Wine Talk

Snooth User: Richard Foxall

2013 Barolos are hitting the market, anyone buying?

Posted by Richard Foxall, Apr 14.

You can buy 2015 California Cabernet if you look around, I'm sure.  Heck, maybe even 2016.  But the Italians make you wait a little longer--five years for Brunello, and four, more or less, for Barolo.  So that means the 2013 Barolos are starting to hit the market, and it's a highly anticipated vintage.  2014 suffered from hail, so it's going to be a light year with limited quantities.  Better stock up now on 2013, a vintage widely lauded by Galloni, Jancis Robinson, and a host of others.  (WE only gives it the same score as 2009, making them a bit of an outlier.)  GdP had good things to say about it as well.

I'm contemplating some purchases depending on the pricing--probably a total of two or two and a half cases worth.  Here are some of my favorite crus and the wines I'll be looking at:

Bussia:  This a huge "cru" so there's lots of choices, but I'm a big fan of Giacomo Fenocchio's wines from this one.  If they are too pricey, I'll look at the Ghisolfi bottling--the "Visette" gets new wood, but the straight Bussia does not and represents a great value. I might buy some of it and the Fenocchio to average the price out a bit. 

Cascina Francia is a monopole, and, while I'll put Giacomo Conterno on my wish list, it's unlikely I can get anywhere close to that.  But Ferdinando Principiano owns a tongue of Boscareto that lies right below Francia.  If I can find that at something less than $65, I'll give it some thought.

Monprivato is one of the few wines I think is worth three figures; again, it's a monopole and I would be happy to support Mauro Mascarello's perfectionism at G. Mascarello, but I'm probably just priced out.  Luckily, just slightly downslope from it is Fiasco--and all the wines from Fiasco and Monprivato are part of the farm/hamlet of Garballeto Superiore, sharing exposure. So I'll probably go in on a couple bottles of Brovia's Garblet Sue (dialect for the hamlet) which comes from the Fiasco (or Bric del Fiasc) vineyard.  Brovia used to own a piece of Monprivato--they were the last to sell it to Mascarello, apparently. The Garblet Sue is a worthy alternative and about half the price (or less) the Mascarello Monprivato.

I love Burlotto's Monvigliero, but it's selling out before I can buy it lately, and it's kind of pricey, although nothing like the G. Conternos and Mascarellos. (Update form JD that it's now about $250!) I found another maker, Brangero, that had some distribution in the US.  Very new barolo maker--they started buying land and grapes maybe a decade ago.  That will be my fall back. They are a little close to modern for my preference, so I'll work hard to get the Burlotto if I can. 

I'd like to round things out with a Cannubi, maybe from Fratelli Serio e Battista Borgogno, since I had such great success with their 2006.  But Serio died last year, and their distribution was always pretty tight.  And a Ravera from Cogno would be nice, but those are getting pricey and are gaining a lot of great press, making them hard to acquire. 

I'll look to fill in with some commune-level things, from Cascina Luisin, Rivetto and others that I've recently been looking at.  The Normale from Burlotto is also exceptional. 

Then there's Barbaresco.  The wines were released last year, so I'll look for closeouts.  If I can't afford Oddero's Gallina bottling (usually a stunner), Ugo Lecquio has that cru covered.  I'll probably look for a Rio Sordo, but Cascina delle Rose has gotten hard to find and a bit pricey.  Not sure there are any cheaper alternatives to their Tre Stelle.  Looking back at GdP's notes and my own recollection, the answer might be to just find their regular Nebbiolo bottling and buy a ton of that.  Of course, the Riservas from the Produttori will get released as well, although I might just view that as a buying opportunity when they close out the regular Produttori. I'll look for the Barale Serraboella, too, which was a good deal in the 2011 vintage.

Anyone else looking to buy Piemontese wines soon?  Anyone else interested in going in on some purchases?

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Replies

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Reply by JonDerry, Apr 14.

Burlotto makes a Cannubi, as does Giacomo Fenocchio. Then there's Pira.

Then there's Rocche Del Annunziata and that good, reasonably priced producer I emailed you about last year. Just noticed the 2012 go on sale for about $36.

Combine some of the best of both vineyards and you basically have Bartolo Mascarello, with Rue and San Lorenzo blended in.

In case anyone's interested, I have the exact Bartolo Mascarello breakdown from Maria Theresa.

Bartolo Mascarello

1.2 Rocche Del Annunciada
1.0 Cannubi (Young Vines, 1989)
5M square meters Rue
3M San Lorenzo (old vine until 2015)
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Reply by rckr1951, Jul 15.

I've been looking at the 2013 Einaudi "Terlo" and the Massolino Serralunga" as well as the 2012 Damilano "Lecinquevigne" and the 2012 Seghsio "La Villa" lately.  Will probably '12 first. Same for the Brunrelos'.

 

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Reply by Really Big Al, Jul 15.

