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Piedmont Wines

Piedmont Wines

Piedmont Wines

Piedmont Wines

As one of Italy’s most reputable and revered wine regions, Piedmont enjoys a lot of well-deserved praise and attention. The region’s placement in the Alpine foothills creates a unique microclimate, where winters are noticeably colder, and the summers are close to what you’d experience in Burgundy. As you might imagine, this environment allows for a lot of versatility and diversity when it comes to wine flavors and styles. For a wine lover, exploring Piedmont feels like they’re a child again, exploring a vast, colorful candy store; you just don’t know where to start!

The diverse soil composition of Piedmont allows many popular grape varietals to thrive, including Nebbiolo, Barbera, Moscato, and Dolcetto. Depending on who you buy from, you can expect to experience many different aromatics and flavor traces, including dried herbs, rose petals, juicy and plump cherries, star anise, minerals, and many more. It’s this mind-boggling versatility that compels the curious, this promise of semi-familiar yet intriguing pleasures, and wines that stimulate the mind as much as they caress the palate.

Food is a crucial part of Italy’s cultural identity, and connoisseurs of good food often find themselves falling in love with the wine that accompanies it. Piedmont is approachable enough to help you create magical feasts and meals, and what better way to enjoy them than by sharing with the people closest to your heart. Whether you’re a decorated wine veteran or a newbie, this region has so, so much to offer you. The longevity of Piedmont wines is impressive enough to last a decade or two and develop even more compelling subtleties and nuances. How can you resist?

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1989 bartolo mascarello barolo Italy Red

Bartolo Mascarello’s 1989 Barolo (magnum) is all freshly cut roses, plums, prunes and sweet spices. The aromas and flavors continue to emerge with notable vigor and intensity, framed exquisitely by firm, silky tannins. Grace and class come to mind as apt descriptors for a wine that balances exceptional depth yet also floats on the palate with ethereal qualities that are hard to do justice to on the printed page. The finish is long and wonderfully pure, with overtones of licorice and menthol that invite a second (and third!) taste. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2030.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RP(Barolo-Bartolo Mascarello) I have no doubt that the 1989 Bartolo Mascarello Barolo will prove to be one of the greatest vintages in the long and consistently excellent career of this maestro, but it is only just starting to show its secondary layers of complexity and desperately deserves more time in the cellar to really reach its apogee. The bouquet is deep, pure and very promising, offering up a blend of cherries, beef bouillon, roasted gamebirds, a touch of wild bay, complex, autumnal soil tones and a topnote of woodsmoke. On the palate the wine is very pure, full and sappy at the core, with great soil inflection, ripe, fine-grained tannins, outstanding focus and grip and a very, very long, pure and complex finish. It is not a crime to be drinking this wine today- if you have enough bottles remaining in the cellar that you are not going to miss one ten years down the road- but this is a wine that is still climbing and its best days are still several years further out. (Drink between 2016 - 2060)John Gilman | 95+ JGOne of the most anticipated wines of the night, the 1989 Barolo is not as exceptional as it can be. I have tasted the 1989 mostly from magnum recently, so perhaps my expectations are a bit colored. Even from the big bottle, though, the 1989 has always shown slight imperfections, especially in the bouquet. In this tasting, my impression is that in the standard bottle those imperfections are more evident. There is plenty of texture and depth to the fruit, but it is the aromatics that are penalizing here.Vinous Media | 91 VM

