2016 Barolo : what to buy in en-primeur

A couple of places in the UK that I buy from will soon start offering en-primeur on Barolo 2016. As of right now I have my eyes on Vietti, Elio Grasso, Elvio Cogno, Francesco Rinaldi and Brovia. Roagna normally releases much later.

Which Vietti SVDs? All of them? [berserker.gif]

Still need to decide but thinking about 2 of Rocche, Ravera and Brunate.

Planning to buy Vajra and Vietti, at a minimum, plus some Barbaresco. Does anyone know of a reputable US retailer that does Barolo EP? I haven’t gotten any inbounds from the usual retail suspects.

I tasted through most of the 16 Scavino line up last week. Modern style but all very good and drinkable today (at least for now). The Fiasc was exceptional. I was able to order whatever I wanted

My prioritized list would be:

F. Rinaldi
G. Mascarello
Elio Grasso

And if possible some B. Mascarello.

Considering how the prices are rising, I suspect this will be the last great vintage, where I can afford the baroli of the above producers in volume.

Seeing some mighty increases for 2016. 2013 and 2015 Grasso freely available for $80. 2016 Grasso getting listed for $100.

Same as usual, where I still have allocations (I hope). Not buying any en primeur though, only paying when wines are released.

B. Mascarello
G. Mascarello
G. Rinaldi
L. Pira

May pick up a case or two of Fratelli Alessandria and Poderi Colla also though as I have really liked what I have tasted from those two recently.

I buy producer over vintage, always. Pretty boring I know

Good places to have allocations [cheers.gif]. I agree about Fratelli Alessandria, I think they are making excellent wine in Verduno these days.
I am a bit curious about Luigi Pira as their prices still seem very reasonable. I still have yet to taste any of their baroli though. What is your take on this estate?

Any stateside retailers selling these en primeur?

Andreas, just to make it clear: My allocations are almost only with importers, not at the wineries unfortunately.

Regarding the wines from Giampaolo Pira: I tasted the entire line-up with him end of December and will taste again early April. I was really impressed with his effort in 2016 and intend to buy all of Margheria, Marenca and Rionda. Giampaolo has changed/improved quite a bit over the last 15 years (which is the period I’ve visited him and tasted with him) and dialled back the use of oak a lot. Today he makes transparent wines with focus on elegance and I adored his Margheria big time. His wines in ‘13 was great, in ‘14 he did not produce his Cru’s but the resulting blend was very good, his ‘15 was also more elegant and less ripe than many others. His ‘barolo normale’ is for me now an excellent qpr as is his Langhe nebbiolo.

Just saw an email from my source on 2016 Fratelli Alessandria EP.

if you can get them locked in today before any possible new tariff changes, this might be the year to really think about EP for Piedmont.

They’d still get hit with any existing tariffs upon import, right? I don’t understand how buying them now would help.

The 25% extra tariff that was imposed in October excludes Italian wines. The threatened tariffs of up to 100% which are now under consideration include Italian wines. So if those new tariffs are imposed, it would be great to get your 2016 Barolo first. Of course, it has to actually clear US customs before the new tariff hits, so until then one or both parties to any sale are taking the risk.

Hopefully, of course, both the threatened new tariffs, and the recent 25% tariff, are rescinded completely and ASAP.

The explanation given to me why Grasso prices listed at $100, is they marked them up proactively not certain of tariff situation. But even if tariffs don’t come, they will try to keep the price and sell the vintage (which AG came out today and did his part to highlight is a strong vintage).

depends on the importer/retail. Total Wine’s EP for Bordeaux purchased before the tariffs isn’t getting a price bump for the second 50% (far as I can tell at least) because the price was locked in at purchase. as I understand it, this is kind of exactly the type of situation EP is designed to benefit buyers in. if you can lock your price now before a tariff goes into effect and secure the wine, then it gets hit with a 100% tariff, then the wine is still yours as the pre-tariff price. if, on the other hand, your retailer/importer won’t guarantee that they won’t change the price if a tariff goes into effect (AFTER you have already paid for EP) then to me, time to look somewhere else for your EP.

Another dimension: Even if I do not subscribe to Vinous I noted that Gallonis score were released yesterday for the 2016 barolos. It’s interesting to see if those scores creates even higher prices for the highest rated wines (which I do not know the names os)?

For the highest rated wines they absolutely will. Vietti Ravera, Chiara Boschis Via Nuova and both Burlotto Cannubi and Monvigliero all received perfect scores. Good luck finding any of those wines at reasonable prices

Tom, thanks for the update. I’m quite happy to read those names/wines you list as Vietti & Boschis are not wines made in a style I like and Burlotto has been spoilt for buying since the first perfect score for 2013 Monvigliero.