"Baby Masseto" and a Night of Nebbiolo through the Decades

Charlotte, NC

Tasted October 26, 2021 by kevinpatrick with 31 views

Introduction

Provenance is everything with aged wines and we were the beneficiaries of a truly special tasting on this night. The first four Barolos were a veritable “Table Mountain” of wines on this night with the ‘64 Bosca starting at an unnervingly high level of quality though each subsequent wine stayed in that rarified air over the following three bottles. A truly stunning sequence of wines. Each wine's treatment in advance of the dinner was determined by the bottle’s owner.

Flight 1 - Sparkling and a "Baby Masseto" (2 notes)

White - Sparkling
2006 Schramsberg Vineyards Blanc de Blancs Late Disgorged USA, California
95 points
Aromatic nose of apricots and green apple. Fulsome on the palate, light lemon and caramel flavors; medium+ acidity, creamy mouthfeel with a delightful yeasty bread note. Balanced and complex with excellent structure. An outstanding sparkler that continued to evolve throughout the evening with crisp flavors providing a fabulous contrast to many heavy and aged Barolos consumed on this night. Top marks.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2006 Fattoria Petrolo Galatrona Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
92 points
Slo-oxed 90 minutes before consuming. This wine threw off a surprising amount of sediment and really could have used a decant and filter. Slightly tannic to start, the wine evolved and softened all evening with plenty of life hours later. Restrained but jammy nose. Concentrated wine revealing rich red cherry notes and dense minerality on the palette. The flavors really popped in subsequent sampling after tasting some of the Barolos. Lengthy, enjoyable finish concluded a very fine, but not outstanding, wine on this evening. It did garner one “Wine of the Night” vote so maybe I am being unduly critical.

Flight 2 - Airing these big boys out (2 notes)

Red
1964 Luigi Bosca Barolo Riserva Speciale Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
98 points
A truly amazing wine. Opened 7 hours in advance, decanted for one hour before back into the bottle. This wine was so powerful a couple more hours of air would likely have taken this wine to even further heights. Beautiful color -- slight bricking with a ruby and orange hue. Aromatic nose of soft raisins and plums. Rich, textured wine on the palate reveals a perfect balance between primary notes of red cherry fruit and earthy compote, and secondary notes of gentle cedar and soft spice. Long, fabulous finish. A wine you could savor and drink for hours on end and hope it never finishes. This bottle was comparatively youthful -- could easily have been mistaken for a 15-20 year old Barolo -- and could be expected to drink well easily over the next 10-15 years. I’ve never had a better Barolo. Four votes for “Wine of the Night.”
Red
1978 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Rocche di Castiglione Falletto Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
97 points
Opened 4 hours before serving. Tasted side-by-side with the ‘64 Luigi Bosca Riserva and was a perfect companion standing shoulder to shoulder in quality and taste. Opulent aromatic nose of red fruits and spices (anise). Lighter on the palate versus the Bosca though any mention of a critique is genuinely splitting hairs between spectacular wines. Wonderfully balanced wine with rich dark fruits layered over notes of balsamic and licorice. Lovingly long finish. A powerhouse of a wine that could be consumed over many hours.

Flight 3 - Keeping the party rolling (2 notes)

Red
1978 Marcarini Barolo La Serra Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
98 points
Opened 4 hours before serving. The fear ahead of dinner was this wine would either be over-the-hill or sublime -- tonight it was stunningly sublime. Lovely bouquet of red cherries and delightful earthiness intoning a formidable wine to come. Fulsome on the mouthfeel with rich red cherries, tobacco and tar on the palate. Delightfully long finish. Revisiting this later in the evening the wine evolved into an undeniable profile easily mistaken for the highest “Class Growth” Bordeaux. Fully resolved tannins, elegant structure and beautiful finesse -- a spectacular wine. Four votes for “Wine of the Night.”
Red
1982 Massolino Barolo Riserva Vigna Rionda Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
97 points
Opened 8 hours in advance and double decanted 2 hours before consuming. Aromas of tar, roses, and cinnamon spice. Ready to go from the first pour. Comparatively plush on the mouthfeel. Full-body and flavorful -- plums, cherries, earthy tobacco and a surprisingly nice hint of integrated green notes at the end. Very long finish. Elegant yet powerful. A fantastic wine.

Flight 4 - Bringing it home with relatively youth (3 notes)

Red
2000 Paolo Scavino Barolo Riserva Rocche dell'Annunziata Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
95 points
Decanted 8 hours in advance but rebottled and recorked after 5 hours of air. It’s hard to articulate this exactly, but this wine was in a perfect drinking window for all consumers (novices to advanced). The flavors were rich and complex but this was the “easiest” drinking wine of the night. Aromas of young red fruits -- you could tell we gear-shifted to a comparatively younger wine here. Soft on the mouthfeel, fabulous favors of cherries, rose, tar, and blood orange. Excellent balance and nice, savory finish. A high-class wine with a flavor profile for seasoned drinkers yet an approachability that can be enjoyed by one and all.
Red
2009 Giovanni Manzone Barolo Riserva Gramolere Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
94 points
Three hour decant. A grand Barolo that drinks well young? You have one right here. Aromas of ripe dark cherries, soft leather, and tar. Showed excellent body with rich, rustic flavors and soft leather texture. Classic Barolo in every way. Measured acidity and resolved tannins. Long smooth finish. A real joy to drink
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2011 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Falletto Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
94 points
Decanted 8 hours in advance before back in the bottle. Re-decanted after sampling at dinner where the wine continued to show meaningful evolution over the subsequent hours. This was the most difficult note as it was basically two different wines. Needed every minute of air to start flexing its muscle. First tasting was a quality but concentrated wine -- red cherries, somewhat tight and linear, quite primary. Following a couple more hours of air, greater complexity showed balsamic, spices, and tar. Acidity settled and a plushness came over the wine resolving into a medium-length savory finish. Another fantastic wine on a night of one amazing wine after another.
1 person found this helpful Comments (5)

Closing

A fabulous night of aged Italian wines at Mama Ricotta's in Charlotte. As phenomenal as these wines were, it was only through exceptional provenance and the stellar company on this evening that the magic could have occurred. Drink well my friends.

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