2011 Vintage Barolo Tasting at Wine Watch Wine Bar
Thursday, August 30, 2018 - 07:30 PM
This Event has been read: 264 times.
You haven’t drunk too much wine if you can still lie on the floor without holding on.”
We try not to lie on the ground here at Wine Watch because it’s a little cold but the ground is here just in case we need it.
The 2010’s have been hyped as a superlative year and this the only thing that detracted from the quality of the 2011 release was collectors thinking “how can they have another superlative vintage back to back?” God has smiled upon the producers of the Langhe and blessed them with back to back GREAT harvests in 2010 and 2011 but we have to look hard to find an off vintage in the Piedmont as it is easier to remember the bad vintages than the good ones as only 2002 was really bad.
Many of the producers would tell you about the trouble that the heat gave them in 2003 but the best of these wines today are delicious and at our last few tastings the 2003’s have been the stars of the show. The vintage on the bottle in the Piedmont today is just an indication of when the optimum time is to drink the wines and if you want another collectible wine from Barolo these 2011 vintage wines deliver again and again but are also showing very nicely right now as I found out last weekend at a Piedmont tasting where I had a 2011 Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Red Label Riserva out of magnum and could not believe how good this wine was. So I quickly put together a tasting that will feature most of the 2011 Barolo that have left in the store to see how these wines are showing today.
Three is always more scientific Piedmont work to do and I’m glad we still have a few bottles remaining as they have most sold through at the distributor level. This may be the last 2011 vintage Barolo tasting we conduct for a while so if you want to get a look at this outstanding vintage this could be your last chance for a while here at the Wine Watch.
2011 Vintage Barolo Tasting at Wine Watch
Thursday, August 30th
2011 G. B. Burlotto Monvigliero Barolo DOCG
Price: $95.00 Your Price: $69.00
As it was in G.B.’s day, the greatest Burlotto wine is the magical Barolo from Verduno’s Monvigliero vineyard. The greatness of Monvigliero lies in its signature aromatics, which are unlike any Barolo we’ve ever experienced. Its astonishingly intense, and instantly recognizable, perfume of Provençal black olive tapenade, cedar and truffle is nothing short of hypnotic. And it could come from no place else on earth. It is the essence of its terroir.
Like his ancestors, Fabio approaches Monvigliero in a way that is both classical and idiosyncratic—to extract the vineyard’s essential greatness. At the core of this technique is a gentle crushing of all the grapes by foot, an incredible 60-day maceration on the skins and, of course, long aging in large wood botte. It’s an approach virtually unheard of today, yet its brilliance is revealed in every glass of this unique Barolo.
In fact, Monvigliero’s magic must have as much do with the technique as it does the vineyard’s relatively high altitude or the 45-year-old vines in limestone-rich soil.
The foot treading avoids the problem of mechanical extraction: breaking the seeds and tannins, which causes bitterness. It also explains how Monvigliero’s fruit can withstand sixty days of skin contact—a practice that once flourished in the Langhe’s greatest cellars but vanished by the 1980s. The combination of foot treading, long maceration and traditional botte-aging produces a wine of powerful structure, but with an ethereally delicate mouthfeel.
2011 G. B. Burlotto Cannubi Barolo DOCG
Price: $95.00 Sale: $65.00
During his seventy-seven years as a winemaker (1850-1927), G.B. Burlotto’s accomplishments were rivaled only by those of Biondi-Santi and Vega Sicilia, as G.B. achieved superstardom in a world dominated by French wines. Today, Burlotto has re-emerged as one of Piemonte’s great small producers, thanks to the brilliant and highly traditional winemaking of G.B.’s great-great-grandson, Fabio Alessandria.
He pioneered selling Barolo in bottle (not cask or demijohn), predating even Giacomo Conterno’s Barolo Monfortino. And as official supplier to the Royal House of Savoy—which once ruled Piemonte—he not only achieved personal fame, he made his village of Verduno as renowned as Serralunga or La Morra.
G.B.’s death in 1927 not only took away Burlotto’s driving force, it also deprived Verduno of its greatest champion. And so both faded into obscurity in the decades that followed. But now, with G.B.’s great-great-grandson Fabio Alessandria as winemaker, Burlotto’s star is again rising, reclaiming its position as one of Piedmont’s great small producers.
