Showdown: 2007 Asili – Roagna V.V vs CA’ del Baio

The Asili vineyard is the most well-known and probably the best in Barbaresco. It was the legendary Bruno Giacosa that first proved its potential back in 1967. Unfortunately, we did not get hold of any of his bottles for this wine tasting. The contenders this time are CA’ del Baio and Roagna. This fight may not be truly fair, since the Asili from Roagna is from grapes selected from very old vines, but that is life..

The vintage 2007 is a warm year with an unusually early blooming, a whole month earlier than usual, and it was saved by a late cooling period right before an early harvest. The wines are usually very forward, aromatic, a little fleshy, opulent, intense, but not heavy and still with fresh acidity. Even though being an early vintage, it needs plenty of airing. Especially the Roagna.

2007 CA’ del Baio Asili

Sir Galahad:

Colour: Dark ruby red and light-orange edges.
Nose: Leather, some rowan berries, medicinal cabin, distinct sweet licorice, some tar, delicate tiny fresh lilies, dry rose petals and fine tuned burned chalky minerals.
Taste: Sweet licorice, notes of coca cola, loads of very sweet but pure red fruit; sourish wild strawberries, red current. There is blood orange too and fine tuned but a little burned chalky minerals.

Incredibly full-bodied with loads of fruit. It lacks some concentration, structure and complexity, but it is very generous and texture is quite silky. It is long but the end suffers from some austere tone with some bleak metal that is unsatisfactory.

88-p/100

Andreas:

Nose: Lots of red fruit, tobacco, leather and some sweet tones. Quite fresh.
Taste: Again red fruit, raspberries and red current. Quite sharp but not unpleasant acidity.
Finish: The tannins are quite fine. Some slight bitterness appear at the end.
Summary: This wine is ok but not more. I did expect a lot more from an Asili.

88p/100

2007 Roagna Asili “vecchie viti”

Grapes were hand-picked quite late and de-stemmed. The grapes for this wine is from the oldest vines in this vineyard that are older than 50 years. As an ultra-traditional protector, Roagna is known for their extremely long maceration. In this case it is about 70-90 days. Fermentation takes place in wood. Ageing is done in 4-6 years in french- and Slovenian 20 hl barrels.

Sir Galahad:

Colour: Dark ruby red and light-orange edges.
Nose: This took for ever to wake up in the decanter. The mid palate offers medicinal cabin, tar, dark subtle fruit, worn leather, savoury notes, under vegetation and burned earthy limestone minerals. Right now it really lacks the expected delicate seductive, elegant feminine traits like red flowers and inner perfume, but after seven hours of airing, suddenly at least there is some dry rose petals but absolutely no stylish perfume in this currently very closed and reduced wine, but there is complexity and detail.
Taste: Big spoons of anise, sourish wild strawberries, distinct orange-peel, some pastry, fir-needle and earthy minerals. It is not really fresh now, but there is a balsamic acidity in there and it clearly offers depth and complexity. Concentration is great and impressive building structure. The end is a little short and is directed by an already quite silky texture. Tannins are hard now but chewy and of high quality so this just needs some more time.

It is hard to set a score for this wine and make a guess when this will be ready, but it feels very closed, introvert now and my guess is that we have to wait a few years more here for it to integrate, open up and be ready. I guess opening it in 2016-2030.

93-95p/100

Andreas:

Nose: Dense and deep dark berries, black current, strawberries, leather, solvent, a hint of oranges, earthy and some hints of stable and iron. 8 hours after opening the bottle some floral tones appear 🙂
Taste: Dark berries, mainly blueberries. Very good structure and the acidity is pleasant. The tannins are of course there but they are softer than expected.
Finish: Surprisingly pleasant tannins already. Medium length.
Summary: I really appreciate the density of this wine but I was hoping for more elegance from an Asili wine.

94-95p/100

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