97 vs 98 vs 00 Barolo / Barbaresco

Which is the stronger vintage for Barolo / Barbaresco?

  • 1997
  • 1998
  • 2000

0 voters

Curious what people think of these three. I don’t think too many people would pick any of these over 96, 99 or 01, but these are all still pretty good vintages, albeit with their issues.

Alright who’s voting for what and why?

I picked 98 over 00 by a hair, but could go the other way too. 98’s are usually more balanced, though 00’s can be a bit more exciting and concentrated. Counter to that and the reason I voted as I did is that I’ve had a lot of 00’s that are lacking freshness if not a touch stewed or hot. 97 is worse than 00 to me and a clear 3rd place.

To be honest, I’ve never understood the desire for people to group '98 with the other two vintages. While certainly a warmer year than, say, '99, it did not seem to suffer the extremes in heat that the other two vintages did. And, as Claude Kolm alluded to in the other thread, maybe my impressions are just colored by the wines I have tried. The '98 Cascina Francia is every bit a classic wine from Conterno, as is the Giacosa Falletto Barolo and Asili Barbaresco. And while wines from Giuseppe & Bartolo Mascarello have been surprisingly accessible in their early years, based upon how balanced these wines show, I do not believe that this early drinkability necessarily infers an inability to age and develop further nuance.

In other words, in my limited sampling of these vintages, I have not turned up the raisined and/or overripe samples of nebbiolo in '98 like I have in either of the other two vintages, so to me it was an easy question to answer (unlike your other poll). Maybe if I had tried different wines, I would have a different opinion.

I voted for 2000 because the Wine Spectator gave it 100 points! [stirthepothal.gif]

Bruno Giacosa feels that his 2000s are the best wines he has made.

My vote was only a guess. I’ve been drinking some wines from these vintages, but most of them are too young.

I did find it interesting how little response this thread got vote-wise as compared to the other thread Josh posted. Maybe we are spoiled by all the allegedly great vintages recently released, but these years are still pretty good in the overall scheme of a decade like the 80’s.

I must confess, I didn’t even SEE it!

Perhaps I looked at it briefly, and assumed it was the other thread, since it is similarly named.

I voted for '98, although I have a decent amount of '00 as well, but have not ventured near the corkscrew to try any.

You know, Todd, with a little air a number of the 2000’s are already drinking well - I’m thinking here of some of the Produttori riservas specifically, but I seem to recall once that you mentioned you like your nebbiolo young, so you might want to consider checking out some of your 2000 stash.

Except that my 2000’s are my best Baroli!

2000 Azienda Bricco Rocche (Ceretto) Barolo Bricco Rocche
2000 Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo Riserva Gran Bussia

Yeah, I agree, no point in opening those right now.

I don’t have much experience with Ceretto but I’ve had some good experience with infanticide on Aldo Conterno wines, including Granbussia. I wouldn’t do it if you have less than 3-4 bottles, and no doubt it is still a decade out from any real maturity. On the flip side, though, an 00 Colonello was one of the top 5 Barolo I opened in the past year probably. In terms of pure and simple enjoyment, it was nothing but win.

From my [admittedly very limited] experience, I’d say that Aldo Conterno’s [recent] style is expressly tailored for infanticide - the interesting question would be whether the style proves ageworthy.