Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

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MiranK
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Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#1 Post by MiranK » February 1st, 2019, 3:11 pm

Hi there. I've been tasting quite a few Baroli from various vintages lately so I thought it would be fun to share some impressions.

2014 is not one of my favourite vintage but I have tasted some quite delicious wines nevertheless. Although a difficult vintage, what has impresses me the most, are the aromatics and the style of elegant sensuality many wines possess. It's a very cool and Burgundian type of style that will probably be appreciated by many consumers. It's maybe a vintage to avoid only for those who would like to have the same style of wines year in and year out, without the fun comparison of different vintages and what might happen (and surprise) the consumer further down the road. Some stars in the vinous heaven in 2014, to me, has been for example Burlotto, Aldo Conterno, Vietti, and - in fact - quite a few others.

I have been fortunately to already having tasted many Baroli from 2015, 2016, 2017 and even 2018s. The latter is of course only succulent fruit juice at this early stage but oh what an exquisite juice it is. Allow me to predict that we're in for some high-class wines from the 2018 vintage. Unfortunately, for those of us with limited funds, 2017 too seems to have produced some astonishing wines. I did a barrel tasting with Elisa Scavino and Marco Marengo and oh yummy-yum-yum...there are some real beauties sleeping in those botti and barrels respectively....

As for 2015 and 2016, the latter is a no-brainer. I believe it has the potential to be one of those vintages that future generations will talk about when they look back at the history of Barolo vintages. When speaking to winemakers it seems as if some prefer their 2015 to 2016, so apparently there is some mighty juice out there for those having a personal reason for buying into the 2015 vintage. I have tasted 2015s from several producers and can only say that they have been utterly impressive. A first-class vintage no doubt. Will be difficult to go wrong here so if you have your regular favourites, I'd say - go for it. If I need to name names, well, Brovia...wow. Luigi Pira, same. Aldo Conterno, simply incredible. Vietti, dito again. Sandrone, wonderful. But there are so many more.

Tasting is believing so I gravitated down to Alba, ITaly to taste some new releases of Barolo 2015 and Barbaresco 2016. Here's my take on the vintage after having tasted a wide diversity of wines during two intense days at Grandi Langhe, including 93 Baroli och 14 Barbaresco, not to mention a vast amount of Dolcetto, Nebbiolo and Barbera.

Not all producers were present; for example, I missed both Corino (Giovanni and Renato) and another personal favourite of mine, Scavino, presented only one wine - although that particular wine wasn't anything to complain about...the 2013 Scavino Barolo Rocche d'Annunziata Riserva. Delicious. Some 200+ producers was more than enough since I wasn't anywhere near tasting even half of the producers, which was a pity. Not that I didn't try, mind you. While everyone else were walking around with one glass in their hand, tasting one wine at a time, I raided every producer with 4 glasses, asking them to pour sometimes their entire lineup, just to be more efficient. Despite that, there was no chance to taste everything, not even half of it. However, a great experience nevertheless. Thank you to all the people who organised Grandi Langhe!

One of my perennial favourites, Poderi Aldo Conterno wasn't present but it would be safe to say that their wines are some of the superstars of the 2015 Barolo vintage. I'll soon share my impressions about their wines in another format. (Stay tuned...) Actually, the biggest laugh at the tasting was when I asked my friend Jörgen, after him having spend six hours with Giacomo Conterno, what he though about their latest release Granbussia Riserva. Knowing my own impressions after having spent hours and hours with Giacomo in December, and knowing that another friend of mine gave it a perfect three digit score, I was curious to hear what Jörgen had to say about it. His reply was something like, "well THAT wine should need something like 103 points to express how utterly delicious it was". I concur...

Francesco Rinaldi was one among several favourites, although I seem to have appreciated their Brunate more than my Jörgen did (who preferred the Barolo Cannubi), but I really do agree that their 2013 Cannubi Barolo Riserva was something special. I very much regret the fact that I didn't have time to visit Paitin and Poderi Colla (had to rush to the airport at the end of the second day). Nadia Curto opened my eyes to Freisa (first time I actually "got" the grape). E Pira was much better than the not-so-fresh bottles I tasted at the estate. Vietti wines were utterly sublime and delicious, as always... Among the Barbaresco producers, I was particularly impressed by Sottimano and Moccagatta.

