2013 Barolo: Sublime Finesse & Elegance
@ Del Posto Restaurant, NYC (2/3/2018)

Morning Tasting of New Release Barolos at Antonio Galloni Vinous Media's La Festa del Barolo 2018.

We tasted one 2013 Barolo from each of the 15 producers represented except for one 2012 from Roagna. These were all current releases. All 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.

Note that the title of the tasting and of the individual flights is taken almost verbatim from the tasting booklet prepared by Vinous.

Links to each flight and to lunch:

I have been to each of the previous five 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, which I did not attend this year. I did go to the first five Gala dinners. Here are my notes and photos for those:

This time my seat was off to one side and back a couple of rows, so I was not able to get as many good shots of the producers. I did my best to capture one good shot of each producer, but I missed with Paola Rinaldi of Francesco Rinaldi. If someone took a nice photo of her that you'd like to share, please let me know.

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

All the producers except Alessandro Ceretto and only part of Alex Sanchez (Brovia) on the far left.
My friend Bill Lawrence at the bottom in the pink shirt.

All the producers except Luca Currado (Vietti) is missing on the far right.

Alex Sanchez, Luca Roagna, Alberto Cordero di Montezemolo, Pietro Colla, Chiara Boschis,
Barbara Sandrone, Paola Rinaldi, Carlotta Rinaldi, Lorenzo Scavino, Franco Massolino:

Ready to go!

My friend Keith Edwards posted notes on this tasting on his blog. Since he did it flight by flight, I have put the links to his notes in each flight.

Flight 1: Castiglione Falletto and Monforte d'Alba
This is really four wines from Castiglione Falletto and one from Monforte d'Alba. Wines 2, 3, and 4 really showed the power typical of Rocche and La Pira (which are adjacent), as well as Villero which stretches out along a ridge on the other side of the road from Rocche. All three also show significant depth. The fifth wine is quite different, showing more the elegance of Bussia, especially in this vintage. Keith Edwards commentary on this flight.

Flight 2: The Art of the Blend
Two beautiful wines which show how well the old style of blended crus still works in Barolo. Keith Edwards commentary on this flight.

Flight 3: The Classicism of Brunate
The similarity of these two wines is quite striking. The Francesco Rinaldi parcel sits just above the Giuseppe Rinaldi parcel on the hillside. The commune boundary between La Morra and Barolo runs right through the Francesco Rinaldi parcel, while the Giuseppe Rinaldi parcel is entirely in Barolo. The quality of the wines at Francesco Rinaldi has been rising steadily, while the Giuseppe Rinaldi Brunate has taken on a bit more elegance. Keith Edwards commentary on this flight.

Flight 4: The Nuances of Margheria in Serralunga d'Alba
The Azelia parcel in Margheria sits directly above the Massolino parcel on the west-southwest portion of the Margheria hill. However, any similarlity in the grapes is wiped out by by the extensive use of modern techniques at Azelia. In particular, the use of a roto-fermenter gives what to me is an unnatural viscosity for Barolo. Keith Edwards commentary on this flight.

Flight 5: The Renaissance of Monvigliero and Verduno
Burlotto has two separate parcels in Monvigliero. For each of these, Fratelli Alessandria has a parcel right next to it. Still these wines don't seem as similar to each other as the wines in Flight 3 or Flight 6. I suspect this is at least partly due to differences in winemaking. Both wines have gorgeous aromatics, but the Alessandria has higher acidity and less of the sweet fruit that shows up at this stage in a lot of these 2013s. Keith Edwards commentary on this flight.

Flight 6: The Emergence of Ravera and Novello
These wines are very similar. According to Luca Currado, these parcels are right next to each other. Keith Edwards commentary on this flight.

This was my sixth of these structured tastings at La Festa del Barolo. This one might be the most consistent in terms of the quality of the wines. The 2013 Barolos have ripe fruit, harmony, elegance, and silky tannins. I also find a lot of typicity in this vintage. That is, the vineyard is quite prominent in these wines. Several producers mentioned that this was a very late harvest. This led to slow phenolic ripening which gives a lot of character to the wines. The best wines are quite comparable to 2010, but with less overt tannin at this stage. So they have even more early appeal.

Notes posted from CellarTracker.

My friend Eric Guido also posted notes on this tasting on his blog.

If you have a subscription to Antonio Galloni's Vinous (highly recommended), there is a thread on this tasting.

More People Pix

Photographer Clay McLachlan and the back of Vinous photographer/videographer Kyle Fisher:

Ian D'Agata looking studious:

Marzia Brumat Galloni who does much of the organizing
of this event, keeping a watchful eye on the proceedings:

Jack Kuo, Josh Leader, Ed McCarthy:

Fittingly, the last question was asked by Antonio's mom in the back of the room:

And Antonio's reaction is perfect:


Lunch was served, with the wines from the tasting, upstairs on the first floor. This was the first time our lunch tables were assigned. Fortunately, I was assigned to the Giuseppe Rinaldi table with Carlotta Rinaldi, her boyfriend Tom Myers, and my friends, Ben Goldberg and Jonathan Doft.

Carlotta chats with Jon whose dark hair can be seen on the left behind Ben's "salt & pepper" hair.

We also had Neal Martin at our table. Neal had just joined the Vinous team.
Unfortunately, he was sitting across the table, so we could not chat.

The multi-talented Levi Dalton standing guard:

The first course was a nice looking salad that was a poor choice
for the wines with its bitter greens and vinegar dressing.

The second course was MUCH more wine friendly (and delicious), Pork & Veal Ragù Bolognese over fresh green pasta:

A not-so-good photo of Ben on the right. In the middle is Dominic Nocerino Jr. whose father (Dominic Sr.) owns Vinifera Imports in Ronkonkoma, NY. Vinifera was the importer for Bruno Giacosa for many years. Dominic sent me the photo on the right, a 12 liter bottle of 1986 Giacosa Falletto, which is the younger Dominic's birth year. He told me only two such bottles were made and this one was given to his father by Bruno.

Tasty Tiramisu (not sure why these photos are out of focus):

Our friend Danny Moritz came by and someone
took this photo of Ben, Jonathan, Daniel, and me:

Antonio gives a thank you and farewell from on high, and it's time to go:

My friend Manuel Bürgi sat at the next table with Antonio's mom:

Alessandro Masnaghetti shows Carlotta his new book, Barolo MGA Vol. II:

Every participant in this morning's tasting received a special edition of Alessandro's map of
the Barolo vineyards c. 1970, which is an example of some of the material in the new book:




All original content © Ken Vastola