2007 Otin Fiorin Pie Rupestris

Pretty and very precise with violet and soil top notes over fruit that has a sweet, ripe nature to it. Fine firm tannins on entry are buried in rich Blackberry fruit accented with notes of wild herbs. Typical of the vintage, this is perhaps a little long on the fruit though there is lots of structure and the extract of fruit is balanced by bright acids. A decidedly powerful wine with good length, woodsy spice and a hint of menthol. Excellent wine.

2007 Otin Fiorin Pie Franco

Tight, floral and delicate on the nose with a little seared beef and cooked meaty aromas that turn a bit medicinal. This also has a bit of a sweetness on entry, though it shows a very swirly delicacy with rare textural complexity. Perhaps a touch hot, but with more depth and less weight than the Rupestris and decidedly more elegant. This really shows great depth of fruit, though the fruit lacks a touch of freshness and the tannins show just a hint of unripeness on the palate. Texturally this has explosive energy and fine length, it just is missing a bit of freshness. Very good wine, though time in the cellar might prove particularly beneficial.

1935 Cappellano Barolo

Spicy on the nose with lots of anise seed, poppy seed, some white truffle, licorice, rose petal, hint of broth and tar. This is really classic and perfectly mature but awfully young looking for a wine of this age. With a hint of game and some herbs on the palate accenting a core of lingonberry jam, this is rich and still lightly tannic in the mouth with deep, intense, herb-tinged cherry fruit on the back end leading to a big finish. Transparent on the palate though with a bit of heat, this shows good length, lovely richness of flavor and medicinal terroir. Really very fine.

1947 Cappellano Barolo

A bit dirty on the nose with lots of horseradish and earthy root notes as well as a little rubbery. This is intensely aromatic with strong aromas of diesel smoke and Chinato herbs. Silky with a superb texture, but the earthy fruit is faded. There is an echo of fruit on the palate that extends through the finish. A nice wine that is a treat to drink but not great. This is tough and lengthy on the finish, with a sweetness to it and a hint of chocolate. A fun wine to try but I wasn’t looking forward to drinking more.

1958 Cappellano Barbaresco

Intensely perfumed with aromas of rose petals, sweet herbs, a little sour cherry, bit of camphor, high-toned,  jammy and spicy in a lean red-fruited way, though with air this turns very caraway scented with hints of little forest floor and sweet veal stock. Sweet on entry though a bit vague on the mid-palate, with lovely brown spices, a bright rose petal element along with candied red cherry fruit. This is rather elegant upfront, then fraying on the back end and turning very fragile on the finish.

1958 Cappellano Barolo


A touch funky on the nose with a bit of body odor, stink wrapped up in an earthy, dried herbal, chalky earth toned nose. The aromas are rich and powerful, supported by a fair amount of VA, but not entirely agreeable. Dry tannins are balanced by a bit of oxidized sweetness up front. In fact, this has powerful drying tannins that are very finely textured. On entry here is a little sweet bay leaf on the palate with a nice sweet, dark berry fruit on the back end, then a very fine elegant finish, medicinal and spicy. This really makes up for the defects of the nose on the palate, which is powerful and earthy with lovely freshness and detail. This becomes better with air, an excellent wine.

1964 Cappellano Barolo

Grapefruit astringency greets the nose followed by wet leather, sweet and a bit nutty and green walnut syrup aromas. The nose is a bit high-toned, with a little hint of coal, sweet waxy red fruit, and smoky pomegranate notes. Very transparent in the mouth with soft tannins lending this a fairly silky feel. This shows lovely bright fruit, perhaps a little astringent, but long with sour cherry fruit on the finish. This is delicate but with wonderful balance, a lovely zesty finish in a feminine and elegant style. Bright, precise and so well-balanced. A real pleasure to drink.

1967 Cappellano Reserva Speciale

A little funky on the nose at first, in fact this smells a bit like mutton. There is decent complexity here with hot stones on the nose, light tar and strawberry fruit that’s a bit smoky and recalls burning strawberry jam with a caramel top note.  Complete, the first wine with fruit that is complete and still towards the front of the palate. This is rich and lovely with a smooth texture and gently spicy accents to the black cherry and wild strawberry/rhubarb fruit with lovely fennel spice on the back end. The tannins here are really resolved, allowing the fruit to shine. Really quite excellent.

1970 Cappellano Barolo

A bit of tree bark on the nose before this turns moderately sweet, with earthy overtones and some dried rose petals.  Nicely spiced with a sweet beefiness, flecked with hints of limestone, celery seed, smoke and oxidized sweet. Rich, still nicely fruity and well-endowed, though the flavors here are very developed and in the brown end of the spectrum with a leathery, dried fruit character. This turns a bit lean on the finish with modest length and tannins that are a bit drying. Nice enough but may have seen some poor storage along the way.

