Barolo lunch gone wild: Gaja, Burlotto, Monprivato, Krug, SQN, Hammell, Bond etc...

Longtime reader, first time poster. I used to post notes frequently on the Parker board when it was thriving. I met some of my best friends from all over the country and discovered fantastic wines thanks to the community. I decided not to post on berserkers for a variety of a reasons, but as a longtime lurker I appreciate what I gain from all of your posts. I recently had a conversation with a friend I met via the Parker board about all of the good things that have come from online wine forums. I decided I’d give the posting another go.

I had a bday lunch on Saturday. The theme was Barolo, but things got pretty loose - so by the end of it <50% ended up being Barolo.

2013 Cantina Terlano Winkl Sauvignon Blanc. I love Terlano, and this is becoming my favorite of their lineup. Awesome acid and the most passionfruit I’ve ever tasted in a wine. If you like SB, seek this out.

1964 Dellavalle Spanna - light rosé color. clean pour. Aromas of Cigar smoke and anise. I doubt it is going to improve, but never faded over the course of a few hours.

1978 Gaja Barbaresco - Insane amount of color for this '78. It is my birth year, so I drink a lot of '78s, and this one was great. This came from a excellent collection with questionable storage conditions, ~50% of the wines are DOA. Lucky break on this one! Smells like mushroom and tobacco and has savory long finish.

2001 Giuseppe Rinaldi Brunante le Coste - cork appeared intact and came out fine, but the wine was totally brown and oxidized. Not sure what happened. It was my only bottle. Oh well.

2001 Giuseppe Mascarello Monprivato. This was a superstar. Floral, cedar and baking spices. I could smell this wine all night. The tannin profile and finish are what pushed this to an elevated status. Barolo perfection. Big and rich, but not over the top.

2001 Bartolo Mascarello. Had some nice fruit and concentration, but it was hard for me to get past the major VA that came across as balsamic and pickles. I’m not particularly averse to VA - but this was strong.

1995 Gaja Sperss. Dark inky power. Street tar and smoky dense fruit. Hard not to love it. Someone thought it was too young. When something is so complex and delicious I don’t think there is any harm in opening it. Drink with no regrets.

2011 Burlotto Monvigliero - I’ve never smelled such a strong olive aroma in a wine. It also had fresh strawberry and black pepper. Fascinating and one of the most interesting and unusual Piedmont wines in recent memory. Everyone loved it.

2004 Conterno Fantino Sori Ginestra - Not a shy wine. Actually quite tannic and massive. There was a little left on day 2 and it didn’t budge. No rush to open these.

2006 Flaccianello. This is where the Barolo theme started coming off the rails. Primary aroma is oak, very modern dense concentration with tons of sediment. Still youthful and just entering prime drinking. I had one earlier this year with similar impressions.

2004 Bond Melbury. Delivered exactly what you might expect. Smoky, fruit forward, meaty and lush tannins that coat your palate. Bond really has this style dialed in.

2014 Hammell Wine Alliance Amphitheatre 1. Baking spice, incense, massive fruit, everything in balance. Unfortunately I was not quick enough to order the second release and missed out. I won’t make that mistake again. Love this wine.

2003 Sine Qua Non Mr K Nobleman - Chardonnay from Alban vineyard. Very dark, almost like cola. Not sure what the RS is, but it is viscous and crazy and tastes like honey drizzled raisins. Still has acid to balance, but a thimble full is all you need.

At this point a surprise visitor came. The Chateuneuf du Pape winemaker Anne Charlotte from Font du Loup. She has north facing sandy soil vineyards and makes beautiful and restrained wines. I first had them at a panel tasting at Hospice du Rhone and was thrilled when she turned up at my place! I happened to ask what her favorite wine is, and luckily I had one. Egly Ouriet (Vignes de Vrigny). The champagne really hit the spot, so we followed with '06 Gimmonet Special Club and Krug Rosé. I wasn’t jotting notes at this point. Most of my friends are not much into bubbles, but no one seemed to mind sipping them at this point.

