Altare - La Morra

Altare has been a leading light of the modernist movement for decades now and is probably the producer that stick as closely as possible tot he style that the modernists emerged with in the late 1990s. I have had and enjoyed several of those wines but have to say that the wines tasted here today are disappointing to say the least. I found them light in a way, with very hightoned aroamtics, but at the same time over-oaked and a bit inky on the palate. Maybe the oak will integrate well and I will be proven wrong about these wines ut at this stage they struck me as neither complete wines nor well balanced. I can't say I see the appeal in these wines.

2009 Altare Barolo

From vineyards just under the winery in La Morra, Pernanno in Castiglione, adjacent to Cerretta in Serralunga, no new wood though it does stay in barrique for two years.

Nice dried fruit base notes greet the nose along with a touch of oak, and hints of rose petals and licorice in this simple, high-toned and nicely aromatic wine. There are nice acids early on the palate with a little touch of heat followed by lots of woody tannins that may be sweet but they are there. There’s a nice core of fresh fruit here though the savory wood influences tend to cover most of it up, and the finish is all tannins both fruit and wood. A modest wine with a lot of tannin. 85pts

2009 Altare Barolo Arborina - La Morra

High toned and aromatic on the nose but with lots of wood spice, making this simple but intense. This is smooth and polished in the mouth with fine grained tannins, broad wild macerated cherry flavors with hints of licorice, medicinal herbs and a little bit of mint on the back end. Another wine with lots of tannins, just wood and fruit and not much follow through, collapsing on itself on the finish into a black hole extracted fruit and oak. 84pts

2007 Altare Barolo Cerretta - Serralunga

Two extra years in bottle

Dark and earthy on the nose with some prune fruit aromas integrating with toasty wood, medicinal herbs, and some baking spices. This is opulent with lots of power on entry, in a focused and relatively elegant style that is absorbing the tannin fairly well.  Filled with dark and slightly anonymous fruit, there’s nice weight here, if this is a touch dense, with very attractive wild red berry fruit powering through on the rather short finish. This is still simple, very tannic and chewy. 87pts