Terroirs and Vintages of Barolo

Tasted November 14, 2018 by wineamateur with 131 views

Introduction

This records a tasting I led for the Jeroboam Club tasting in Bristol on 14 November 2018. The idea was to compare Barolo from different terroirs, and in particular from different parts of the appellation, over different vintages, from a variety of producers. Though Barolo is reputedly the King of Wines, it does not have the number of followers in the UK that one sees for Bordeaux, Burgundy or the Rhone. So for several members of the Club, this was quite a journey of discovery. Or so I hoped.

The wines were served in pairs. I introduced each pair with some comments about the vintage and the terroir from which the wine came. I said nothing about the producer, and where they could be located on the traditional-modern spectrum, until after people had tasted and formed a view on the wines.

I asked tasters to consider whether it was true that, as some maintain, there is a clear dividing line between wines made to the West of the Alba to Barolo road (typified by finesse, elegance and higher fruit tones) and those from the East (more structured, powerful, hitting deeper aromatic notes).

Flight 1 (12 notes)

Red
2012 Fratelli Alessandria Barolo Monvigliero Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
94 points
It was great to begin the tasting with two wines by the same producer but from very different parts of the region. Monvigliero, at the north of the ridge that runs from Novello north through La Morra and on to Verduno (in which township is lies) is reputed to produce fragrant aromatic wines of great finesse and this amply met the profile. Pale red in colour, but intense in its aromatics, with red cherry and strawberry to the fore, this was fresh and joyously appetising, though with real backbone too. It's got a good life ahead of it, but is already enjoyable now.
Red
2012 Fratelli Alessandria Barolo Gramolere Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
92 points
This contrasted wonderfully with the Monvigliero tasted alongside, even if it couldn't quite match its quality. From Monforte d'Alba - more specifically, the Eastern slopes of the ridge that runs north from Monforte to Castiglione Falletto, facing across the valley to Serranlunga - this had a notably darker colour, with plums, spice, liquorice and menthol on the nose and a pleasing minerality on the palate, though it was perhaps surprisingly a bit more open-knit than the Monvigliero and less structured and intense. Certainly very enjoyable now and with a decent drinking window ahead.
Red
2008 Enzo Boglietti Barolo Fossati Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
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Red
2008 Enzo Boglietti Barolo Arione Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
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Red
2006 Scarzello Barolo Sarmassa Vigna Merenda Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
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Red
2006 Paolo Scavino Barolo Cannubi Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
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Red
2006 Giovanni Manzone Barolo Castelletto Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
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Red
2006 Guido Porro Barolo Vigna Lazzairasco Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
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Red
2004 Giovanni Corino Barolo Vigna Giachini Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
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Red
2004 Parusso Barolo Mariondino Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
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Red
2004 Poderi Colla Barolo Dardi Le Rose Bussia Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
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Red
2004 Massolino Barolo Margheria Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
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