2011 Francesco Rinaldi Barolo Cannubi
Price: $82.50 Your Price: $72.60 Quantity in Stock: 12
(93 Points) Rinaldi's 2011 Barolo Cannubi shows the richer side of this site, with all of the typical flavors amped up by the richness of the year. Sweet red cherry, pomegranate, mint, rose petal and spice notes flesh out in this decidedly ample, bold Cannubi. Sweeping in stature and proportion, the Cannubi is a terrific example of the year. It is also a touch fresher than the Brunate, which is one of the reasons I prefer it today, albeit slightly. Vinous
2011 Francesco Rinaldi Barolo Brunate
Price: $69.00 Your Price: $60.72 Quantity in Stock: 4
(91 Points) Readers won't find much of the early appeal of the 2011 vintage in Rinaldi's Barolo Brunate. A big, super-sized Barolo, the Brunate is packed with huge dark fruit and equally imposing tannins. The ripeness of the vintage is evident. This is one of the most closed, brooding 2011s I tasted. It will be interesting to see what more time in bottle brings, and especially if a greater element of Brunate typicity emerges over time. Vinous
2011 Azelia Barolo Bricco Fiasco
Price: $78.25 Your Price: $68.86
James Suckling 94 "Fascinating aromas of iron, terra cotta and dried fruits. Full body, with chewy tannins and a juicy finish. Muscular yet polished Barolo. Better in 2018. Better than 2010"
2011 Giacomo Borgogno Barolo Fossati
Price: $95.00 Sale Price: $69.00
(91 Points) The 2011 Barolo Fossati bears the warm climate characteristics of the vintage for sure. The fruit is upfront and mature with lingering notes of cherry liqueur, blackberry confit and air-dried apricot. The wine presents extra richness and succulence. The fruit is round and slightly sweet and the tannins are yielding. This is a steady Barolo to drink in the near or medium term. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
2011 Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo Brunate
Price: $210.00 Your Price: $184.80
The 2011 Barolo Brunate has finally begun to awaken from its post-bottling slumber. Surprisingly open for a young Rinaldi Barolo, the 2011 is round, spherical and supple. Leather, smoke, menthol and tobacco wrap around a plump, juicy core of dark Brunate fruit. The 2011 is almost shockingly accessible. The breadth and creaminess of Brunate is evident, but at the same time, the Brunate is also clearly marked by the ripeness of the vintage. It will be interesting to see if the pedigree of Brunate comes to the fore with further time in bottle. At this point, the Barolo Tre Tine is fresher and better balanced. -- Antonio Galloni 92 pts
”The first time I visited Beppe Rinaldi, back in the Piedmont Report days, his small estate in Barolo was only known to a handful of insiders. After my tasting, I had the chance to purchase 5 or 6 different vintages. I did the best I could on a graduate student's budget. Today, Rinaldi's Barolos are some of the most sought-after wines anywhere in the world. And with good reason. For readers who want to understand what traditional Barolo is all about, these are reference-point wines. It's as simple as that. On a strictly personal level, these are among my most treasured bottles.” Antonio Galloni
2011 Vietti Barolo Lazzarito
Price: $170.0 Your Price: $149.60
“Iron, smoke and red stone fruits begin to emerge, but only with great reluctance. The Lazzarito is a wine for the patient”. (Vinous – Antonio GAlloni – September 2014)
Charcuterie and cheese Selections
Butter seared sirloin with Au Poivre Sauce & Pomme Frits
Bacon-Dark Chocolate Creme Brulee with Blackberry Compote
This tasting and dinner are $125 + Tax for reservations call 954-523-9463, there are only 12 spaces available for this event.
“The 2011 vintage was a hot one with scorching winds from North Africa that persisted throughout much of the summer. Winter months were cool with moderate snow in January and February. Heavy rains characterized much of March but the end of the month saw a sudden rise in temperatures. The spring season started suddenly and with vigor. This led to a quick acceleration of the growing cycle. Early flowering also helped to make for a long season that is ideal for Nebbiolo. The heat spell subsided in June and July and vineyard growth resumed at a slower pace. August was extremely hot and dry because of the African anticyclone weather patterns. Old vines in cooler soils obviously fared better than young vines that were more vulnerable to water stress. The pre-harvest season saw more agreeable climatic conditions with cooler nights and steep diurnal temperature shifts. Yields were slightly lower in 2011.
My findings were mixed. The 2011 vintage of Barolo does present warm-weather characteristics with some jammy aromas, soft tannins, an immediate style and thick extraction. Generally speaking, the wines are bold, opulent and more appropriate for medium-term drinking. They don't show the heightened level of aromatic finesse, acidity and ethereal grace that you get with the cooler 2010 vintage. Instead, these wines show less dimension and more balsam herb intensity. I also found that more than just a few wines in 2011 revealed reduced aromas with awkward sulfur flavors. Many more are heavy with tarry aromas of black resin and asphalt. This theme runs strong in 2011 Barolo. Tasting between vineyards, the Bussia cru in the most rustic and untamed part of the Monforte d'Alba and Barolo townships performed very nicely in 2011. These wines showed enormous depth and precision. The Cannubi cru, on the other hand, delivered uneven results in my opinion. This group of wines showed less consistency overall. Some wines revealed muddled aromas, while others were spot-on.” The Wine Advocate
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