It’s been pouring all day here, so some “comfort wines” were in order. I don’t know who posted a note on a Prunotto wine recently, but that gave me the impetus to do a little digging in the cellar. First up,
1990 Prunotto Barolo Bussia
Translucent red in the glass, with a nice, slightly reticent nose of herbs, cherry fruit and menthol - maybe a hint of balsamico tucked under the surface. Not a hard edge to be found on the palate, a mature wine in full bloom tonight, with sweet red fruits, a lengthy finish and a very nice balance between fruit & acidity (although one does feel a little tingling on the enamel at the finish). More to follow.
Next up, the 1989 Prunotto Barolo Bussia.
Italian wine enthusiasts have been debating the comparative merits of these two vintages almost since their release, and while I think in general current opinion tends to favor the earlier year as being more “classic”, at the end of the day it is always nice to subject the wines to a little mano-a-mano to see what shows in the glass.
The color on this wine is very similar to the '90, but there is a attractive funkiness to the cherry-laced nose that I find intriguing right now. Yet interestingly enough, while the nose presents as more complex (and open), the wine is somewhat one-dimensional on the palate - presents as being similarly mature right now, yet not quite as tasty as the '90. I’m normally a nose guy, so I think I still prefer this wine, but I could see someone else disagreeing, and in any event both wines have their merits, so this is one close horse race as we approach 20 years of age.
Last wine, the 2000 Produttori Barbaresco Moccagatta Riserva
Admittedly a little “off-topic” from the two previous wines, but I was thirsty and I have been interested in checking out the status of the 2000 Produttori crus recently.
A lighter red in color in the glass, with a slightly hazy translucency to the color. You have to love this nose if you like nebbiolo, though, as the rose petals just seem to leap from the glass, mingled with sotto bosco. Sweet cherry fruit on the palate, followed by a lengthy finish. IMO, Produttoris are always deceptively long-lived, but given the way this wine is showing tonight, I would not criticize anybody for drinking it now in it’s “relative youth” - very nice, elegant & balanced Barbaresco.
My better half . We may yet crack open a 4th (it is really rainy here - sort of like cabin fever, and we’re getting ready to catch up on a couple of Burn Notice episodes we previously missed), but I’m not sure if I will post a TN.
Agreed, Rick - I think in many years (and the string of '99, '00 and '01 immediately come to mind) Produttori consistently provides the best QPR in Barbaresco. Plus, given the many vineyard sites the co-op gets grapes from, they provide some great side-by-side tasting opportunities to see how various terroirs performed in a given year, and in general they have pretty good distribution here in the states so you don’t have to do a search & destroy mission to find them.
In the last couple of years (say from '04 on), I’ve even become a fan of their Normale bottling and their Nebbiolo Langhe, both (at least IMO) honest representations of the nebbiolo grape that are nice to drink in their relative youth while you are waiting for your riservas to come around.