Decanted for 30 minutes and were useful. Not as mesmerising as when we had it 2 yrs ago (rated 95) but still a very good Barolo. Lovely cherry notes on the nose, light touch of tar, floral at times. On the palate it is secondary but not letting go with still good tannin and ripe fruit. Not sure how this develops from here on but definitely drinks very well now. 93
Had this with the 98/97. This had a surprising woody/floral /minerally nose. the palate/finish was fantastic. Much richer and fuller with stones, minerals, and black fruits. Better balance than the others.
Great power and fine tannins. Nice dark fruits with plum and blackberries with some tar. Maybe a tad ripe for my taste, but the texture was wonderful. Overall, a great wine and delicious with pasta and meat sauce.
For our annual wine luncheon, we chose a Piedmonte theme & dined at Lincoln (Lincoln Sq). Each wine was decanted briefly & then tasted in 2 flights of 4 each. The 1st flight included: 2004 Moccagatta Barbaresco Bric Balin; 2001 Giacosa Rabaja Barbaresco Riserva; 2001 Gaja San Lorenzo; & 1999 Conterno Barolo Cascina Francia. The 2nd flight included: Scavino 1996 Carobric Barolo; 1996 Giacosa Falletto Asili Barbaresco; 1990 Prunotto Bussia Barolo; & 2009 Barboursville, VA nebbiolo, a ringer that we at first tasted blind. We chose a best of each flight & then our 3 faves of the tasting. A disclaimer re my notes: We sat for more than 3 hours during which time the wines continually evolved & changed such that a #1 fave at 230 morphed into the #4 wine an hour later, & vice versa. MOCCAGATTA: Medium color, very oaky, yet spicy aroma with hints of anise. This wine is still a baby, & started out very closed, though it opened up substantially as time went on. Very earthy, fairly harsh tannins, with bright fruit on the palate. Nice long, if somewhat tannic finish. The wine tasted young (especially compared to some of the other lovelies at our table) but all agreed that it has a great future. I've had this wine before and this tasting confirmed it must be decanted at least 1-2 hours before drinking. I wouldn't touch this wine again for at least a few years. This was the #2 fave of this flight. GIACOSA 2001: A lovely medium ruby color, aromas of coffee beans and cedar. Medium bodied with a definite earthiness, this wine had loads of bright fruit on the palate, ripe red berries would be my best description. I detected quite a bit of coffee and cigar box too. Beautifully structured, well-integrated wine, mixing both power and elegance even though still needing time to mature further. As wonderful as this wine was today, it will be even better in the next 3, 6 or 10 years. The powerful nose too held up throughout the tasting. A delicious bottle, it was the group's favorite of this flight, & our 3rd fave overall. GAJA: Of course, everyone had lofty expectations for this wine. Unfortunately, disappointment reigned, with some more dismayed than others. Dark purple color, with a very sweet nose of black cherries & oak, on the palate this wine was very rich, unctuous and overly fruity. Leather, tobacco and earth on the palate. Nice soft tannins, but a bit too oaky for my taste. Very international in style, seemed a bit hot to me too (14% acohol will do that). Though the wine improved in the glass, no one gave this wine very high scores and it was far overshadowed by most of our other contributions. This was not due to any fault of the wine or its maker per say--the wine is obviously well-made & everyone loves Gaja, though the price is way over the top--but more a result of its modern style: We wanted wines tasting of Piedmonte, and this wine could have been from anywhere. CONTERNO: Bright red color in the glass demonstrating more youthfulness than expected, I didn't detect much of a nose,, though perhaps some faint aromas of cedar. Even as the wine opened up in the glass, it remained short on fruit, showing perhaps some leather & tar. A very gritty wine, with mostly unripe, greenish fruit nuances--no doubt due to the 99 vintage. This wine ranked at the bottom of our 1st flight. **SCAVINO: Very deep ruby color, with a very assertive, aromatic nose of roses & cedar. Lots of ripe, dark fruit, mixed with leather & tar. Mocha on the very long finish. In fact, this wine was dark in every way one could expect. At first, I loved this wine--it tasted fresh with ripe fruit, showed great balance and elegance & it was my #1 for awhile. However, as it sat in the glass, it receded terribly becoming very 1 dimensional, its attack of fruit & complexity fading badly. Very disconcerting since this wine was very enjoyable at the outset, showing great promise, only to end up disappointing us as it died in the glass. GIACOSA 1996: A beautiful bright garnet color in the glass. The nose was extremely aromatic with scents of roses, cedar & perhaps some menthol or eucalyptus. However, compared to the 2001, the nose was not as powerful, but more restrained & elegant. The wine was very tight & tannic, very structured, & surprisingly youthful in every way. (My note to myself was not to touch this wine again for at least another 5 yrs). Despite its youthfulness, the wine showed beautiful bright, ripe red fruits (cherries mostly), lots of tar, leather & tobacco, with perhaps some forest floor, wonderful balance & elegance, yet with great structure. Great length too, although I found the tannins to be a bit harsh even as the wine sat in the glass over time. Voted the overall fave of the tasting (my#2). PRUNOTTO: By far the oldest wine of the day, and what a fantastic surprise. A nice medium ruby red color, showing some bricking at the edges, the nose was extremely aromatic with lots of sweet fruit, some cedar and rose petals, & a definite earthiness as well. On the palate, the wine still had lots of life left in it, very rich, ripe red fruits integrated well with leather & tobacco notes. Still, a very restrained, elegant & excellently balanced wine. Unlike the pattern of many older wines, this just got better & better in the glass, with the soft tannins mellowing, & tertiary flavors exuding from the glass--barnyard, mushrooms, & other earthy notes, the wines aromas lingering continually,& the silky smooth finish just going on & on. A truly exceptional bottle of wine, and clearly my favorite of the day, finishing a close 2nd overall. BARBOURSVILLE: We drank this one blind tho we knew it to be a nebbiolo. It was fairly pale colored, had a very oaky nose with a bit of spice there. On the palate, very much fruit-forward showing cherries, coffee & tobacco. Not a particularly complex or elegant wine, it definitely had some nice qualities. However, though a pleasant enough nebbiolo, it couldn't compete with the Italians. No one thought it to be Italian & everyone guessed it to be a New World wine, though no one mentioned Virginia. Still, it was fun to compare.
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