As low as $890.00
2000 giacomo conterno barolo monfortino riserva Italy Red

Conterno’s 2000 Barolo Riserva Monfortino gives an impression of accessibility only because it is so open relative to some of the surrounding vintages of this great, legendary Barolo. The 2000 has tons of fruit backed up with considerable tannic heft. With time in the glass sweet, balsamic notes make an appearance, but this is one of the few 2000s that needs considerable cellaring to show all of its cards. Anticipated maturity: 2020-2040.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPI am thrilled to see how well the 2000 Barolo Riserva Monfortino shows in this tasting, as it is a vintage that can sometimes get lost between the 1999 and 2002 in this era. My impression is that the 2000 still hasn’t truly shown its true potential just yet. On this night it remains closed and not particularly expressive. The seductive qualities the 2000 showed as a young wine aren’t especially apparent today. Time in the glass brings out pretty floral overtones. Overall, the 2000 comes across as a Monfortino that is more finesse than power. Even so, readers have to be patient here.Antonio Galloni | 97+ AGDark ruby red in color. Subtle and reserved on the nose, with blackberry, tea, sandalwood and blueberry. Opens to coffee and vanilla bean. Full-bodied, with an amazing, condensed palate of ultraripe fruit and silky tannins. Fresh and superlong. Very tight and fresh. Needs so much time to open and come around. Like a genie in the bottle. Best after 2014. 750 cases made.Wine Spectator | 96 WS

As low as $1,765.00
2004 Bruno Giacosa Barolo Vigna Croera

The 2004 Barolo Vigna Croera reveals pretty aromatics and notes of smoke, tar, roses, herbs and the small red fruits that are characteristic of the wines of La Morra. Made in a medium-bodied, delicate style it possesses a graceful, feminine personality and finessed tannins. Even though the wine continued to gain weight in the glass I noted that it was less expressive than when I tasted it from barrel in April 2007. The Croera is made from a high altitude plot in the Serradenari district of La Morra. This site has never been particularly well regarded for Nebbiolo. Long-time oenologist Dante Scaglione told me he expects the vines to only yield top-flight Barolo in truly great vintages. There will be no 2005 or 2006. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020.Bruno Giacosa’s profound 2004s, which I first wrote about in Issue 173, continue with these superb Barolos, all of which merit close attention. I also had a chance to re-taste the 2004 Barbarescos and they were as impressive as they have been on previous occasions.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 90 RPBruno Giacosa’s 2004 Barolo Croera is an excellent choice for drinking over the next decade or so. A pretty, understated wine, the Croera offers lovely balance in a feminine style that is typical of La Morra. Rose petal, mint, sage, crushed raspberries and anise shape the aromatic, mid-weight finish. If opened today, the 2004 needs a bit of air to soften the tannins a touch. The Croera is the one and only Barolo Bruno Giacosa made from La Morra. Giacosa eventually sold this parcel after a series of wines that did not meet his exacting standards and were never released. This bottle showed quite a bit better than the bottle I tasted for my recent 2004 Barolo retrospective. As it turns out, both bottles were from the same case I purchased upon release.Antonio Galloni | 90 AGAromas of plum, coffee and dried flowers follow through to a medium body, with silky tannins and a soft, refined finish. A delicate young Barolo. This is a new single-vineyard wine from Giacosa. Best after 2011. 600 cases made, 50 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 90 WS

As low as $295.00
2010 Brovia Barolo Brea Vigna Ca'Mia

Smoke, tar, earthiness and licorice add gorgeous dimensions of complexity in the 2010 Barolo Brea Vigna Ca’ Mia. Here, too, the flavors are remarkably bright and focused. The dark, brooding notes of Serralunga are very much present, but the 2010 impresses for its pure balance, harmony and class. Dried rose petals, spices, licorice and game add complexity on a huge finish supported by big, incisive tannins. This is another utterly vivid, dazzling Barolo from Brovia. Here, too, readers will note a slight name change.Antonio Galloni | 97 AGThis structured, vibrant wine opens with classic Nebbiolo aromas of red cherry, leather, clove, spice and balsamic notes. The savory palate doles out red and black berry reined in by mint, licorice and black pepper alongside brisk acidity and tightly woven tannins. It will blossom into a beauty. Drink after 2022.Wine Enthusiast | 96 WERaspberry coulis and mint nose. Succulent cherry fruit, very concentrated with massive but not tough tannins. A mighty wine with good acidity, considerable finesse and excellent length. Drinking Window 2015 - 2030.Decanter | 95 DECThe 2010 Barolo Brea Vigna Ca’ Mia hails from the eight-hectare Brea vineyard in Serralunga d’Alba. Nebbiolo vines are almost 60 years old, but the site is also planted to Barbera, Dolcetto and Moscato for Moscato d’Asti. I love the exotic personality of this wine. The bouquet shows dark fruit and thick layers with cinnamon, cumin and cardamom at the back. There are dried herbs and rosemary sprig as well. This wine is especially characterized by its tannins that are extra firm and etched. The wine will require extra aging time in order to find balance and harmony.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 93 RPLots of tar, rose petal and dark-fruit character. Full body, chewy tannins and a juicy aftertaste. Lots of character. Better in 2016.James Suckling | 92 JS

