2015 Barolo: The Bigger Picture
@ The Grill Restaurant, NYC (2/1/2020)

Morning Tasting of New Release 2015 Barolos at Antonio Galloni Vinous Media's La Festa del Barolo 2020.

All the wines were opened around 9:30am and served cool (cellar temp). The tasting ran from 10:30am to 12:30am. The tasting was followed by lunch.

2015 is an appealing vintage. The wines are uniformly forward and relatively open for Barolo so young. The quality seems quite consistent. I used the word "sweet" in almost all the tasting notes. Here I mean sweet tasting fruit and not residual sugar. In this regard, 2015 reminds me of 2007 with perhaps a bit more consistency and structure.

Links to each flight and to lunch:
I have been to each of the previous seven La Festa current release tastings. You can find my photos and notes from those tastings here: Part 1 of La Festa del Barolo was a Gala dinner the previous evening, where I sat with Roberto Conterno of Giacomo Conterno.

I went to the first five Gala dinners, then skipped the next two. Here are my notes and photos for those that I attended:

Click on any photo for a larger view of that photo. Many larger photos contain more image as well as much higher resolution and are typically 3-4 MB.

The Venue and Getting Started

Arriving at the venue which used to be the historic Four Seasons Restaurant in the Seagram Building.
It is now two separate restaurants: The Pool and The Grill, under the managment of the Major Food Group.
The entrance is on 52nd Street:

The 2015 Barolo tasting was held in The Pool. My seat was just behind the pool itself:

Looking around the room before we get started:

Once we were all seated, I could not get a clear shot of the panel from where I was sitting.
Fortunately, my friend Manuel Bürgi did get these nice photos of the entire panel and Antonio.
From let to right: Alex Sanchez (Brovia), Alessandro Ceretto, Mariacristina "Cristina" Oddero,
Luca Currado (Vietti), Matteo Sardagna (Einaudi), Gianluca Grasso, Marco Parusso, Barbara Sandrone,
Silvia Altare, Nicola Oberto (Trediberri), Valter Fissore (Cogno), Giuseppe Vaira (Vajra),
Fabio Alessandria (Burlotto), Elisa Scavino, Roberto Conterno (G. Conterno).

More photos of the winemakers are below the tasting notes.

The Tasting Notes

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

Flight One: Rocche di Castiglione and Bricco Rocche

Flight Two: Bussia and Ginestra
At the end of this flight, I asked for a clarification of a comment by Marco Parusso. Marco had said that his Barolo Bussia is blended from two parcels in Bussia, one of which is called "Vigna Rocche". I misunderstood him to say it was one parcel in Bussia and one in Rocche, which did not make sense. Marco and Antonio clarified the situation to me. There is a piece of Bussia on the other side of the road which looks to be part of Rocche di Castiglione, but is still part of Bussia. It is Vigna Rocche in Bussia.

After the morning session ended, Alessandro Masnaghetti came over to me and gave me this sketch of the relationship of Vigna Rocche to Rocche di Castiglione:

Flight Three: Cannubi

Flight Four: Something New
Antonio said these wines were new in some way. Clearly true of Trediberri, a new winery and new to La Festa. I'm not sure what is new about the others.

Flight Five: Serralunga d'Alba


This was my eighth of these structured new release tastings at La Festa del Barolo. This one might be the most uniform in terms of the character of the wines. The 2015 Barolos have lots of sweet fruit and enough structure for medium term cellaring. OTOH, I don't find a lot of the typicity of vintages such as 2013 and 2010. That is, the vineyard is not as prominent in these wines as those of 2010 and 2013. I expect the 2015s to be fully ready before the wines of those vintages.

Tasting notes posted from CellarTracker.

Photos of the Winemakers

This year I was able to get quite a few good photos of the individual winemakers. The quality of the photos themselves is not so great since I was seated perhaps 10 meters from the panel and I had to use a zoom lens at 200mm. Still, I liked the passion for their wine and region that came across in these photos.

Alex Sanchez (Brovia):

Alessandro Ceretto:

Mariacristina "Cristina" Oddero:

Luca Currado (Vietti):

Matteo Sardagna (Einaudi):

Gianluca Grasso:

Marco Parusso:

Barbara Sandrone:

Silvia Altare:

Nicola Oberto (Trediberri):

Valter Fissore (Cogno):

Giuseppe Vaira (Vajra):

Fabio Alessandria (Burlotto):

Elisa Scavino:

Roberto Conterno (G. Conterno):

Group Shots

Alex Sanchez, Alessandro Ceretto, and Cristina Oddero:

Luca Currado of Vietti and Matteo Sardagna of Einaudi:

Joe Campanale of Fausto Restaurant pours for the panel:

Silvia Altare, Nicola Oberto, and Valter Fissore:

Silvia Altare takes a selfie with Nicola Oberto:

Nicola Oberto, Valter Fissore, and Giuseppe Vaira:

Fabio Alessandria and Elisa Scavino:

Fabio Alessandria, Elisa Scavino, and Roberto Conterno:

Elisa Scavino and Roberto Conterno:

More shots of the panel:

Standing off to the side during the panel was James Forsyth with his son Alex:


Lunch was served in The Grill with the wines from the tasting. It was nice just to enjoy the wines with the food. This might be my only chance to say that the 2013 G. Conterno Barolo Arione is a great hamburger wine!

Looking around The Grill as we settle in for lunch:

Our table is set:

Tuna Ravigote (raw tuna in an acidic sauce made with shallots, capers, herbs):


Lemon Chiffon Cake:




All original content © Ken Vastola