“The Wine Advocate” N° 160 – 29/08/05 Robert M. Parker jr.
DATE WINE PRICE VOTE
2001 BARBERA D’ALBA CODANA $ 38.00 89
2000 BAROLO BRICCO $ 65.00 90
2000 BAROLO MONPRIVATO $ 75.00 92
2000 BAROLO SANTO STEFANO $ 65.00 91
1997 BAROLO RISERVA MONPRIVATO CA’ D’MORISSO $ 225.00 95
2000 BAROLO VILLERO $ 65.00 91
2003 DOLCETTO D’ALBA BRICCO $ 22.00 88
2003 DOLCETTO D’ALBA SANTO STEFANO $ 19.00 89
2001 NEBBIOLO $ 24.00 88
1997 STATUS $ 35.00 90
In an age of standardized wines and winemaking, it’s hard to resist the portfolio of this producer, a true character in every sense of the word, but one who, at least, believes in his vineyards, their individual grape varieties, and the necessity of making each wines a true expression of its specific piece of the territory. Those looking for smooth, easily approchable, made-for-the-international-market wines are advised to shop elsewhere, as these are wines from Piedmont with all their virtues and with their occsional rough edges as well – the residents of this region, often considered a bit hard to handle, are not universally loved by other Italians.
The 2003 Dolcetto d’Alba Bricco made from a piece of the Monprivato vineyard where the exposure veers from southwest to west, is a good introduction to the house style in its intensity, length, and concentration. The varietal notes are there, but this is anything but a fruit-driven, up-front type Dolcetto and it will require a bit of time to come around. The 2003 Dolcetto d’Alba Santo Stefano is easier to categorize, richly fruitly, full, substantial but supple as well and with more polish and sweetness then the Dolcetto Bricco. The 2001 Barbera d’Alba Codana shows the characteristic ripe plum fruit and alcoholic warmth of its grape, but is unusually structured, dense, and firm for its category, almost a first cousin of a Barolo. It is a wine to wait for – to drink between 2006-2011. The In an age of standardized wines and winemaking, it’s hard to resist the portfolio of this producer, a true character in every sense of the word, but one who, at least, believes in his vineyards, their individual grape varieties, and the necessity 2001 Nebbiolo is an excellent example of Nebbiolo to be drunk young with its cherry and strawberry fruit, froral fragrance, light-grained tannins, and fine freshness. It is, nonetheless, a wine which will easily last another 3-4 years. The 2000 Barolo Santo Stefano is the most approachable of the five currently offered, resinous and with much licorice in its aromas, supple and sweet for a Barolo from this house, and with an attractive warmth on its finish. Drink: 2005-2015. The 2000 Barolo Bricco, though with good roundness, is firmer in texture, more tarry and herbaceous on the nose, and a bit less forword. Drink: 2005-2016. The 2000 Barolo Villero is spicier in aroma, with an important presence of rose petal and dried-roses scents, broad and full in flavor, and with important lenghth and freshness. The heat of the 2000 vintage has taken some of the tannic bite and intensity which this vineyard shows out of the wine, but it should provide very satisfying drinking for another dozen years. The 2000 Barolo Monprivato, from an historic vineyard of which Mauro Mascarello is the sole owner, is the finest of the group from the 2000 vintage, powerful and focused on the nose, smoky, tarry, and floral, large scale and depth, and with a lengthy, authoritative finish which brings out the ripeness and fullness of the fruit. Drink: 2005-2015. The 1997 Barolo Riserva Monprivato Cà D’Morisso comes from a selection of the best vines of the Monprivato vineyards and is released quite late – the 1996, in fact, has still to see the light of day. Very potent on the nose with a full panoply of sensations rangings from anisette and smoke to roses, mint, and eucalyptus, its ripe plum fruit, dense and chewy texture, and rich and velvety finish are first class indeed, the quintessence of elegant and powerful Nebbiolo. Drink 2005-2022. The 1997 Status, instead, is something of a curiosity in its blend, which adds Barbera and Freisa to a Nebbiolo base. Brawny, tarry, muscular, and intensive with a penetrating personality of herbs, wild cherries, and underbrush, it is still a bit backward and can be best drunk between 2006 and 2014. Not a wine for everyone, but I happen to love it. Importer: Doug Polaner, Polaner Selections, Mt. Kisco, NY; tel. (914) 244-0404.