Marchesi di Barolo was one of the first wineries I visited in Piemonte, in the late 1990s. It's one of the oldest Piemontese wineries, and also one of the more influential -- the cellars trace their origins to Marchesa Falletti, who with her husband, in the early-mid1800s, played a decisive role in developing the wine we now know as Barolo. When the family became extinct with her death in 1864, the Pia Opera Barolo continued her work. In 1895 Pietro Abbona bought the cellars in town, and the vineyards, and the winery is now run by his descendants.
If you happen to visit Barolo, I heartily recommend a visit to the winery headquarters, in the middle of town. They're located over the Marchesa's cellars, which still contain some of her botti -- beautifully carved works of art -- while both Ernesto Abbona and his wife Anna are extremely pleasant and gracious hosts.
Marchesi di Barolo Madonna di Como Dolcetto D'Alba 2006
Deep violet ruby with violet rim; the body is poured ink. The bouquet is rich, with clean violets shot through with bitter almonds and jammy berry fruit. Quite charged, and also very pleasant to sniff -- freshness in a glass. On the palate it's bright, with lively red berry fruit supported by smooth sweet tannins, and pleasing underlying bitterness that flows into a clean fairly bitter finish. It's quite fresh, and will drink very well with pasta dishes, though I think it will be better with simple grilled meats -- perfect for a cookout -- and also with light stews. Expect the bottle to go quickly, and you could get used to it.
Marchesi di Barolo Dolcetto D'Alba Boschetti 2006
This is the next-to-last vintage of this wine: The vineyard is well suited to Nebbiolo, and therefore after the 2007 harvest they ripped out the Dolcetto, and in a few years we will have another cru of Barolo from this spot.
The wine is poured pyrope ink with violet rim, and has a rich bouquet with violets and jammy berry fruit laced with hints of sandalwood and some graphite bitterness with underlying cocoa. Very charged, and quite pleasant to sniff. On the palate it's ample and rich, with powerful plum cherry fruit supported by clean bright mineral acidity, and by ample sweet tannins that flow into a clean savory finish with considerable fruit underpinning; with respect to the Madonna di Como it's more graceful but also more powerful, and less bitter. In other words it's more voluptuous, and voluptuous in a more successful way than many charged Dolcetti tend to be -- there's none of the forcing one sometimes encounters -- and to be honest it's a pity that it's going. It's not for every day, but is quite nice, and is smooth enough that one could drink it by the glass.
Ruvei Barbera D'Alba 2006
Deep black almandine ruby with black reflections and ruby rim. The bouquet is bright, and rich, with clean fresh chewy plum berry fruit supported by some violets and deft greenish spice that have slight hints of balsam, and a pleasing underpinning of acidity that doesn't stand out, but whose absence would be felt. Harmonious. On the palate it's rich, with bright red berry fruit supported by clean berry fruit acidity and by moderately intense soft tannins, what one expects from a Barbera, and it all flows into a clean fairly tart finish with (again) lively fruit underpinning. Graceful and eminently approachable; it's a wine one could drink by the glass but that will also work very well with all sorts of foods, from pasta dishes through grilled meats and light stews, and will go very, very fast. People visiting Marchesi di Barolo tend to latch onto it, and it's difficult to fault them. But you will need a second bottle.
Paiagal Barbera D'Alba 2005
Inky pyrope ruby with black reflections and pyrope rim. The bouquet is powerful, with fairly intense cherry plum fruit supported by clean cedar and spice with some graphite shaving bitterness; it's elegant but also muted, and this is in part the vintage -- some of the 2005 Barbaresco and Roero I have tasted have the same feel to them. On the palate it's ample, with fairly rich cherry plum fruit supported by moderate plum acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean fairly rich cherry plum finish. Quite nice, though I found myself preferring the Ruvei because the vintage is simply superior, and the winemaker can only do so much in the face of Mother Nature. This said, it will drink quite well with roasts or stews.
Michet Nebbiolo D'Alba 2006
Lively almandine ruby with pleasing almandine rim. The bouquet is quite fresh, with clean rosa canina mingled with red berry fruit and underlying slightly greenish spice from grape. Quite pleasant, and welcoming. On the palate it's bright and rich, with lively red berry fruit supported by clean deft slightly sour cherry acidity, and supported by smooth sweet tannins that have a slight greenish burr to them and flow into a clean bitter finish with pleasant fruit. Quite nice, in a deft and approachable key, and will drink very well with all manner of foods; it would be perfect with grilled chicken with the skin, for example. Expect it to go quickly.
Creja Barbaresco 2005
Lively black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fresh, with bright slightly brambly berry fruit supported by cedar and some greenish accents with underlying nose tingling spice. On the palate it's full, with rich berry fruit supported by clean bright berry fruit acidity, and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a fairly long clean fruit laced finish with tannic underpinning. It's pleasant, and rather graceful, and will drink well with succulent grilled meats or light stews; it also has the capacity to age well for a decade or more.
Cannubi Barolo 2004
Cannubi is one of the finest vineyards in the Barolo appellation -- about 40 hectares -- and Marchesi Di Barolo owns about a quarter of it. Deep black garnet ruby with black reflections and garnet rim. The bouquet is powerful, with berry fruit mingled with some berry fruit jam and pleasing spice, and also underlying rosa canina that is beginning to emerge, balanced by some hardwood ash. On the palate it's full and quite smooth, with powerful red berry fruit supported by fairly bright acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into along clean fruit laced finish with some savory notes as well. It's quite young, and still getting its bearings. With time it will go places.
Marchesi Di Barolo Sarmassa Barolo DOCG 2004
Black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with rosa canina mingled with some cedar and deft greenish spice, and supported by underlying cherry fruit and brash acidity. On the palate it's ample, with rich berry fruit supported by clean acidity that's mineral at the outset, but becomes more fruit based as it develops, and by tannins that are still very young, and lay a clean tannic wash over the palate (which interferes with the fruit), gradually fading into fruit laced warmth. It's woefully young, and though it does display considerable potential it also needs time-- at present it's a toddler having a bad day. In short, give it at least 2 years, and perhaps more, by which point it will be much more interesting than it is now, and it will also age nicely for a decade further at least. By comparison with the Cannubi it is considerably less mature, and while one could drink the Cannubi now, I wouldn't think of opening the Sarmassa before 2010. In its favor, it has considerable potential.
Marchesi Di Barolo Barolo Riserva 2001
Deep black almandine with almandine rim paling to orange. The bouquet is deft, with elegant rosa canina mingling with green leather and some spice, and while this is quick to write, as it opens it's a delight to sniff. And still quite young; it obviously has a long ways to go. On the palate it's rich, with clean cherry fruit that gains direction from spicy berry fruit acidity, and is supported by smooth tannins that do display a slight peppery burr, and flow into a fairly long clean berry fruit finish with some leathery overtones. It's on the move, and when it reaches its destination (in 3-5 years) will have great depth, but we aren't there yet. One could drink it now with a succulent porterhouse steak, but I think it will be worth waiting for, and if one is truly blessed with patience 2021 would be a good time to open it.
Marchesi di Barolo's Site
Almost Wordless Wednesday: Between Here And There - I took this shot during the Pelleginaggio Artusiano in the spring of 2011. The mirror is somewhere between Castrocaro Terme and Portico di Romagna (on the ...
4 years ago