If you want an assessment of Barolo 2015 based on the samples I was fortunate to taste these two hectic days, I would say that I have a fairly clear view about the vintage, in my opinion and palate (of course). People tend to forget that precious little detail when reading other people's impression, be they professional elephants or mere happy, mortal amateurs, that it's just human beings we're talking about, with their own personal palates and preferences. Nothing more, nothing less. Your taste and impressions are as good as mine, for you. So best advice to all is of course to taste for yourselves and trust your own palate. And for those who don't have the same opportunity to travel and taste, well, consider my observations as just one data point of many out there.

First of all, it's a great vintage. There's no doubt about it, in my mind. It's a warmer type of vintage but it seems to have much better texture, backbone and tension than other warm vintages like 2007, 2009 and 2011, so they can't really be compared (I favour 2015 above all of them, at this stage). Above all, my general impression is that 2015 Baroli are a bit naughty and wild in their character. They have bouncy and somewhat wild, sprawling personality, while still retaining a succulent and seductive charm. It's quite a fruity vintage (and this in particular seem to have set the tone of the vintage - read further and you'll understand my point) and above all...it's a tannic vintage. At least that's how it felt right now, when they are über-young and not really in a place where I would consider popping a bottle and necessarily enjoy the wine right here and now. But here's the thing, while the tannins were quite pronounced in many wines, there was this sense almost every time, that the tannis were "cushioned" and wrapped around by rich, succulent fruit. In other words, creating a nice balance.

It was particularly fun to occasionally taste the 2015s with 2014s and 2013s side by side. The same type of trend seemed to become evident every time this comparison was made. The 2015s big, luscuious, tannic and embedded in ample fruit, the 2014s with their seductive, sensual aromatics and elegant, cool taste, and then the 2013s, which I consider the better vintage of the three, with its combination of more classic structure, noble feel and this perfect interplay between elegance, cool fruit, a more erecet structure, added tension throughout the tasting experience and aristocratic combination of spices and dried fruits in the finish.

So for you out there who have a special reason (anniversary, birthyear of a child, etc) to collect the 2015 vintage: congratulations...

And the 2016s... Well, that's another story. In my humble opinion, it will be remembered as one of the Giants in modern Barolo history. But lets enjoy some fabulous and exciting 2015s before we argue about the 2016s!

Here endeth my impressions.
K e g l

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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#2 Post by Gary York » February 1st, 2019, 3:23 pm

Just wanted to see if that Granbussia Riserva was still 103 points on WB.
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#3 Post by Hank Victor » February 1st, 2019, 3:43 pm

Thanks for the mini report Miran.
P!
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#4 Post by Joshua Kates » February 1st, 2019, 4:29 pm

Yes, Miran, great report! Sadly, I'm in no position to help decide Gary's question.

Gary York wrote:
February 1st, 2019, 3:23 pm
Just wanted to see if that Granbussia Riserva was still 103 points on WB.

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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#5 Post by Rory K. » February 1st, 2019, 8:57 pm

Thanks for the report! I've only tried a couple 15s and from Barbaresco not Barolo, Ca' Nova and Produttori, and can confirm, they are quite fruity but plenty of energy and personality, not like typical 'hot' vintages.
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#6 Post by John Morris » February 1st, 2019, 9:02 pm

Gary York wrote:
February 1st, 2019, 3:23 pm
Just wanted to see if that Granbussia Riserva was still 103 points on WB.
No doubt 104 on Vinous.
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#7 Post by MiranK » February 2nd, 2019, 8:14 am

Rory, agree... One can feel the energy an underlying power in the 2015s. Very much looking forward to taste more of them as they will becoma available.
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#8 Post by Tom Reddick » February 2nd, 2019, 8:30 pm

Thank you Miran- appreciate you sharing this information.
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#9 Post by Karl K » February 2nd, 2019, 8:58 pm

Thanks, Miran.
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#10 Post by Mattstolz » March 3rd, 2019, 2:48 pm

