Tasting 2001 Barolo

What happens when you challenge the wine gods?

Flight 5 - Brunate
This is savory and complex on the nose with layers of leather, celery seed, and umami rich dried ham aromas but not much fruit. Smooth and powerful in the mouth, this is a shiny wine but at the same time it’s packed with nicely earth framed dark wild berry fruit in a muscular style. It’s a bit short and turns a bit oaky on the backend but it’s drinking awfully well tonight. 90pts
Clean and focused on the nose but the aromas are weirdly of dark poppy seed paste and shoe polish. A bit smooth and anonymous in the mouth with a dark extracted feel and flavors of coffee bean, blackberry fruit, and toasty spice that are short and chunky in the mouth. 84pts
A bit sweet and meaty on the nose with plenty of nutty, espresso toned oak but this is also rather large scaled and complex with dark cherry fruit, menthol and floral accents. Smooth and chewy in the mouth this is big and deep with lots of earthy black cherry fruit that shows a lovely brightness and tension in the mouth with a long earthy finish that does show just a hint of bitterness. This should just get better. 92pts
Dark carob, jellied black fruit,and dusty minerality greets the nose. Round and just a little sweet in the mouth this offers up attractive fruit that has a little figgy edge to it along with a nice mineral note working as a contrasting note. Pretty packed with tannin and showing a touch of heat on the finish. Interesting if not as well balanced as some, this could improve. 88pts
High toned on the nose with sweet oak, coffee, and caramel aromas along with a touch of VA. Lean, focused and pure in the mouth this is tight and mineral, and packed with tannin today but you can get a sense of the fruit here.This is young and still pretty raw with dark red cherry fruit that peeks out a bit on the modest finish which is a bit chunky and short due to the tannins. A real disconnect with the overtly modern nose. This seems to have everything in place to improve. 86pts

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Top 2001 Barolo tasted 10/13

Luciano Sandrone Nebbiolo Barolo Cannubi Boschis (2001)
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Vietti Nebbiolo Barolo Brunate (2001)
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Roberto Voerzio Brunate Barolo (2001)
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Ascheri Barolo Sorano Coste & Bricco (2001)
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Cavalotto Barolo Riserva San Giuseppe (2001)
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Fratelli Oddero Barolo Mondoca di Bussia Soprana (2001)
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Gb Burlotto Burlotto Gb-Barolo Cannubi (2001)
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Cappellano Barolo 'Pie Repestris' (2001)
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Clerico Domenico Ciabot Mentin Ginestra (2001)
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Marcarini Nebbiolo Barolo Brunate (2001)
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Mentioned in this article


  • A few thoughts:
    That seems like an overwhelming number of wines to taste - did you worry about palate fatigue skewing the results?
    I realize you were dealing with 13 year old wines, so is it possible that some of your classic monsters just gave up the ghost after 4+ hours of decanting/aeration?

    And a question (I am just learning about good Italian wines; my focus heretofore has been Bordeaux and Cal): Is Gattinara considered Barolo since it is nebbiolo, or is it a subset or…?

    Oct 17, 2013 at 1:22 PM

  • Snooth User: marc d
    164684 1

    Very disappointed to read this, particularly regarding the 01 Elio Grasso. I drank that wine shortly after release and it was a beautiful bottle. Kind of straddling the modern traditional spectrum (although not nearly as oaky as his Runcot bottle). Lots of fruit but it had great balance. I have several of this and the Ginestre cellared, I hope they turn out better then the bottle you guys tasted. The 01 Brovias I've tried have also been highly enjoyable. What a weird night you had!

    Oct 17, 2013 at 3:32 PM

  • Snooth User: Richard Foxall
    Hand of Snooth
    262583 2,875

    Gattinara is one of the other DOCGs that rely on Nebbiolo. There are a number of them, separate from Barolo and Barbaresco. A particular favorite DOCG of mine is Ghemme, which blends a little of other varietals into the nebbiolo and makes wines that drink really well at less than a decade. They also can be a little less expensive, but are harder to find in the US.

    I had dinner with a guy the other night who said the 1964 Baroli were drinking really well right now. So maybe that's the window to aim for... if you had the foresight to buy Nebbiolo when you were a child and the patience to wait for middle age!

    Oct 17, 2013 at 4:29 PM

  • Snooth User: Sam Se
    1383708 12

    Always top ... I love your super amazing blog :)


    Oct 18, 2013 at 2:17 AM

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