What kind of prices should we expect to pay for some of these 2013 Barolo wines in the USA?  I like a good Barolo but I'm not willing to pay more than $100 for a bottle....

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Reply by rckr1951, Jul 16.

Al - There are people that say if you don't spend lots of money you won't get the good stuff.  I chose a different route.  I like to buy the early releases - researched well - at a little less expensive prices to judge vintages. for instance - the  2012 Damilano "Lecinquevigne" got a host a good reviews and yes, ratings also, but it was only $36 and has been recently reduce to just less than $30.  I'm ordering it before the end of the month.  Now the '12 vintage selection is reduced - I missed out due to that ugly cancer thing, but this is a little gem - just the kind of wine I thrive on.

You can find the same thing with the '13 - 2013 Einaudi offers 2 at least, but the 2 I know of are "Terlo" and the "Costa Grimaldi"  priced at $40 and $50-$70 respectfully depending on where you shop.  I'm buying the "Terlo" to see if I want the other.

I'm sure you have your own methods for fleshing out wines - but that how I buy more expensive< at least for me, wines.  Spend what you want - drink well.

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Reply by Really Big Al, Jul 16.

I want you guys to tell us of the best deals we'll find on the quality wines.  I understand that you need to get your hand in the cookie jar first, so hold off until you have your orders placed.  I just don't have the desire to do too much research on foreign wines for some reason.  Maybe it's a language barrier or just ignorance.  Come to think of it, I've been struggling with ignorance my whole life....

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Reply by JonDerry, Jul 16.

I'd recommend Giacomo Fenocchio Barolos as a really nice value driven set of wines that Fox and I can both vouch for. I grabbed a few of their 2013 Cannubi's. However the Bussia and Villero are also recommended. Ditto for the 90 di (Bussia) Riserva that will be a late release.

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Reply by Really Big Al, Jul 17.

So I think we're talking the $50 range then, but I need to find one here in Virginia.

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Reply by JonDerry, Jul 17.

That's right...doubt it's ever sold in Virginia though. You might have to specially ask your wine shop.

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Reply by rckr1951, Jul 17.

Al - I noticed that the Total Wine in Alexandria has a couple of interesting ones at about the $40 mark from the 2011 vintage. They are:

1. Mauro Sebaste Barolo Tresuri, 2011

2. Seghesio Barolo, 2011

Something to think about and do a little research over if you're going to be in the area.

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Reply by GregT, Jul 18.

Al - there is the whole internet thing. You can order online. Or does VA prohibit that? If so, have it sent to a friend in another state. Or head over to DC - there are lots of good wine stores there.

Rckr - the 2011 was a pretty warm vintage overall and some say it's not that great as a result, but that means you can do a little exploring, perhaps for a little less money as well. Those wines are likely earlier drinkers - some had pretty high alcohol levels. I would suggest however, that you save some money and look for the basic Nebbiolo bottlings, which tend to be far less pricey and will give you an idea of the producer's style. There's nothing like opening a forty year old Barolo from a great vintage, but we don't all have the cellars to allow that, and some of us might not be sure we have the time either.

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Reply by Really Big Al, Jul 18.

I have a few 2010 Barolo's in a 8-bottle wine cooler, so I just want to get one or two of the 2013 vintage to hang on to them for a while.  I'll ask at my wine shop today and see what's available there.  Thanks RC & GT.

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Reply by Really Big Al, Jul 18.

So, there were no 2013 Barolo wines at my favorite wine shop this afternoon on my Cat Tuesday activities.  They had 2010, 2011, and 2012 bottles though.  I bought a 2016 Sancerre and a 2012 Bordeaux instead, so I'm still happy.

 

 

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Reply by rckr1951, Jul 18.

GREG - It's the time concept that gets me right now.  I try to manage my cellar according to my needs, not my wants.  But I have a hard time factoring my age.  

My son likes wine, but isn't equipped to handle a wine cellar and my daughter doesn't drink much at all.  So do I buy a wine that I really shouldn't open until 2027 or settle for 2022/23.  Those seem right, but I am giving up some things I like.

Hell, maybe I give it all to you guys, who knows.

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Reply by dmcker, Jul 19.

Should I PM you my address, Paul?  ;-)

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Reply by rckr1951, Jul 19.

Yes - please do.  When I start to stutter type know it's time.

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Reply by dmcker, Jul 19.

But I thought that was already your normal mode of typing, kinda like on an old broken-down Remington...  ;-)

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Reply by GregT, Jul 19.

That's just PWI.

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Reply by rckr1951, Jul 20.

DMCKER - No wonder I had problems - I kept trying to use my Mom's Singer.

GREGT - I try to pretend that it doesn't affect, doesn't affect me.

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Reply by dmcker, Jul 21.

Greg, poor-wine influenced? Prejudicial wine ingestion? Predominantly white institution? Perfect world I-something?  Pro-wrestling-something else??

Guess I'm just out of the loop.

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Reply by rckr1951, Jul 21.

Posting while intoxicated.

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