The wines we tasted this evening remain youthful, impeccably balanced, yet still tannic from this small berried harvest. The textures are beginning to soften and flesh out while the fruit remains fresh, rich and notably complex. These are as good as Barolo gets. Layered and aromatic with two decades of further evolution ahead of them. Already expensive, though when compared with current releases one is tempted to say that they are generally worth the prices they currently sell for. As time goes by these will only become more expensive and in ten years when they are truly in their prime we might very well look back on this time as the last chance to buy these wines for a fair price. We will not be able to say that we didn’t recognize the quality. That is for sure.
Below is a list of the wines in order of preference. As I mentioned some wines had some damage and sound bottles obviously would have shown much better. The Bartolo Mascarello in particular was a gorgeous wine, just muddied by poor storage. You could sense the depth, richness and complexity of the wine, and even though it was enjoyable I know from previous experience that it could have been much better. Other wines, the Giuseppe Rinaldi in particular, were still quite hard and closed. This Rinaldi has everything it needs to be profound, and in fact from magnum after 12 hours of decanting it was profound last year. Tonight we simply didn’t have the time.
It’s worth noting that these wines were all double decanted roughly between noon and 1pm, then poured in four flights of four for the blind tasting which took place from 7:45pm until 10pm before the wine were unveiled. It was a grand tasting and one that will vie for the best of the year, even though we are just two weeks into the new year. Yes, these wines are that good!
below is the listing of wines in order of preference. The notes that follow list the wines by flight in order of service.
Worth mention is that the Colonnello vied for first place with several of the participants this evening. I found it hard and not attractive, nor a good representation of the wine which has been much more attractive in previous tastings. As far as provenence goes I can only be certain of the stories of the wines I contributed, which ar included below along with my scores.
A score with a + sign indicates that I expect that wine to improve with further cellaring.
Giacomo Conterno Cascina Francia 98pts - purchased at auction about a decade ago
Vietti Rocche 96pts
Elio Grasso Gavarini Chiniera 94pts
Prunotto Cannubi 94pts - purchased at retail about five years ago
Rocche dei Manzoni Riserva 93pts - purchased on release
Vietti Villero Riserva 93+pts
Aldo Conterno Cicala 93pts
Produttori del Barbaresco Ovello 92pts - purchased on release
Giuseppe Rinaldi Brunate Riserva 89+pts
Cascina Bruni Vigna Batistot 88pts
Cavallotto San Giuseppe Riserva 85pts
Bartolo Mascarello 83pts
Aldo Conterno Colonnello 82pts - purchased at retail three years ago
Roagna Barbaresco Riserva - Corked
Brovia Rocche - Corked
Giacosa Villero - Corked