Altare shows “entry” Barolo can be nothing like an “entry” Barolo

Great food, impeccable hospitality, accompanied by some “medium-range” wines at Casa Saetre. Here’s how it (the wine tasting) went.

1996 Antichi Vigneti di Cantalupo Collis Breclemae Ghemme:  Fresh nebbiolo color, still a bit closed on the nose, blackberry and violets. Fresh and fruity on the palate. Balanced. Wonderful.  But  should be even better some years down the road.

2001 Bricco Manzoni, from Rocche dei Manzoni – Nebbiolo/Barbera blend:  Amazingly fresh on the nose. Cherry, loads of cherry, and some dark fruit.  Elegant. Still some tannins left, suggesting that the wine should be left alone for a while.  But, a great wine.

2000 Barolo Castellero Riserva, from Barale:  Green on the nose.  Somewhat hard on the palate, warm, hint of alcohol. Question remains whether this will shed its tannins and still keep the little fruit that was there. For now, a disappointment.

1997 Barolo Vigneta Arborina, from Mauro Veglio:  Another dissapointment.  Dark, impenetrable color. Tar and asphalt on the nose, hint of tobacco. Sweet fruit on the palate, borderline vinegary.  Harsh, and just reminding me of the many frustrations I’ve had with some 97 barolos.  A pity, since I love the Daniela and Mauro and their wines of late.

1999 Barolo from Elio Altare:  Made with berries from both La Morra and Castiglione Falletto. Beautiful dark cherry color, wet forest floor, red berries, roses, the wine opens up beautifully in the glass revealing layers upon layers. Fresh, and balanced.  Should only improve with more years in the cellar, and I will leave our remaining bottles for at least 5 years.

Served together with Spaghetti Carbonara (made the Italian way – with no cream), salade caprese, Indoor-grilled Fillet Steak and Aspargus a la Saetre

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