MiranK wrote:
February 1st, 2019, 3:11 pm


First of all, it's a great vintage. There's no doubt about it, in my mind. It's a warmer type of vintage but it seems to have much better texture, backbone and tension than other warm vintages like 2007, 2009 and 2011, so they can't really be compared (I favour 2015 above all of them, at this stage). Above all, my general impression is that 2015 Baroli are a bit naughty and wild in their character. They have bouncy and somewhat wild, sprawling personality, while still retaining a succulent and seductive charm. It's quite a fruity vintage (and this in particular seem to have set the tone of the vintage - read further and you'll understand my point) and above all...it's a tannic vintage. At least that's how it felt right now, when they are über-young and not really in a place where I would consider popping a bottle and necessarily enjoy the wine right here and now. But here's the thing, while the tannins were quite pronounced in many wines, there was this sense almost every time, that the tannis were "cushioned" and wrapped around by rich, succulent fruit. In other words, creating a nice balance.

It was particularly fun to occasionally taste the 2015s with 2014s and 2013s side by side. The same type of trend seemed to become evident every time this comparison was made. The 2015s big, luscuious, tannic and embedded in ample fruit, the 2014s with their seductive, sensual aromatics and elegant, cool taste, and then the 2013s, which I consider the better vintage of the three, with its combination of more classic structure, noble feel and this perfect interplay between elegance, cool fruit, a more erecet structure, added tension throughout the tasting experience and aristocratic combination of spices and dried fruits in the finish.

So for you out there who have a special reason (anniversary, birthyear of a child, etc) to collect the 2015 vintage: congratulations...
I was curious if you had gathered any thoughts on whether it had seemed like particular pieces of the Barolo and Barbaresco regions fared better/worse in 2015? this is my anniversary year so I'd love to have some bottles around to open for big years!

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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#11 Post by John Kight » March 4th, 2019, 7:36 am

John Morris wrote:
February 1st, 2019, 9:02 pm
Gary York wrote:
February 1st, 2019, 3:23 pm
Just wanted to see if that Granbussia Riserva was still 103 points on WB.
No doubt 104 on Vinous.
Then Suckling will be "I'm 110 points on that".

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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#12 Post by Gary York » March 4th, 2019, 7:54 am

Mattstolz wrote:
March 3rd, 2019, 2:48 pm
MiranK wrote:
February 1st, 2019, 3:11 pm


First of all, it's a great vintage. There's no doubt about it, in my mind. It's a warmer type of vintage but it seems to have much better texture, backbone and tension than other warm vintages like 2007, 2009 and 2011, so they can't really be compared (I favour 2015 above all of them, at this stage). Above all, my general impression is that 2015 Baroli are a bit naughty and wild in their character. They have bouncy and somewhat wild, sprawling personality, while still retaining a succulent and seductive charm. It's quite a fruity vintage (and this in particular seem to have set the tone of the vintage - read further and you'll understand my point) and above all...it's a tannic vintage. At least that's how it felt right now, when they are über-young and not really in a place where I would consider popping a bottle and necessarily enjoy the wine right here and now. But here's the thing, while the tannins were quite pronounced in many wines, there was this sense almost every time, that the tannis were "cushioned" and wrapped around by rich, succulent fruit. In other words, creating a nice balance.

It was particularly fun to occasionally taste the 2015s with 2014s and 2013s side by side. The same type of trend seemed to become evident every time this comparison was made. The 2015s big, luscuious, tannic and embedded in ample fruit, the 2014s with their seductive, sensual aromatics and elegant, cool taste, and then the 2013s, which I consider the better vintage of the three, with its combination of more classic structure, noble feel and this perfect interplay between elegance, cool fruit, a more erecet structure, added tension throughout the tasting experience and aristocratic combination of spices and dried fruits in the finish.

