Day 1 in Piedmont (Vietti, Prunotto, & Bartolo Mascarello)

Piedmont, Italy

Tasted May 22, 2017 by tooch with 466 views

Introduction

We arrived in Piedmont on Sunday afternoon and began our tastings the following morning. Our three tastings were all very nice and very different, in a good way. We ended the day cooking dinner at our AirBnB.

Flight 1 - Tasting with Vietti (9 notes)

Our first stop on the trip offered us the opportunity to taste through the impressive 2013 lineup from Vietti. Luca's wife, Elena provided us with a very nice tasting and with some details on their recent sale to American businesman Kyle Krause. Her perspective on the sale is that nothing at the winery is going to change, but with the availability of capital, buying vineyards/fruit more aggressively is more likely now.

Elena spoke passionately about their family history at the estate and how much tradition and family mean to them - which felt at odds with their sale to the Krause family. Regardless, it was a very nice tasting with some very nice wines. A great start to our trip.

White
2016 Vietti Roero Arneis Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Roero
89 points
Palate was lean and energetic with lots of florals and spice. I have not drank a lot of Vietti's Arneis and much prefer it to the version from Bruno Giacosa - this one is much more crystalline with less sweetness. Very good.
Red
2013 Vietti Barbera d'Asti Superiore Nizza La Crena Italy, Piedmont, Asti, Barbera d'Asti Superiore Nizza
88 points
This showed some cherry & strawberry on the nose with bits of oak peeking through. Palate was edgy, showed a bit of oak influence, & offered a fair bit of tannins. Give this another year or so to unwind, but should be an enjoyable wine.
Red
2014 Vietti Langhe Nebbiolo Perbacco Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
90 points
Showed really nicely. Aromatics of roses, cherries, and crushed stone were very inviting. Palate was open and fresh with great concentration and balance...a great value and will continue being a "buy" for me.
Red
2013 Vietti Barbaresco Masseria Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
91 points
Small production with only 3,900 bottles being produced. This was one of the darker wines of the Vietti tasting - more firmly grounded in blackberry/plum than with cherry/strawberry. Despite the darkness, I felt this was still very elegant. The palate was very structured with a lot of tannin still in place. Acidity was in a great place with kept the concentrated violet/blackberry notes in balance. Give this time, but it should be quite nice.
Red
2013 Vietti Barolo Castiglione Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
91 points
Loved the nose on this wine. Had the classic tar and roses that lots of Baroli offer - beautiful bouquet. The palate was very elegant...its tannins were silky and did not distract from the wine. There was also a neat iron/meaty note on the palate that reminded me, a bit, of something from Burgundy perhaps. Very good wine that should age nicely.
Red
2013 Vietti Barolo Brunate Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
92 points
Definitely a tightly wound Barolo at this point, but there is a lot to like. Aromas of sweet oak, meat, strawberries, and florals were very dense and beautiful. The palate was rigid and firm but offered beautiful fruit - primarily currant and cherry at this point. Undertones of meat, spice, & even some earthy notes made this a pretty exciting wine. Will need time, but should be great.
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Red
2013 Vietti Barolo Lazzarito Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
92 points
Red-fruited nose with light, airy floral notes, some spice, & hints of iron. Palate was very nice - grippy like the Brunate, but much more juicy. Seems like it offers the same level of enjoyment of the Brunate without the firm structure - perhaps a wine that matures earlier?
Red
2013 Vietti Barolo Rocche di Castiglione Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
92 points
Lovely floral nose with hints of spice, tar, & cherry. The palate is very well structured, but the tannins are very silky and additive to the wine. Great balance, and great concentration. A very elegant wine that should mature incredibly well.
Red
2013 Vietti Barolo Ravera Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
94 points
My notes read, "this is a goldilocks wine - blending the structure of the Rocche with the approach-ability of the Lazzarito". It also combined red and dark fruit very nicely along with a concentrated floral bouquet. My wine of the tasting.
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Flight 2 - Tasting with Prunotto (9 notes)

I didn't have much familiarity with Prunotto prior to this tasting, but tasting the mini-vertical of Colonnello was a great primer. To me, there seemed to be whisps of tradition baked into their more modernist wines. It seemed that, as a producer, their reliance on oak/barrique has been diminishing over the years - a trend we saw at another winery - so perhaps the pendulum is swinging again.

