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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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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

98
VM
As low as $1,765.00
2004 giacomo conterno barolo monfortino riserva Barolo

The 2004 Barolo Riserva Monfortino is drop-dead gorgeous. I have tasted the wine multiple times from barrel and three times from bottle and never been anything less than blown away. The 2004 is a subtle, layered Monfortino that captures the sheer elegance and finesse of this great vintage. It is sweet, perfumed, silky and utterly mind-blowing. From barrel it has always been a 100 point wine, but it has just been bottled and naturally a bit closed in on itself. Still, with some time in the glass its silky, perfumed fruit and dazzling class come to life. The 2004 is remarkably harmonious for such a young wine. Readers will have much fun debating which is the greatest Monfortino of recent years. Could it be the 1996, 1999 or 2002 for their huge structure and classicism? Or, is it the 1997 for its opulence? What if the dark horse 1998 and 2000 steal the show? Personally, I adore the 2001 and 2004 for their completeness, but the 2004 is the sexiest of them all. Sadly, 2004 is also the year Giovanni Conterno passed away, but one can’t escape the feeling his spirit lives in this wine. Kudos to Roberto Conterno and his team for this magnificent, thrilling Barolo. Anticipated maturity: 2019-2044.The drive from Barolo to Monforte was a little different this year. Peering across the valley over the hillside where the Conterno winery sits, the observant eye will notice a number of large barrels outside the main building. Roberto Conterno had no choice but to replace a number of his casks this year as the staves had begun to bend from many years of use, and Conterno was understandably afraid of the unthinkable, that the casks could finally yield to old age full of wine. Still, he was clearly upset by having to replace barrels that he personally moved into the new winery with his father during the summer of 1985. Just to think of the wines that were racked during that move. The 1978, 1979 and 1982 Monfortini were still in cask. To be honest, seeing the empty space in the winery as the new casks were about to arrive was quite a shock. The wines, however, were not. I tasted all of the wines currently in cask plus the new releases from bottle. My high expectations were easily surpassed. Conterno fans have a lot to look forward to. Roberto Conterno has decided to give his new Nebbiolo from the Cerretta vineyard another year in barrel. At the moment Conterno is leaning towards releasing the 2009 as a Langhe Nebbiolo rather than Barolo, although that could always change. Readers who want to learn more about the 2011 harvest at Conterno may want to take a look at my video interview with Roberto Conterno.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 100 RPThe 2004 Barolo Riserva Monfortino confirms its place as one of the finest Monfortinos ever made. From magnum, it is so special. The long growing season produced a Monfortino of unusual silkiness, perfume and elegance. In many ways, the 2004 is the first modern Monfortino – the first vintage that was gorgeous right out of the gate, qualities it shares with the 2008 and 2014, also wines from later-ripening vintages. Soaring aromatics and silky tannins give the 2004 so much sheer appeal that recall the 1982. The 2004 has long been one of my favorites, as it is again on this night.Vinous Media | 100 VM

100
RP
As low as $4,099.00
2015 alessandro e gian natale fantino barolo bussia riserva cascina dardi Barolo

Just bottled, the 2015 Barolo Riserva Cascina Dardi is a real powerhouse. This full-bodied, potent Barolo packs a huge punch. It won’t be ready to drink anytime soon, that much is obvious. Time in the glass brings out aromatic intensity and inner perfume. Spice and blood orange accents lend an exotic quality to this dark, layered Barolo. The Riserva is a wine for readers who appreciate the natural fragility of artisan wines, wines that aren’t perfect but that perfectly embody the human spirit.Vinous Media | 96 VM

96
VM
As low as $64.99
2017 giovanni manzone barolo castelletto Piedmont Red

The 2017 Barolo Castelletto captures all of the savory and mineral complexity of this high-altitude site. Ethereal and gracious, the Castelletto has so much to offer. Pine, mint, blood orange, crushed raspberry and star anise are all finely sculpted throughout. This is one of the best Barolos I have ever tasted from Manzone. Don’t miss it.Vinous Media | 96 VMI love the dense, savory elements that thicken up the red fruit on the nose, speaking more of terroir than oak influence. Full-bodied with lots of fine-grained tannins that are already giving an easy ride to the juicy fruit, through to a long, only lightly firm finish. It’s very rare to give a drink-now recommendation to a young Barolo, This is irresistible right now. Yet, it should develop nicely in bottle, too. Drink or holdJames Suckling | 93 JS

