Guido Porro Gianetto Barolo DOCG 2011

 

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Estate: Guido Porro is a 4th generation winemaker, from a family whose land has always been passed down from father to son. Located in the renowned Barolo producing commune of Serralunga d’Alba in Piedmont, Porros’ vineyards are in a south-southwest facing amphitheatre. Here in the ‘Lazzarito’ cru, grapes receive full sun and protection from the wind. Focusing on traditional methods in both the vineyard and cellar, Guido Porro has a reputation as “under the radar”. His wines receive many accolades for their natural expression of the grape, however his unassuming character doesn’t have him seeking the spotlight.

Winemaking: Vineyards are farmed using sustainable methods. Spontaneous fermentation and aged for 3 years in massive Slavonian oak casks. Gianetto is a southeast facing vineyard with clay and limestone soil, with vines only 8 years old. 2011 is the first vintage of this single vineyard wine. The young age of the vines contributes to its early drinking ability.

Tasting Notes: Transparent dark ruby in colour with the distinctive Barolo aromas of rose, cherry and tarry earth. Super fruity and lively with cherry, raspberry, crushed black peppercorn and tarry earth. Wooly tannins coat your mouth. The finish hasn’t quite realized its full potential, but it’s plush and velvety, abounding with earth and spice.

100% Nebbiolo
Barolo DOCG
Italy
14.5% Alcohol
Estate Bottled by Azienda Agricola Guido Porro
$40 [average price]
Enjoy now thru 2030

Elio Sandri Barolo Riserva DOCG 2005

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Estate: Founded by Giovanni Sandri in 1965, Giovanni was born into a family of farmers from which he learned the art of grape growing and winemaking. In 1965 he purchased Cascina Disa and began crafting his Barolos. Today the estate is headed by Elio and Daniela Sandri, along with their children Luna and Riccardo. Located in the Langhe hills of Monforte d’Alba, the estate consist of 7 hectares of vineyards, with the oldest vines dating back to 1937, the newest 2001. With an emphasis on ecological balance and preservation, in 1999 they purchased a neighboring forest, in order “to balance the impact of human activity with the territory”. As with many other Barolo estates, they also produce Dolcetto and Barbera wines.

Winemaking: Organic, natural processes [along with some biodynamic principles] and minimum interventions are followed in the both the vineyard and cellar. Overall the vineyards consist of marine soils of calcareous clay; grapes for the Riserva are sourced from “the best land where the marl comes to the surface”. Spontaneous fermentation with indigenous yeasts followed by “5 years in large old slovonian oak barrels and bottle”. Bottling done only during the waning moon.

For a more in depth look at Elio Sandri, his wines and vineyards, please click here for Gregory Dal Piaz’s fantastic article on his visit to Cascina Disa.

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet with brick edges in colour, with aromas of tar and rose. Agile and engaging, with that divine pairing of tar and rose flavours encased in red berry fruit and velvety tannins. Classic, elegant, powerful, everything I want in Barolo.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Superb for hearty meat dishes, truffles, game and strong Piemontese cheese.

100% Nebbiolo
Barolo DOCG
Italy
Bottled by Azienda Agricola Elio Sandri
14% Alcohol
€50 restaurant wine list in Florence Italy [I could not find any other listed price.]
Enjoy now thru 2022

Fratelli Serio & Battista Borgogno Cannubi Barolo DOCG Riserva 2008

Estate: For 5 generations the Borgogno family has been producing wine in the heart of the Cannubi area of Piedmont in northern Italy. The family has a total of 3 hectares of vineyards on the famed Cannubi hill. Today sisters Anna and Paola Borgogno are in the process of handing the reins over to daughters Emanuela and Federica.

Cannubi is the oldest single vineyard, most historical cru within the commune of Barolo [there is a bottle of Cannubi 1752 in a museum]. A hill of vineyards, there are only 5 parcels total. Cannubi wines are renowned for their elegance and finesse, specifically their floral notes. Although incredibly age worthy [20 years +] they can also be enjoyed earlier on, typically beginning at around 6 years old.

Philosophy: Believing that wine is a reflection of the earth from which it comes, the family  “grows our grapes with love, protecting our ancient craft, the one of wine-making, based on deep roots, handed down from generation to generation”.

Winemaking: Vineyard soil is a mix of fine sand and limestone. Aged for 5 years in large Slavonian oak barrels.

Tasting Notes: Maroon with brick edges in colour. Significantly aromatic with aromas of sweet dark fruit, tar, leather, anise, spice and dark chocolate. Cherry jam, raisin and floral layers are laced with wisps of smoke and joined by harmonizing acidity in the full body. Backed by substantial yet silky tannins, an herbaceous undercurrent runs thru, fusing into menthol hints that compliment the elongated, plush fruity finish.

