My thoughts on Antonio Galloni’s 100 pts for 2013 Barolos

I’ve been asked a lot what I think about the wine writer Antonio Galloni’s 100 pts awarded this summer to two Barolos (Vietti’s Ravera, and GB Burlotto’s Monvigliero).  In itself an easy question, but I have had and still have conflicting thoughts about it.  Well, here it goes, my two cents:

i) 100 points from someone with the reputation (at least in the US) of Galloni/Vinous, should no matter how you see it be good for Piemonte as a region, and Barolo as a wine and brand.

ii) As far as I know, other than for Monfortino and a few 2010s, this is the first time he has given 100 pts to a “fresh” Barolo. Giacosa has gotten retrospective 100 pts for his 89, 82, and 04.

iii) I think it is interesting that the two 2013 vintage 100 pts wines are from Verduno and Novello respectively. You would expect Cannubi, Brunate, Vigna Rionda, etc. At least Monforte, Serralunga, Castiglione, or La Morra?  But, great for new vineyards and lesser known “barolo” towns to get recognition.

iv) I do love both Fabio and Luca, and I am very happy for them.

On the flipside:

i) I am not sure of the long term effects on giving out too many 100 pts and high 90s, especially in vintages that are not great. It becomes a little bit like the Decanter magazine, where you do not care for their tasting notes, because you do not believe in them. And, as for Bordeaux, where it is hard to understand how some of these 100s are really 100s when tasted next to the real classic 100 pts wines.

ii) 100 pts, and you’re head to head with Henry Jayer and DRC RC. Good for the region, and kudos to Luca and Fabio, but perhaps a tiny little bit misleading?

iii) I think more and more that Vinous’ tasting notes, and corresponding pts, are all over the map. And, not consistent. There are wines with high 90s in this 2013 article, that I would give below 90, and not even ask for at a restaurant or buy to have in my cellar.  And, Mr Galloni would probably say the same thing about my “lists”.

Until last weekend, I had my top 4 2013 barolos down as:  Altare’s Cannubi, GB Burlotto’s Cannubi, Giuseppe Rinaldi’s Brunate, and Vietti’s Rocche (the latter should easily be a 100 pts wine in any retrospective tastings around 2050).  I had reserved the fifth spot for a Barbera, simply because it is one of the best Barberas I have ever tasted (GB Burlotto’s Aves).  But after last weekends final tastings, I have added Bartolo Mascarello’s 2013 Barolo as well.  There was no way around it :-).

Sleepers and hidden gems in the vintage includes, but are not limited to Giacomo Fennochio’s Bussia, Cascina Fontana’s Barolo, and Trediberri’s Rocche.

Disclaimer:  I have not yet tasted the wines from Giacomo Conterno and Giuseppe Mascarello – in most years that would influence the above.

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