2004 WS Wine Experience" 2000 Barolos

Hyatt Regency, Chicago

Tasted November 5, 2004 by otisabdul with 1,651 views

Introduction

This seminar was moderated by James Suckling, who rated the 2000 vintage at 100 points. He felt this historic rating was justified after tasting 220 different 2000 Barolos and finding that 85% earned 90P or higher.

The weather in Piedmont during 2000 was perfect, resulting in incredibly ripe nebbiolo. In addition, producers continue to fine-tune their techniques. Said JS: “Some people think these fruity Barolos are not “classic” Barolos. This is not true. The focus is on ripe tannins and really good fruit. A Barolo should not be a “punch in the stomach”. Great nebbiolo should be like “pinot noir wearing a suit of armor”.

JS presented 8 different examples of 2000 Barolos that he rated 95P or higher. Each of the wineries had a representative on the dais to talk about the wine.

The wines were opened three hours prior to the tasting. JS noted that many would taste better the next day. I agree. These wines were difficult to fully appreciate, since they were very huge and very tight. They were not as approachable as the ’97 Brunellos JS selected for the 2002 Wine Experience, which was an overall better showing, IMO.

Flight 1 (8 notes)

Red
2000 Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo Cicala Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
92 points
Represented on the dais by Franco Conterno. Cicala is the oldest vineyard on the Conterno property, with vines averaging 50-55 years of age, planted in clay calcerous soil. It is very steep and worked by hand. On the nose, it has roses and port-like aromas. It is elegant and balanced, with noticeable minerality, a marbled texture, and good acidity. Quite tight, with a slightly bitter finish. 800 cases made. $143.
Red
2000 E. Pira & Figli (Chiara Boschis) Barolo Cannubi Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
93 points
Represented on the dais by owner/winemaker Chiara Boschis. Hand-harvested from a 5-acre vineyard, and aged in barriques. A modern-style Barolo. Light ruby red color. Leather, plums, and black cherries on the nose. Big and velvety in the mouth. Great balance, with firm but well-maintained tannins. 900 cases made. $90.
Red
2000 Luciano Sandrone Barolo Cannubi Boschis Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
95 points
Represented on the dais by Barbara Sandrone. Made from a 6-acre vineyard, with vines averaging 35 years of age. A clean strawberry, fresh-fruit nose. Very smooth and long - velvet city. It shows off its modern style by emphasizing ripe tannins. A regal and special wine. My favorite of the tasting. 900 cases made. $135.
Red
2000 Paolo Scavino Barolo Bric dël Fiasc Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
92 points
Represented on the dais by the enchanting Enrica Scavino. The vineyard name (which translates to "Hill of the Flask") is derived from the the habit of workers in the vineyard bringing a flask of wine with them to get through the long workdays. The vines are average around 40 years old. Terrific bouquet of anise, fennel, raspberry and hazelnut. The tightly wound fruit is shaded with a certain spiciness, and even saltiness. Not as ripe as the Sandrone, but very long and tannic. 900 cases made. $105.
Red
2000 Pio Cesare Barolo Ornato Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
91 points
Represented on the dais by Pio Boffa, a 4th generation winemaker. The Ornato is made from a severe selction of grapes from a few vineyard plots and is only made in the best vintages. Leather, fudge and oregano on the nose. Taffy-ish fruit, with secondary flavors of espresso and grass. Showing lots of wood right now, it should improve immensely with age (as is true with all of these 2000 Barolos). Boffa said that this is an S&M wine - "it hurts you a little bit, but always gives you pleasure". 920 cases made. $145.
Red
2000 Vietti Barolo Rocche Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
91 points
Represented on the dais by winemaker Luca Currado-Vietti.This tiny 3-acre vineyard has vines that average 46 years of age. Vietti called his Barolo the "Sophia Loren of wine - elegant, full of finesse, mysterious and determined. You cannot just grab her, you must wait for an invitation." The wine tends to taste "very severe" when young. Indeed, it is quite closed and young-tasting. A nice earthy truffle characteristic was discernable. 352 cases and 80 magnums made. $80.
Red
2000 Azienda Bricco Rocche (Ceretto) Barolo Bricco Rocche Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
93 points
Represented on the dais by Alessandro Ceretto, who took over the winemaking function in 1996. A more modern style, aged in small barrels. An intense oaky nose, with some vinyl notes. A powerful Barolo, with considerable acidity and tobacco nuances. Muscular and raw right now, but has all the tools to become spectacular. 600 cases made. $186.
Red
2000 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Riserva Le Rocche del Falletto di Serralunga d'Alba Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
94 points
Represented on the dais by "Il Maestro" himself, Bruno Giacosa. James Suckling said that this was a historic occasion, since Bruno very rarely even leaves his property. His trip to Chicago was front page news in Piedmont. Bruno said that his 2000 Riserva is the best that a great wine from Barolo can be. It should provide good pleasure while young and after being cellared for 15 years". Aged 3 years in big vats. Unfiltered and unfined. It will not be released for another 1.5 years (spring of 2006). Smells like a fine Bordeaux - pencil lead, cassis, earth. Superb structure, intense bouquet, and a firm body. Very classical style. JS said that "this wine is the veritable blonde bombshell and I rated it 100 points. It is at its best 2-3 days after opening." 900 cases. $169.

Closing

Cheers,

Otis

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