Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Antonio Galloni's La Festa del Barolo: Guest post by Ron Siegel

Last weekend, Antonio Galloni -- fresh from his settlement with Robert Parker -- hosted the second edition of his La Festa del Barolo in New York City. The event, touted as a “special weekend celebration dedicated to the great wines of Barolo,” included a Rare Wine Charity Dinner benefitting The Robin Hood Relief Fund and the victims of Hurricane Sandy on Friday night and Saturday events to include a tutored tasting and a subsequent dinner at Del Posto.  This post covers the Saturday events.

Galloni flew in 15 of the top producers from Piemonte to participate in the event and had the highly acclaimed restaurant Del Posto host the tasting and the dinner in their private downstairs banquet room. The tasting -- titled 2008 Barolo: An Exploration of Terroir and held earlier in the afternoon -- consisted of 15 wines of the 2008 Barolo vintage in four flights. 

Ron, Bev, and Galloni
Bev with Pete Wasserman

The tasting and dinner were both well organized and extremely well run with top Sommeliers from NYC and around the country opening and pouring the wines. We had Gianluca Grasso -- from Elio Grasso -- at our table with Marta Rinaldi from the Rinaldi  winery as our special guest. Marta was so much fun to be with and kept bringing us wines to taste and introducing winemakers to our table. 

Ron, Bev, and Marta Rinaldi

The following wines were poured at the tasting. The winemakers would talk about the wines and the vintage with Galloni moderating. A cool growing season and late harvest were some of the hallmarks of 2008.

Flight 1

2008 E Pira Barolo Cannubi. Surprisingly showing some sediment. Nice red fruit. Smoke, soy, and balsamic notes. 
2008 Borgogno Barolo Cannubi. Slightly muted nose. Tar and rose petals. Made in the classic style. 
2008 Luciano Sandrone Barolo Cannubi Bosch is concentrated cherry. Very structured with violets and camphor notes. Nice acidity. Will need time but I like this producer.
2008 Roberto Voerzio Barolo Cerequio. Huge nose of black cherry. Very floral with violets and rose petals. Spice and tar notes. Long finish. We loved this wine. My wine of the flight.

Flight 2

2008 Elvio Cogno Barolo Bricco Pernice. Higher altitude vineyards which showed a somewhat muted and closed nose. A lighter and more elegant style of Barolo. Not my favorite today.
2008 GD Vajra Barolo Bricco delle Viole. Very aromatic and complex bouquet. spice, forest floor, cherry, sandalwood, bay leaf, roses, licorice, and tar and slightly medicinal. Very elegant on the palate. I would buy this!  
2008 Vietti Barolo Rocche. Wow! Love Vietti's Rocche. Great intensity with a nose of strawberry, licorice, and tar. Big, structured, and rich. Showing lots of depth but still very elegant and no harsh tannins. My wine of the flight
2008 Paolo Scavino Barolo Riserva Bric del Fiasc. Nice red fruits, floral notes, smoke and spice.

Flight 3

2008 Conterno Fantino Barolo Sori Ginestra. Sweet red fruit, licorice, cherry, smoke and vanilla. Nicely structured and ripe. Long maceration plus 24 months in 80%-90% new oak.
2008 Elio Grasso Barolo Ginestra Vigna Case Mate Large, structured, and tannic. Very complex nose of cherry, strawberry, dried herbs, and licorice. Needed more decant time. Galloni gave this 98+. 
2008 Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo Romirasco. Very spicy. Red berry fruits, roses, and mint with some smoke, mineral, and balsamic. Full-bodied and made from one of the best vineyard sites, Bussia. My wine of the flight.
2008 Pio Cesare Barolo Ornato. Nice round, lush cherry fruit with some cinnamon and licorice notes. Ten thousand bottles produced and in only good vintages. Very nice Barolo.

Flight 4

2008 Giacoma Conterno Barolo Cascina Francia. Barolo made in the traditional style with black cherry, rose petals, tar and licorice notes.   
2008 Brovia Barolo Ca' Mia. Dark color. Lovely complex nose of cherry and strawberry. Very floral, spicy, tarry and meaty. Reminded my wife of a Dr pepper. Big structured Barolo. My wine of the flight.
2007 Cavallotto Barolo Riserva Bricco Boschis Vigna San Giuseppe. The only 2007 in the tasting as the 2008 was yet to be bottled. Very approachable with red fruits and floral notes of roses and violets. Nice spice.                

Below are most of the wines that we tasted at the dinner arranged by decade. 


I got a little taste of what La Paulee must be like for their Gala dinners as we had to taste quickly as there were new wines ready to pour one after the other into our already filled glasses. A great night of Giacosa Riservas and Monfortino's.

1950s
1957 Cappellano Barolo (slightly over the hill)

1960s
1964 Giacomo Conterno Barolo

1970s
1970 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Riserva Monfortino
1971 Giuse
1978 Borgogno Barolo Riserva (poured to us by Andrea Farinetti - the son of the owner of Borgogno)

1980s
1982 Giuseppe Mascarello Barbaresco Marcarini (corked)
1982 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Riserva Cascina Francia
1985 Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo Brunate Riserva
1988 Aldo Conterno Barolo Granbussia from Magnum (poured for us by Roberto Conterno - the owner of Giacomo Conterno)
1988 Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Riserva Santo Stefano (Red Label)
1989 Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Riserva Santo Stefano (Red Label)
1989 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cascina Francia

1990s
1990 Brovia Barolo Monprivato from Magnum
1990 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Riserva Rionda (Red Label)
1990 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Riserva Falletto (Red Label)
1990 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Riserva Monfortino from Magnum (poured for us by Roberto Conterno - the owner of Giacomo Conterno)
1994 Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo Brunate Le Coste
1997 Roberto Voerzio Barolo La Serra
1998 Cappellano Pie Rupestris (normally this is Barolo DOCG but in 1998 it was not approved as Barolo DOCG and was bottled as a Vino de Tavola)
1998 Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Riserva Santo Stefano (Red Label)
1999 Elio Grasso Barolo Riserva Rüncot

2000s
2000 Roberto Voerzio Barbera Riserva Pozzo dell' Annunziata (only bottled in Magnum)
2001 Elio Grasso Barolo Casa Maté
2002 Cascina Ebreo Limpido
2008 Elio Grasso Barolo Casa Maté


©Wine -- Mise en abyme

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