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.

My top ten Barolo of all time

I taste a lot of Barolo and I figured it was time to list some of my highest scoring experiences. Some are hard to find gems, but there are also some surprisingly affordable and available bottles to be found here. I know there are a number of aged wines here that are very hard to come by, but If you take nothing else from this list, at least take my word that is it worth buying Barolo on release and cellaring it to maturity. it's one of the main reasons I started my own cellar.

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Conterno Giacomo Barolo Cascina Francia (1990)
Comments: The nose was utterly explosive and captivating as earthy tobacco and tar with raspberry wafted up from the glass. With further exploration, musky notes with roses and a hint of black olive tempted the senses. On the palate, this wine showed its rich yet massive structure with dark ripe strawberry, tar, savory broth, graphite and lead fading to a long staying finish. This wine is drinking beautifully yet should continue to improve for many years. It’s absolutely stunning.
Previously available for $425.00
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2 Vietti Barolo Rocche (2006)
Comments: The nose showed strawberry, anise, coconut and vanilla with a hint of lead pencil. On the palate, I found dusty cranberry and a hint of wood. The palate was rich with tones of darker fruit as it worked its way across the tongue. The finish showed a little rough tannin with dry red fruits. This wine is young, but not painfully so and with a little air showed the darker and richer tones of Nebbiolo.
Average price: $433.84 from 2 stores
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3 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Riserva 'Le Rocche del Faletto di Serralunga' (2004)
Comments: The nose was seductive, with spicy wood, red berries, floral perfume, underbrush and olive. The more I delved into the nose of this wine, the more I found. On the palate, it was surprisingly open with silky ripe strawberry, tobacco and tar but the finish pulled me back to reality and velvety tannin enveloped my senses and abruptly shut them down
Previously available for $350.45
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4 Vietti Barolo Rocche 5000 (2004)
Comments: The ’04 Villero Riserva was one of the most intense yet balanced young Baroli that I have ever tasted. The nose showed rich elegant cherries, medicinal herbs, sweet spices and a subtle sheen of vanilla. On the palate, pure red berry fruit gave way to tar and menthol as this elegant wine turned to a structure that coated the entire palate in silky tannin and staying red fruits until the long close.
Average price: $145.00 from 6 stores
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5 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cascina Francia (1989)
Comments: The nose showed dried red fruits, tar, mushroom broth, a bit of black strap molasses and a hint of barnyard. Showed a gorgeous structure on the palate that gives the impression that this wine will last the ages. Still a little tight with a tannic grip but giving none the less with dark red fruit and a mineral core. Finish was long and fine, showing sour cranberry. This was the wine of the night for me.
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6 Cavallotto Barolo Riserva Vigna San Giuseppe Bricco Boschis (2001)
Comments: The nose showed deep, rich red fruits, poppy and menthol with a zesty, almost tropical note of tangerine. On the palate, it was velvety and rich with sweet, spiced red fruits. The finish was intense, structured and long. This wine is just starting to drink well but could use a few more years. A must have!
Average price: $89.95 from 3 stores
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7 Altare Elio Barolo DOCG Vigna Arborina Red (2001)
Comments: The Altare Arborina showed a classic Barolo nose of red fruits, plum skins, roses, tar, a hint of animal musk and undergrowth. The nose pulled me in and reminded me somehow of a childhood Autumn days with dried leaves and pine nestles. On the palate, it showed an elegant, full body, backed by a balance of tannin and acid. The fruit was rich but not over-ripe with sweet spice and an airy, refreshing note of menthol. The finish was long with red fruits, tobacco and a hint of brown sugar. This wines need more time and is truly stunning. It reminded me very much of some of the best '96s I've tasted.
Previously available for $260.51
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8 Vietti Barolo Rocche Giacosa Bruno Barbaresco Asili Rsva (1974)
Comments: What a pleasure it was to drink the 1974 Vietti Rocche. The nose showed floral undergrowth, fresh-turned soil with strawberry and, as time passed, a sweet, almost caramel note added outstanding complexities to the already beautiful bouquet. On the palate, it was juicy yet balanced and still showed youthful notes of fresh red berries, cinnamon and sweet floral notes. The finish swung toward the savory side as broth and brown sugar lingered for over 30 seconds.
Previously available for $200.00
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9 Luigi Pira Barolo Marenca (1996)
Comments: Initially, the nose showed roses with new leather, tar, anise and sour red fruit hiding behind it all. The palate was very tight with savory beef broth, minerals, old cedar and cranberry. The finish showed sour red fruits with cheek puckering tannin lingering toward the end. As this bottle approached the fifth hour; the nose retained many of it's initial qualities but a rich (not sweet) cherry tobacco had moved to the front along with dusty dried flowers. The palate had taken on more body as a mix of red berries, cinnamon and sauté mushroom led to a slightly gravely tannin on the tremendously long finish. At the seventh, and last hour (only because we couldn't stop ourselves from drinking it). This bottle had become almost impossible to ignore as the cherry took on darker, woody and mentholated tones in the nose. The roses had become sweet and the tar faded to the rear. On the palate, sweeter red berries with cherry liqueur, spice, and soil took over. The tannins on the finish had faded to a slight drying sensation and left me with cranberry and cedar, which lasted for a full minute.
Previously available for $75.00
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10 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Collina Rionda Riserva (1990)
Comments: This wine was everything I ever wanted in a glass of Barolo. It was sweet yet sour, earthy yet fruity and rich yet with razor-like focus. The nose showed masses of ripe red berries with hot dried spices, gravelly moist earth, mushroom and hints of green stems. On the palate, this showed silky, sweet, ripe strawberry yet it also had a savory warmth, full with earth, menthol and leather strap on a beautifully structured frame. It was amazing how young the Collina Rionda seemed as silky tannin washed across the palate and soothed me into a long, seductive finish that begged for the next sip.
Previously available for $999.00
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