Good evening all,
As alluded to in a few other threads lately, now that I am 45 and have a cellar full of wines I know and love- and which should last a lifetime based on my consumption rates, and especially given current pricing on many fronts- 2019 is the year where I slow buying dramatically. For a handful of Burgs and German wines- I will do a few bottles a year for a bit longer- but I would also like to put some serious attention on an area where I have long had interest but have little experience. Namely Piemonte- and specifically, Barolo and Barbaresco.
I spent a lot of time considering my cellar this year, and even based on my sparse TNs for the Piemonte region, it is clear that is a gaping hole in my collection and how I plan to make use of it. It is not just the wines and their character that I am lacking- but also some additional emphasis on wines that will enter their drinking windows over the next 10-12 years while most of my French reds are still slumbering. Plus it will be nice to have the fun of starting over again one last time exploring a new region.
And while I realize this is a very general question, I have done a good bit of homework and come up somewhat confused. It would appear there is a great deal of turmoil over the “modern” vs. “traditional” concepts (with each term subject to enormous personal interpretation), but also that quite a few wineries are moving about within those categories of late- it seems more fluid like California than in the case in Bordeaux and Burgundy where the lines have been drawn and seem rarely crossed of late.
Today was a perfect example- I was offered a six pack of 2011 Paolo Scavino Barolo Riserva Novantesimo. Given the price, I wanted to try something less expensive from Scavino first and grabbed a library release of their 2006 Barolo Carobric. Got home and started researching to find a great deal of disdain for Scavino from the traditionalist camp, a couple of raving TNs for this particular 2011 from people I trust and whose palates are aligned with mine, and also claims they have been dialing back the oak of late such that the $100 bottle of the 2006 I will open tomorrow may not tell me quite what I need to know.
And so I post here to with thanks for any knowledge and ideas I can add to my current starting point.
A few data points to assist in any recommendations,
My TNs for Barolo are few- but by far my greatest love and admiration has been for Bruno Giacosa wines 1990 and prior. No TNs for subsequent vintages- just starting my career when the 96s went through the roof and could not afford them. Rumors of stylistic issues concurrent with internal family matters kept me away after.
I do not care for any of the Gaja wines anymore. I used to like the Barbarescos young, but with time the newer vintages (mid 90s and later) are rather anonymous with age to my palate.
On the Tuscany side- do not care for the SuperTuscans or Pergole Torte. Same issue as Gaja- tasty young, but lacking distinction with age.
The two Tuscan wines I do love and cellar right now are Soldera in any vintage and, when I can find them, single vineyard Val di Suga wines in stronger vintages.
The two Piemonte I have “discovered” recently and plan to buy in every vintage for a few years are E. Pira & Figli (Chiara Boschis) Barolo Cannubi and Bartolo Mascarello Barolo.
These wines will, for the most part, be consumed with simple and hearty fare relevant to their regions, as I do with French wines. So I am seeking harmonious mid-weights with good acidity and a preference for aromatics over volume. Think Chateau Magdelaine or Meo-Camuzet (my two largest holdings in Bordeaux and Burgundy, respectively.) Experience has taught me to not ask for modern vs traditional recommendations, but suffice to say the wines need to be very strong in the aromatics department and not too heavy handed with the oak.
Thanks for any thoughts. I will be tasting before buying- and welcome any help getting a good selection of things to start with. And I would ask in particular about Aldo Conterno- I have very good access to all of their wines and from what I have read they seem a good potential fit.