Tag Archives: piedmont region

Barbaresco Bargains at Eye-Popping 95-96+ Point Scores

Produced in only the best vintages, the single-vineyard Barbarescos of Produttori del Barbaresco are must have wines for lovers of refined, classically styled Barbaresco. And, they are always unbelievably good values; here’s why: Produttori del Barbaresco is a cooperative of quality-minded producers with just a single wine-making facility. The money derived from the sale of their grapes to the cooperative is plowed back into vineyard management, state-of-the-art equipment, organic farming methods and the like. The cooperative, directed by the highly respected enologist, Aldo Vacca, puts all its resources into producing the best single-vineyard Barbaresco possible – but, only in the very best vintages, and with only the best grapes from each producer making the cut. The results are impressive, critics rave and savvy buyers snap up the small production soon after release. There are nine single-vineyard labels in the Produttori portfolio, each distinctive and representative of its individual terroir. The best vineyards in Barbaresco are represented in the Produttori collection, and I have selected five I believe make an excellent tasting overview of Barbaresco. You simply cannot buy better Barbaresco at this price. In fact, it’s not an exaggeration to say that they would be good values at one and a half times what I’m offering. Grab a few bottles of each.

 

 
2008 Produttori del Barbaresco
Montefico Riserva

…hits the palate with a blast of fruit intermingled with copious acidity and pure structure. …depth in its fruit …plenty of freshness and vibrancy. The Montefico is dazzling…

 
2008 Produttori del Barbaresco
Montestefano Riserva

…exquisite and harmonious from start to finish. …the fruit is intensely perfumed, rich and totally seductive. …boasts striking aromatics, seemingly endless layers of fruit and power to burn….

 

 
2008 Produttori del Barbaresco
Ovello Riserva

…Firm, steely tannins support a core of expressive fruit …Sweet floral notes reappear on the vivid, utterly breathtaking finish, adding lift, precision and vibrancy. This is a stunning wine…

 

 
2008 Produttori del Barbaresco
Asili Riserva

…marvelous… With time in the glass, the wine’s inner perfume gradually emerges… nerves of steel and a huge, never-ending finish. It is by far the most imposing and structured Asili I have ever tasted…

 

2008 Produttori del Barbaresco
Rabajà Riserva

…utterly magnificent …wine of exquisite grace and beauty. All the elements are in place. I could describe the aromas and flavors, but that would be doing this majestic Barbaresco a huge disservice….

 

Clerico Scores Big! 94, 95, 96!

Our visit here just over a month ago confirmed once again he is on top of his game. Domenico Clerico’s estate includes some of the most prestigious vineyards in the Monforte d’Alba region, including Pajana, Ginestra and Mosconi (Percristina) most of their vines planted between 1950 and 1970. Because the Clerico Barolo vineyards are home to very old vines, his 2008s are darkly colored, with good grip and structure in a classic sense and have just arrived. We are crazy about the Ciabot Mentin.

 

 
 
2008 Clerico Barolo Ciabot Mentin

…scents of redcurrant, mocha, dried flowers and earth. Wonderfully deep, layered and sweet; lush but with good limestone lift. This floods the palate with flavor and lingers with exceptional purity and persistence.

 
2008 Clerico Barolo Pajana

…fresh aromas and flavors of redcurrant, dried flowers, tobacco, graphite and earth. …energy in the mouth, showing superb focus and finesse. Finishes very long and penetrating, with firm but elegant tannins.

 

 
2007 Clerico Barolo Aeroplan Servaj

Deep red. Classic Barolo nose offers plum, redcurrant, mocha, camphor and loamy underbrush. Dense, layered and large-scaled; wonderfully sweet and full. …velvety and very expressive…

 

Monster Scores for Conterno – Now in Stock

Barolo is great when it comes from the Barolo legend Giacomo Conterno’s son, Aldo. Back in the ’20s, Giacomo’s dad started the Riserva phenom, and then later, Giacomo started single vineyards. He left his estate under the care of his two sons, Giovanni and Aldo. Giovanni still heads up his father’s brand while Aldo, after a stint in California that inspired his independent spirit, left home to purchase the ethereal Bussia vineyard in Monforte d’Alba. Some say the brothers split because Aldo wished to produce “mod” Barolo, using small barriques that wine fashionistas love, but that’s hooey as Aldo refuses to use them, sticking instead with the proven, larger Slovenian casks that are used for up to 20 years. These are old school beauties with extraordinarily balanced fruit and respect of the old ways. Approachable now, yes, but Aldo’s wines are built to develop with time, gaining all those earthy-truffle notes, rose petal whispers, and pleasant whiffs of tar, making them borderline divine.

 

 
2008 Aldo Conterno Barolo

Beautiful raspberry, cherry and black currant flavors are backed by firm, dusty tannins in this harmonious, fresh red. Floral and tobacco notes add dimension as this cruises to a long, lingering finish….

