Alan Tardi, an American chef living in Piedmont and a longtime contributor to W&S, attended the 2015 Nebbiolo Prima in Alba, an annual five-day invitation-only tasting of recent releases of Barolo, Barbaresco and Roero wines. In the coming weeks, we’ll post his reports.
Thursday began with the 2011 Barolos from the village of La Morra, 52 wines in all. Based on the excellent showing of the previous day, my expectations were high.
Compared to the well-balanced wines of Castiglione, Monforte and Serralunga, however, many of the La Morra Barolos were short on bouquet and acidity, with dark colors and muted fruit that faded quickly into overpoweringly tight tannins. Thankfully, there were a handful of exceptions—later, when I saw what we tasted, I noted that two of the standouts were Fratelli Revello’s Barolo from the Conca vineyard and Marco Curto’s Arborina—both from the La Morra hamlet of L’Annunziata.
The Barolo 2009 Riservas followed, the vintage marked by dense, dark, full-bodied wines with supple tannins, if sometimes lacking in finesse. This is one instance where the reserve classification appears to have been advantageous: the additional two years of aging allowed more detail to emerge than was readily apparent when the regular bottlings first appeared two years ago. While many seem to be just a few years away from reaching their peak, some are just catching their stride: Paolo Scavino’s Riserva from the Rocche dell’Annunziata vineyard of La Morra. Silvano Bolmida’s Riserva from the Bussia area of Monforte; the Casetta Fratelli Barolo Riserva from Novello; Ettore Germano’s Barolo from the Lazzarito vineyard of Serralunga are a few of the standouts from 2009.
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