101 winemakers ready to serve their 09 babies, a more crowded than usual Barolo town center, Jancis Robinson as the headliner (after the wine, of course), and great weather to boot. Our first visit to this annual event, this time to welcome the 09 vintage of Barolos. Here’s our takeaways:
Best dressed (inspired by the Swedish Royal wedding the same weekend): Without doubt Giuseppe “Citrico” Rinaldi. First time I have seen him in a suit. Ready for the big occasion.
Best wine(es): Bartolo Mascarello, Massolino’s Vigna Rionda, Cavallotto, and Giuseppe Rinaldi (must be said that we were not even close to taste the wines from all 101 producers present). In addition, we got some visits under our belt during the weekend, and must admit both Vietti’s and Elio Altare’s ranks high. But, will agree with Antonio Galloni who thinks the 2010 Altare wines beats the 09s. Wine of the weekend was without a doubt the 10 Langhe Arborina from Elio Altare.
Best learning: Some Langhe Chardonnay’s are getting up there in quality. Not that Guy Roulot et al should fear the Langhe battle Burgundy for the kingdom yet, but it is now more than OK to order a bottle of Cavallotto’s or Massolino’s chardonnay for dinner or lunch. Also, Giulia Negri’s version is interesting and worth a look.
Best news: Giuseppe Rinaldi’s 09 Barolo Brunate-Le Coste is released at 35 EURO.
Biggest surprise: Dead heat between i) Marco Curto (Nadia, Elio Altare’s niese) whose 08 and 09 wines are good, and at the price, very good; and ii) Fallet-Prevostat Grand Cru at Centro Storico – I had no idea that cheap champagne could taste that good!
All in all: 09 is not 01/04/06 nor 08, but stay with the serious producers (the usual suspects), and you will find great value.