2010 Barolo at Four Seasons Restaurant, NYC (2/7/2015)

Morning Tasting of New Release Barolos at Antonio Galloni Vinous Media's La Festa del Barolo 2015.

Each of the 15 producers poured one 2010 Barolo. These were all current releases except the 2 riservas (from Scavino and Massolino) which can't be released until next year. All wines were opened around 9:30am. The tasting ran from 10:30am to 12:30am. The tasting was followed by lunch (see below).

Part 1 of this special event was a Gala dinner the previous evening.

Click on an image with a border for a much larger view of that image which may contain additional image.

Most of the bottle photos are courtesy of Worldly Wino. A few others are credited below. The rest are mine.

The 15 producers lined up in the order of the tasting.
Looking toward the back of the Pool Room across the pool.
A photo by Valter Fissore from the dais. In the front row
on the left is Worldly Wino (Lisa Stephenson) & Steve Adams (3rd).
2nd row, far right to left: me, Howard Chen, Henry Kahn.
3rd row, far left, Mark Scudiery.
Antonio prepares to take a photo of the audience.

Tough to get started at 10:30 the morning after the Gala dinner, but I quickly got up to speed. I'm a trooper!

This was a very informative tasting of what is clearly an outstanding vintage in Barolo. And we had a chance to retaste some of the wine during the lunch that followed.

Flight 1: Ceretto, Vajra, Altare
Alessandro Ceretto of Bricco Rocche (Ceretto).
Aldo Vaira of G.D. Vajra.
Silvia Altare of Elio Altare is not feeling well this morning.
  1. 2010 Azienda Bricco Rocche (Ceretto) Barolo Bricco Rocche - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Alessandro Ceretto says this vineyard is biodynamic, the wines now get long macerations, and they have cut the new oak in half. This nose has a striking perfume of red fruit and spice. Drying tannins, light elegant in the mouth. Long finish. Lacks richness at this stage, but I think it will bloom with time. The style is more traditional than it has been for a while at this estate. (92-94 points)
  2. 2010 G.D. Vajra Barolo Bricco delle Viole - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Austere nose. Rich in the mouth. Wow! Sweet and complex and this early stage. Solid tannins. Elegant, but some power.
    Even more fragrant later with lunch. (93-96 points)
  3. 2010 Elio Altare Barolo Vigneto Arborina - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Silvia Altare says this fermented for 5 days in a rotofermenter, then spent 2 years in barrique. Sweet cherry-vanilla nose. Thick and sweet in the in the mouth. I can only hope it will shed all this oak over time. NR

Flight 2: Scavino, Cordero di Montezemolo, A. Conterno, Rivetti
Enrico Scavino of Paolo Scavino.
Alberto Cordero di Montezemolo of Cordero di Montezemolo
and Franco Conterno of Aldo Conterno.
Giorgio Rivetti of La Spinetta.
  1. 2010 Paolo Scavino Barolo Riserva Rocche dell'Annunziata - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Enrico said they bought this vineyard in 1990. This wine is not yet released. Big nose of black fruit, spice and new oak. Complex, rich, sweet, tannic. Long. A well-made modern style wine. If it sheds its new oak, it could be very good. (92-?? points)
  2. 2010 Cordero di Montezemolo Barolo Enrico VI - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Alberto Cordero di Montezemolo says this is from a 25 hectare plot in Villero. One of the really pleasant surprises of this tasting. Muted nose of tar and black fruit. Thick, rich, tannic, balsamic. Really classic Villero. Not long at this stage. Reminds me of some of Giacosa's Villeros. Could be a terrific wine in 15-20 years. (93-?? points)
  3. 2010 Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo Cicala - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Franco Conterno says "Cicala" means "Cicada" in English. Just above this vineyard at the top of the hill is a wooded area full of cicadas. Gorgeous black fruit and olive nose. Smooth and complex. Not overtly modern. (93-95 points)
  4. 2010 La Spinetta (Rivetti) Barolo Vürsù Vigneto Campè - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Giorgio Rivetti says he bought the vineyard in 2000. It has old vines and is in the commune of Grinzane Cavour. Nose of chocolate and black fruit. Gunky in the mouth. Overwhelmed by new oak. NR

