The aging prince continued to make his wines until 1995, although he had stopped selling the bottles. After the '95 harvest he pulled out all the vines in his vineyard, except for a small plot of cabernet and merlot. He offered no explanation, and at the time none was asked.
The prince had one daughter, Francesca, who married Piero Antinori, the eminent Tuscan winemaker, at the Fiorano estate in 1966. Mr. Antinori suggests today that the prince was unable to bear the thought of anybody else making his wines when he could no longer do it. His daughter has resurrected the estate in the past few years. I have had both the Malvasia and the Semillon and always found the Malvasia to be the better wine.
1992 Fiorano Bianco Botte 26. 100% Malvasia di Candia. The wine was superb tonight with a beautiful golden hue and a nutty bouquet and palate. As the wine warmed in the glass it improved considerably. One of the better bottles of Fiorano I have had.
The 2004 Barolo vintage is lauded by wine critics and collectors alike. It is an exceptional vintage. Famed wine critic Antonio Galloni says"…These are wines of extraordinary elegance, balance and finesse." He further commented “the 2004 Barolos combines the sweetness of 2000 with the classicism, perfume and freshness of 2001.”
I have been drinking quite a bit of the vintage over the past 6 months and I am in complete agreement with Mr. Galloni.
I gave each of the Barolo a 3 hour slo-o at home before bringing to the restaurant.
2004 Massolino Barolo Vigna Rionda Riserva. Lead off wine in our group's 2004 Barolo tasting and it set the stage beautifully. The wine is aged in Rovere botte (Italian oak) for 36-42 months followed by 18-24 months in bottle before being released. It is the estate's flagship wine. While the tannins were a bit tight, the balance and finesse of the vintage were evident. Destined to a long and enjoyable life.
The Cappellano estate in Seralunga is among the best of the best for traditionally mad Barolo. The estate was under the direction of Teobaldo (Baldo) Cappellano until his passing in early 2009. Today it is under the capeable direction of his son Augusto and continues to make one of Italy's most sought after Barolo's. While Baldo allowed wine critics to visit, taste and write about his wines, he was adament they the do not score the wines. Cappellano makes fewer than 800 cases of Barolo per year, all vinified traditionally: a fermentation of 14 to 21 days with indigenous yeasts and aging in well-seasoned botti for at least three years.
2004 Teobaldo Cappellano Barolo Pie Rupestris. Superb Barolo. Great wine that is a small step behind the Pie Franco from the same vintage.
2004 Teobaldo Cappellano Barolo Pie Franco. What a wine. A wine with lots of soul. One of the best wines from an exceptional vintage. Glorious all around, bouquet, depth, balance, elegance, etc., etc., etc. “Piè Franco,” is from a parcel planted on its own roots with Nebbiolo’s “Michet” clone in 1989. The ethereal delicacy of this great wine makes Cappellano wonder if it tells us what Barolo tasted like before Phylloxera.
2004 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo. Another of Italy's most sought after traditionally made Barolo. The estate does not make any single vineyard wines, preferring to blend the fruit from its ancient hilltop vines in Cannubi, San Lorenzo, Rue and Rocche. The resulting wines, like tonight's are simply gorgeous, round and delicious with a complex and elegant palate and lengthy finish. The 2004 is one of the wines of the vintage. Bartolo passed away in 2005, but the estate continues under the direction of his daughter, Maria Teresa. Many feel, myself included, that she is taking the wines to new heights.
2004 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Falletto. Perhaps my biggest lament as a wine collector is that I did not learn of Giacosa wines early enough. His wines, traditional to the core, are magnificent. Tonight's bottle may have been the wine of the evening, with a gorgeous earthy nose and palate and lengthy and elegant finish.
It was another great evening with a great bunch of wine loving friends.