TN: Nebbiolos (Old Barolos)

Tasting notes from a blind tasting of Nebbiolo based wines.

I wondered if anyone would have the chutzpah to offer up a Nebbiolo from anywhere but Italy – and they didn’t. We started out with two starter wines:

2018 Angelo Negro Roero Arneis – this was a special batch made for the US importer The Piedmont Guy, and it was bottled unfiltered so was slightly cloudy. Nice lemony nose that developed some mint after awhile, and a ripe pear element. Very nice.

2017 Proprietà Sperino Rosa del Rosa – this is a rose made from 85% Nebbiolo and 15% Vespolina and it is a knock out Rose! Orange-salmon coloured with a floral nose with some strawberry, and a beautifully balanced wine on palate with a smooth lengthy finish that accentuated the citrus flavours. A real stand out!

2016 Arpepe Il Pettirosso Nebbiolo – This wine was wisely offered ahead of the heavier Piedmont wines. It was pale garnet colour and the nose had cherry with an undercurrent of forest floor and mushroom that was in a way almost Burgundian. Nice showing.

1989 Pio Cesare Barolo Ornato – this one was from my cellar, purchase on release back in the early 1990s. Still fairly dark in colour, with a clear rim with a nose that included leather notes, roses and some subtle spices. Good length and very good wine. Glad I still have more.

1996 Pio Cesare Barolo Ornato – still dark with a tar and dark cherry nose, a fair bit of acidity but all in all well balanced and the tannins smoothing out.

1999 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Ovello – dark, with earthy notes and hints of tar. Well balanced with a savoury finish. I probably am holding 10 cases of Produttori spanning 35 years or so and needless to say it is one of my favourite producers.

2001 Domenico Clerico Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra – quite traditional floral based nose with hints of mint, lots of oak showing, and a fair bit of tannin, this picked up some strawberry and herbal elements with time. Needs more ageing.

2010 Elio Sandri Barolo Perno – another wine with marked wood in the nose, but also a well balanced wine with lots of sweet fruit notes. I was pleased at this showing as I have 2010 and 2012 quietly sitting in the cellar – no rush!

We had finished the main event but still had cheese to go so I hit the cellar for a bottle of:

1994 Azienda Agricola Taurino Patriglione – showed a dry plummy nose with some heat and plummy fruit – went well with cheese.

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