2008 Giacomo Conterno Cascina Francia $150

Tight and  minera on the nose with  bit of cocoa dusted fruit under sweet floral base notes rich with tar, licorice, and macerated herb aromas. Rich if a bit tough in the mouth, this is all about grape skins today, with austere and almost bitter intense flavors of cherry, medicinal, and earth on the palate, all topped with aromatic floral and red fruited notes that drive the long, finessed finish. There is an innate sweetness here that will emerge with time, though there are suggestions of what this wine will become on the  long finish which shows perfect  density and superbly ripe tannins. 94pts

2008 Elvio Cogno Barolo Bricco Pernice $80

Sweetly fruited and bursting with aromas of  rose hips, rose petals, just a fine edge of attractive jamminess, nice gentle spice, and hints of tar and licorice. Finely balanced on the palate with well managed tannins that are present, if not prominent, this shows a really lovely core of red fruit, that  is rich, ripe and transparent, with lovely tannins and perfectly balanced supporting acidity. The finish is just a touch short but I expect it will lengthen with time. A great showing. 93pts

2008 Brovia Barolo Ca’Mia $80

Superb florality on the nose this open with intense, dark, muscular fruit filled with soil and medicinal tones and wrapped in the gentle sweetness of old wood. Tight, and yet showing real finesse here, this offers up lovely dark flavors accented with a hint of fresh peach and rich, ripe tannins that are seamlessly integrated. With air this turns slightly medicinal, and with a slight prune flavor and late arriving wild cherry fruit adding complexity, this shows off elegance and finesse in spades. A touch short today but this is superbly put together. 93pts

2008 E Pira Chiara Boschis Barolo Cannubi $90

Tight, floral, complex, savory and very precise on the nose with a light sheen of oak, both new and old topped with sweet rose petals. Bright and vivid in the mouth with rich yet transparent wild cherry fruit, lovely tannins are assertive but in balance allowing the wine to finish with a pretty sweetness augmented by a touch of wood sweetness, this shows the taut, austere elegance of cannubi very well 93pts

2008 Aldo Conterno Barolo Romirasco $185


Early on this is noticeably oaky, then it turns a bit hard with floral and spiced dark cherry fruit. Clean, precise and modern, this is a bit beefy at first, smooth and broad on the palate. This shows a little hollow on the palate, there's nice fruit, explosively pure and slight candied and medicinal wild cherry fruit that is sure to please many palates,  but the structure is taking control here and this is very structured for the vintage. There is no doubt huge fruit here with added complexity from notes of herb, leather, and violets , but the wine shows a weird blend of super fruity fruit and classic structure. This is a super fresh fruit bomb. I don’t know how to score this, objectively it’s a 93pt wine though if there ever was a case of a wine having too much fruit this would be one of them, but it is delicious fruit. Blind I might guess this is a new world wine.

2008 Paolo Scavino Barolo Bric del Fiasc Riserva $NA

A unique bottling, first time a Riserva was made and this was bottled for charity. Just one barrel of this was produced, all Cappello sommerso, natural yeast fermentation, ten months in fourth passage barrique, then two years in cask, a year longer than the traditional Bric del Fiasc bottling.

Dark and pretty one the nose with obvious but not intrusive oak, there's some nice earthy spice and perfumy floral notes that drift up in the glass as well. Soft and almost opulent on entry, then rather firm and muscular with a dense core of  dark berry fruit. This is tannic and tough on the finish, which is long and filled with nuanced burnished fruit, lots of cherry in alcohol and wild, woodsy berries all topped with aromatic rose hips. If the fruit hold out this could be special. 92pts

2008 Luciano Sandrone Barolo Cannubi Boschis $155

Lots of sweet, toasty oak spice on the nose is accompanied a touch of chalk and some savory, meaty, almost jerky tones. On entry a slight edge of sweetness is quickly washed away by bright and tart cherry and strawberry fruit. This is rather elegant, and fairly surprisingly transparent with good length still driving the light sweet edge here, tight with a traditional mouth feel that is less dark, matte and oaky than previous vintages. Finishes with excellent length rich with sour and astringent red fruits. Is this just a vintage anomaly? 91pts