TNs: Produttori del Barbaresco Asili and Montefico 78,82,89 verticals

Several nebbiolo lovers met in Baltimore last weekend for two nights of Barbaresco and Barolo. Aside from Zoom tastings, I had not seen any of the group since pre COVID, and we decided it had been too long. TM was the spark to get the ball rolling. JW headed down from NYC, and I from Tucson, to meet in Baltimore to take advantage of TM and HK’s generosity. This was the second night of the weekend. HK graciously opened his home and cooked some excellent food to accompany and enhance the wines. Weather cooperated and we ate on the verandah. It was a long overdue and much appreciated evening.

Starters:

Similar in nature but a bit broader than my last bottle. Brioche, apple and pear, with some citrus fruit and a chalkiness on the nose… Texturally rich, with more autolytic notes in the fore. The dosage is still a little prominent for me right now, but that said, it has excellent cut to go with its density and remains focused. Thi has a lot going on, but I think it needs time to gain some focus. 93 (93 pts.)

We started with a mushroom “risotto” using Farro. It was outstanding, and the textural component worked beautifully. The mushroom and umami notes from the reggiano particularly augmented the more mature bottles.
We did not have specific flights with course, but worked our way through everything as we went.


[]1971 Filippo Sobrero & Figli Barolo - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo (10/16/2021)
Produttori Asili and Montefico at Castello Kahn ‘78,’ 82, and '89 (Baltimore): A lovely mature nose. Red fruited nebbiolo fruit, rose petal, some porcini, and subtle medicinal notes. Midweighted, sappy, and graceful on the palate with a textural resemblance, that I am not sure if it is power of suggestion, that had but some echoes of the 01 Monprivato the night before. Drinking extremely well and while I suspect it will hold, I cannot see a reason to wait. A great start to the night. (93 pts.)


[
]1967 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Rabajà - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco (10/16/2021)
Produttori Asili and Montefico at Castello Kahn ‘78,’ 82, and '89 (Baltimore): a bit flat and not what it can be. with time TCA announced itself. bummer. NR (flawed)[/list]
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Bummer on the Rabaja, as that wine can be stellar.

After we finished the “Farrosotto”, we moved to the next course as we worked our way through the wines. HK braised a pork shoulder with subtle complimentary seasoning, stuffed baked squash, and a potato and cabbage dish that we ate family style. It was all very well done with the dishes each accenting different aspects of the wines.

Asili Flight


[*]1978 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco Riserva Asili - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barbaresco (10/16/2021)
Decanted for 5 hours then put back in the bottle for dinner. Drunk alongside the 82 and 89

A more youthful color than the 82. Tar, dark cherry, violet more than roses on the nose, with some ferrous notes. Early on pretty inwardly turned, with a linearity chiseled feel to it. Firm and clippers don’t he back end. A couple hours later it opened and gained some breadth on the palate. Still with the finer lines of Asili but gained some clarity and dimension. Still not a terrific bottle of it, but much better than at first look. (91 pts.)[/list]
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A fantastic nose.
Riper, wide open, beautiful perfume. Dried rose petal, cherry fruit, an dorm spice cake. Sappy and expansive on the palate with a richness that beautifully contrasts with the detail of Asili. Power and grace together. This is harmonious and effortlessly beautiful on the palate. It has this sense of fleeting grace alongside its expansive push you over with feather feel. I love this. Fruit, perfume, spice, and soil all adding to a greater whole, delivered with richness while dancing across the palate. A terrific showing. (95 pts.)

An expectedly darker and more brooding nose. It’s richer, more serious and youthful still. Deeper and darker fruit on the palate, with more intensity without losing any focus. This has everything the other two wines have, but isn’t showing it all yet. Darker cherry fruit, balsam, tar, roses and iron. Power painted with a finely detailed brush. Structured and still firm (for Asili), this is on the ascent still. Quite long and likely the best wine of the three, but showing less of its potential than the 82 which was absolutely in the slot tonight. Terrific, and I don’t mean to convey this isn’t wonderful, as it is already drinking extremely well now, but I think its best days (at least for my palate) are ahead. 95+ (95 pts.)



Montefico Flight

Deep cool nebbiolo fruit, with fantastic perfume. Violet, rose, tar, and balsam. This has terrific depth and inner mouth perfume, and a jewel like clarity. Nothing really stood out here, rathe tis just came across as a complete, harmonious wine. Power and grace. Montefico is my favorite Produttori Cru aside from Rabaja and this was another terrific showing. A complete wine drinking at peak. (94 pts.)

