Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

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Gary York
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#51 Post by Gary York » August 20th, 2019, 12:18 am

Robert Pavlovich wrote:
August 19th, 2019, 11:39 am
Gary York wrote:
August 18th, 2019, 9:50 pm
I think the days of those prices are long gone. It seems the wine lives in a different zip code now.
Yes, the trick now is finding the Barolo around $80-$150 (where Rinaldi and Bartolo Mascarello sat not long ago) that are competitive in quality.
Yep, that is the big question. G. Rinaldi and B. Mascarello are pretty much at the top of the class. Sandrone, Brovia and Vietti are some names that come to mind. Might not be a perfect match, but about as close as you can get. Oddero, Vajra and Germano would probably be next.
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#52 Post by Tony C » August 20th, 2019, 1:47 am

Dennis Atick wrote:
August 19th, 2019, 11:52 am
Robert Pavlovich wrote:
August 19th, 2019, 11:39 am
Gary York wrote:
August 18th, 2019, 9:50 pm
I think the days of those prices are long gone. It seems the wine lives in a different zip code now.
Yes, the trick now is finding the Barolo around $80-$150 (where Rinaldi and Bartolo Mascarello sat not long ago) that are competitive in quality.
Got any suggestions? [cheers.gif]
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#53 Post by Gary York » August 20th, 2019, 7:51 am

As much as I like the Vajra family and respect the wines they produce at both properties, their work at Baudana has a far too short track record to compare them to G.Rinaldi and B.Mascarello.
Last edited by Gary York on August 22nd, 2019, 11:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Tom Maskell
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#54 Post by Tom Maskell » August 20th, 2019, 11:26 am

Matt,

I tasted well over 100 wines from 2015 in May, and have good insight into the vintage. Barolo and Barbaresco are easy to like, with generous, obvious fruit and enough structure to allow for medium term aging. The Cogno visit was one of the highlights, and all of the usual traditional suspects made very good wine but the vintage is not in the same league as 2001, 2004, 2008, 2010, or 2013. It is somewhat akin to 2011, but both the fruit and structure are better. If I was going to splurge on 1 wine, it would be Cascina Francia. And in a bit of disagreement with some, the F Rinaldis were dull and disappointing. Maybe it was a root day. PM me if you have any questions about specific producers.

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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#55 Post by P L owet » August 21st, 2019, 2:44 pm

Tom Maskell wrote:
August 20th, 2019, 11:26 am
... all of the usual traditional suspects made very good wine but the vintage is not in the same league as 2001, 2004, 2008, 2010, or 2013...
Tom,
Thanks for the comments. I'm surprised that you include 2008 in your list of top 21st century vintages while excluding 2006. I have very limited experience with all of these young vintages, but I was under the impression that 2006 was considered a more classic and high-quality year in barolo. What prompts the 2008 props? [cheers.gif]

Hope we have a chance to open some barolo corks together sometime,
Peter
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#56 Post by Tom Taylor » August 21st, 2019, 3:41 pm

P L owet wrote:
August 21st, 2019, 2:44 pm
Tom Maskell wrote:
August 20th, 2019, 11:26 am
... all of the usual traditional suspects made very good wine but the vintage is not in the same league as 2001, 2004, 2008, 2010, or 2013...
Tom,
Thanks for the comments. I'm surprised that you include 2008 in your list of top 21st century vintages while excluding 2006. I have very limited experience with all of these young vintages, but I was under the impression that 2006 was considered a more classic and high-quality year in barolo. What prompts the 2008 props? [cheers.gif]

Hope we have a chance to open some barolo corks together sometime,
Peter

Agreed on 2006, interested to hear why Tom omitted that year. I would absolutely also include 2008 though. Maybe it did not get as much hype initially as some of the others mentioned, but I would certainly include it in this list
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#57 Post by Robert Pavlovich » August 22nd, 2019, 5:06 pm

06: Hasn’t yet lived up the critical acclaim.

08: Initial critical consensus be damned, people are loving what they’re finding when opening bottles.

