Having recently returned from my annual participation in the grand trade tasting formerly known as the Alba Wine Exhibition, and now known as Nebbiolo Prima, I thought I would take this time to share some of my impressions with you.
I have literally hundreds of tasting notes to organize and clean up, which will take some time, but in the interim I thought it would be a good idea to share some general impressions with you. In addition to the organized tastings of about 80 wines each morning I was able to visit with a handful of producers, and while the notes for those tastings will have to wait a bit as well, it’s easy to draw some general conclusions.
Please also see:
Barolo 2006 - Castiglione Falletto
Barolo 2006 - La Morra
Barolo 2006 - Barolo
Barolo 2006 - Monforte
Barolo 2006 - Serralunga
I should note that the tasting began with the red wines of the Roero, more famous for their Arneis. As was the case last year these are wines that are notable for their extraction and oakiness, though there was noticeable improvement on both fronts with respect to the wines presented last year. While the bulk of Roero producers have some ways to go, it is comforting to know that they are at least moving in the right direction.
The heart of the event, taking up almost three of the four days of tasting was the Barolo wines of 2006. This has been portrayed as an important vintage in the media and indeed it is an impressive, if somewhat irregular, vintage. It was a tough vintage to taste, and is seemingly behind the evolutionary curve of both the 2004 and 2005 vintages. Many, if not most of the wines were big, structured, and heavy in the mouth. There is no shortage of acidity and yet the wines were, as a group, lacking focus and definition at this stage of the game. It’s too early to pass judgment on these wines, and in particular since so many showed as if they had been recently bottled, but I do have some reservations about the vintage as a whole.
The easiest way to attack such a meaty topic is to break it down by village, so today's notes focus on the villages of Verduno and Novello, as well as several Barolos that are blends of various vineyards.