1978 Barolo & Barbaresco with The Rare Wine Company

Del Posto, NYC
Tasted Friday, May 18, 2012 by Matt Neel with 582 views

Introduction

Another fantastic Rare Wine Co. dinner. Thanks, Mannie, you guys really deliver good value.

My take on the wines as a group: while perhaps beginning to be ready, a solid 10 more years will benefit most, if not all, of them. These are seriously structured wines, solid, dense, and meaty. Many of them showed delectable sweetness too, though, which bodes well for improvement, not just holding. If I had to pick, the WOTN were the Bartolo Mascarello and the Brovia Rocche, but those wines are stylistically my cup of tea. Several others were also just fantastic and might be tops for other palates.

Flight 1 - Aperitif (1 Note)

Flight 2 - Flight 1 (4 Notes)

Amazing wines!

  • 1978 Francesco Rinaldi e Figli Barbaresco

    Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco

    Bricking blood ruby. A touch of rustic fertilizer on nose; dust, mint, and hints of fennel. Now, loads of caramel/toffee/brown butter (meaning one aroma hinting at all those things). Palate beautifully balanced, good sweetness -- showing the toffee, again. Still masculine with tannin. Later: nose now exploding with the finest couture leather. Glorious, riveting, heartbreaking nose. What a way to start the night!

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  • 1978 Azienda Bricco Asili (Ceretto) Barbaresco Bricco Asili

    Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco

    Deep blood, beginning to brick. Deep, deep nose of cherry pits, wonderful tar/rubber, just a killer nose. Palate also lovely, good glycerin; leather, earth, and robust red-fruit pits. Extremely long. Wow! Truffles. Dark and mysterious. Very tannic and very young, yet. An excellent wine.

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  • 1978 Franco Fiorina Barbaresco Riserva Speciale

    Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco

    Very dark, even opaque, blood; bricking. Rich, sweet, plummy nose with a strong herbal note weaved through. Palate packed with fruit; baskets FULL of sweet cherries. Medium length, but not at all short. Still not ready -- substantially tannic. Later: strawberries and fresh-picked garden greens. Splendid balance. Really, really good wine.

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  • 1978 Gaja Barbaresco

    Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco

    Pale blood ruby. Ultraclassic Nebbiolo nose -- earthy, rosy, pie cherry but also some bing/black cherry; a hint of cola; a bit of mint. Just a great nose. Palate layered, balanced, and extraordinarily pure and fresh. All red fruit with very little earth -- to me, this is very red-fruited, very Burgundian, and not very Gaja! Extremely delicious, mouthwateringly so. All in all, a surprising showing, to me!

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Flight 3 - Flight 2 (4 Notes)

  • 1978 Pio Cesare Barolo

    Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo

    Bricking blood. Hugely complicated, though a bit reticent, nose. Bug spray (a variant on the fertilizer I so often get in aging Nebbiolo), shoe leather, mint, candy. Palate very sweet, stones, fertilizer, leather. Good length. Great with food. Lovely. Terrific! (I just kept coming back and adding words as the wine opened…). WOTF

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  • 1978 Renato Ratti Barolo Conca

    Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo

    Pale blood ruby, bricking. Very herbaceous nose: mint, fresh oregano; a fresh, saline sea breeze element; furniture lacquer. Palate sweet and tannic, lots of mint, roses/rosehips. Tannic. Good length. Really nice wine, but I like the Pio Cesare better.

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  • 1978 Scarpa Barolo Le Coste di Monforte

    Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo

    Deep ruby, no bricking (?!). Very deep, dark nose, highly complex, leather, viscera, blood, meat broth, steak, etc. Palate very robust and tannic, mint, truffle, but also difficult to assess due to massiveness. Very good length. Let this one go another 10 years, at least. I sure would like to have a couple of bottles to see where it goes.

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  • 1971 Francesco Rinaldi e Figli Barolo

    Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo

    Double blind "vino del mistero." I didn't get a note on this wine, other than to say that I thought it was post-2000 Nebbiolo (yes, it showed that young, which seemed impossible to me)! Also that the nose was "full of crazy spices." The age showed more as the wine opened. There was a story behind this wine -- I think that it had been in demijohns for decades and was only recently bottled, hence the youthfulness.

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Flight 4 - Flight 3 (4 Notes)

  • 1978 Oddero Barolo

    Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo

    Blood ruby. Nose a little oxidized, reticent, fruit cocktail. Palate sweet, round, and elegant. Rather outclassed in this flight.

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  • 1978 Francesco Rinaldi e Figli Barolo Flawed

    Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo

    Bricking blood. Tarry, strawberry nose, vitamins, some mustiness. Big waft of saline, sea dock and tarry pitch. Palate tannic, showing some mustiness. But still wonderful, touch of green, flint/matchsticks. Very fine, despite the flaw.

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  • 1978 Fontanafredda Barolo Riserva Gallaretto

    Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo

    Deep blood. Extremely reticent, even sullen, nose. Mint? Palate robust, dry, full-bodied. But, a little clipped. Overall, rather blank and closed. Judgement reserved.

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  • 1978 Fratelli Brovia Barolo Riserva Rocche dei Brovia

    Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo

    Blood, bricking. Huge, classic Barolo nose; bursts with brown sugar, softest moccasin leather, massive rose petals, wow! A mouthwatering note of balsamic volatility. Palate is incredible, big, tannic, massive umami, soy sauce, balsamic, and dense cherries both red and black but a little more red. Excellent length. In.Fucking.Credible wine!

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Flight 5 - Flight 4 (3 Notes)

  • 1978 Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Riserva Speciale Santo Stefano

    Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco

    Cloudy blood. Deep, smoky nose, a touch of bacon fat, saline, super minerally, malted milk; an amazing nose but not at all flamboyant, instead I'd call it magisterial. Many dimensions of awesome on the palate, spices, sandalwood, incense, and dark red fruit. Long. Wonderful wine. Definitely on the front edge of ready to drink, but still youthful.

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  • 1978 Cantina Mascarello Barolo

    Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo

    Blood. Nose massively mineral, red apple skins for days, pomegranate; divinely fresh and pure, just how you want a Bartolo Mascarello Barolo to be, lawdy! Palate tannic and young, very very grippy tannin; a baby, yet, from magnum. Wonderful and balanced, though. Good, though primary, length. Excellent wine! Later: nose full of spicy applesauce. Very young. Showing unbelievable depth on the palate. GREAT length. This is first rate wine. WOTF in demanding company. (From magnum)

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  • 1978 Giuseppe E Figlio Mascarello Barolo Villero

    Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo

    Blood. Nose deep and complicated, medicinal, sandalwood, saline; but no viscera which often comes with this particular set of aromas. Very youthful on the nose. Palate big, taut, tannic; dark fruits. Needs quite a lot more time in the bottle. Good length.

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