TNs:85,88 Clos de Mesnil,89,90 Monprivato,93 Collina Rionda,03 Roagnas,87 Monfortino

A few belated notes from NY’s eve with family and friends:

Started out…and could have finished with a sublime bubbly duo that included one of the best Champagnes I can remember sipping,the 88 CdM.
Towering complexity of citrus,bread,apples and tight bubbles that tickled and delighted us and proved to be a great foil for the 85:more accessible and sweet with the 88 showing what a giant it is and so many more years left to savor.
Sadly our last bottles…the prices of these 2 have become wicked,so not likely to see again…but who knows?

After slow Oing for most of the day we all circled the table to drink:

89,90 Mascarello Monrivato
Always a big favorite of mine the 89 was a big bruiser,especially when drunk with the 90,but showing dense sweet balsam,rose petal and violets with a lot of depth,letting us know that it’s going to be around for a while at this level.The 90 was characteristic of its vintage with a more in your face opulence and fruitcake fruitiness,but not cloying.Super duo to taste side by side.Also we had:

93 Giacosa Collina Rionda,03 Roagna Paje,Rionda,03 Monprivato
The last year for Bruno’s access to the Rionda vineyard still produced the telltale Rionda character with sweet beguiling spice,and was an interesting companion to the Roagna.IMO drinking at peak and…sorry to see that era end at House Giacosa.
Exciting things are happening at Roagna these days,especially since 03, and the Rionda and Paje are sterling examples of that winemaking.The 03Rionda has,for my taste,unmistakable hints of the legendary Giacosa Riondas,and I look forward to the 04,and 05s…especially the Riservas.
The Paje was really the revelation of the night with super balance and sexy spice box,pine liqueur and a lot of depth.Take the 96 and ramp it up big time and you have the 03.
The 03 Monprivato seems to have,at least in this bottle,to have shut down a bit in comparison to a few others I’ve had in the past 6 months.I was curious as to whether this would ever happen,thinking it might resemble the 98 somewhat in that it would be relatively charming and accessible early and often…but it continues to affect the burgundian nuance that Monprivato often shows and was as usual a pleasure to drink.So…we finished off last but not least with the:

87 Monfortino
Obviously a different beast,the 87 mimicked my last outing in that it was sexy,open soaring in sweet leatherosity,subtle dry citrus laden tannins with a finish that just coated the tongue and gullet.Great stuff from an overlooked year.

All in all a very successful and pleasurable evening with young and old Family and friends,good music and the grub wasn’t bad…

+1 on the 88 CdM. Having it again at the end of the month.

[welldone.gif] You finally sobered up enough to post these. [stirthepothal.gif]

Did you have the Roagna Rionda and the Giacosa Rionda side by side?

Sober?I wouldn’t go that far,but vertical at times,yes…but verticality is a relative and controversial concept,yes? neener

Yep…and very enlightening as well as pleasurable.

Nice line-up.

Two great vintages of Clos du Mesnil - I give the slight edge to the '88.

Recently drank the two Monprivato’s side by side and found the '90 to have a bit too much oak for my preferences, but still an excellent wine.

Monprivato is my Barolo sweet spot. Nice notes.

Yeah,the 88 really touches all the buttons,eh?

Don’t know where that oak is coming from…but certainly for me,the 90s Nebbiolo,except from some isolated big boys,have increasingly become “monolithic” compared to the 89s…always a good topic to discuss while drinking them side by side…

90 is a great vintage for Barolo. They just shouldn’t be drunk next to the monumental 89s. It makes them seem relatively modern and one-dimensional. Mauro uses only large Slavonian oak barrels, rarely new.

Yeah,remember when we drank that 90 Thoroughly Modern Monfortino?

Thanks for the notes Bill,

It’s difficult to imagine a better, deeper, more balanced & characterful Bubbly than the '88 Clos du Mesnil.
I’ll consider myself lucky if I taste it’s equal again.


What’s changed at Roagna since 2003?

Luca Roagna ,generally speaking,has been able,for a variety of reasons,to become more intimate with the winemaking and personal access to the rough product from the Rionda vineyard (heretofore accessed primarily by Giacosa)…therefore creating basically a new wine.
New facilities,more experience and amping up the quality of the Barbarescos,specifically the Paje, and better winemaking with one foot solidly in the past and one in the present has occurred…providing exciting fresher,more stable wines available.

Uncle Bill, did you just take a short course in posting from RMP? [tease.gif]

O …no,…say …it …ain’t so…Joe! [training.gif]

…and,you’re all motherfuc*ers and don’t know shit… neener

…and,you all are…also… … sanpaku