I have met with Enzo Brezza in Barolo twice and I have always been impressed by his barolo Bricco Sarmassa. I acquired this old bottle when I visited him two years ago and this wine, as other old barolos, does not label a specific vineyard and I don’t know if it back in the 60’s was a blend of Sarmassa and some Castellero or just Sarmassa. All I know is that the estate owned parcels in the Sarmassa and Castellero at the time but not in Ravera, San Pietro and the Cannubi was acquired much later in the 90’s. As always corks may be an issue with old barolos and this one was a little loose so it had me worried, but as soon as I started to pour the wine in the decanter and had a sniff, it was obvious that the wine was fine. What a relief! 1964 is one of the greatest vintage in Barolo and is usually still fresh and not dry. I’m exited..
1964 Brezza Barolo
Colour is very transparent, orange-red middle and rusty-orange edges.
After about half an hour, there is a scent of fresh and complex roses and lilies, a lot of savoury notes, exotic spices, pastry, tiny notes of earth minerals, balsamic notes, leather, meat and dried oil paint. This really has a very delicate, versatile and complex nose!
The mid palate that is very savoury and offers broth, over-ripe but fresh sweet wild strawberries, blood orange, ginger, pastry, notes of caramelised sugars, metals, herbs and some tar. Very elegant polished, quite silky, and soft tannins. Concentration is great and structure is slim. It lacks some depth, but this is redeemed by its complexity and elegance. This is an elegant wine from a classic site, not a powerful one. It sure resembles a lot of the Sarmassa characteristics. It is quite persistent too and all is very integrated here in great balance. The finish is unfortunately a little austere which is sad in such a great wine that is so complex and still fresh, but overall it is aged barolo when it is enjoyable.