1974 Cappellano Barolo

Mushroom and pencil lead on the nose with a fair amount of insect spray; this smells wrong. Soft tannins and bright acids give this a good juicy feel, and the chunky plummy fruit is smooth, and attractive but at the same time simple and short, finishing with bright acidity but a bit chunky and clumsy. Not what I expected.

1978 Cappellano Barolo

Insecticide on the nose along with caraway seeds and a little black pepper in a muddy presentation. Earthy and a bit fudgy on the palate. This is fairly tannic, bright, dusty, chunky and a bit tough, in a very extracted style. Even the finish is tough and extracted with evolved earthy flavors. With air the tannins soften a bit, but this remains angular gaining minty and spicy notes on the finish. A tough wine to like.

1979 Cappellano Barolo

A bit tight on the nose with sweet fruit, a hint of Tootsie Roll, an edge of arugula and mint, along with oyster shell and tar base notes. Silky and bright on the palate with wonderfully ripe tannins and tarry, spicy flavors. This lacks some fruit but texturally is very attractive with an earthy, mineral note that leads to a long, huge finish full of bing cherry fruit. This is a bit lean but ripe and focused, if only the fruit could move a bit back onto the palate it would be great.

1980 Cappellano Barolo

Choco necco wafer greets the nose along with dusty, mineral, earthy aromas. There is a lovely herbal base here that recalls fennel but the fruit is definitely roasted and stewy. Bright and juicy on entry with an array of earthy, tarry and licorice scents in the mouth. A lovely porcini note on the palate, yet lots of tannins on the finish, albeit ripe, this seems to be something you should be drinking sooner rather than later. This lacks the detail of the 1979 but attractive with spicy and mineral accents on the finish

1982 Cappellano Barolo

Caraway, mineral, amarena cherry, hint of cinnamon, some incipient bay leaf, and a hint of sweetness on the nose is joined by a gentle tarry note, fennel, with very fine rose petals and some cranberry fruit with a little mint and a hint of porcini. This is firing on all cylinders. Very supple and attractive with sweet fruit on the palate, this is ready with lovely wild cherry and strawberry fruit and a hint of prune lurking in the background. A bit small scaled but this has fresh Nebbiolo tannins, bright acids, great medicinal accents to the fruit with good length and a lovely spicy cherry pit note on the finish. There is a lovely crispness to the tannins of this very pretty wine.

1989 Cappellano Barolo

Minerally and black-fruited on the nose with aromas of black plum, bit of prune, cherry in alcohol and tarry, spicy and gently smoky top notes. This is young and vibrant, tarry and closing with air. This is sexy, suave, powerful and rich with ripe fruit in a fairly plump style. There are plenty of spicy and earthy accents lending an almost black peppery quality to the chewy fruit. With air the tannins come to dominate the palate a bit, but this has great depth of fruit so I expect it will age quite well. Still a bit of a rustic wine but it shows the brilliance of the vintage.

1990 Cappellano Barolo

Liquory and quite mineral on the nose with rich, dense aromas of ripe cherry and plummy fruit. This actually smells tannic and tarry. Powerful on the palate, liquory and medicinal, this is incredibly concentrated with dense, aggressively medicinal fruit. This is majestic but not fruity per se, never will be elegant but powerfully complex and tannic with rich, slightly roasted black cherry fruit that should drink well for a decade or two.

1995 Otin Fiorin Pie Rupestris

Sweet black cherry fruit on the nose is framed with lovely medicinal accents. There’s nice depth to the aromatics here as this shows a lovely perfumed nose with sweet and nutty top notes built on a base note of macerated flowers, green herb notes and salumi oak. Silky on entry with a juicy feel and early hints of plum and big black cherry skin over a light base of medicinal spice. The tannins are nicely ripe and polished, with bright acidity. This is a bit dusty but with good length. This is still a bit closed and will need another 3-5 years to really show what it’s got but it promises to be quite good.

1995 Otin Fiorin Pie Franco


Very finely focused on the nose with earth, strongly medicinal with some hickory oak-like aromas. This is a little minty and quite aromatic with hints of tree bark and a bit of forest floor, adding detail to red fruits that are sweet and waxy. With rich sweet fruit right up front, this is almost explosive on entry with fine tender tannins and bright acidity. On the back end this turns more savory and complex with layers of flavor and an innate brightness. There’s a hint of coffee cream on the transition to the long, elegant finish that adds yet another facet to this. Faceted, that’s what this is and something special that should be ready earlier than the Rupestris of the same vintage.

1996 Otin Fiorin Pie Franco

Tight, liquory and smoky on the nose that fills with dried cherry fruit. This is very finely aromatic with huge tea aromas and perhaps even a hint of nutty oak, along with minty spices and freshly ground coffee adding complexity. Tight and coiled in the mouth and in need of a decade to unwind. Superbly ripe tannins support a tense palate full of mineral accents and black cherry fruit. The tannins pop on the finish, chewy, dark and a little fudgey. Today this is a bit short on the finish, muscular and yet not large-scaled, very focused and tense. This is so well-balanced it’s hard to see how massive this wine might become. This should be fantastic.