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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#58 Post by Gary York » August 22nd, 2019, 11:36 pm

Tasted these last night and again today.

2015 D. Clerico Barolo Pajana
2015 D. Clerico Barolo Aeroplan Servaj
2015 D. Clerico Barolo Ciabot Mentin

I will try to get some notes up soon.
IMG_9548.jpg
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#59 Post by Tom Maskell » August 23rd, 2019, 9:01 am

Peter,

I haven't had an 06 for 3 years, so I don't have any recent data points. It is a very good vintage, one worth owning. I just happen to like the vintages listed a bit better. I think 2006 will be excellent in 10-15 years, but it is too big right now. You also asked why I included the 08 - good acidity, bright, crunchy cherry fruit, great aromatics, medium weight. The two vintages are at opposite ends of the spectrum, and my palate aligns more closely with 08. But I own a fair chunk of 2006 wines; they just need more time.

Regards,

Tom

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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#60 Post by John Morris » August 26th, 2019, 5:44 am

Tom Maskell wrote:
August 23rd, 2019, 9:01 am
Peter,

I haven't had an 06 for 3 years, so I don't have any recent data points. It is a very good vintage, one worth owning. I just happen to like the vintages listed a bit better. I think 2006 will be excellent in 10-15 years, but it is too big right now. You also asked why I included the 08 - good acidity, bright, crunchy cherry fruit, great aromatics, medium weight. The two vintages are at opposite ends of the spectrum, and my palate aligns more closely with 08. But I own a fair chunk of 2006 wines; they just need more time.

Regards,

Tom
So you think the 08s are more approachable than the 06s? I own few 08s and haven’t really dipped into my 06s, so I’m curious to hear your take.
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#61 Post by Tom Maskell » August 27th, 2019, 7:41 am

John,

I think 08's are approaching early drinkability. A 2008 Vajra Albe I had several weeks ago was very good, a model of the vintage, with great aromatics, and a crunchy, sappy cherry palate. I have had 7 or 8 2008 Nebb in the past year, and only Monprivato and Cascina Francia were not very forthcoming. Bartolo, Brovia Rocche, Roagna Montefico, and several others all showed well, although some wines needed a little time in the glass to open up.

There is a reason I haven't had an 06 for nearly 3 years - the last few I had were either disjointed or shut down. I think they probably need another 3-4 years. However, I will open something from 06 soon just to see where it is.

Regards,

Tom

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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#62 Post by Sh@n A » August 27th, 2019, 8:01 am

Gary York wrote:
August 20th, 2019, 7:51 am
As much as I like the Vajra family and respect the wines they produce at both properties, their work at Baudana has a far too short track record to compare them to G.Rinaldi and B.Mascarello.
No one reported back from the Vajra tasting that Morrell did in NY. I happened to be there and have some bad notes, but will try to post on a separate thread that will may cause others to come out of the wood work! . My major takeaways from Vajra were a lot of variation between vintages across the vineyards tried; I also enjoyed the 2014 Baudana more than the 2015.
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#63 Post by P L owet » August 27th, 2019, 8:06 am

Tom Maskell wrote:
August 27th, 2019, 7:41 am
I think 08's are approaching early drinkability. A 2008 Vajra Albe I had several weeks ago was very good, a model of the vintage, with great aromatics, and a crunchy, sappy cherry palate. I have had 7 or 8 2008 Nebb in the past year, and only Monprivato and Cascina Francia were not very forthcoming. Bartolo, Brovia Rocche, Roagna Montefico, and several others all showed well, although some wines needed a little time in the glass to open up...
Thanks, Tom, for the follow-up. Interesting you mention the cherry palate. At this past weekend's MacArthur's tasting with Domenico Clerico's winemaker, I tried the D. Clerico 2008 Barolo Aeroplanservaj (obviously much more modern than the ones you listed), and remarked about its red fruitedness, especially compared to the Clerico 2013s tasted. Tannins clamped down on the finish, but I enjoyed the aromatics. Maybe a vintage for burg lovers? [cheers.gif]