Red
2011 Prunotto Barolo Bussia Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
86 points
A very lush and dense wine. The red fruit was juicy and rich but I did not find it too captivating.
Red
2011 Prunotto Barolo Riserva Bussia Colonnello Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
90 points
Drank alongside the 2011 Prunotto Bussia. This was far more interesting and captivating than the Bussia from Prunotto - despite being divided by only a couple hundred of yards. The variance in location along with the soil composition of the subplot play a role in the Colonnello's freshness and complexity. Thought this was very elegant with a nice combination of florals and red fruit. Palate was very nice...good integration of spice/fruit/florals.
Red
2010 Prunotto Barolo Riserva Bussia Colonnello Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
90 points
Lots of elegance and freshness. This was more floral than the 2011 Colonnello and had a really nice core of cherry/blackberry/lavender/spice. We debated whether this would eclipse the 2008 Colonnello and the general consensus was that it probably would not. That said, this was very good.
Red
2009 Prunotto Barolo Riserva Bussia Colonnello Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
86 points
Round fruit, nice concentration, and good structure. Felt that this was the least memorable of the Colonnello's I tried.
Red
2008 Prunotto Barolo Riserva Bussia Colonnello Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
91 points
In a nice spot. Drank alongside the 2009, 2010, & 2011 Colonnello, this was my favorite. Age may have helped, but this certainly had a cool fruit elegance to it that distinguished itself from its peers. Palate had very nice tension too.
Red
2005 Prunotto Barolo Bussia Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
75 points
I was not too enamored with this wine. This was the final year that Prunotto used barrique and it was abundantly clear. Lots of espresso and charcoal notes on the nose with some lingering plum notes. The palate was tannic...and it was probably oak tannins as they were bitter and very drying.
Red
1989 Prunotto Barolo Bussia Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
92 points
Gorgeous nose with soaring aromatics of leather, tar, dark cherries, and mushroom. The palate was in great shape with some herb/spice notes, lithe florals, and silky tannins. Palate still had great tension, and concentration. A real testament to the wonders age can have on Barolo, this was thoroughly enjoyable.
Red
2014 Prunotto Barbera d'Alba Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Barbera d'Alba
87 points
Despite the somewhat challenging vintage, this wine came out pretty nicely. Dark cherries, violets, and spice on the nose with a nicely balanced palate of florals and red berries. Its tannins were in a good spot. Felt like a really nice burger wine.
Red
2014 Prunotto Barbaresco Bric Turot Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
90 points
Very nice! This had an elegant nose with great florals and cherry fruit. A juicy wine that retained its elegance. Could be a good buying opportunity as consumers look past the 2014s.

Flight 3 - Tasting with Bartolo Mascarello (3 notes)

We had a great cellar tour at B. Mascarello from Alan Manley. He was incredibly engaging and thoughtful and provided us with great background on this mythical producer. Talk about traditional...wine making decisions are made here by asking the simple question, "what would Barolo do?" Such small production, it was an absolute pleasure to learn more about the estate and sample a couple wines.

Red
2015 Bartolo Mascarello Dolcetto d'Alba Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Dolcetto d'Alba
87 points
Really nice nose of dark cherries, blackberries, violets, & spice. Its palate was spicy with plum, violets, and spice. Still very angular and edgy at this point - I would advise holding for another 1-2 years before digging in.
Red
2015 Bartolo Mascarello Langhe Freisa Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Langhe DOC
87 points
1,800 bottles made.

A fizzy Freisa that has gone through subtle secondary fermentation. Some years, their Freisa does not go through secondary fermentation, but this year it had due to the sugar levels in the juice. Lots of cranberry, and sour cherries in the wine with loads of acidity. Very refreshing...a perfect pool wine.
Red
2012 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
94 points
In 2012, fruit was lost from the Rue vineyard - a primary source for their Barolo. This is significant because the Rue is has a heavy clay composition which, typically, yields fruit that provide weight & concentration to their Barolo. Given the loss of fruit, the 2012 barolo is a light vintage. Loved the aromatics - strawberries, roses, some tar, bits of mushroom, & some darker floral notes. Its palate was so silky and refined, and while it may not have the weight of many other baroli, its flavor is still concentrated. Very impressive wine.
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Flight 4 - Dinner at the House (8 notes)

After our first full day in Piedmont, we went shopping in Monforte for some food and cooked at home. Marc & Izzy whipped up a great meal which was paired with a bunch of wines - some were great, others weren't. It was a great end to our first day in Piedmont.

Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Jacques Selosse Champagne Rosé France, Champagne
94 points
A stunning bottle of rose - as you come to expect from Selosse. Aromas were concentrated and deep with strawberries, cranberries, and mushroom. The palate was exotic and stylish with bright red fruit along with some of the classic Selosse oxidative charm. After a long day of tasting Barolo, this was the perfect palate cleanser!
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2007 Domaine Roulot Meursault Les Meix Chavaux France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault
95 points
One of the finer Roulot I can remember having. Everything seemed to be in harmony with this bottle - the aromas of sea salt, lemon, lime, & pear was exotic and crisp. The palate was so lithe and elegant, it reminded me (somewhat) of drinking mineral water. This, however, had much more going on than mineral water with kaleidoscopic tones of citrus, mineral, & fruit woven together. Delish!
White
2010 Domaine Ramonet Montrachet France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Montrachet Grand Cru
99 points
A really special wine. My first time with a Ramonet Monty and I can clearly see its allure. Drank this following the 2007 Roulot Les Meix Chavaux, and while the Roulot was excellent, this was in a different league. A big and powerful wine, this had wonderful lime, lemon, & flint notes on the nose with a wonderfully density to the palate. Despite the density and concentration, it was insanely silky and elegant. A monument to Chardonnay.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
2002 Krug Champagne Vintage Brut France, Champagne
94 points
Great champagne with lots of power and elegance. Love the toasty notes and the buzzing acidity to the palate. If you're a fan of the Krug style, you'll really like this vintage.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1982 Joseph Drouhin Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru Les Amoureuses France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Chambolle-Musigny 1er Cru
D.O.A.
Red
1969 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Riserva Monfortino Speciale Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
flawed
Brought from the States. Poured a dark brown color and had some sweet balsamic notes on the nose. We let this stand on the counter for a while, but it never turned the corner.
Red
1966 Château Lafite Rothschild France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Pauillac
86 points
Not a great Lafite, but a correct Lafite. Had echoes of its past self with subtle dark berries, graphite, & earth...but this was a tired wine. Basalmic and soy were present and most of us felt that this was a number of years on the downside of its arc.
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