TN: 1978 Marcarini Barolo Brunate (Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo)

  • 1978 Marcarini Barolo Brunate - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo (1/15/2022)
    This has been upright for months waiting the right day. Double decanted for sediment and drunk several hours later over a coupe hours and one glass the next day.

Day one. A tertiary, multifaceted nose with porcini, dried rose, decaying leaves, tar; red nebbiolo fruit, rosehip, and pot pourri on the nose. Midweighted with terrific palate presence. It’s expansive yet detailed and chiseled like many of the Cogno era Brunates. Texturally, oddly it reminds me a bit of Monprivato. Lovely inner mouth perfume with dried roses, cured meat, porcini, and red fruits. There is a lot going on, but nothing sticking out, and what really does it for me is the simultaneous detail coupled with a broad palate presence. This has sense of clarity and jewel like focus. Power without weight. There is beautifully balanced acidity and a sense of depth to this decidedly graceful wine. It’s hard to express, but there is sense of calm in this wine. It just is. Very long on the back end, with more dried roses, tar, and inner perfume, more on the dried leaves and floral more than balsam spectrum. A harmonious, beautiful wine.

When cleaning up the following AM, I realized there was another glass left in the open bottle. Sunday brunch it is. If anything, the wine has gained more sap and density, while using none of its jeweled focus. It has more depth, with all of the grace. Very long. Terrific. 95 (95 pts.)

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The ‘78 Marcarini Brunate was my epiphany wine in the mid/late 90’s. I went to an old Italian restaurant, Del Rio in Highwood IL (now open for 90 years!), and told them I wanted a mature Barolo to learn from, and this is what they brought.

I was used to Shiraz and Zinfandel at the time, so I thought it had no fruit at all, just tar, my father’s baseball glove, and cobwebs. I was enchanted, and immediately started buying wines to lay down. In hindsight, of course it had fruit, just not compared to Shiraz.

Thanks for the memory, Todd.