100% Nebbiolo
Cannubi Barolo DOCG
Italy
Estate Bottled by Fratelli Serio & Battista Borgogno
14.5% Alcohol
$36
Enjoy now thru 2030
bottle N. 8208

Rated 95 points by Wine Enthusiast
Rated 91 points by Wine Advocate

Luigi Scavino Azelia Barolo DOCG 2003

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Estate: Azelia di Luigi Scavino was established in 1920 when Cavalier Lorenzo Scavino began to make wine from the grapes in his family’s vineyards. Today, his grandson and 5th generation winemaker Luigi heads the 16 hectare estate, along with his wife and son. Luigi’s wines are renowned for their classical character and superb quality.

Philosophy: A combination of respect for tradition and modern techniques that allow the wine to express itself.

Winemaking: Luigi’s father Lorenzo planted the vineyards in the 1940’s. These old vines are known for “their lower yields and their deeper roots, which produce amazing grapes”. Organic and sustainable farming is practiced; absolutely no chemicals are added to the soil. Natural manure is added only to the poorest soils every 3-4 years; native grasses are left to flourish between the rows. Only wild fermentation is used, the wine is not filtered or clarified and enzymes are not added. Grapes were sourced from Castiglione Falletto and Serralunga d’Alba vineyards. The soils are white calcareous and a clay mix. Aged for 2 years in large casks. This is the estate’s entry, or “base” Barolo; it is only made in the years that the Barolo Riserva Bricco Voghera is not produced.

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet in colour with beckoning aromas of roses, cherry, peat laced spice and traces of tar. Elegant and classical in character with a cherry, leather and spice trifecta complimented by silky smooth, firm tannins. Vanilla, sweet fennel and cedar comprise the lengthy, dry finish. A fantastic opportunity to enjoy Barolo without breaking the bank.

100% Nebbiolo
Barolo DOCG
Italy
Estate Bottled by Azienda Agricola Azelia di Luigi Scavino
14.5% Alcohol
$33
Enjoy now thru 2023

Giacomo Conterno ‘Cascina Francia’ Barolo DOCG 2001

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I was so very fortunate to be at Otto Enoteca in NYC the week they opened a couple of magnums of Conterno Cascina Francia Barolo 2001. Wanting to savour every sip, I paired my quartino with 5 of my favourite cheeses and contemplated what makes Barolo “the king of wines and the wine of kings”.

Estate: Cantine Giacomo Conterno is one of the most renowned names in all of Piedmont. The estate traces its origins back to 1908 when Giovanni Conterno opened a wine bar and began making wine from both his vineyards and those of his neighbors. In the early 1960s, Giacomo passed the winery on to his sons, Giovanni and Aldo [Aldo has since founded his own estate, the Poderi Aldo Conterno]. During the 1970’s, those small winemakers they had sourced grapes from began bottling their own wines, so the brothers purchased Serralunga’s great Cascina Francia vineyard. Cascina Francia is located 400 meters above sea level with a southwest exposure and predominately calcareous soil. The vineyard is the sole source of grapes for their “crown jewel, Monfortino” and the esteemed Cascina Francia Barolos. Giovanni gained a reputation as “the greatest of all Barolo producers” and began working with the 3rd generation, his son Roberto in 1988. Roberto took over the estate upon Giovanni’s passing in 2004. Conterno Barolos are considered the perfect example of traditional Barolo made in the classic style: “rich, powerful, massively structured, and capable of long aging in bottle”.

Philosophy: “Only premium quality can bring prestige to the Langhe.”

Winemaking: Only natural yeasts are used, along with “temperature controlled fermentation and a lengthy maceration; after this, the wine is aged in large Slavonian botti and aged in bottle for four years”.

Tasting Notes: Dark garnet with brick edges in colour. Alluring aromas of plum, soft spices, rose petal, earth and hints of cedar radiate with each swirl. Dynamic, with an elegant composition to the cherry, blackberry, leather, and mineral rich earth notes. Soft and velvety with desert dry tannins persevering thru the lengthy finish of peppery spice, hints of dark chocolate and echoes of red berries. Powerful and classic, yet with a dominating opulence. Direct from my tasting notes: “Just took down that quartino without even noticing, yet I noticed that each sip was divine”.

100% Nebbiolo
Barolo
Italy
Estate Bottled by Azienda Vittivinicola Giacomo Conterno
14.5% Alcohol
$250 [average price for bottle, $500 the average price for the magnum]
Enjoy now thru 2026

94 points Wine Advocate
91 points Wine Spectator

For more info http://www.polanerselections.com/producer/giacomo-conterno