Recent visit in Piemonte - some thoughts

I am surprised to hear that Alan Manley rates the '16 vintage as only very good. In my discussions with others in the Barolo zone, it should be a top-notch vintage.

This struck me as interesting as well. Could be some reverse producer hype to better sell the neighboring vintages 15 and 17, and/or to more easily spread out allocations of 16’

Also the 16’s may not be so easy to drink at the moment?

No I wouldn’t say it is a general sentiment among the producers. Both Luigi Oddero and Produttori del Barbaresco was very passionate about the 2016 vintages and rated them both higher then both 2013 and 2010 as they find it more balanced. Burlotto and Brovia was a bit more cautious in their judgement. At Mascarello they told us that they saw both 2010 and 2013 as great vintages and that 2013 was more like 1989. They were also impressed by 2016 but for them it doesn’t reach the heights of 2010 and 2013. I guess we will have to see and taste for ourselves, but bear in mind that of all these produceres Mascarello are the one that has the least incentive to hype any vintage as their wine will be sold out anyway.

Comparing '13 to '89 seems odd since '89 was ferociously tannic, which is not a characteristic of the '13s.

Really? I thought it was more like 2015 in terms of easy-to-please ripe voluptuousness. Or at least it seemed that way after the stern 88’s.

Are you being facetious? “Easy-to-please ripe voluptuousness”? 1989?

It’s been a long time since I had an '88. That was a lesser vintage, and the wines were less concentrated than the '89s, but some evolved very nicely. An Aldo Conterno and a Giacosa I had in the mid-2000s were excellent.

Interesting comments on '16 vs '13. I exchanged notes with Fabio in May, and he said “we are satisfied about the quality of the 2015 and we think that together with 2013 and 2016 are the best vintages from 2011”.

No, not at all. They came out around the time I began exploring Piedmont wines, and I found them quite lush. Of course, I was younger then, so perhaps tannins didn’t bother me!

Andreas: Can I ask how the truffle season is going? I’ve heard it’s starting early this year. Is that true? Are there already good truffles available there?

Well we had white truffles but it was still very early in the season. They are not fully grown yet as we were also told at a restaurant. But they are still very delicious :slight_smile: .

Interesting. I thought that there was a common agreement that 2013 is a very tannic vintage with wine that needs plenty of time in the cellar.