Barolo and Barbaresco:2007 vs 2008. What is you personal opinion?

Reading various posts it appears there is a lot more love for the 2008 in Piemonte than for 2007. Based on Galloni’s reports I purchased:
Vietti (Rocche, Brunate, Lazzarito),
Voerzio (Brunate, Cerequio, Rocche del Annunziata),
Giacosa (Falletto, S Stefano, Asili Riserva),
Giacomo Conterno Cascina Francia.
P Scavino Cannubi

So I would like to canvass the boards’ opinion based on personal tastings- how do you rate 2007 and 2008 vintages in general?
Have you tasted any of the above wines in particular and compared their 2008 counterparts?


I wish I wasn’t first as there are many far more knowledgeable members here, but I do have some experience with these two vintages, and a great love for the wines in general.

2008 - potentially great for some producers, probably very good for many, but too early to tell and based mostly on Langhe nebbs as I’ve cracked only a couple of Barbarescos.

2007 - promise of an early drinking vintage with some structure has not been born out at this early stage, with the Langhe wines turning (for me) ponderously heavy and lacking vitality. Who knows - may just need to shed some baby fat. On the other hand, the wines of the Alto Piemonte show much better structure and energy, and may have even benefited from the riper vintage. I particularly like Antoniolo and Ferrando’s wines from '07, but haven’t tasted any of their '08s.

I’m 48, I am treading very cautiously with the 2008s, as I fear I will be long gone before they properly mature. That being said, I have bought several cases worth already.

2007 is not to the level of 2008, but it will come around quicker. I just hope it’s not too hot for my tastes. My guess is that in 20 years the 2007 will be drinking well, but people will be asking if the 2008s will take another 15 or 20 years to come around.

After tasting both vintages at many producers, I am only buying only one or two 2007s but a great many 2008s. 2007 is too hot and ripe for my taste while the 2008s are beautifully balanced and precise.
Having watched the evolution of really ripe years like 1997 and 2000, I know that 2007 is not for me (and neither is 2009).
That said, I am really looking forward to the 2010s.

Perhaps this should be a separate thread, but in these days of phenolic ripeness and sweet tannins, why should it take any wine 30 years to fully mature?

2007 is more “modern” and presents earlier drinking opportunities. 2008 is more “classic” and will likely need much more time.

I was at an Oddero tasting a couple weeks ago and asked this question of Isabella Oddero, who said that 2007 was touted by critics (for ripeness, early accessibility, etc) but that producers overwhelmingly favored the more classic 2008. I didn’t find their 07 Barolo too hot or flabby, but it was quite open already and bordering on juicy, almost Barbera-like. The 08 was a bit lighter weight and more structured, sublte, and complex.

Here are my notes from Antonio Galloni’s La Festa del Barolo 2 years ago. 3 flights of 07s and one of 06s.

I hope to have my notes up soon from this year’s tasting which is almost entirely 08s.

The 07s are ripe and will drink well much sooner. They are excellent wines in general, but if you don’t like a lot of ripeness, you should stick to the most classic producers. Then plan on drinking them over the next 20-30 years. I think the 07s are a lot like 1985, not as big or classic as 1982 or 1989, but delicious wines well worth drinking, with many still drinking well today.

The best 08s will be considered great in 20-30 years when they are finally ready to drink.

Those who complain about Barolo taking too long, should buy 2007.

I’m with Kevin on this. While I agree that the 08s may be more “classic” than 07 on a relative basis, my tastings of a great many 08s don’t at all suggest that they won’t be enjoyable for 15-20 years as some have said – I’ve found them to be quite pleasurable now. Certainly they’re less obvious than the 07s and will improve significantly with age, but in my experience they’ve been surprisingly been pretty damn tasty at this stage (especially given what I had read early on). I’ve not encountered searing tannins or harsh wines needing a decade to integrate in any of the 08s I’ve tasted…

Full disclosure: I really like aged Nebbs, generally, if they have less than 20 years, they are not ready for me.

I can add nothing new to the spot on above points made by many (but posting regardless to include my experiences with the traditional producers, which are the only ones I bother with): 2007 was a warm year and as such wines are more forward, accessible younger and 2008 is pure classic nebbiolo slow ripening in a cool year so wines are impeccably balanced and will develop for eons.
My early comparisons are 2007 to 2000 and 2008 to 1999. And 2009 falls into the former bucket and 2010 into the latter.

Which ones caught your attention in 2007 and which were bit hot? Curious.



2007 ranges from disastrous to very good. There are far too many wines that are out of balance with low acid, high alcohol, and in some cases overly aggressive tannins. Producer with cooler sites or those who were comfortable picking early made very nice wines which combine richness of fruit with freshness but it is one of the most irregular vintages of the past decade.

2008 is far more regular, the wines reflect a cool vintage and so are lean and aromatic, though they are fleshing out nicely in the bottle. The 2007s reveal themselves quickly but the 2008s require your attention. Some may favor the immediacy of the 07s but on a qualitative level there is no comparison for me.

If you prefer the style of the 07s then I would suggest waiting for the 09s which are in a similar style but show more vitality in the glass, though in 2009 again you’re going to find plenty of wines with elevated alcohol.

Thanks for your overview of both vintages. Much appreciated. Any specific comments on the wines I purchased especially the G Conterno -Cascina Francia or Bruno Giacosa?

Have you seen my report in the 2008s? With the exception of the Mascarello that I decanted forever, the wines showed very well. 2008 is a classic vintage with structure and ripeness. They will turn into gorgeous wines with perfumed complexity in 15 to 20 years. But the fruit is so great that they are approachable now. They are not closed. Franco Conterno, Elisa Scavino, and Cristina Oddero all repeated this to me. It’s a great vintage.

2007 is like Tuscany. The analogy to the 2006 Tuscans is apt. It’s a drink me now vintage that will charm early but will not be the best candidate to age. I’m 45 and still bought considerable 2008s. I will buy more when wines I want are finally released. I’ve not bought any 2007s and I’ve been told by distributors that the vintage makes a great restaurant vintage.

Hope that helps.

I really didn’t find any '07s that I was wild about. I did buy some 2007 G. Mascarello Monprivato but that was more because I enjoy the producer’s style than it was about the vintage.

I think the question is - How much do you enjoy vintages like 1997 and 2000? For me the answer is “not much” with some exceptions (like 2000 Giacosa Asili).

FWIW, I have been drinking some '08s (Like Grasso and Castello Verduno) even now. They are young and structured but lack the aggressive tannin of Barolos made 20-30 years ago.

There are plenty of producers in these regions making wines that are still built for the long haul.

Greg is too modest to plug his more detailed assessment of 2008 on

I get that a wine with the right bones can live 30 years and longer. It just seems to me that since the starting point in most cases is vastly improved compared to the days of harsh, green, tannins and under-ripe fruit, that it should be able tp peak sooner and hold for a long time.

With respect to how recent barolos and barbarescos will age, while I certainly cannot speak from the vast experience several of the other members have, it is obviously a truism that regardless of experience, no one can really know how a wine will age going forward. It may be that Michael is right – i.e. that 2008s will peak sooner and hold for a long time. Or, it might be that they will continue to improve and be among the most profound nebbiolos ever made in 30-40 years time. OR – and this seems somewhat more likely to me – it may be that the 2008s drink pretty well now, will drink well for another 10-15 years with some interesting changes and maybe even some improvement, but full maturity will be much sooner, and the delta between where they are now and where they are at their peak will never be close to what we have seen from barolos and barbarescos in the past.

Only time will tell.