Well, if the year is seen from the beginning, I’ll have to face a complicated year, nice, but complicated. Because I think that just a few things are able to divide such as wines, and this bottle is able to do this more than others.
But let’s start from the beginning, from Castiglione Falletto in which we find the ‘cru’ (Monprivato) where the nebbiolo grapes of this Barolo 2004 grew up. Castiglione Falletto is probably one of the most didactic village (together with Barolo and La Morra, especially referring to the Cerequio and Brunate crus) in order to understand Barolo or, it would better to say, the different kinds of Barolo. Because this wonderful village is in the middle of a demarcation line that divides two different kinds of grounds: ‘tortoniano’ ground, able to give life to elegant wines that you can enjoy after afew years, and ‘elveziano’ ground which, instead, is able to give life to more complex wines, to be stored in a cellar for at least ten years. In addition ‘elveziano’ grounds are generally located in the south-east of Piedmont, where the higher altitudes influence maturation and acidity of wines.
Keep attention, these are only generic guide lines, and you know as the world of wine is full (luckily) of exceptions, but these guide lines help us to understand why barolo wines are not all the same (in quality and, above all, price).
This bottle, in this year, divides wine lovers more than others. I tasted it, I looked at it, I turned it in my hands, and obviously I finished it (with one of my friends of course). And this bottle made me the same impression from all sides. An impression very different from a my personal idea of barolo ‘elveziano’. This Barolo is extremely dry, non just elegant and fine, he is thin, too much. With a clear burgundian style, but with a few notes that left me displaced. A very imposing acidity, often overlying a never reached balance (11 years, not 1). So it’s ok to seek a certain duration in wine, but sometimes this wine risk to lose its composure because, sometimes, its body is not able to substain the alcoholic impact. Also its flavor profile is slow to engage. It’s original sure, because the typical barolo flavors (violet, black fruit) come just after a very unexpected stamp of black olive and ‘stranger’ notice of blood.
Other bottles, of the same vintage and by the same ground (I think to Tenuta Cavallotto or Conterno) really seem so different to belong to the same denomination of Barolo.
I’ve always thought to the barolo ‘eleveziano’ like to a cool dark of a country church in the middle of August; that sense of mystery and austerity that I was not able to find in this bottle, where everything seems already unveiled, so much so that I don’t know what to expect from this wine in its later life.