 
2008 Aldo Conterno
Barolo Cicala

There’s fine depth to this red, like a grand cru red Burgundy, with a silky texture framing black cherry, black currant and tar flavors. Solidly built, this features a deceptively charming exterior…

 

 
2008 Aldo Conterno
Barolo Colonnello

This is round and supple, with a fleshy profile enveloping pure cherry, raspberry and spice flavors. Ripe and harmonious, with no shortage of structure. A mineral element emerges on the tight finish….

 

 
2008 Aldo Conterno
Barolo Romirasco

This is suave and silky, with refined tannins providing a tapestry for the cherry, tar and spice flavors. Turns leaner and more sinewy by the finish, picking up a mineral component. The flavors linger….

 

 
2005 Aldo Conterno
Barolo Riserva Granbussia

Lots of cherry and plum aromas. Tannins are dense offering a very elegant length. There is purity and ripeness without a jammy impact so this wine offers a classic style of Nebbiolo.

 

 

Domenico Clerico: 95, 96 Point Pre-Sale Offer

Domenico Clerico’s estate include some of the most prestigious vineyards in the Monforte d’Alba region, including Pajana, Ginestra and Mosconi, most of their vines planted between 1950 and 1970. Clerico bottles most of the Baroli as single vineyard wines, but also produces Arte, the proprietary name for his Nebbiolo/Barbera blend. The 2008 wines have turned out far better than originally expected, but not as consistent as 2006 or 2007 vintage. We are choosing producers in this vintage with extreme care. The better producers made medium-bodied, flavorful, balanced wines approachable within a few years. Because the Clerico Barolo vineyards are home to very old vines, his 2008s are darkly colored, with good grip and structure – as usual, they impressed us. These pre-orders are expected in late April.

 

 
2011 Clerico Langhe Dolcetto
“Visadi”

…Sweet, silky layers of fruit caress the palate in this expressive, nuanced wine. The 2011 is a little laid back but it is very pretty just the same, as the starting point with this fruit is of a very high level….

2010 Clerico Barbera d’Alba
Tre Vigne

…attractive, juicy wine bursting with sweet red fruit, flowers, cloves and new leather….

 

 
2010 Clerico Langhe Rosso
Nebbiolo “Arte”

Well structured, intense solid dose of oak, impressive length. Muscular nebbiolo.

 

 
2008 Clerico Barolo Ciabot Mentin

…scents of redcurrant, mocha, dried flowers and earth. Wonderfully deep, layered and sweet; lush but with good limestone lift. This floods the palate with flavor and lingers with exceptional purity and persistence.

 

 
2008 Clerico Barolo Pajana

…fresh aromas and flavors of redcurrant, dried flowers, tobacco, graphite and earth. …energy in the mouth, showing superb focus and finesse. Finishes very long and penetrating, with firm but elegant tannins.

 

2007 Clerico Barolo Aeroplan Servaj

…Dense, layered and large-scaled; wonderfully sweet and full …velvety…

 

2008 Clerico Barolo Percristina

Super concentrated with old vine core. Lovely 2008, excellent barolo expression.

 

94! 95! 96! Clerico’s Brilliant Barolos Soar!

Domenico was very ill when we visited and tasted with him in Monteforte two years ago. The wines however where radiant. His radiant energy returned last year in Verona, and it was a relief to see him beam and bounce down the busy aisles of VinItaly. His passion for wine will never be compromised. Looking forward to a visiting him again in April. I love his 2008s too, they are classically styled as are most 2008s from great sites. Tasted these last month and they have begun to open up. They are very intense, compact, serious efforts that will evolve. Drink to your health, you’re gonna want that.

 

 
2008 Clerico Barolo Ciabot Mentin

…scents of redcurrant, mocha, dried flowers and earth. Wonderfully deep, layered and sweet; lush but with good limestone lift. This floods the palate with flavor and lingers with exceptional purity and persistence.

2008 Clerico Barolo Pajana

…fresh aromas and flavors of redcurrant, dried flowers, tobacco, graphite and earth. …energy in the mouth, showing superb focus and finesse. Finishes very long and penetrating, with firm but elegant tannins.

 

 
2007 Clerico Barolo Aeroplan Servaj

Deep red. Classic Barolo nose offers plum, redcurrant, mocha, camphor and loamy underbrush. Dense, layered and large-scaled; wonderfully sweet and full …velvety and very expressive…

 

WS Top 100: No Better Italian Value at This Price

Anna Abbona dropped by last week to show us her latest releases. She and her husband own this large property and its cellars in the village of Barolo (they are also very proud of their restaurant, Foresteria). Anna’s 2007 single vineyard Baroli and Barbaresco are stunning, they are from 2007 after all. The surprise of the day, though, was this little Barbera. Since when can you drink a solid Piemonte red for $13? Oh, she reminded me that it was a Wine Spectator Top 100 selection in 2012, too. I don’t know of a better Italian value. Period.

 

2011 Marchesi di Barolo Maraia

A dark, succulent red, exuding black cherry, blackberry and violet aromas and flavors. Pure and focused, with a long aftertaste of sweet fruit, flowers and spice. Drink now through 2016….

