Vietti Barolo Rocche

Noticeable sweet toasty oak on the nose but it’s overlaid with impressively powerful (yet fresh) fruit, macerated floral tones and a fine limestone element. Silky and elegant in the mouth with a powerfully fruit-driven entry that extends over the mid-palate with superbly polished tannins. There’s a bit of wood sweetness here and lots of bright raspberry and red plum fruit that extends on the long finish. A great wine that offers up compelling inner mouth perfume and real finesse. 94pts

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2007 Paolo Scavino Barolo Bric del Fiasc

Aromatically hard with intense cherry juice aromas framed by French oak, which lends a rather candied note here. Fresh and very fruit-driven in the mouth. Classically structured with a layer of oak draped over the top. This has some milk chocolate notes and some drying wood on the finish, which seems fairly extracted. 88pts

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2007 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Falletto

Macerated herbs with a buttery edge on the nose over perfumed fresh red fruits, with a touch of wood spice and some light floral top notes. Light in the mouth, though very clear and fresh with sweet, elegant raspberry fruit. Simple though bright and clean with attractive cut, and tension that leads to a moderate wild cherry-toned finish. 89pts

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