As low as $235.00
2016 la spinetta barbaresco valeirano Italy Red

Another wine of importance from La Spinetta, this is a well-structured and compact expression with lots of dark fruit and ripe berries buried within. The 2016 Barbaresco Valeirano Vürsù, sporting a fittingly hefty rhinoceros depicted on the front of the bottle, is heavier and denser than the others from this line. There are dry and astringent tannins, and like the pachyderm on the label, this wine will live to a ripe old age—if it isn’t poached from the cellar beforehand. Some 7,000 bottles were made.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 95+ RPThe 2016 Barbaresco Vigneto Valeirano is the most refined wine I have tasted from this site in Treiso. The tannins, always forbidding in Valeirano, are wonderfully polished, and yet convey the essential feeling of structure that is such a central part of what makes Barbaresco so compelling as a wine. Dark wild cherry, incense, graphite, spice and dried flowers add shades of dimension to this virile, potent Barbaresco that captures the essence of this site, but with an added touch of sophistication that is quite welcome. I can’t wait to see how the 2016 ages. In a word: Superb!Antonio Galloni | 95+ AGDistinctive aromas of rose, black currant and raspberry mark this taut, intense red, which is sleek and firmly structured, with lively acidity and dusty tannins mingling with fruit, savory and mineral elements on the long aftertaste. Best from 2022 through 2038. 583 cases made, 200 cases imported. Wine Spectator | 94 WSDark peaches, glazed cherries, Christmas cake, orange peel and wet earth. Full-bodied and very structured on the palate, where chewy tannins carry dried red berries long and spicy. Drink from 2023.James Suckling | 94 JS

As low as $140.00
2016 bruno giacosa barbaresco rabaja Italy Red

This is a very sexy, soft Barbaresco with chocolate, earth and pure fruit, from strawberries to cherries. Medium -o full-bodied with elegant tannins that give form to this wine. It’s fine and lovely in the mouth. Exciting. A fine, granular-textured red. Drinkable now, but better in 2024.James Suckling | 97 JSI tasted this wine next to the 2017 vintage, and the differences between the two growing seasons are remarkable. The 2017 expression is open, more accessible and singing from the glass. However, the Bruno Giacosa 2016 Barbaresco Rabajà is certainly more reserved and timid if tasted now. The wine opens to beautiful richness, saturation and concentration. There is plenty of dark fruit and bright cherry with ample textural richness that is followed by sweet tannins and an attractively tight or firm structure. Saline or mineral notes give the wine sharpness and added dimension. It has all its cards in place for long aging, and the wine most certainly needs more time in the bottle.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96+ RPElegant and graceful, this offers cherry, strawberry, rose, tobacco, iron and spice flavors on a linear frame. The steely structure and tension deliver plenty of grip. Balanced in the end, with a chalky feel on the finish. Best from 2023 through 2045. 40 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 95 WSThe 2016 Barbaresco Rabajà is very nicely done. It offers up an enticing mélange of dark-fleshed fruit, spice, licorice, sage, tobacco and menthol, all in a relatively mid-weight, light style for this site. The 2016 won’t make Giacosa fans forget about the 2001 or 2004, but it is certainly very nicely balanced. Overall, the 2016 is a bit light for Rabajà, but attractive if taken on its own terms. It should drink well for another decade or so.Antonio Galloni | 93 AG

As low as $285.00

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