96
VM
As low as $67.95
2017 alessandro e gian natale fantino barolo bussia cascina dardi Italy Red

The 2017 Barolo Bussia Cascina Dardi is a super classic wine from the Fantino brothers that melds together the richness of the year with traditional expression of Bussia structure. Bright red-toned fruit, kirsch, blood orange, mint and spice open over time, supported by beams of nervous tannin that lend energy. This is a terrific 2017 Barolo.Vinous Media | 93 VM

96
VM
As low as $56.99
2017 Elio Sandri Barolo Perno Riserva

The 2017 Barolo Riserva Perno is a real stunner. Deep, pliant and super-expressive, the 2017 boasts gorgeous inner sweetness and depth to lay off its huge, imposing tannins. The ripeness and overall intensity of the year comes through in the wine’s captivating aromatics and pliant, layered mid-palate. Even so, the 2017 has a boatload of tannin and tons of searing structural intensity to assimilate. I would not dream of touching a bottle anytime soon.Vinous Media | 96 VM

97
VM
As low as $105.00
2018 elio grasso barolo gavarini chiniera Barolo

The Gavarini Chiniera vineyard is shaped like an amphitheater with thick forests at the back (which protects from cold air currents) and sandy chalk soil at 380 meters in elevation. This is a special site, and the Elio Grasso 2018 Barolo Gavarini Chiniera is always one of Grasso’s most easily recognized wines. This vintage is exceptionally bright and vibrant with lifted tones of cherry, plum, blue flower and sweet blood orange. Those primary notes are framed by sensations of dusty white mineral. This mid-weight wine exhibits the deep elegance that was achieved in this vintage. Production is 12,000 bottles.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96 RPDried-cherry, strawberry and tar aromas follow through to a full body with intense, chewy tannins that frame the wine nicely. Flavorful finish. Juicy. Not a big wine, but shows structure and class for the vintage. Try after 2026.James Suckling | 95 JSA bright, cherry-laced red, with a fruity core framed by tobacco, earth, eucalyptus and iron flavors. Firm and dense on the finish, yet this remains elegant and vibrant through the lingering aftertaste. Best from 2025 through 2042. 1,000 cases made, 50 cases imported.Wine Spectator | 93 WSThe 2018 Barolo Gavarini Chiniera has shut down massively since I tasted it last year, which is probably a very good thing for its medium and longer term prospects. Time in the glass releases some of its inner sweetness, but this classically austere, young Barolo is going to need time. I would not dream of touching a bottle anytime soon.Vinous Media | 91 VM

96
RP
As low as $69.99
2018 Elio Sandri Barolo Perno

The 2018 Barolo Perno is a wild, exotic wine. The bouquet alone is captivating. Leather, orange peel, sage, mint, dried flowers and mulling spices all soar out of the glass. Deceptive in its mid-weight structure, the 2018 packs a serious punch. Sinewy tannins play off a core of inner sweetness and bright saline notes. This heady, racy Barolo is an exotic beauty. The volatile acidity is on the higher side, but it works within the context of this very old-school style.Vinous Media | 94 VM

94
VM
As low as $84.95
2019 fratelli alessandria barolo gramolere Barolo

The 2019 Barolo Gramolere (with 7,000 bottles made) shows a slightly sweeter and riper fruit profile. This wine comes from the village of Monforte d’Alba, which is known for more structured and powerful wines compared to Verduno (where this winery is based), which offers lighter, more floral wines instead. Gramolere shows dark fruit, plum and spice, but it also has a pretty mineral note of rust or iron. However, within this portfolio, this wine may well deliver the longest drinking window.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 96+ RPThe 2019 Barolo Gramolere, tasted from barrel, is the most elegant wine Vittore Alessandria has made yet from his family’s holdings in Monforte. Medium in body and transparent, the 2019 offers up black cherry, lavender, spice, licorice, dried herbs and menthol are all laced together in a layered, mysterious wine that captures the essence of Nebbiolo in Barolo. The classically austere finish is a thing of beauty.Vinous Media | 93-95 VMMore concertation of fruit can be found in the 2019 Barolo Gramolere. with raspberry liqueur, spice box, and licorice. It is medium bodied but has a more expanded feel. with notes of dried apricot, grenadine, blood orange, and tobacco. Drink 2025-2045.Jeb Dunnuck | 95+ JDCedar, violet, Asian spice and ripe black-skinned fruit aromas lift out of the glass along with balsamic whiffs of camphor. Juicy and full-bodied, the smooth palate doles out ripe black cherry, almond liqueur, licorice alongside velvety, enveloping tannins. Drink 2025–2034. Abv: 14.5% Kerin O’Keefe | 95 KO

