There were 10 of us who participated and brought along the wine (14 bottles) for the evening. Most of the bottles were opened and given some aeration prior to the event. The tasting was both blind and non-blind. For those of us, like myself, who preferred non-blind we knew the wines we were drinking in each flight. Those in the blind group knew the wines in the flight, but not the order. My preference for non-blind revolves around the fact that since I usually have had previous experience with the wine maker, I am able to obtain a much better assessment and appreciation of the wine compared to other bottles or vintages I have had. In lieu of guessing (blind) I’d rather assess (non-blind) the wine. It came as no surprise to me that while each participant is an experienced Barolo drinker, opinions varied on many of the wines. Since our palates are different, our experience with each wine is different. IMO that is the beauty of wine and events like this, sharing wine and opinions. At the end of the day no one is more right than anyone else. Everyone wins.
Executive Chef Juan Carlos Mendoza prepared a wonderful meal to compliment the tasting.
Spiced Walnuts, Olives, Artisanal Cheese Selection, Domestic and Imported Charcuterie.
Gnocchi, Wine Reduction, Herbs, Tomato Sauce with Melted Pecorino & Crispy Potato Straws.
Herb Marinated Beef Tenderloin, Oven Roasted Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts with Barolo Sauce.
Before diving into the flights we prepped our palates with a bottle of 1990 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne Vintage Cave Privée, that Tony brought along. A wonderful yeasty bubbly to begin the evening with. Wonderful balance on the palate and a lengthy elegant finish.
1997 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cascina Francia. The 1997 Barolo vintage was originally acclaimed to be one of the best ever. Alas that did not turn out to be true. With a few exceptions, I found that the wines began to fall apart a few years ago. Tonight’s wine was no exception. The wine had a dark brown hue and a musty bouquet. It had a palate of old dried raisins and nothing more. IMO, this wine has passed on. Some felt differently. Hey that’s why there is chocolate and vanilla.
2000 Sandrone Barolo Cannubi Boschis. This was the only wine opened at the tasting. While not a knock-out, I liked it a lot. While it took some time to open, I felt it was a round and delicious wine, with an enticing bouquet, vibrant fruit and a wonderful finish. I Wish I had some in my cellar.
This flight rivaled the ’99 flight. All three of the wines were in impeccable condition and displayed how good aged Nebbiolo can be when crafted by a master, or in this case a couple of them.
1985 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cascina Francia. Wow! The seductive earthy bouquet is the drum roll prior to the flawless performance this beautiful wine performs on the palate. Soft, refined, elegant, inviting…oh hell this was simply a round a delicious wine.
1990 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cascina Francia. I was amazed at how youthful this wine was. It had a tantalizing aroma and seemed to simply soar from the glass with each sip. This wine underscores how great mature Nebbiolo can be. I wish I had some in my cellar.
1990 Luciano Sandrone Barolo Cannubi Boschis. I think most of us were in agreement that this was the best Sandrone of the evening. If found it to be soft and elegant with wonderfully pure fruit and a lengthy finish.
|Photo courtesy of Eric Guido|