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MWG November 24th tasting: Barbaresco v. Barolo

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Barbaresco 2009, Muncagota, Produttori del Barbaresco ($56.50, 11863223)
The 3.9 ha Muncagota (formerly Moccagatta) vineyard lies east of – and thus further from the river and the warm, fertile valley floor than – the Asili and Pajè vineyards and it faces southeast, toward the cooler morning sun. 100% Nebbiolo. Fermented with cultivated “Barolo” yeasts in temperature-controlled (30ºC) concrete and stainless steel vats. Fermentation and maceration – with regular punch-downs and pump-overs – lasted 28 days. Matured 30 months in large Slavonian oak barrels. Bottled unfiltered and with a small dose of sulphur dioxide. Aged another eight months in bottle before release. 14.5% ABV. 13,333 bottles made. Quebec agent: oenopole.
Such a complex nose for a wine still in its adolescence: truffle, kirsch, plum, turned earth, drying plaster, rose, anise, slate, a whiff of tar. More primary on the palate: a full-bodied, satin-textured mouthful of ripe and chewy fruit, juicy acidity and still-tight, fine-grained tannins. Evolved flavours are just beginning to be hinted at. A faint bitterness gilds the long, heady finish. Can power and elegance be more perfectly balanced? Enjoyable now, especially with extended carafing, but only good will come from another five or ten years in the cellar. (Buy again? Oh, yes.)

Barolo 2009, San Lorenzo, Fratelli Alessandria ($66.00, 11650720)
100% Nebbiolo from a 0.8 parcel of vines averaging 25 years old and grown in the San Lorenzo vineyard in Verduno commune. Manually harvested. Fermented (with indigenous yeasts) and macerated from 12 to 15 days in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. Matured six to ten months in 500-litre tonneaux, 22 to 24 months in 20- to 30-hectolire Slavonian and French oak casks and six months in the bottle. 14.5% ABV. Around 4,000 bottles made. Quebec agent: oenopole.
Intertwining threads of fresh (cherry, red currant, fern fronds) and savoury (chocolate, red miso, caramel, iodine, dried beef, old wood) aromas. The palate is dense and structured, the sweet-ripe fruit backdropped by dark minerals and tar and lasting well into the still-astringent finish. Somewhat primary and tasting like it will peak around 2020. True to the estate’s style: less flashy, even a tad more rustic than some but firmly rooted in terroir and tradition. A satisfying wine that almost begs to be consumed with food. (Buy again? Yes.)

(Flight: 4/5)

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Written by carswell

December 20, 2014 at 13:10

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