96+
RP
As low as $86.95
2019 elio grasso barolo gavarini chiniera Barolo

The 2019 Barolo Gavarini Chiniera is just superb, with layers of pure fruits and spices interwoven with vibrant cherry liqueur, candied roses, incense, and baking spice. Harmonious and balanced from the start, it offers ripe tannins, a seamless spine of fresh acidity, and fantastic length that leaves me wanting more. As it opens, it reveals more nuanced notes of apricot and saline earth. An outstanding medium to full-bodied red, this is one to cellar for a few years, as it has a ways to go before its full spectrum is revealed. Drink 2026-2050.Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JDWith vines adjacent to forests on white chalky soils, the Elio Grasso 2019 Barolo Gavarini Chiniera is a luminous and very beautiful wine. Vintner Gianluca Grasso called this "the helicopter vintage" because he actually rented a helicopter to fly over the vines for 45 minutes to dry them from rain right before harvest. As he tells it, this was a costly but good decision because 15 minutes after he finished harvesting on October 26, heavy rain came and lasted an entire week. Thanks to these dramatic measures, the grape skins were excellent, and maceration with submerged cap lasted 55 days. That’s how perfect the skins were. This balanced wine shows extreme precision and elegance.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97 RPThe 2019 Barolo Gavarini Chiniera is classically austere and just gorgeous right out of the gate. Soaring aromatics and fine, sculpted fruit race out of the glass. Crushed rose petal, cinnamon, orange peel and mint are all beautifully delineated. Readers will have to be patient, as the 2019 is going to need years to be at its best, yet it has that embryonic inner sweetness that characterizes the very finest wines here. Superb.Vinous Media | 96 VMPerfumes of cinnamon, plums and dried flowers follow through to a medium body, with fine tannins that run the length of the wine. Hints of cedar and sandalwood. Crunchy and lightly chewy. Give this four or five years to soften. Best after 2028.James Suckling | 94 JS

98
JD
As low as $99.99
2019 elio grasso barolo ginestra casa mate Barolo

Very different from the Gavarini Chiniera, the 2019 Barolo Ginestra Casa Maté shows more bite, structure and a bigger tannic impact. Fruit was harvested a bit earlier, but healthy grape skins allowed for 52 days of maceration. This wine shows beautiful intensity and fullness with dark fruit, earth, hazelnut and dark plum. Surrounded by forests, the greenery gives balance to this wine by moderating temperatures. In fact, this site saw up to 10 degrees Celsius drops in diurnal temperatures, leading to thick skins and ideal phenolic ripeness.Robert Parker Wine Advocate | 97+ RPAnother remarkable wine from this outstanding and tension-packed vintage, the 2019 Barolo Ginestra Casa Mate takes on a bit more introspective nature, with black cherry, cracked peppercorn, licorice, and wet asphalt. Full-bodied, it offers sweet tannins and notes of balsamic herbs, violets, leather, and black raspberry that move through the palate at a glacial pace without feeling weighted. I would recommend cellaring for a few years, after which it will be perfect for winter weather evenings by the fireside over the coming decades. Drink 2026-2050.Jeb Dunnuck | 97 JDThe 2019 Barolo Ginestra Casa Matè is rich, dark and explosive. Dark-fleshed fruit, cloves menthol, licorice, scorched earth, leather and dried flowers are some of the notes that infuse the 2019 with character. Deep and resonant, with tremendous depth, the Ginestra is a wine of unbridled intensity. Swaths of tannin wrap around the huge, substantial finish. This virile, strapping Barolo is quite simply classic Ginestra.Vinous Media | 95 VMPlum and orange peel with some flowers such as violets on the nose. Medium to full body with tannins that build on the palate. Chewy and powerful. Traditional sensibility and nature to this. Try this after 2027.James Suckling | 95 JS

97
JD
As low as $99.99

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