Back to the original topic: in Clerico's line-up, I preferred the 2013 barolo normale and Ciabot Mentin to the 2015 normale. The 2015 seemed richer/riper, the 2013s more classic and age-worthy. Caveat: I have limited experience tasting young barolo and a mediocre palate anyway. [whistle.gif]
Regards,
Peter
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#64 Post by Rob M » August 28th, 2019, 1:09 pm

Gary York wrote:
August 20th, 2019, 7:51 am
As much as I like the Vajra family and respect the wines they produce at both properties, their work at Baudana has a far too short track record to compare them to G.Rinaldi and B.Mascarello.
I don't have as much experience with the Baudana wines, but on a more general note I think Vajra (as well as a handful of other producers - i.e. Elio Grasso) is if anything at an equal to higher quality level than G. Rinaldi at this point, as of 2013/2014 vintages. I haven't tasted either producers' 2015 yet. The Brunate stylistically is very different than Vajra's wines, and arguably more thrilling, but I would say the '13 BdV edges out the '13 Tre Tine and at maybe 1/3 to 1/4 the price. And in 2014, I haven't tasted the Tre Tine but the G. Rinaldi Brunate is not particularly impressive imo and the '14 Vajra BdV is a much better wine in my view.

I think as of a few vintages ago (i.e., 2010) G. Rinaldi was clearly at the top of the quality pyramid and justified a premium. For example, the 2010 Rinaldi Brunate is head and shoulders above any other wine from that vintage (I haven't tasted Monfortino) in my view. Now, I'm not so sure.

The Rinaldi wines historically are probably my favorite outside of Giacosa but the pricing has skyrocketed and I believe quality relative to other producers has gone down. Mostly due to other producers' improving their quality. But at this point, I don't know who is buying G. Rinaldi in a vintage like 2014 at $200+ per bottle. And retailers are trying to charge closer to $300 for the 15s, which if one believes AG's scores, are not particularly profound wines. I don't see those selling at that price (plenty of '14s are left on the shelf at $200, and some 12s are also left at $200), but we'll see.
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#65 Post by Sh@n A » August 28th, 2019, 2:15 pm

Rob M wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 1:09 pm
And in 2014, I haven't tasted the Tre Tine but the G. Rinaldi Brunate is not particularly impressive imo and the '14 Vajra BdV is a much better wine in my view.
My experience at La Festa was brief, but the opposite experience. I thought the Brunate was excellent and a top wine of the tasting, and looked at the glasses around me, the Brunate was the only glass that multiple folks around me (like me) finished. That said, at a different/recent tasting, I thought Vajra 2014 BdV was as good as the 2015, the 2014 Ravera better than 2015, and the 2014 Baudana was one I quite enjoyed and will pay up to try again potentially this weekend... so it seems Vajra had a strong 2014. Don't disagree on relative value however at $300/pop. I would like to do my favorite 2014s blinded next to each other... but doesn't seem to be in the cards.
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#66 Post by Rob M » August 28th, 2019, 2:33 pm

Sh@n A wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 2:15 pm
Rob M wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 1:09 pm
And in 2014, I haven't tasted the Tre Tine but the G. Rinaldi Brunate is not particularly impressive imo and the '14 Vajra BdV is a much better wine in my view.
My experience at La Festa was brief, but the opposite experience. I thought the Brunate was excellent and a top wine of the tasting, and looked at the glasses around me, the Brunate was the only glass that multiple folks around me (like me) finished. That said, at a different/recent tasting, I thought Vajra 2014 BdV was as good as the 2015, the 2014 Ravera better than 2015, and the 2014 Baudana was one I quite enjoyed and will pay up to try again potentially this weekend... so it seems Vajra had a strong 2014. Don't disagree on relative value however at $300/pop. I would like to do my favorite 2014s blinded next to each other... but doesn't seem to be in the cards.
Interesting. It does appear based on your opinion and Cellartracker that there are a wide array of opinions on the 2014 Brunate. I had a bottle at dinner in Piedmont last fall and was pretty disappointed, thought it was pretty diluted (which to be fair to the Rinaldis, is not surprising given the '14 vintage). At La Festa I thought it showed better but thought the Vajra and especially the G. Conterno Cerretta were better wines.