After all of that, we went to see Depeche Mode(first time for me). I have been listening to DM since I was a kid, so it was all around a perfect bday. Hard to nail down favorites on a night when many of the wines showed so well.

Nice first post! I hope you’ll keep posting around here. Next year will be a milestone birthday, so I expect some epic tasting notes!

Damn, dude. Happy birthday. [cheers.gif]

Hi Travis,

Welcome to the board! I, too, had a bad experience with the '01 Rinaldi. 01’s are all over the place, but I thought it might be were I sourced it. Did you have yours from release?

Travis, thanks for sharing so we can “gain from your posts”. Im big fan of Gaja Sperss although have not had the 95. Also like the Conterno Fantino Sori Ginertra and balanced Flaccianellos.

I just got some NV Krug Rose and am interested in any notes you can provide assuming your bottle was a recent release.

It`s great to have birth year wines show well on our birthdays.

Welcome back to the wine boards! I opened an 05 Nobleman recently. It was glorious.

Glad to have you posting, Travis. Thanks for the notes

Happy Birthday Travis. Haven’t opened a SQN sticky in ages…good reminder.

Thanks to everyone for encouraging Travis to post, he is also making wine from a great plot of Cab Franc from the plot David Lake made famous in Red Willow Vineyard. Getting good press too, I am looking forward to trying them myself.

Viet, I hope to live to my 40th because I have some killer '78s in 3L format. This lunch was only 7 people next year it will be a party.

Joshua, I purchased the Rinaldi recently from garagiste here in Seattle, so not a long time owner.

Blake, I love Krug, but actually prefer the non-rosé vintage or MV more - especially when you consider the price point. It had an oxidative brioche and almost apple pie like aroma. I love the wine, and happy I have one more to save for a special occasion.

I’ll try to post a pic of the aftermath.

Travis, from your reply, it seems the Krug Rose was vintage or are you just stating a preference for the NV Rose and the Grande Cuvee?

Blake, Sorry for the confusion. I love Krug, but prefer the MV and Vintage(not rosé) over the rosé. I’ve never tasted the Clos du Mesnil or Clos D’Ambonnay.

Happy Birthday and thanks for sharing all the details. Gaja ‘78 Barbaresco is an amazing wine to start with - for me a benchmark in aged Nebbiolo, maybe in all wine.

Got it- thanks.

Happy Birthday Travis! Looks like we share a birthday month!
Great notes on what must have been an amazing time; so glad to see you posting again!
That line-up is right in my wheel-house, and not that dissimilar from Jorgen’s event (minus the Riesling)
Hopefully The Good Doctor was in attendance to help celebrate and revel in the Italian beauties; btw, that Monprivato sounds out of this world.

Happy Birthday Trav! Hope to make it up for one of your shindigs before I get too old to travel. [cheers.gif] Will be drinking some older Barolos very soon, so nice to get a preview of a few. Great notes.

Should see you at HdR 2018 if not before!




Is that poor Mario slaving away doing dishes? Poor gal! :wink:

Happy Birthday Man, glad to see you posting here. Good to know on the 04 Conterno Fantino SG, I was thinking of cracking one this fall but seems like I should just stand down for a while.

welcome. Post often!

Steve, definitely see you at hospice du Rhone- wouldn’t miss it. And I’ll be in SD in June.

Dale, Mario cooks, I clean, that deal works out well for us. She made carbonara with leeks and salumi guanciale for this lunch, plus an eggplant dish and tiramisu. It was actually great to start @ 2pm, because I had several hours to catch up with h2o before going to bed, so I felt fine the next day. Hope to see you soon!

Hey, Travis–nice birthday set of wines. I just bumped into a fellow doc who lives in the neighborhood (Johnston), and it sounds like you may be within a couple of blocks of me (I’m on 43rd).