To begin, the picture: Not from Vinitaly, but rather from (if I remember right) Alba Wines. In any case, Pin, a wonderful guy and an excellent sommellier, pouring a covered bottle for us to taste.
Returning to Aurelio Settimo, I look forward to seeing Tiziana at Vinitaly every year -- despite the hubub that surrounds her stand, the wines invite concentration and reflection, and strange as it may seem give me an opportunity to (briefly) get away from it all.
This year they also offered an opportunity for reflection, because she was pouring not just the most recent (2007) Barolo, but th 2006 as well, and also a couple of older vintages. Long term readers know that I had my doubts about the 2006 vintage when it was released, and though I am not as drastic now, I continue to think that it's a difficult vintage that will require considerable time to emerge. When it does it will be very nice, and therefore unless you absolutely must drink it now, set it aside and (if you like young Barolo) enjoy the 2007 vintage, which is readier.
Aurelio Settimo Dolcetto D'Alba 2009 Lot A 11 Lively cherry ruby with cherry rim. The bouquet is quite fresh, with considerable sour berry fruit acidity and clean spice with pleasant bitter almonds as well, and some alcohol too. Quite elegant and very fresh. On the palate it's bright, and rather tannic, with rich sour cherry fruit laced with violets nd supported by tannins that have a dusky burr and flow into a clean rather bitter finish. A classic food wine that will work very well with grilled meats or light roasts, and go quite quickly, supporting what it's served with. 2 stars
Aurelio Settimo Langhe Nebbiolo 2006 Lot F10 Elegant almandine with brilliant reflections and garnet rim. The bouquet is elegant, though grudging -- it doesn't want to reveal itself -- with rosa canina and sour berry fruit supported by alcohol and some spice with slight hints of leather and leaf tobacco, and a savory underpinning. On the palate it's elegant, with deft sour cherry fruit supported by hints of roses and savory notes, and by tannins that have an angry peppery burr and flow into a fairly long tannic finish. It's graceful, but still hampered by the tannins, which continue to be rather angry and need more time; this said one could drink it now, and enjoy it considerably, but one would need a succulent cut of meat with some fat to balance the tannins, say leg of lamb or even lamb chops -- including fried lamb chops. I would expect it to age well for close to a decade more. 2 stars
Aurelio Settimo Barolo 2005 Lot A09 Pale almandine with black reflections and almandine rim paling to an orange nail. The bouquet is quite pleasant, with some rosa canina and pleasant spice, with leather and leaf tobacco and underlying berry fruit that's not too intense; it gives the impression of being from a cooler vintage but is quite graceful. On the palate it's bright, with lively sour cherry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are warm and smooth with some greenish vegetal accents that are again indicative of a cooler vintage, and it flows into a clean bright tannic finish with lasting warmth. Graceful in a lesser vintage key, and very much alive; it will drink well now with grilled meats or hearty roasts, but also has considerable aging potential, nd will become pleasantly ethereal with time. 88-90
Aurelio Settimo Barolo 2006 Lot B10 Pale almandine with brilliant reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with delicate rosa canina supported by tart berry fruit and some greenish accents with quite a bit of alcohol and some leaf tobacco. It's still quite young, and needs time, but is developing nicely. On the palate it's full, with rich cherry fruit on the outset that is still interrupted by a rush of angry peppery tannins that flow into a warm tannic finish. The tannins are green and rather strident, and the wine needs time to work its way through them, at present it's like a person in a tizzy who REALLY WANTS TO BE LEFT ALONE. If you must drink a bottle now, I would serve it with a succulent, fairly well done leg of lamb or a crown roast, cooked medium rare and sliced thick. But given the choice I would let it sit for at least 5 years, because it has nice potential that has yet to emerge. 2 stars
Aurelio Settimo Barolo 2007 Lot B11 Elegant almandine with brilliant black reflections and almandine in the rim. The bouquet is elegant, with red berry fruit supported by savory notes and fairly rich berry fruit acidity, while there is also alcohol and there are hints of rosa canina. Very young, but promising. On the palate it's a distinct step up from the 2006, with rich cherry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and by sweet smooth tannins that have a slight vegetal underpinning but are already fairly smooth, and flow into a long clean bright finish with deft tannic underpinning. Very nice, and though woefully young is already drinkable; if you must it would be nice with a steak, but it will richly reward you if you have the patience to give it time. 91-2
Aurelio Settimo Rocche Dell'Annunziata Barolo 2005 Lot G08 Lively almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with leaf tobacco and some spice supported by acidity and some berry fruit; there's also some leather and a degree of minerality, while there isn't too much fruit. Cooler vintage. On the palate it's elegant, with moderately intense sour cherry fruit supported by deft sour cherry acidity and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a fairly long clean sour cherry finish with a brambly warm tannic underpinning. It's more graceful than the base, but again clearly from a cooler vintage, and in this context quite graceful and has a great deal to say. 90-91
Aurelio Settimo Rocche Dell'Annunziata Barolo 2007 Lot LC11 Elegant almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is delicate, with ripe berry fruit supported by peppery spice and some leaf tobacco, with hints of Risa Canina too. It's quite elegant but at the outset of a long journey. On the palate it's rich, with elegant sour cherry fruit supported by fairly bright berry fruit acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that do have a slight burr, and flow into a fairly long clean fresh berry fruit finish with savory tannic underpinning. It's quite elegant, but extremely young and needs time to get together; by comparison with the 2007 base it's a bit further behind now but will I think surpass it handily with time. A wine to set aside. 90
Aurelio Settimo Riserva Rocche Barolo 2004 Elegant almandine with almandine rim. The bouquet is eye opening, along the lines of a religious experience, with leaf tobacco and spice supporting rosa canina and some smoky noes, with berry fruit as well. It's very young but already beautiful and clearly still coming together. On the palate it's beautiful with rich leathery fruit supported by savory berry fruit acidity and sweet tannins that have slightest hazelnut bitterness and flow into a long warm berry fruit finish; it's quite quick to write, but extraordinarily elegant, and will do beautiful things with time. Most impressive. 93-4
Aurelio Settimo Rocche Barolo 2000 Tiziana finds the 2007 to have many similarities with the 2000 when it was young, and therefore brought a bottle of it that I found some of in my glass. It's elegant almandine with black reflections and almandine rim, and has a rich bouquet with rosa canina and leaf tobacco supported by berry fruit and brandied cherries, and deft spice; there's rare harmony and rather than pick aromas as they emerge it's a wine that's fun to simply contemplate. On the palate it's rich and elegant, with powerful cherry fruit supported by deft sour berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are smooth and supple, and flow into a clean savory berry fruit finish; it's again quick to write but extremely harmonious, and one of those wines that captures the attention. Most impressive, and if you're lucky enough to have 2 bottles, keep one for a looooong time. 95
NO STAR goes to wines that are correctly made but nothing to get excited about.
ONE STAR goes to wines that are good. TWO STARS go to wines that are very good to excellent. THREE STARS and a POINT SCORE (90-100) go to wines that are superb to extraordinary. And I will give pairing suggestions, which I consider much more important than the scores.