TN: 1989 Roberto Voerzio Barolo La Serra

Home alone, I decided to pop this with a ribeye. I should have opened it earlier, but it sure is showing well now!

1989 Roberto Voerzio Barolo La Serra - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo (8/10/2009)
Tight as a drum on opening. Tannic and nearly flavorless for 2 hours. Even a ribeye couldn’t pry it open, but after 3 hours it is slowly opening up.

Open 4 hours: Now we’re talkin’! Classic Barolo nose of tar, cherries, roses, and white truffles. Fabulously rich in the mouth with a long penetrating finish of tar, licorice, figs, and black cherries. There is a hint of old wood and still plenty of tannin, but no sign of a modernist signature. This should drink well for the next 12 years, but needs several hours open if you want to drink it now. 94 points for now. Might be even better tomorrow. (94 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

Nice choice for a night alone…less to share…enjoy.

Voerzio is nice. Come to think of it 1989 is nice, too.

Day 2 Update: I poured the leftovers back in the bottle and put it in the fridge. I also left some out in my glass over night. Tonight at dinner (exposed to the air for 24 hours) the wine was wonderful. Very expressive nose of tar, dried cherries, and damp woods. In the mouth, the wine is still quite rich with that classic tannic structure I’ve found in all good 89 Barolos. Goes beautifully with my Buffalo Bolognese over whole wheat spaghetti.

The wine that had been in the fridge was a little more youthful with richer sweeter fruit. Either way, this wine would seem to have a bright future.

The BAD side of this is – I have been more or less assuming that 20 years was a good target date for drinking my better Barolos. To hear about one that is THIS unyielding after 20 years is disheartening.

Some of these wines may have a brighter future than I do.

Ken, don’t tell me you’ve been letting this wine bed down next to your '89 Giacosa Rionda Riserva all these years - what would Bruna say [wink.gif]

You know, lately I’m starting to think that there were no bad wines made in '89 - I’m sure there were, but everything I’ve tried recently has been kicking butt & taking names.

1989 is an unusually structured vintage. But then again so are 1996 and 1999.

In any case, if you like tannin, this is wonderfully drinkable now with 4-6 hours of air. And if you don’t like tannin, what the heck are you buying Barolo for? [basic-smile.gif]

Sadly, I own no bottles of 89 Rionda, which I consider the greatest wine I have ever drunk.

So I would hope Bruna would say “Here Ken, here’s a case for your cellar.” flirtysmile

Actually, I bought this wine only a few years ago. I wanted to try an older Voerzio because I had never enjoyed a young one all that much. But Antonio said they become more classic with age. I figured, if not in 89, then when? Plus, it was only $88!

I have come to the exact same conclusion over the last few years. Interestingly, there are not many on the market. Maybe you and I are not the first to figure this out?

Unfortunately, you do wonder how many bottles were consumed far too young - to me, at age 20 they are finally starting to enter that plateau of maturity, and great wines, like the aforementioned Rionda, may be spectacular for another 30 years (not that I will necessarily be around to enjoy them at that time). I have high hopes that the '01 Le Rocche will experience a much more rapid aging trajectory than the '89 Rionda - otherwise, my kids will be enjoying the wine [wink.gif]

Hi Ken,

Thanks for the note, amazing producer.

A photo for you of Davide, when I was there in 2007.


Agree with the comment about 89s having been drunk too young. A recent bottle of 89 Marengo Brunate was beautiful, with allusions to Beppe Rinaldi… My few bottles of this beauty are long long gone…

nice bargain! $88 for a 89 Roberto huh.

86 was an outstanding year for Giacosa. Better than 85 in Barolo. Not sure why. I don’t think that’s true for anyone else.