Eric Guido

Location: Ridgewood, NY

Food and Wine Writer for Snooth Media, Chef, Musician, Poet, Wine Lover, and Workaholic. Owner, Chef and Writer for The V.I.P. Table.

1999 Barolo and Barbaresco Retrospective

One of the most common discussions among Barolo drinkers are which vintages from the 1995 through 2001 vintage streak will rise to the top. It’s a debate that has been going on for years, and for quite some time, ’99 seemed to be a big question mark--until recently.


1999 had a great start, being a year that saw favorable conditions throughout the entire region. A warm summer with cool nights lent the grapes that much needed push and pull of heat to ripen, and a break at night retained balance and added aromatics. Maybe I was at a disadvantage, having never tasted these upon release. For me, most of these bottles were at least seven or eight years old before my first taste and may have been in a dormant stage. However, after this tasting, I can see that they are right on track. 


Most of these wines are just entering their drinking window. I wouldn’t put them in the same league as ’96 for ageability, yet I would say there’s at least a decade of improvement in store for the majority of wines we tasted. What was troubling was the number of bottles that appeared to be suffering from unusually high amounts of volatile acidity. Lastly, there was the revelation that our wine of the night wasn’t a Barolo—It was a Barbaresco. 

3. Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Moccagatta (1999)

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The Produttori Moccagatta was classic in every way, and having tasted it blind, was easily confused for being a Barolo. The nose started out muted, but with a short time in the glass, a bouquet of dried cherry, potpourri, menthol and dark, dark chocolate filled the senses. On the palate, intense tart cherry washed across the senses with notes of cedar but was quickly subdued by fine tannin. Penetrating red fruits stayed through the finish in good balance against this wine’s tense structure. The Moccagatta was dark, mysterious and truly seductive on the nose with a truly classic feel on the palate.
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