July 24, 2012

NYC Wine Tasting Group, Land of Barolo Perfection

2005 Scavino Barolo Bric del Fiasc (Italy) - Current Price $110
The estate's 2004 Barolo Bric del Fiasc is another awesome wine. Initially linear on entry, it explodes on the palate with a compelling array of dark fruit, smoke, tar, licorice, new leather, plums and baking spices. Although Bric del Fiasc is typically a wine that relies on power, the 2004 is notably refined and elegant, with sweet silky tannins that support the fruit from start to finish. Simply put, this is a remarkable wine from Enrico Scavino. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2022. Rated 96 The Wine Advocate

2006 Pio Cesare Barolo (Italy) - Current Price $60
The 2006 Barolo offers up a super-classic profile of tar, roses, raspberries and licorice, all wrapped around a firm core of tannins. Fresh and vibrant throughout, the Barolo impresses for its superb balance and poise. Deceptively medium in body, the wine sneaks up on the mid-palate, gaining more and more volume through to the finish. There is the subtlest hint of French oak that points to the slightly updated style the estate is going for with this bottling, but not enough to detract from the classic feel. This is a magnificent, impeccable Barolo from Pio Cesare, but it will be even better in a few years. The estate’s Barolo is made from a number of vineyards in Serralunga, Grinzane Cavour, La Morra, Novello and other villages. The wine is aged mostly in cask, although 30% sees French oak. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2031. Rated 94 The Wine Advocate
2006 Marcarini Barolo Brunate (Italy) - Current Price $57
The 2006 Barolo Brunate blossoms on the palate with layers of dark fruit, menthol, spices and minerals, all of which come together with a classic, ethereal weight that is quite appealing. The tannins are formidable, but there is more than enough richness and depth in the fruit to provide balance. The finish is surprisingly round and harmonious at this stage but I expect the wine to close down on itself over the coming months. Marcarini’s 2006 Barolo Brunate is simply terrific. Proprietor Manuel Marchetti says that his plot in Brunate sees wider temperature fluctuations than his vineyard in La Serra, which in large part accounts for the differences between his two Barolos. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2026. 

Proprietor Manuel Marchetti describes 2006 as a warm year without too many challenges. The Nebbiolo harvest took place in mid-October. The wines were fermented in cement for 45 days and subsequently spent two years in oak prior to being bottled without clarification or filtration. Marchetti’s 2006s show lovely balance and deliver exceptional quality for the money. Rated 93 The Wine Advocate 

2004 Ratti Barolo Marcenasco (Italy) - Current Price $57
The 2004 Barolo Rocche is simply beautiful. Super-ripe red fruits, sweet roses and spices emerge from this gorgeous Barolo. Silky tannins caress the fruit all the way through to the long, deeply satisfying finish. I can’t remember the last time I tasted such an impeccably balanced and complete Barolo from Ratti. In 2004, the Rocche has it all! Anticipated maturity: 2012-2024. 

This is a wonderful set of new releases from Renato Ratti, one of Piedmont’s historic names. The 2005s are especially beautiful for their soft, textured fruit and well-integrated French oak, something that hasn’t always been the case in recent vintages.Rated 94 The Wine Advocate

2000 Scavino Barolo Carobric (Italy) - Current Price $100
The 2000 Barolo Carobric is an exotic, full-bodied wine loaded with scorched earth, licorice, tar and smoke, all of which add considerable nuance to a massive core of fruit. This hulking, seamless Barolo is at least a few years from early maturity and should continue to drink well for many, many years. It is simply magnificent. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030. 

Enrico Scavino’s 2000s must be considered among the successes of the vintage. At the time, the wines were made with short fermentations lasting just four days, if not a little less. Stylistically the wines are among Scavino’s most modern Baroli. The 2000s won’t appeal to all readers, but there is little question the wines have aged exquisitely. I tasted all of the wines from magnum, but lest readers think that was an overwhelming factor in how these wines showed, the most backward wine was the Cannubi, and it was the only wine I tasted from bottle! Rated 94 The Wine Advocate

2005 Vietti Barolo Castiglione (Italy) - Current Price $50
The 2005 Barolo Castiglione is especially taut and focused in this vintage. Floral notes are intermingled with dark red fruit, spices and new leather in this gorgeous, poised offering. The 2005 Barolo Castiglione uncharacteristically needs some bottle age but it offers integrity of fruit that is remarkable. Over the last few years Luca Currado has stepped up the quality of the Castiglione bottling in a major way. Any parcels in this multi-cru Barolo that don’t meet his exacting standards are declassified and used in the Lange Nebbiolo Perbacco (see above). In 2005 the main vineyards in the Barolo Castiglione are Ravera, Bricco del Fiasco, Fossati, and Ciabot Berton; while the fruit from Bussia, Bricco Boschis and Bricco Ravera (Ginestra) ended up being used in that year’s Perbacco. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2025. Rated 92 The Wine Advocate