Six of us got together to drink a few bottles of Barolo. The Chef/Proprietor of Masseria, Nicholas Stefanelli, opened a three story restaurant at the DC wharf. John F. who is the beverage director showed us around. It is an impressive space. We were situated at a private room which was quite spacious and ideal for a wine dinner. The dishes were perfectly executed and decisively more traditional than Masseria.
The 08 Orizeaux is showing really well. The Le Bout du Clos is exceptional, my wine of the flight.
- NV Jacques Selosse Champagne Rosé - France, Champagne
Beautiful complex nose displaying sweet yellow fruit with a hint of red, peach, apricot, cherry soda, a hint of whiskey sour, white chocolate, almond cookie, a hint of balsamico, coriander, sweet spices and mineral. Excellent concentration, nicely layered apricot and peach, fine generous mousse, bright acidity, strong mineral presence and a long sweet yellow fruit and almond paste driven finish. There is a hint of oxidative/sherry note in the nose but not in the palate. It is quite complex but also easy to enjoy. Excellent showing. (96 pts.)
- 2008 Chartogne-Taillet Champagne Les Orizeaux - France, Champagne
Beautiful harmonious palate displaying subtle sweet yellow fruit, apple pie, apricot, ginger candy, cinnamon, spicy spices and limestone. Nicely integrated palate, subtle sweet yellow fruit driven palate impression, very fine medium generous mousses, bright acidity, strong limestone mineral and a long sweet yellow fruit and ginger candy driven finish. Showing exceptional balance and harmony. I am loving the rich yet airy palate. The palate reminds me a bit of Cedric Bouchard. Drinking beautifully. (94 pts.)
- NV Jacques Selosse Champagne Premier Cru Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut Sous le Mont - France, Champagne, Champagne Premier Cru
The color is similar to the Rose, i.e. pink, where Le Bout du Clos is bright golden yellow. Very complex nose displaying subtle watery red fruit, strawberry water, raspberry candy, a hint of apricot, smoked salmon, sourdough, tobacco, ginger candy, cinnamon and limestone. Beautifully integrated palate, nicely layered shy yet rich and sweet red fruit, generous medium fine mousse, bright acidity, strong mineral and a long shy yet rich red fruit and ginger candy driven finish with cinnamon at the end. Drinking beautifully. Although there is a hint of yellow fruit, the overall expression is much redder than Le Bout du Clos. Excellent showing. (96 pts.)
- NV Jacques Selosse Champagne Grand Cru Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut Le Bout du Clos - France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru
The color contrast against Sous le Mont is interesting. Beautiful complex nose displaying incredibly rich yet energetic yellow fruit, apricot, peach, candied ginger, sweet spices, honey, brioche and limestone. Fully integrated palate, concentrated rich yellow fruit, generous medium fine mousse, good energy and precision, bright acidity, strong limestone mineral and a long rich concentrated yellow fruit driven finish with brioche and sweet spices at the end. Drinking incredibly well. (97 pts.)
The 55 is weird, the 64 is a bit tired/really shy but the 58 is singing.
- 1964 Giacomo Conterno Barolo - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
Pale fading red with cloudy middle. Remnants of red fruit, cherry water, caramel, leather, cedar, rose, beeswax, black truffle, a hint va and earth. Fully integrated fragile palate, shy cherry water, soft and warm, subtle acidity and mineral, no noticeable tannins and a medium long subtle red fruit driven finish with a hint of VA at the end. I am relatively confident that this is the correct example. Consistent notes. Caveat emptor! (92 pts.)
- 1955 Giacomo Conterno Barolo - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
Much darker color, makes me to wonder a possible Barbera inclusion. Medicinal nose that doesn't dissipate, also dirty damp cellar, ash, varnish and earth. Excellent concentration but pretty straightforward. Too dirty. NR (flawed)
- 1958 Cantina Mascarello Barolo - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
Still showing good saturate color. Surprisingly expressive and energetic nose displaying clean slightly sweet red fruit, cherry, dry cherry, caramel, fruitcake, tar, clove, cinnamon and iron mineral. Beautifully integrated palate, very finely layered slightly dry cherry fruit, still showing good richness, silky and polished, perfect amount of acidity, strong iron mineral, fully integrated tannins and a seamless long cherry driven finish with cinnamon and iron at the end. Drinking beautifully. (96 pts.)
The best showing of this wine, incredible!
- 1996 Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Riserva Asili - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco
En magnum. Explosive nose displaying intense yet pure red and black fruit, cherry candy, dry cherry, blackberry concentrate, licorice, tar, sap, rose, lovely perfume, caramel, spicy spices, cinnamon and iron mineral. Exceptional concentration, layers upon layers of intense concentrated red and black fruit, dense and deeply toned yet pure and refined, bright acidity, strong iron mineral, very noticeable but fine tannins and a long intense concentrated cherry fruit driven finish with perfume and licorice at the end. This has reached the youthful peak but can improve for two or three more decades. Very youthful, especially en magnum, yet incredibly expressive showing exceptional energy, precision and purity. (98 pts.)
It is mildly corked which is a shame as I can feel the beautiful fruit underneath.
- 1981 Azienda Agricola Montevertine Le Pergole Torte Toscana IGT - Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGT
Initially thinking slightly corked. Still good fruit and generous palate. With air, clearly corked. There is generous red fruit underneath. I imagine this can be an exceptional wine. NR (flawed)
It is served blind. I am guessing the 90, ripe, warm and soft.
- 1985 Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo Bussia Soprana - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
Tom generally serves it blind. Medium expressive nose displaying clean red fruit, cherry, cherry candy, fruitcake, a hint of licorice, tar, cinnamon and iron. Fully integrated palate, finely layered red fruit, silky and polished, warm and round, nicely integrated silky tannins and a seamless medium to long slightly dry red fruit and fruitcake driven finish with cinnamon and iron at the end. It displays a strong iron note. The overall expression is warm and round but a bit straightforward. My guess is the 90, nice showing. (93 pts.)
All three are very youthful and enjoyable.
- 1990 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Riserva Monfortino - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
Expressive beautifully perfumed nose displaying ripe but pure black fruit with a hint of red, blackberry, black cherry, dry cherry, licorice, caramel, tar, rose, dark spices and iron. Excellent concentration, layers upon layers of concentrated black fruit, dense and unctuous yet pure and refined, warm and round, perfect amount of acidity and mineral, very fine tannins and a seamless intense black fruit driven finish with licorice and perfume at the end. It has reached the youthful peak but can improve for another couple of decades. Excellent showing. (98 pts.)
- 1990 Gaja Barolo Sperss - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
Youthful expressive nose displaying concentrated black fruit, blackberry, black cherry, strong licorice, ink, charted steak, cedar/oak, dark spices, leather and iron. Excellent concentration, concentrated black fruit, silky and polished, good acidity and mineral, still noticeable but fine tannins and a long concentrated black fruit driven finish with licorice and dark spices at the end. It is drinking beautifully but can age for another two decades. (96 pts.)
- 1990 Luciano Sandrone Barolo Cannubi Boschis - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
Expressive nose displaying youthful black fruit with a hint of cherry, caramel, licorice, spice spices, tar, cedar/oak and earth. Nicely integrated youthful palate, nicely layered youthful black fruit, silky and polished, medium acidity and mineral, and a long seamless black fruit driven finish with licorice and a hint of cedar/oak at the end. It is surprising that I still get a hint of oak. It could easily be a jedi mind trick. Although it is drinking beautifully, it too can still improve for a couple more decades. Really nice showing. (95 pts.)
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