I'd say that I would try another bottle, or do a blind '14 comparison, but these wines are so pricey that it's hard to justify the expenditure.

The 2014 vintage is worth giving anyone a pass over, it depended so much on to what extent rain and/or hail impacted the specific vineyard, but I was surprised when I saw AG's review of the G. Rinaldi in 2015. Will taste for myself in Piedmont this fall, hopefully.
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#67 Post by Sh@n A » August 28th, 2019, 2:45 pm

Rob M wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 2:33 pm
I'd say that I would try another bottle, or do a blind '14 comparison, but these wines are so pricey that it's hard to justify the expenditure.
It is difficult. I have interest in trying 2014s against each other blind, but then shouldn't I be saving budget to try the 2016s instead of finding my favorite 2014s...?
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#68 Post by A. So » August 28th, 2019, 3:02 pm

Rob M wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 1:09 pm
on a more general note I think Vajra (as well as a handful of other producers - i.e. Elio Grasso) is if anything at an equal to higher quality level than G. Rinaldi at this point, as of 2013/2014 vintages.
Yeah, no.
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#69 Post by Oliver McCrum » August 28th, 2019, 3:52 pm

John Morris wrote:
August 26th, 2019, 5:44 am
Tom Maskell wrote:
August 23rd, 2019, 9:01 am
Peter,

I haven't had an 06 for 3 years, so I don't have any recent data points. It is a very good vintage, one worth owning. I just happen to like the vintages listed a bit better. I think 2006 will be excellent in 10-15 years, but it is too big right now. You also asked why I included the 08 - good acidity, bright, crunchy cherry fruit, great aromatics, medium weight. The two vintages are at opposite ends of the spectrum, and my palate aligns more closely with 08. But I own a fair chunk of 2006 wines; they just need more time.

Regards,

Tom
So you think the 08s are more approachable than the 06s? I own few 08s and haven’t really dipped into my 06s, so I’m curious to hear your take.
The last few '08s I've had recently have been lovely, mid-weight and elegant. I am not touching '06 for another few years.
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#70 Post by Markus S » August 28th, 2019, 6:07 pm

Rob M wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 1:09 pm
... but the pricing has skyrocketed and I believe quality relative to other producers has gone down.
If you bought these in America, price has always been high, not only 'recently'
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#71 Post by Rob M » August 28th, 2019, 6:33 pm

Markus S wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 6:07 pm
Rob M wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 1:09 pm
... but the pricing has skyrocketed and I believe quality relative to other producers has gone down.
If you bought these in America, price has always been high, not only 'recently'
Everything changed in terms of pricing around the ~2010 vintage for these producers, but they've gone up significantly even in the past 1-2 years. 2 Years ago I recall backfilling '08 Rinaldi Brunate for $189 at Rare Wine Co (so not some hidden gem price) - now that's a ~$300+ wine if you can find it. Two years ago I was buying 2010 Bartolo for $250 in quantity and now that's a ~$500 wine. I'd say prices for Rinaldi/Bartolo have increased significantly over the past 2 years and they've probably gone up 3-4x over the past decade. These used to be affordable wines in the U.S. and it wasn't that long ago nobody wanted them in the U.S.!
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#72 Post by Todd Tucker » August 28th, 2019, 9:07 pm

Rob M wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 6:33 pm
Markus S wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 6:07 pm
Rob M wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 1:09 pm
... but the pricing has skyrocketed and I believe quality relative to other producers has gone down.
If you bought these in America, price has always been high, not only 'recently'
Everything changed in terms of pricing around the ~2010 vintage for these producers, but they've gone up significantly even in the past 1-2 years. 2 Years ago I recall backfilling '08 Rinaldi Brunate for $189 at Rare Wine Co (so not some hidden gem price) - now that's a ~$300+ wine if you can find it. Two years ago I was buying 2010 Bartolo for $250 in quantity and now that's a ~$500 wine. I'd say prices for Rinaldi/Bartolo have increased significantly over the past 2 years and they've probably gone up 3-4x over the past decade. These used to be affordable wines in the U.S. and it wasn't that long ago nobody wanted them in the U.S.!