So for you out there who have a special reason (anniversary, birthyear of a child, etc) to collect the 2015 vintage: congratulations...
I was curious if you had gathered any thoughts on whether it had seemed like particular pieces of the Barolo and Barbaresco regions fared better/worse in 2015? this is my anniversary year so I'd love to have some bottles around to open for big years!
2015 is a pretty good vintage. Bordering on great. What kind/style of wines do you like? You will get tons more info and sale options on the 2015s after we get through Spring.
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#13 Post by Mattstolz » March 4th, 2019, 5:06 pm

Gary York wrote:
March 4th, 2019, 7:54 am
Mattstolz wrote:
March 3rd, 2019, 2:48 pm

I was curious if you had gathered any thoughts on whether it had seemed like particular pieces of the Barolo and Barbaresco regions fared better/worse in 2015? this is my anniversary year so I'd love to have some bottles around to open for big years!
2015 is a pretty good vintage. Bordering on great. What kind/style of wines do you like? You will get tons more info and sale options on the 2015s after we get through Spring.
I am definitely a classic/traditional producer fan. I don't mind waiting a while for these and drinking more accessible 2015s for the next several anniversaries if the reward is there as tannins integrate. (I mean, I'm hoping there are still a lot of them to come right?)

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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#14 Post by Robert.A.Jr. » March 4th, 2019, 5:25 pm

No helicopters!?

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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#15 Post by J Dove » March 4th, 2019, 5:53 pm

Love posts like this. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#16 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng » March 4th, 2019, 6:20 pm

So far I’ve gotten f. Rinaldi cannubi and brunate and grasso’s two cuvees.

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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#17 Post by AndyK » March 4th, 2019, 6:37 pm

John Morris wrote:
February 1st, 2019, 9:02 pm
Gary York wrote:
February 1st, 2019, 3:23 pm
Just wanted to see if that Granbussia Riserva was still 103 points on WB.
No doubt 104 on Vinous.
You mean 84? [stirthepothal.gif]
k0berl

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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#18 Post by MiranK » March 12th, 2019, 5:23 am

Hi Robert - I was doing a full rotor swing when tasting the 2010 Barolo Granbussia over at Poderi Aldo Conterno. I now have two friends who have tasted the same wine (one was with me at the occasion) and we have actually all three scored it exactly the same. You might guess what... Easily one of the best wines I have had the privilege to put to my lips during my short career in wine drinking business. You will soon see a full-blown report in an very insignificant wine publication near you. [wink.gif]

Hi Matt!

Too early (at least for me) to come with more sweeping generalisations. All I know is that I have very much enjoyed the 2015s from Serralunga but there might be other villages that faired well too. Attended the Grandi Langhe in January and oh boy were there some pleasant wines served there.

It will be easier to answer you question in about two weeks, when I'm attending the Ba & Ba in Turin, where most of the 2015 Baroli will be poured.
K e g l

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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#19 Post by Gary York » March 12th, 2019, 10:26 pm

When Prowine and Vinitaly are over, you will have a ton more info. And offers will follow.
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#20 Post by MiranK » March 13th, 2019, 4:31 am

I will not have any offers to anyone but I'll be able to share quite a lot of impressions after the Ba & Ba. But above all, deviating from my own topic, what people should not forget are the other-worldly Nebbiolo d'Alba 2016 that's out there right now. Some incredible juice out there - I'd claim that I've had some Nebbiolo bottles that have even surpassed the quality of many high quality Barolo wines.
K e g l

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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#21 Post by JohnP » March 13th, 2019, 7:46 am

MiranK wrote:
February 1st, 2019, 3:11 pm
Francesco Rinaldi was one among several favourites, although I seem to have appreciated their Brunate more than my Jörgen did (who preferred the Barolo Cannubi), but I really do agree that their 2013 Cannubi Barolo Riserva was something special.
Would love to hear more about the 2013 F. Rinaldi Riserva. I posted a thread around the same time unbeknownst to seeing yours. viewtopic.php?f=1&t=158923&p=2686010&hi ... i#p2686010
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#22 Post by Jörgen Lindström Carlvik » March 13th, 2019, 3:57 pm

John Morris wrote:
February 1st, 2019, 9:02 pm
Gary York wrote:
February 1st, 2019, 3:23 pm
Just wanted to see if that Granbussia Riserva was still 103 points on WB.
No doubt 104 on Vinous.
My quote initially. But yes, in my mind, the 2010 Granbussia is a perfect wine. Please share you impressions when/if you taste it.
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#23 Post by Gary York » March 14th, 2019, 12:25 am

If I run across it I will taste it and let you know. Odds are not in you favor. I have probably tasted 20,000+ wines and so far only 2 have reached the top floor.
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