Tuesday and Wednesday were big days for big wines at Nebbiolo Prima.
In Tuesday’s tasting of Barolos—96 in all—from the villages of Castiglione Falletto, Serralunga d’Alba and Monforte d’Alba, it was Monforte that pulled off the weight and intensity of the vintage with the most grace and aplomb. “2010 was a fairly cool year,” said producer Silvano Bolmida of Monforte, as we headed to a dinner in Barbaresco. “It didn’t get excessively hot during July and August and the nights were always cool, prolonging the maturation period and developing aromas. In late September, we got a big burst of heat that pushed the nebbiolo to a high degree of ripeness and concentration. But the evenings remained cool, which helped the grapes retain the tannins and aroma. If you worked well, reducing yields without overdoing it and picking at just the right moment so the grapes didn’t get overripe, the results were exceptional.”
There were another 80 Barolos on Wednesday—all 2010s from Barolo and La Morra. Here, the wines of Barolo stood out for their pronounced perfumes and delicate balance of ripe berry fruit with just enough acidity to keep them fresh, notwithstanding the unusually dark colors and pronounced (but not overly harsh) tannins. Similar in many ways to 2008 and 2006, 2010 is a vintage of big, dark, intensely concentrated and well-structured wines with firm tannins and a sort of bold elegance.
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