These were not always expensive stateside; yes, more than in Italy, but not the craziness seen in the last couple vintages.

US pricing on Beppe went ridiculous starting in '13. One could maybe argue the '13s were worth it, but the prices on '14 and '15 are beyond reasonable for the quality. This is the importer doing this. I love Beppe Rinaldi. It is the producer that I have the most of in my cellar, but I no longer buy in the US at these prices, and it looks like many people feel the same based on the continued availability at retail at the asking prices. I don't think cellar door pricing has moved more than 10%.

Bartolo has doubled plus a little at US retail from my sources from '06-'14. I suspect '15 will go higher. I still will buy a handful at current asking price, but this is getting harder each year to justify buying in the US. In 2014, my European cost is half what I paid in the US.

And to stay on thread, I liked '15 much more than I expected to.

For the most part, these are radiant, well balanced wines that maintain freshness. They are not for me at the level of '10, '13, '08, '04, but significantly better than '12,'11, '14, '07, '09.
Last edited by Todd Tucker on August 28th, 2019, 9:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#73 Post by Andrew Hamilton » August 28th, 2019, 9:18 pm

Tom Maskell wrote:
August 27th, 2019, 7:41 am
I think 08's are approaching early drinkability. A 2008 Vajra Albe I had several weeks ago was very good, a model of the vintage, with great aromatics, and a crunchy, sappy cherry palate.
IIRC the Albe is made to be more approachable in youth.* I had the '13 over Christmas and it was very good.

*According to John Morris; I posted about it in December and he kindly pointed out it's made to be approachable young.
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Re: Some impressions on the 2015 Barolo vintage

#74 Post by Tom Taylor » August 29th, 2019, 2:49 am

Todd Tucker wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 9:07 pm
Rob M wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 6:33 pm
Markus S wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 6:07 pm


If you bought these in America, price has always been high, not only 'recently'
Everything changed in terms of pricing around the ~2010 vintage for these producers, but they've gone up significantly even in the past 1-2 years. 2 Years ago I recall backfilling '08 Rinaldi Brunate for $189 at Rare Wine Co (so not some hidden gem price) - now that's a ~$300+ wine if you can find it. Two years ago I was buying 2010 Bartolo for $250 in quantity and now that's a ~$500 wine. I'd say prices for Rinaldi/Bartolo have increased significantly over the past 2 years and they've probably gone up 3-4x over the past decade. These used to be affordable wines in the U.S. and it wasn't that long ago nobody wanted them in the U.S.!
[/


These were not always expensive stateside; yes, more than in Italy, but not the craziness seen in the last couple vintages.

US pricing on Beppe went ridiculous starting in '13. One could maybe argue the '13s were worth it, but the prices on '14 and '15 are beyond reasonable for the quality. This is the importer doing this. I love Beppe Rinaldi. It is the producer that I have the most of in my cellar, but I no longer buy in the US at these prices, and it looks like many people feel the same based on the continued availability at retail at the asking prices. I don't think cellar door pricing has moved more than 10%.

Bartolo has doubled plus a little at US retail from my sources from '06-'14. I suspect '15 will go higher. I still will buy a handful at current asking price, but this is getting harder each year to justify buying in the US. In 2014, my European cost is half what I paid in the US.

And to stay on thread, I liked '15 much more than I expected to.

For the most part, these are radiant, well balanced wines that maintain freshness. They are not for me at the level of '10, '13, '08, '04, but significantly better than '12,'11, '14, '07, '09.


While Rinaldi’s U.S. price escalation has been solely caused by the Importer, Mascarello’s is a function of gouging by Retailers. Wholesale on the 2015 is $4 a bottle more than the 2014, at least here in CT
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