2010 Comm G B Burlotto Barolo Monvigliero

Popped and poured. The nose is really singing. It is an arresting and singular mixture, not of rose petals and tar, but of crushed strawberries and tapenade. There is more going on underneath: dried fig, liquorice, herbal things I couldn’t fathom and a bit of smoke. It has great structure but in an elegant frame and is not at all heavy on the palate. Think of riding a lightweight Colnago over the hills of Verduno, keeping you just ahead of a discreet wall of fine but substantial tannin. Hail Burlotto.

Jeremy, I have had this a couple of times in the last few months - great wine and got to agree about this not being rose petals and tar. The 2010 Massolino Parafada I had earlier this week was similarly scented, not as powerful as the Burlotto.

I have not tried this one, but have tried the 2010 Fratelli Alessandria Monvigliero, which gave some impressive Monvigliero aromatics when opened, but was barely drinkable for the first time 3 days after opening (and after sitting in a decanter for that time). The Alessandria has outstanding balance and a great future, but is completely shut down at the moment. I have heard suggestions that the Burlotto is somewhat more open and more feminine. I would love to hear from those who have tasted both. Failing that, I will pop a Burlotto soon…

Burlotto’s Monvigliero is pretty singular (atypical, really) in the world of nebbiolo, and I think one of the main reasons people can pick it out blind.

Have drunk both. Should have refrained from opening them. I remember the Burlotto as more feminin, but also unyielding. The nose on both wines are fantastic though, and the best of it all

Thanks, Claus. I will leave my Burlottos in the box. And look in the mirror and laugh at myself for having bought a double magnum of each of those wines at age 63! I can probably open them, pour out the wine and turn the bottles into lamps. Luckily, both bottles were had at prices that will make the lamps reasonably inexpensive…

Terrific note. I have not had the 2010, but that is a good description of the distinctive quality of this wine in many vintages.

Bill, what do you think of the comparative quality of these 2 wines in general? A merchant was telling me he thinks the Alessandria is generally a bit better, which surprised me.

I’m not Bill, and I feel a bit foolish saying anything declarative about Barolo to either of you. But I’ve had the Monvigliero from both Alessandria and the Burlotto from 2006, 2008, and 2010, including the 2006 side-by-side. I don’t understand how anyone could conclude that one is qualitatively “better” than the other, at least tasting them young, unless you are willing to declare stylistic superiority of one over the other. I really like them both, but as has been discussed many times, I think the Burlotto Monvigliero is a unique wine in Barolo. Very light, exclusively tart red fruits, a strong herbs and olives-component, relatively less tannic. The Alessandria has some of the same herbal qualities but darker fruit, bigger, more tannic, more “Barolo” – although no one would mistake it for a Serralunga. I don’t know anyone who has tasted a 15+ year old example of either (Bill?), but as young Barolo, I appreciate them for their contrasting styles. It’s surprisingly rare to find two producers with comparable levels of winemaking making wine from the same vineyard in Barolo, and for that reason alone I think it’s worth collecting both. The price is right too.

Jay hit the nail on the head. Both excellent in 2010, even if some might have thought the Burlotto better in the past. Alessandria is more masculine in the big fruit, big (but fine) tannins mold, but both have unmistakable Monvigliero aromatics.

I have tons more experience with F. Alessandria. But I consider them to be a much better winery. And, at least until the 2010 vintage, offering some of the best values in Piedmont. Not that I don’t like Burlotto. But I just feel that the wines are a little too esoteric.

Count me as one who’s tepid to Burlotto. I find the olive/tapenade note disagreeable. Perhaps why I also don’t like northern Rhones and syrahs in general.

I’ve also noticed this characteristic in Burlotto’s Neirane cru. I have a couple bottles left of the '96 Neirane which I’ll try again in a few years.

WARNING! I’m a fan of Pinot Noir, Pelaverga, Mencía, Nerello Mascalese and other girly grape varieties.

I love Fabio Burlotto’s interpretation of Monvigliero. I have never tasted better from him than 2010.
I have a commercial interest in Fr. Alessandria, but nonetheless I’m not convinced that Alessandria’s Monvigliero is better than that of Burlotto in 2010. - I made the safe choice and bought Monvigliero 2010 from both…
Winemaking between the cousins is very different which is why the stylistic difference is huge.

Since the 2005 vintage I have tasted all Fr. Alessandrias new release Monviglieros about 3-4 months before release (during VinItaly), and 2010 is the best I have tasted to date. However, things may look different in due time for different vintages (2008 will surely move up), but nonetheless I’m confident that 2010 will be next to impossible to better.

Fr. Alessandria Monvigliero 2010 was the vintage to close down the quickest! While BEAUTIFUL in the spring and early summer 2014, since late summer this has not been very accessible, often shutting down after only 20-30 minutes.
2007 and 2009 is drinking better at the moment (and Gramolere generally being more open than Monvigliero)

Older vintages of Fr. Alessandria hold up well, but the quality has improved the last 10 years, so interpolation is not really meaningful.
A 2004 Monvigliero tasted last summer opened up on day 3, so patience is required for that kind of vintages if you don’t drink them very young.


Thanks for all the opinions, from the Bill and the non-Bills alike. Anyone care to throw Scavino’s Monvigliero into the comparative mix?

Do I have to taste it first, or will just an opinion suffice?

Decant or don’t decant…then opinion. Taste is optional.

I think Monvigliero is an outstanding cru, and very distinctive.

Forgive the devolvement into a sophomoric Captain Obvious realm, but often feminine and unyielding go hand in hand. They’re a natural – like peanut butter and chocolate. Did I just disclose too much of my personal history there?!?

It is currently the best value in the Scavino line-up…

(Interpret ellipses as needed)