Monthly Archives: October 2013

2005 Vietti Barolo “Rocche di Castiglione”

Vietti is a highly regarded producer in Castiglione-Falletto, Barolo. Today Luca Currado runs the estate and their best wine is from the unofficial grand cru Rocche di Castiglione. The vines in this vineyard are 46 years old. Yield is as low as 22 hl/ha. Grapes are hand-picked, de-stemmed, gently crushed and maceration endures for two weeks with daily pumping over in stainless steel tanks at quite high temperatures. Malo is done in Barriques and then ageing is carried out in Slovenian barrels (botte) for 30 months. The wine rests another six months in stainless steel before bottling and put to the market.

Again, 2005 is a very good underrated vintage, but not a classic one and the vintage is generally drinkable relatively early. It is less heavy on tannins and a little cooler vintage that usually offers a lot freshness.

2005 Vietti Barolo Rocche di Castiglione-Falletto

Sir Galahad:

Colour: Transparent dark ruby red with white edges.
Nose: A beautiful, fresh scent of a more typically classic floral fragrances of intense roses, lilies, loads of menthol, boysenberry jam, some tar, leather, delicate orange peel, Asian herbs and some fine tuned, limestone minerals. A little oak but it doesn’t disturb the impression on the nose, rather it enhances the complexity in a good way really. A very fresh and complex modern nose with classic barolo notes!
Taste: Starts up with sourish raspberries, wild strawberries and then the mid palate offers ginger, blood orange, pastry, tar, delicate metals, minerals and finishes with truffle and under vegetation. Unfortunately and sadly, in my opinion they have covered all these wonderful aromas in too much new, sweet oak. Lacks a little concentration too, but structure is slim and typically round and smooth as always from this producer. Balance is actually impressive. Texture is fine-sandy almost silky but with bite and still just a little too heavy in the end.

I have tasted older Rocche di Castiglione from this producer through the years; 1997, 2001 and I cannot recall having experienced this level of excessive oak before in their wines. Rumours has given me the impression that they have been cutting down on new oak in the last year, but now I am confused and my gut feeling tells me that it may be the other way around, unless this change happened after 2005 that is. Even though I would prefer a little more concentration, it is sad to realize that if they had only been more careful with new oak, they would have ended up with a truly great wine with a lot of complex flavours, smooth, silky texture with fantastic balance and more importantly offering the very special terroir of Castiglione-Falletto and a much higher score from me. Open 2015-2030. Costs about €90.


2008 Giovanni Rosso, La Serra

This wine is from the La Serra vineyard, which means “the green house”, in Serralunga d’Alba in the east part of Barolo. Giovanni Rosso’s parcels have south-east exposition and gets a lot of sun, especially the lower parts, at an altitude of 378-440 m and it was replanted in 1984, 1996 and 2003. The owner Davide Rosso, who is an educated enologist, took over in 2001. Grapes are picked by hand, de-stemmed, the wine is surprisingly fermented completely in cement vats and aged for three years in large 25 hl french oak barrels.

2008 was a difficult vintage with hails and a wet summer with mildew, parasite and was much cooler than for example 2007, but was saved by a stable weather with minor rains and cool nights in the beginning of September that lasted until a late, but easy, harvest caused by an unusually late ripening. The vineyard is somewhat protected from hail by the Castelletto hills directly in the west. Production was generally very low. 2008 generally appear, I think, very aromatic, has impressive balance and less power than a classic vintage, but with more acidity than usual if harvested at the right time and it contains of a lot of minerals. There is maybe some resemblance to the 2004, but the acidity level is usually higher and will most likely need significant time to integrate. Anyway it is a very interesting and very good vintage.

2008 Giovanni Rosso, La Serra


Sir Galahad:

This wine really needs a lot of air! After about five hours in the decanter, the somewhat harsh acidity calmed down tremendously.

Colour: Dark ruby red and white edges.
Nose: A foundation of wood glue, oil paint, worn leather, iron, dog rose, fine exotic spices, some menthol, earthy dark minerals, shale stone, distinct balsamic notes with incredibly fresh top notes of fragrant roses, peonies, fir-needle, after some time a little medicinal cabinet and delicate stylish perfumes. Absolutely no disturbing oak notes here. Not a big nose, rather a very delicate, whispering one but very fresh and complex.
Taste: Big spoons of tar, sweet licorice, anise, distinct earthy minerals, gravel dust, a lot of iron, orange peel and very ripe, dark fruit. A very fine energetic acidity in this very young barolo which is promising. It is quite powerful, but structure is kind of slim and weightless. Texture is surprisingly already polished, fine, unclean sandy and tannins are dense and firm, but a little too dry for my taste. There is some resemblance to the great Vigna Rionda in some aspects. Concentration is impressive even though the wine right now has a little volatile envelope. Unfortunately, there is an unpleasant sweet, austere-metallic finish in the end here.

I really like the complex nose, even though quiet, and it will most likely be even better with time I am sure. The wine has a lot of obvious potential in ten years or so, but it does not deliver what the nose promises. The downside is the already somewhat dry tannins, the little sulfa-austere finish and the lack of some complexity. It is really sad considering all the great, ripe fruit in here, great concentration, fine texture and the energetic acidity promising a long life. Costs about €35-45. Open 2018-2030.