Wine & Food

Snooth User: Richard Foxall

Which Barolo?

Posted by Richard Foxall, Jan 9, 2014.

Probably ought to just PM GdP on this, but I'll take any suggestions...

We're having company over on Sunday.  They really like wine--his first gift to her after their marriage was apparently a case of Chateau d'Yquem.  (I have to get clarification on this story.)  Our daughters know each other from the community and the husband saw me updating CellarTracker and writing posts when he came to pick up one of their kids from a playdate, so they invited themselves over for a wine dinner.  I'm making the short rib lasagne that GdP recommended pairing with Barolo but I don't have the baroli he mentioned, and I'm not rushing out to buy more.  So, we're going to try one bottle of Jim Clendenen's '05 Bricco Buon Natale Nebbiolo from (essentially) the same area as Bien Nacido because I like to do these Old World/New World battles.  FWIW, I paid $30 at K&L--they claim it originally sold for more, but obviously it didn't sell enough.  So what's the second bottle?  Contenders are:

'04 Aldo Conterno (the "Normale" or entry level/appellation bottling); '04 Giovanni Corino (also the Normale); '04 Aldo Conterno Romirasco; '07 Gianfranco Bovio Rocchettevino; '00 Aldo Conterno Granbussia. 

I'm laying off an '06 Conterno Cicala because I think it's too young; also an '07 Cordero di Montezemolo Monfalletto because it's young and in magnum.  (You're all invited when I open that one, so take care of yourselves--it's going to be a while.) There's other bottles that I bought for experimenting with--regular Nebbiolos that don't meet the aging requirements, a Trader Joe's bottle (really, not for company!). 

If I use one of  the Normales, it's more like a fair fight, but are they nice enough for company?  On the other hand, I also wonder if that Granbussia ought to be saved for the night we all drink the magnum of Montezemolo. 

So I'll take any suggestions and then I'll report back.  BTW, get your votes in soon.  It is Barolo, which means a long decant, so we shut down the polling on Saturday night when I climb into the basement and decant things.


Reply by JonDerry, Jan 10, 2014.

When the K&L sale was going on I had no experience with Aldo Conterno, so it was hard for me to pull the trigger but glad you bought up a few. Since then I had my first last November, a '97 Colonello that a friend brought to a tasting, and it was very impressive with no decant.

'04 Aldo Conterno "Normale" sounds like a good option for the dinner, or maybe the '07 Gianfranco

The '00 Grandbussia I'm thinking you should save for when I'm in town ; )

Reply by Richard Foxall, Jan 10, 2014.

JD, I figured you would say that and that's where I'm leaning. (Both as to what to serve and when to open the Granbussia.)  The '04 Normale was purchased from Garagiste before the K&L offer; I was able to use the K&L offer to go for the Romirasco, Granbussia and Cicala but even at those prices had to limit myself to one each.  On CT, the Normale gets quite good reviews, and it's pretty well within its drinking window, so no worries that it's too young.  The Rocchettevino is still at the beginning of its window, but it might be a fall back if either of the other wines disappoints.

There's a decent if not particularly deep selection of baroli at reasonable (sub $60) prices at Paul Marcus; they've gotten a little thin on Barbaresco and never have more than a bottle or two of Ghemme, usually at an inflated price.  Although Oliver McCrum lives and works nearby and has a relationship with Paul Marcus, they shortchange Italy on shelf space IMO. 

Reply by JonDerry, Jan 10, 2014.

I like the plan...

ALso sounds good re: the '00...I'll have to find something to pair with that Granbussia. One of the Mascarello's or a Vietti Rocche maybe. Something from '99 as GdP and many others are big advocates of that vintage.

The Hollywood has a mag of the '99 Granbussia in it's OWC that tempted me last time I was there, but I seem committed elsewhere in the land of high dollar wines. Pretty much decided on 1 x '06 Monfortino, 1 x '05 Chave Hermitage, 1 x '01 Rieusecc. Annual bonus spent.

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