A Baroli tasting- Giacosa, G Conterno, Roagna, R Ratti, Ceretto, Voerzio, Gaja, Cappellano, Altare

A Baroli tasting with my friends. Essentially communes of Serralunga and La Morra.

Wines and brief tasting notes

White wine to kick off
2010 Livio Felluga Friulano
Great nose. Lovely herbal and white flowers on nose. Quite glycerolly on the palate. Soft minerally acid underpinning the fruit. A pleasant wine.

Bracket 1

2005 Roagna Vigna Rionda
Light red. Subdued tar and roses nose. Slightly astringent tannins but very good structure and full length across the palate. Nice fruit. I quite liked it.

2004 Renato Ratti Rocche
Deep red. A completely different style to the Roagna. Initially there was a fly tox on the nose replaced by more VA. A very rich and oak feel to the palate that lost varietal significance. Few thought it may get in to balance and show better down the track but I was underwhelmed. Also not sure whether this bottle was representative of the style and maker.

Bracket 2

2006 Giacomo Conterno Cascina Francia
Amazing wine. Beautiful bouquet. Florals, dried cherry fruit and some dustiness to smell. Very burgundian in feel and balance. Exquisite balance. Great fruit length and tannins on the back palate giving tremendous palate length. WOTN.

2000 Ceretto Bricco Rocche Brunate
Faded roses, tar and red cherries on the nose. Rich fruit, lovely balance between fruit and tannins. A forward style that is drinking well now.

Bracket 3

2005 Bruno Giacosa Falleto
This was not showing well and hence another bottle was opened on the spot-

2005 Bruno Giacosa (non-single vineyard)
Delicate tar and roses style with a very tannic back palate. Excellent wine, still young and needs more time to develop.

2007 Roberto Voerzio Cerequio
Very very rich wine. Unmistakably made in a modern style with plush fruit. The oak was more prominent initially but it did subside a bit when the wine was re tasted at the end of the night. Powerful wine. Some of it may be due to the vintage character apart from producer’s influence. On re-tasting it did show balance. Still young and relatively undeveloped. However, it was polar opposite to Cascina Francia. I haven’t tasted any older wines (15+ years) from Voerzio to really understand how they age and develop secondary characteristics.

Bracket 4

2004 Gaja Sperrs
Unusual wine. All thought it looked like a “new world pinot”. Some how it lacked the structure or minerality that we were expecting. I had tasted this wine at release with the rest of the Gaja line up and loved it but at that time were not comparing it against other producers. I am not sure what to make of it based on this tasting.

2007 Veglio Rocche dell’Annunziata
Modern style again. Very delicate red colour. Good aromatics. Forward style - lots of fruit and reasonable oak. We thought it lacks structure for ageing and it would best to drink it within the next 5-7 years.

Bracket 5

2004 Cappellano Pie Franco
Good quality perfumed fruit, with long fine tannins on the back palate. Good palate length. Nice wine. Quite understated but elegant.

2001 Elio Altare Brunate
Very modern style again with ripe fruit, lots of oak input. Wine relied more on power than elegance and refinement. I read that AG had given it 97 points in his recent retrospective of 2001 Baroli. Would be hard pressed to see 90 points. May be its just the style issue, perhaps.

I loved the Giacomo Conterno and Giacosa which may not come as a surprise but sometimes it is important to go through the motions to confirm that any way. Cappellano was nice and Roagna had its plus points. I will not buy any more Voerzio (I have a dozen bottles all up -04, 06 and 07’s in the cellar). More over, Voerzio is expensive as is Gaja. Need to look at G and B Mascarello next time.

Thanks, this is quite a varied lineup of styles. It’s interesting to see them tasted alongside each other. I would definitely be interested to see some Mascarello (either or both) in the lineup if you do something like this again. Other than the Gaja, were any of the modern-styled wines so far removed from the others that it was tough to see much similarity?

What kind of decanting regime was used?

The Voerzio.

Ideally would have loved to have them all from one vintage but my foray into Italian wines (and my friends too) is more recent and we do not have the depth currently to do so. The exercise was more an explorative one. Our wine group has an affinity to Burgundian wine especially the more subtler styles such as Rousseau, Lambrays, Mugnier, Fourrier, etc and thus some bias will be evident.

Almost all wines were double decanted 4 hours before tasting. Renato Ratti was opened 24 hours earlier.

Thanks for the explanation via email.

Just had the 1997…but the '97 Brunate and La Serra have aged WAY better…

  • 1997 Roberto Voerzio Barolo Cerequio - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo (5/11/2013)
    Picked this off a local rest list tonight for a late celebrated bday dinner…perfect with a marinated roasted chicken dish! The 97 Cerequio was very dark, almost port-like, with rich ripe dark berry(raspberry,cherry,plum) liqueured fruit…seemed from a hotter vintage? Although rich and porty…there was plenty of structure with dusty wood spiced tannins, orange acid(lower than normal)…pretty rose and earth mulch florals, Indian spice, leather. Very tasty…and perfect with the food…just more on the riper side than I’m use to…in fact, I had the 97 Brunate last year…and that wine makes this looks fat and flabby with it’s HUGE tannins and acidity.
    Drink this Cerequio NOW…tasty as hell…but not one to age any longer imo. (93 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

Great stuff Sanjay - enjoyed the notes.

Thanks for the notes. One observation: pretty much of the barolo you tasted was quite young, relatively speaking. Have most of your barolo drinking experiences to date been young wines? If not, have you found that you generally prefer younger barolo?

As someone who has only been drinking barolo for about 2 years and has never tasted nebbiolo older than 1996, I’ve been intrigued by the numerous statements on this board that barolo (at least traditional barolo from good vintages) should only be drunk after about 15 years from vintage, and I am just wondering if you have a different perspective.


Since most of us have been cellaring Barolo’s only since late 90’s, and for some only in past 6-7 years, the wines tasted reflected that and hence were young. I have tasted older Baroli in Italy last year and through one friend who is an importer. But that is still a small sample. Hopefully, we will rectify that with more our tastings.

Although, I found lots of old Baroli and Barbareschi for sale in Italy there provenance looked extremely doubtful.

Baroli, like Burgundy, would blossom and look great in 15 plus years. But this tasting gives me an early snap shot of what the styles I would like to cellar down the track.


You need to try G. Mascarello’s Monprivato for that Burgundian feel. That said, the wines you tasted were quite young and most likely were in awkward stages of development – though I make no reps regarding “modern” producers.

Yes, I need to taste some G Mascarello Monprivato. I have acquired a couple of bottles of 2004 and 2006 from a friend.