Flight 3: G. Conterno, Burlotto, Sandrone, E. Pira (Chiara Boschis)
Roberto Conterno of Giacomo Conterno.
Fabio Alessandria of G.B. Burlotto.
Luciano Sandrone of Luciano Sandrone.
Chiara Boschis of E. Pira.
  1. 2010 Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cerretta - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Roberto Conterno says this will be sold only in magnums and 3 liter bottles to commemorate the first vintage labeled Barolo by Conterno from this vineyard. He did bottle some 750s for tastings, which is what we are tasting today. Stunning nose of roses, black fruit, and tar. Dark, powerful, complex, expansive on the long finish. Just wow! Really blows everything before it out of the water. Later with lunch, just fucking great! (97-99 points)
  2. 2010 Comm. G.B. Burlotto Barolo Monvigliero - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Fabio says this was 100% whole cluster fermentation. A perfume like no other. Flowers and tapenade in the nose. Vibrant in the mouth. Long finish of licorice and black fruits. This is a terrific wine. (94-96 points)
  3. 2010 Luciano Sandrone Barolo Le Vigne - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Luciano says this comes from 4 vineyards which are picked and aged separately. Their website says it comes from 3 vineyards this year (Merli in Novello, Baudana in Serralunga, Vignane in Barolo). Luciano says they are keeping the wine more time in bottle, less in barrel. Sweet black fruit nose. Highly extracted fruit in the nose and mouth. Huge, tannic, loads of ripe black fruit. Very modern in style, but not oaky. Very long. (93-?? points)
  4. 2010 E. Pira & Figli (Chiara Boschis) Barolo Via Nuova - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Chiara says this is a blend of 6 small plots that they have in 3 different communes. This is the first vintage which is blended like this. Fragrant, harmonious, lovely nose. Medium body. Long and impressive. Should drink well early. (93 points)

Flight 4: G. Rinaldi, Massolino, Cogno, Vietti
Marta Rinaldi of Giuseppe Rinaldi.
Franco Massolino of Massolino & Valter Fissore of Elvio Cogno.
Valter Fissore of Elvio Cogno & Luca Currado of Vietti.
Luca Currado of Vietti.
  1. 2010 Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo Brunate - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Marta Rinaldi says this is 15% Le Coste, the max allowed by law. She also says that recent vintage of Brunate-Le Coste were only 25% Le Coste. I thought they were 40% Le Coste. Amazing nose of flowers, black fruit and grilled beef. Expansive and complex in the mouth. The finish lasts forever. Amazing wine. Along with the Conterno Cerretta, wine of the tasting. (98-100 points)
  2. 2010 Massolino Barolo Riserva Vigna Rionda - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    This wine is not yet released since it is a riserva. Franco Massolino says that 1982 was the first single-vineyard Rionda made by Massolino. He said they own 25% of Rionda. Fragrant licorice and black fruit nose. Big, rich, elegant, long, and intense. A very impressive wine with a lot of upside. (95 points)
  3. 2010 Azienda Agricola Elvio Cogno Barolo Bricco Pernice - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Valter Fissore says his father in law, Elvio Cogno bought their piece of Ravera in 1990. It is adjacent to the Vietti parcel. Nose of black fruits with a hint of walnuts. Expansive, complex, long. Wow! So fragrant in the mouth. Terrific wine. (96 points)
  4. 2010 Vietti Barolo Ravera - Italy, Piedmont, Langhe, Barolo
    Luca Currado talked at some length about he made a wine from this vineyard in the 2000 vintage. (They bought their parcel in 1995.) He was very unhappy with the modern techniques he used. He thought long and hard about what he had not learned from his forebearers when he made the 2000. This was the first one he decided to make since then, but using very traditional methods. Gorgeous, reserved black fruit and espresso nose. Restrained, more backward up front than the Cogno, but expands and expands in the back of the palate. Super long. Silky, thick. Needs a lot of time. Great potential. (97 points)

Greg dal Piaz is focused.
Marzia and Todd Tucker listening intently.
Jonathan Doft, Steve Adams, Lisa Stephenson.
Distinguished wine author Ed McCarthy makes a comment.
Photo by Worldly Wino.)


2010 is a superb vintage. To me, it has a lot in common with 2004. Wines that really balance elegance and power.

My tasting notes posted from CellarTracker.

Mark Scudiery's notes on the same event posted on his blog, Wine Without Numbers.

Worldly Wino's notes on the same event posted on her blog.

If you have a subscription to Antonio Galloni's Vinous (highly recommended), there are excellent videos from this event posted there.


Lunch was served with the wines from the tasting. Where there was something notable, I put it in my notes above. It was nice just to enjoy the wines with the food. This might be my only chance to say that the 2010 Conterno Cerretta is a great hamburger wine!

Mostly food photos, followed by mostly people photos.

Roasted Beets, Burrata, & Arugula. This was as good as it looked.
Four Seasons Hamburger, an inspired choice.
Greg grabs some frites.
The frites are really good.
Hazelnut Chocolate Cake. Delicious!
Finishing with wonderful espresso.
Two of the terrific sommeliers at this event:
Pascaline Lepeltier & Lisa Stephenson (Worldly Wino).
Giuseppe Vaira of G.D. Vajra, Henry Kahn, & Nicolai Søegaard.
Mark Scudiery, Marc DiBella, & Ignatius Melito.
Nicolai Søegaard & Roberto Conterno.
Looking around the room.
Looking around the room.
Looking around the room.
Looking around the room.
From the right: Marc DiBella, his lovely wife, smiling Iggy.

View of the room. From the far right, against the partition, you can see Greg, then Todd, then me. (Photo by Vinous.)




All original content © Ken Vastola