Rounder and comparatively ripe with reasonable texture, but lacking freshness and some toffee like back notes suggest a less than perfect bottle. A shadow of a previous bottle from 19 from the same person who brought this bottle.
footnote:
I had a chance to drink to last glass of the bottle the following day at it had gained some clarity, balsam notes and fruit, better than the preceding evening but not reaching the heights of the previous bottle. 88 pts the first night, 90 on night two. Lazarus may have been from the Langhe. (90 pts.)

Darker and more youthful than the 82 and 78, at this point still with a fruit and perfume driven nose. Spice, medicine cabinet, florals, and tar along with darker nebbiolo fruit on the palate as well. This has terrific clarity and more than just depth. A three dimensional wine that is multifaceted, deep, yet poised and beautifully balanced. This is complete wine. Power with grace, a terrific combination of fruit, perfume, and sense of its soil. Drinking youthfully fantastic with its best days to come. 96+ (96 pts.)


Cheese Course:
HK sourced some Castelrosso from Murray’s and another cheese I am spacing. The Castelrosso, unlike my experiences with Castelmagno, was excellent

  • 1985 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Beerenauslese - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer (10/16/2021)
    Still pretty tight on day one. Honey, florals, apple and citrus fruit, and slate on the nose. Mid weighted with lovely acidity, but it’s not all together. On day two, this had calmed down and gained focus. Deep, yet light on its feet with fresh apple, lime, a touch of basil -mintiness, and a load of slate. This has a terrific balance of RS, acidity, fruit, and soil. Graceful and outstanding if not compelling. 93 (93 pts.)
  • 2004 Marcel Deiss Altenberg de Bergheim - France, Alsace, Alsace Grand Cru (10/16/2021)
    Lovely nose of fruit compote, pitted more than orchard fruit, honey, rosewater, and florals. It’s broad, deep, and rich yet not cloying, with good focus. Comes across like a VT in texture and RS feel, but it’s pretty harmonious. It is a broad wine but very well balanced. Finishes long yet clean. Outstanding. This is exceptionally well done, delicious and interesting, if not completely in my wheelhouse. 92 for me, more for many people. (92 pts.)




    This was a great night. The wines showed well. The food was terrific with the wines, and the company better. This was an excellent follow up to the preceding nights fantastic wines, and further unnecessary substantiation to the quality of wines made at the PdB. Granted, these are wines from exceptional terroir and important vintages; nonetheless, I cannot think of another red wine producer on earth who so consistently makes outstanding, age worthy wines, that even today are affordable for mere mortals. This also confirmed my love for Montefico. For me, it is my second favorite of their crus, behind Rabaja which just has it all.

It was a refreshing glimpse both back to the these outstanding mature wines but also forward to better times and a return to many of the things that add joy to life. I feel very fortunate to have been part of this weekend.

Thanks for reading

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Great notes. I had a 79 Sobrero Fillipi a while back (having never heard of them) and it was fabulous one of the best wines of the year.

Thanks, Todd. Nice report (and nice to be able to get together with real people again). Those are some stellar years. I agree on the Montefico. I try to buy Montefico and Paje now in every year (along with some Rabaja and Asili).

Thanks for the notes. I’m sitting on a small pile of the '78 PdBs. Never been let down.

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Great notes Todd
I have a ‘79 Rabaja that I’ll be opening soon. Any thoughts on how to treat? (Decant, etc)

Todd, where are your notes on night 1 - if I recall Tom’s post, that was your 2001 tasting, right?

Thanks for reading everyone.

Bob, I’m hoping to get to it tonight after I put the kids to bed, otherwise this weekend. It was a great lineup that showed youthfully well. Hope all is well with you.

J. A lot of people have opinions on this, but I would double decant it in the morning and put it back in the bottle. Drink it over a few hours. I would set it upright for a couple weeks ahead to let the fine sediment settle. I had a bottle of it in 2017, and it showed about as well as I think that wine can. It is on the down slope now, but still a very nice wine.

As I recall, one of the Sobrero brothers died and the other one just decided he couldn’t go on and sold their large holding in Monprivato to Mauro Mascarello (late 80s? early 90s?). Hence, they haven’t been selling any wine for 30+ years. I don’t have Sheldon Wasserman’s book at hand, or I could give details.

Manducati’s in Long Island City, Queens, had the ''82 Sobrero on the list for many years, up through the mid-2000s, for a silly price – $85 or something like that. I had the good fortune to have two or three bottles of it over the years, and it was superb.

There are two Sobrero wineries in Castiglione now, but so far as I know there is no continuity between them and the old Fillipi winery.

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John,

We were talking about the sale Saturday night. We think 82 may have been the last year. Having had the incredible 85 Monprivato numerous times, I am certain Mascarello was making it by then.

Great fun!

I am down to only one bottle left of the 1989 Asili - glad it showed well.