Amazing night of Barolo, in what was a farewell of sorts to a very dear friend.
The wines were from an old wine lover and bottle shop owner in the 1970-80’s in Western Sydney who had a soft spot for the wines of Giovanni Scanavino. The wines have been stored since purchase in an underground double brick passive cellar.
I am still simply shaking my head at the fact that we were discussing 4 different vintages of Barolo of around 40 years of age and picking out their vintage characteristics as the wines were just so pure and clean and fresh. Well made Barolos’ ability to age is breathtaking.
The 67 was unfortunately not really drinkable the other 4 (71, 74, 78, 79) were all amazing in their own way, the 78 more floral and lifted dark cherry and plum, the 79 slightly more alcoholic and brandied the notes. The 74 with lots of structure and length and the 71 soft and more delicate yet with a nice backbone. They were constantly evolving in the glass over the course of about 3 hours.
We started off with a 1973 Pommery champagne which was showing wonderfully, some bead still evident, honey colour, really nice aromatics, brioche, and caramelised characteristics. A nice young 2011 Crawford River Riesling followed by a fantastic 2000 Muller-Catoir Spatlese which had just enough acid to keep it fresh and a really good depth of fruit to make it interesting.
After the Barolos we had a 1978 Scanavino Barbera, which was showing beautifully, more plums and a richness on the palate with a deeper colour.
A cheeky 1971 Bullers Calliope Shiraz was showing surprisingly well, rich dark cherry and raspberry, very much in the current mold of the Calliope style big, rich and almost port like. It also opened up in the glass.
Then a lovely Ripasso(?) style 1948 Leone de Castris, Negrino, this was all fruit cake, brandy, kirsch. Great way to finish.
Food was Italian with lots anti-pasto, calamari, pizza, tiramisu to keeps us going for the 4-5 hours and they let us take our time which we really appreciated.
Great ‘casual’ night of wines and good friends.