A First Look at Barolo 2010
Is the hype machine just spinning its wheels?
At Brezza the winery has begun to use native fermentations with both red and white wines in 2010. This is a bit of a departure obviously and while the impact on the 2010 Barolo is rbably pretty small, the wines do seem to lack a bit of the immediacy some previous vintages offered. This is not surprising at all, as native ferments tend to be a bit more mysterious, showing off certain aromas earlier in life, and greater transparency, and less overt fruit. These were solid wine with everything in place to develop well, particularly the Cannubi, and the Saramassa, which in 2010 includes the juice fermented separately for the Bricco Sarmassa bottling. Interesting wines which are showing signs of early drinkability.
Rizzi in Barbaresco was also on my list this visit, a break from all that Barolo! The line-up here in both 2010 and 2011 was very strong. Three crus are produced, the tight, focused nerve, the more classically open and delicate Pajore, and the Boito which is now bottled as a reserve. Both in 2010 and in 2011 the Boito was spectacular. Elegant and powerful. We overlook Barbaresco producers far too often, and wines like this slip by when we're not paying attention. Really lovely efforts.
And let's finish up with Burlotto. As you might know this is one of my favorite producers, so take this with a grain of salt perhaps. The Monvigliero is stunning in 2010, and both the Cannubi and Acclivi are super with such elegance. The Acclivi shows a bit of a smoky note which is a recurring theme in many of the wines of 2010, and I'll get to that in a moment. The prices for these Burlotto wines remain compelling, and the wines, beautiful and traditionally made as they are, somehow still manage to drink well fairly early yet age magnificently for decays. Stock up!
I did also taste a slew of additional bottling from producers, some at ProWein in Germany last week, which helps round out this brief introduction to 2010 Barolo. Allow me to run through them quickly to help frame some closing thoughts.
2010 Pio Cesare Barolo A touchstone of classism, and in 2010 showing a touch more fruit than is typical
2010 Prunotto Barolo - Elegant fresh and almost sweetly fruited but with gorgeously ripe tannins. A textbook Barolo.
2010 Scavino Bric del Fiasc - A bit sweet and toasty with some wood spice soft tannins and easy red fruits.
2010 Vietti Lazzarito - Shows great energy and drive through the palate with unusual transparency and length.
2010 Azelia Margeria - Deep, powerful and intense, this is packed with dark fruit and just a hint of wood spice, but shows terrific balance
2010 Damilano Cannubi - A touch tight and austere, with attractive red fruits.
2010 Cordero di Montezemolo Monfalletto - A bit simple with some sweetness to the fruit and a touch of spice, but the fruit is very attractive and fresh.
So a few conclusions and observations.