Most of the times I had Barolo, they were older bottles of average origin, thus dispersing all the generic perfume of leaves on a forest floor with mushrooms and some rather absent fruit. I would lie if I wouldn’t say that, even though those wines were perfectly ok to drink and had beautiful labels, I was slightly disappointed or somewhat bored.
Then there was the possibility to try younger Baroli, but the few I had were alcohol bombs, probably the type of Barolo Mr Parker would have praised. So I left the Barolo topic sleeping for a long time.
But recently as we were at our excellent Italian neighbourhood restaurant, La Fattoria, we had a bottle of Barolo stemming from a vineyard which seems to be yielding the type of Baroli I might prefer.
My savy winebook by Hugh Johnson says:
À l’Ouest de la route d’Albe, les sols sont tout À fait semblables à ceux du Barbaresco, marnes calcaires de l’époque que les géologues appellent le Tortonien. Ces collines occidentales (communes de Barolo et de La Morra) ont tendance à donner des vins sensiblement moins intenses, plus ouvertement parfumés. On compte parmi les grands vignobles Brunate, Cerequio, Rocche di La Morra et la Serra de La Morra, ainsi que le site le plus célèbre du Barolo, Cannubi, sur un terrain légèrement en contrebas.
And we precisely had a 2005 Cannubi by Commendatore Burlotto, one of the reknown wineries of the region. This wine transported what I always expected from Barolo. Power, fruit and harmony at the same time. Some kind of in between Pinot Noir and Merlot, or a Burgundy of Southern Europe.
It wasn’t overly complex and in my opinion still a few years too young, but I was impressed by its harmony while still bearing power and its very natural fruit flavour. Dark cherries, but not too perfumed and some spice are a good mix. Also its still very present but soft tannin lending structure to the wine. Just feels like a cloud on the palate.
Now after all this writing, I guess I have a new resolution for 2011: trying real top notch Barolo, aged and medium aged to experience how complex they can get. One more project on my to do list. Secret tipps anyone?