Last week we had a fantastic tasting of 2007 Barolo from some of the producers Caro’s imports. 2007 was a warm vintage in Piedmont and this did show in the wines with many of them being much more forward than you might expect from ordinarily austere young Barolo. Though they weren’t exactly typical in that sense, they were stunning nonetheless, and did retain classic Barolo character. There wasn’t a dud in the bunch, and the style of the vintage certainly helped make the wines more approachable at this young age.
Wines tasted included Conterno-Fantino’s Mosconi and Sori Ginestra, Sandrone Le Vigne, Pio Cesare, Marcarini Brunate and Massolino Parafada. We finished off with Massolino’s 2004 Vigna Rionda Riserva followed by a glass of Moscato d’Asti to help wash down all those tannins.
The tasting did serve to compare and contrast different winemaking styles in Barolo though. While the traditionalist/modernist debate has settled down a bit, it was still possible to differentiate between the more traditional-style Pio Cesare and Marcarini and the more modern-style wines like the Conterno-Fantino’s. The quality was high across the board though. It’s hard to pick a winner in such a good line-up. If anything what the tasting really highlighted was the relatively reasonable costs of these fine wines. It’s still a bit of an insiders wine and top-quality Barolo from an outstanding producer, a great vineyard and an excellent vintage can be had for $100 or less. It’s not exactly everyday quaffing, but when compared to the astronomical prices of top-tier Bordeaux or Burgundy, Barolo is an absolute bargain! At least, that’s what our staff like to tell themselves when they stock up their own cellars.