at Provence Restaurant, Albany, NY (5/12/2010)

The WCC got together to taste Barolo. This time we had four guests: Mahesh Lekkala, owner of Wine Legend, a fine wine store in Livingston, NJ; Josh London, Upstate New York East Representative, Polaner Selections; Samuel Bolshoi, Sales Director (New Jersey, Westchester, Upstate NY), Polaner Selections; and a friend of Mahesh whose name escaped me (sorry).

Mahesh was in town for a Polaner tasting in the afternoon and this dinner was arranged in his honor. Josh and Sam from Polaner were able to join us as well.

Flight 1
With Charcuterie Tasting: A selection of Chef Michael's homemade Pates with Saucisson and Prosciutto served with Baguette.
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1.1. 2000 Fontanafredda
Lovely nose of red fruit. Forward, tasty. Has a nice virbrancy.88 points
Day 2: A lovely wine with Barolo character. Now-2014. 90 points.

1.2. 2005 G. Mascarello Monprivato
[pop & pour] Glorious nose of flowers. Huge structure and tannin. Wow! Terrific stuff. with lots of potential. Very long finish. Obviously young, but truly classic! Best in 10-20 years. 94-96 points.
Day 2: Shutting down. Lots of chewy tannin. Still very tasty.

1.3. 2005 Domenico Clerico Ciabot Mentin Ginestra
Exquisite floral nose. Delicate yet full and rich in the mouth. Lots of minerals. Super long finish. 95-97 points. My #3 WOTN.
Day 2: Nose more muted but still exquisite in the mouth. Terrific length. Wow!

Flight 2
With Warm Duck Confit with Mixed Baby Greens, Sun-dried Berries, Crumbled Roquefort Cheese Crostini with Vinaigrette a Ia Maison.
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2.1. 1998 Borgogno Barolo Classico Riserva
More earth in the nose, but ruthless tannins on the finish. Not enough fruit for the tannin. Pretty shocking now that I see it's a 1998. 87 points.
Day 2: Tannin. No fruit. Shocking for a 1998!

2.2. 1994 Gaja Sperss
Beautiful nose of earth and truffle. Lovely, sweet red fruit. Good structure. Just beginning its drinking window. Very impressive for the vintage. 91 points. Group #5 WOTN.
Day 2: Quite mature. Tasty, but don't wait on this one. Drink by 2016 or so.

Flight 3
With Fricassee of Lamb with Port Wine Reduction and Duchess Potato Crust.
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3.1. 1988 Roberto Veorzio La Serra

3.2. 1989 Domenico Clerico Bricotto Bussia
Floral nose is glorious. Big, rich, tannic, complex. Still very young. 95 points. Tied for group #1 with 7 first place votes!
Day 2: Quite mature now. Drink up!

3.3. 1989 Rocche Dei Manzoni Riserva Vigna Big
Gorgeous nose of red fruit, licorice, tar. Silky sweet with a long ringing finish. A terrific wine. 96 points. Group #4 WOTN.
Day 2: Holding up really well. Classic 1989 Barolo. Complex, nuanced, mature.

3.4. 1990 Prunotto Bussia
[decanted late morning] Nose of tar and truffles. Exquisite finish. This wine is right at its peak and drinking brilliantly now. 97 points. My #2 WOTN by a close margin. Tied for group #1 with only 3 first place votes, but 5 2nd place votes, and 2 3rd place (out of 12 people voting).
Day 2: Sweeter than the 2 above, but starting to fade.

Flight 4
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4.1. 1985 Bruno Giacosa Rionda
[pop & pour] Open nose. Lots of spice. Tasty. Expansive. Riveting. Just terrific. The best bottle of this wine I've ever had. 97 points. My WOTN by a close margin. Group #3 WOTN.

4.2. 1982 Bruno Giacosa Falletto
[pop & pour] Corked. What a shame.

4.3. 1990 Bruno Giacosa Falletto Riserva
[decanted late morning] Huge meaty fruitcake nose. Big and expansive in the mouth. Long, classic, but a bit unctuous for Barolo. Lots of thickness in the mouth. Super long. Still too young. Continues to open as it sits in the glass. Riveting, awesome! Should have decanted the day before! 96-99 points.

WOTN Voting (3pts each person for #1, 2pts for #2, 1pt for #3)

1(tie)211989 Domenico Clerico Bricotto Bussia
1(tie)211990 Prunotto Bussia
3101985 Bruno Giacosa Rionda
471989 Rocche Dei Manzoni Riserva Vigna Big
561994 Gaja Sperss


Chocolate Marquise with Praline Sauce and Raspberry Coulis.
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All original content © Ken Vastola