TNs: 2001 Barolo & Barbaresco Ten Years After Retrospective

On the 01 Monprivato, he mumbled something and didn’t want us to taste it. It was not a precise communication as I had foolishly offered to speak in French because my traveling companion didn’t speak Italian. I think Mauro equates French with Provencal, which to him is pretty much the same as Piemontese dialect, which he naturally spoke at a mile a minute. But I’m not sure I’d have found his Piemontese accent in Italian any easier to understand!

Chris, thanks for the advice. I’ll wait on the 99 seeing how it’s my only bottle. Sounds like it would be a shame to drink too early.

+1 (except I’ve only had the 1999 and love it)
My experience: there was a brief window for the 1999 that lasted maybe a year and then it shut down for what will be a long time; closest thing I’ve had to great Burgundy from a Nebbiolo wine

Thanks for the great notes. Regarding the Ornato, I’ve had it a few times over the past years and it has been really nice on each showing.

Hi Rico - welcome to the “other side”! Glad to see you posting here. Great wines. Have a few of these in my cellar including your WOTN Giacosa Rabaja RIserva. In retrospect the price now seems like a bargain!

take care


Great stuff Rico, thanks for the detailed notes.
Best Regards

We opened the 2001 Vietti Roche at the end of the Berserkerfest two weeks ago at Barbetta. I brought it. By itself, it would have been an excellent wine, but compared to the well aged other stuff we had, frankly, it tasted like crap to me. We had a 1961 Vietti that was about 30 times better; the 1970 Monfortino (the other wine I brought) was about 100 times better, the 1985 Produttori Barbaresco Rabaja was about 99 times better, etc. etc. For me, it was a real eye opener about the advantages of aging. The 2001 made my mouth implode with raging tannins. It was so tight I thought my right cheek was going to be sucked out my left ear. We had it as the last nebbiolo of the night, so my mouth was conditioned by the silkyness of the well-aged wines. I recorked it with about a half botle left and we drank it the next night, when it had calmed down a bit and showed very well, but still with none of the beauty of the older wines. I have about two cases of the 2000s and a case or two of the 2001s. They are going to sleep for as long as I can keep my hands off them and I am now focusing on buying well-aged wines to fill in my cellar for the short haul.

Great notes. Welcome to the community, can’t wait to read more!

Haven’t been able to locate the decanter report, but it’s hard to imagine anyone with any wine savvy in their right mind that would claim any Piedmonte vintage was going into decline at ten years, let alone any of the more serious vintages. Is this truly what they said?

Yeah right Rico, all for science… and a great excuse to open some Barolo.

I was wondering, Have you had some bad experiences with them? Across the board or specific bottles?

Brilliant write up sir and sorry to miss this!

Eric – That would be correct, all in the name of science and nothing more. [cheers.gif] No, I’ve not had any bad experiences with the ‘99s in a general sense. what I’m referring to is avoiding over-oxygenating in order to not encourage the wines to close in on themselves and shut down. I think some of them are still in that mode.

John, I’m surprised more people don’t read Decanter. The article I refer to ran back in the Spring and centered around a panel tasting of the 2001 Baroli in which they concluded the wines were advancing quickly and in a broader sense generally dismissed the vintage as not being as great as originally hyped. This was a hotly discussed in June on the Galloni “In the Cellar” Forum. Strange article indeed!

Jay, like you, I generally drink older wines (have had the ‘70 Monfortino many times and the ’85 PdB Rabaja from both 750 and magnum, again many times, so I know those wines well enough and love them, have not had that Vietti though) but there is much to be learned from drinking wines across their entire development curve and I get great joy and always learn from it. Your comparison of 1970 Monfortino - as one example – to a 2001 Barolo is Apples and Oranges. For me, context is everything in comparison tastings and tossing around dismissive hyperbole on the 2001s strikes me as missing the mark on a 2001 Retrospective where the entire tasting is centered around one vintage, not vintages spanning four decades. The one thing I have great confidence in saying is that the 2001 Vietti Rocche is most definitely not crap! But I do understand that compared to the older wines you were also tasting it didn’t have the aged, patina’d grandeur. I would expect that. Just my two cents.

Chris Bernsen, encouraging to hear your experiences with Ornato 2001 have been far better than our bottle showed. Our bottle was certainly flawed and the real concern should be whether the flaw affects a large portion of the production, or if it’s an anomaly. To that regard, Rasoul’s note is most definitely of concern. Ironically Nicolai Soegaard just posted a comment on the Galloni Board as follows “Rico, great notes - as always!! Last Monday I had the 2001 Barolo Cascina Francia with Roberto Conterno himself. It was brought by him from his own cellar and it was nothing short of superb. It was, however, surprisingly “mature” compared to what I had expected. It was of course by no means fully mature, but it was drinking VERY well. It was a truly special experience to drink it with Roberto himself.” Encouraging to know, but I won’t feel comfortable until bottles from my cellar show the way they’re supposed to.

Cousin Bill Boykin, phone call coming your way……today, I promise!

Walt, great seeing you again over there, man, what I’ve been missing, so many long lost acquaintances! Good to be here.

Nathan, thanks for explaining, I understand what you’re saying. In my experiences with ACs wines of ’99, 00 & now 01 the wines have been developing in a very positive direction for my palate. Recent ’99 Cicala and Colonnello were quite lovely and not over extracted for my taste.

Jeb, will call you also today, we need to figure out the deal with an upcoming 1996 Fifteen Years After Tasting.

Nice notes. Thank you. For what it’s worth, drank a bottle of the 01 Giacosa Barbaresco St. Stefano less than a month ago, and it was an ethereal beauty. Not a big wine, just a haunting bouquet with a complex balanced palate. Have tried the Monprivato 3 times with the last bottle about a year ago. Didn’t think much of the first 2 bottles and my reaction to the 2nd bottle was much like yours. Shocked as to how much better the most recent bottle was as contrasted to the first 2. It really firmed up in the bottle with massive delicious red fruits and other complex elements. Have 3 left and hope they continue to evolve.

I wrote much more carefully than that. I did not say it was crap. I said that compared to the other wines we had, it tasted like crap. Specifically, I said, “By itself, it would have been an excellent wine, but compared to the well aged other stuff we had, frankly, it tasted like crap to me.” Once my palate was conditioned by the older wines, the 2001 was unacceptable. I have opened many 2001s by themselves and they are pleasurable if you focus on the wines you are drinking as the reference point.

Who is this Rico feller and why is he drinking all the good wine?


I thought that Vastola dude was drinking all the good stuff! Denoted Giacosa whore that he is :~) GANJA’s rule!

Jay, 'perciate the clarification. It would seem we’re on the same page.

The Vastola dude, by the way, was the one who brought the 1985 Produttori Rabaja to the Berserkerfest, which was a phenomenal wine. I would say 95-96 points and I might give that score to one out of every 50-100 wines I taste.