Brilliant Brunate by Marengo

Brunate, with its muscular and dense concentration balances on a fine line of precision unequalled in Barolo. Mario Marengo has just over 3 acres and makes 5,000 bottles per vintage. Let’s say that Marengo is intimate with Brunate. Marco Marengo has dedicated himself to fulfilling the potential of his Brunate plot since his father Mario’s passing a decade back. 2008 is classic expression for great Barolo sites like Brunate. With cool temps, the nebbiolo grape reveals layers of dark and rich fruit, with intense notes of spice and mint in its youth while seeming almost weightless with depth only found in the greatest nebbiolo.

 

2008 Marengo Barolo Brunate

…impressive. Layers of dark fruit, menthol, pine, spices and mint flow effortlessly from this impeccably graceful, polished Barolo…. Layers of fruit build to an explosive finish that saturates every corner of the palate….

Monster Scores for Conterno Now in Stock

Barolo is great when it comes from the Barolo legend Giacomo Conterno’s son, Aldo. Back in the ’20s, Giacomo’s dad started the Riserva phenom, and then later, Giacomo started single vineyards. He left his estate under the care of his two sons, Giovanni and Aldo. Giovanni still heads up his father’s brand while Aldo, after a stint in California that inspired his independent spirit, left home to purchase the ethereal Bussia vineyard in Monforte d’Alba. Some say the brothers split because Aldo wished to produce “mod” Barolo, using small barriques that wine fashionistas love, but that’s hooey as Aldo refuses to use them, sticking instead with the proven, larger Slovenian casks that are used for up to 20 years. These are old school beauties with extraordinarily balanced fruit and respect of the old ways. Approachable now, yes, but Aldo’s wines are built to develop with time, gaining all those earthy-truffle notes, rose petal whispers, and pleasant whiffs of tar, making them borderline divine.

 

2008 Aldo Conterno Barolo

Beautiful raspberry, cherry and black currant flavors are backed by firm, dusty tannins in this harmonious, fresh red. Floral and tobacco notes add dimension as this cruises to a long, lingering finish….

2008 Aldo Conterno
Barolo Bussia Cicala

…fine depth… silky texture framing black cherry, black currant and tar flavors. Solidly built, this features a deceptively charming exterior that conceals firm tannins. The finish evokes violet and black cherry notes….

2008 Aldo Conterno
Barolo Bussia Colonnello

This is round and supple, with a fleshy profile enveloping pure cherry, raspberry and spice flavors. Ripe and harmonious, with no shortage of structure. A mineral element emerges on the tight finish….

2008 Aldo Conterno
Barolo Bussia Romirasco

This is suave and silky, with refined tannins providing a tapestry for the cherry, tar and spice flavors. Turns leaner and more sinewy by the finish, picking up a mineral component. The flavors linger….

 

2005 Aldo Conterno
Barolo Riserva Granbussia

Lots of cherry and plum aromas. Tannins are dense offering a very elegant length. There is purity and ripeness without a jammy impact so this wine offers a classic style of Nebbiolo.

 

King of the King of Wines: Barolo’s Aldo Conterno

Barolo is great when it comes from the Barolo legend Giacomo Conterno’s son, Aldo. Back in the ’20s, Giacomo’s dad started the Riserva phenom, and then later, Giacomo started single vineyards. He left his estate under the care of his two sons, Giovanni and Aldo. Giovanni still heads up his father’s brand while Aldo, after a stint in California that inspired his independent spirit, left home to purchase the ethereal Bussia vineyard in Monforte d’Alba. Some say the brothers split because Aldo wished to produce “mod” Barolo, using small barriques that wine fashionistas love, but that’s hooey as Aldo refuses to use them, sticking instead with the proven, larger Slovenian casks that are used for up to 20 years. These are old school beauties with extraordinarily balanced fruit and respect of the old ways. Approachable now, yes, but Aldo’s wines are built to develop with time, gaining all those earthy-truffle notes, rose petal whispers, and pleasant whiffs of tar, making them borderline divine.

 

2008 Aldo Conterno Barolo

…Super expressive, knock-out aromatics lead to expressive layers of fruit. The 2008 shows gorgeous richness and depth within the context of the year. Tar, smoke, licorice and crushed rocks wrap around the finish….

2008 Aldo Conterno
Cicala Barolo

…boasts fabulous energy and sheer tension in its ripe red berries, spices, crushed flowers and mint. …Huge, powerful tannins… layers of cool, mineral-infused fruit. …absolutely irresistible….

2008 Aldo Conterno
Colonnello Barolo

…Sweet red berries, flowers and spices are woven together beautifully… The oak, sometimes noticeable in this bottling, is very well-integrated. Floral notes are woven throughout the finish….

2008 Aldo Conterno
Romirasco Barolo

…Sweet red berries, flowers, mint and crushed rocks are woven together in this exquisite, gorgeous Barolo. Powerful and authoritative, the Romirasco impresses for its depth and unmistakable pedigree….

2005 Aldo Conterno
Granbussia Barolo

Lots of cherry and plum aromas. Tannins are dense offering a very elegant length. There is purity and ripeness without a jammy impact so this wine offers a classic style of Nebbiolo.