Thursday Vinopolpick – Burlotto

June 12, 2014

G B Burlotto

“The quintessence of a classic Barolo, complex, intriguing, with enormous ageing potential ….” – Slow Wine (Slow Food) on 2006 Barolo MonviglieroWinemaker Fabio Alessandria has reinvigorated the Burlotto Barolo estate with the energy and respect of this once heralded estate.  The estate was originally founded in the village of Verduno in the 1800s by Giovan Battista Burlotto, Alessandria’s great-great-grandfather.  It became world famous during Burlotto’s seventy-seven years as the winemaker and was the official Barolo of the Royal House of Savoy which ruled over the region.  Burlotto was one of the first producers in the region to sell his Barolo in bottle instead of in cask and with labels identifying the estate.  After his death, the house faded from the limelight until it was revitalized by Alessandria.Today, Alessandria manages the 30 acres of vineyard land.  He is a fairly young winemaker and prefers to produce his Barolos in the more traditional style to showcase the complexity and femininity of the estate’s terroir.  The majority of vineyards is located in the village of Verduno and the remainder in Barolo and Roddi.  The vineyards are trellised in the Guyot style.  Grapes are brought to the winery whole and are crushed gently by foot.The estate produces several crus.  Their top wine is made exclusively from the high-altitude Monvigliero vineyard in Verduno.  The vines average up to 40 years old and are grown in limestone-rich soil.  The skins are left macerating for over a month and the resulting wine is aged for extended periods, about 30 months, in large French and Slovenian oak botte.  It is intensely aromatic and perfumed.  Only 5,000 bottles are produced.  The Acclivi is a blend of their top vineyards, Monvigliero, Neirane, Rocche dell’Olmo.  The soil types are calcareous.  The maceration period is approximately 15 days and maturation takes place over 30 months in oak barrels.

GB Burlotto 2010 Barolo Wines Arriving late June

G. B. Burlotto Barolo DOCG 2010 (49.95) $39 special, 2 cases available
G. B. Burlotto Barolo DOCG 2010 375ML ($27.95) $24 special, 2 cases available
Antonio Galloni 92 points
  “The 2010 Barolo is gorgeous. Silky and polished to the core, the 2010 graces the palate with sweet red cherries, raspberries, flowers, menthol and spices. The flavors are bright, punchy and beautifully articulated throughout. Even today, the tannins are remarkably finessed, making the 2010 virtually impossible to resist young. Readers who can wait will be rewarded with an exquisite Barolo to savor over many years. This is a great introduction to the vintage at Burlotto.”

G. B. Burlotto Barolo Monvigliero, Barolo DOCG 2010 ($69.95) $59 special, 2 cases available
Antonio Galloni 94+ points
 “The 2010 Barolo Vigneto Monvigliero is as reticent as it is beautiful. With time in the glass, some of the aromas and flavors start to release, but the 2010 is mostly a wine of texture at this stage. Whereas the 2009 was open and resonant, the 2010 is a wine that demands the taster’s full attention. Bright red berries, mint, spices and crushed rocks are some of the many notes that flow through to the chiseled finish. Hints of iron, savory herbs, tar and game add to this super-distinctive Barolo.”

Burlotto Wines Available Here Now

G. B. Burlotto Barolo DOCG 2007 ($49.95) $39 special, 2 bottles available

G. B. Burlotto Barolo DOCG 2009 ($49.95) $39 special, 3+ cases available
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2009 Barolo is a great introduction to the wines of this historic estate. Plums, black cherries, menthol, licorice and sweet herbs all emerge from a layered, totally sensual Barolo loaded with class and pure personality. A bit juicier than normal, the 2009 offers lovely persistence and mid-palate pliancy all the way through to a creamy, expressive finish laced with sweet tobacco, herbs and cedar. There is a lot to like here.”

G. B. Burlotto Barolo Acclivi, Barolo DOCG 2009 ($59.95) $47 special, 3+ cases available
Antonio Galloni 92 points 
“Another gorgeous wine, the 2009 Barolo Acclivi is one of the more delicate wines here, its considerable depth notwithstanding. Freshly cut flowers, mint licorice and spices are backed up by serious weight, which is quite unusual for the Acclivi. As readers can tell from this note, the Acclivi is a wine of beautiful contrasts. Firm, dusty tannins frame an insistent, beautifully articulated finish. In 2009, the Acclivi impresses for so many things, most importantly a sense of balance that is elusive in this vintage.”

Here are 20 other Barolos here now; selected from the 89 Barolos we have in store:

Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo DOCG 2005 ($89.95) $49 special, 23 bottles available
Wine Advocate 91 points
 “The 2005 Barolo offers up gorgeous aromas that literally fill the room with intense perfume. This finessed, mid-weight wine reveals superb purity to its primary, fresh fruit in an ethereal style. Finessed tannins round out this complete Barolo. The wine clamped up quickly in the glass, but it should be beautiful in another year or so. Beginning with the 2004, Conterno’s Barolo contains 20% fruit from Barolo in addition to the Bussia fruit that made up the wine in previous vintages. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020.”

Bartolo Mascarello Barolo DOCG 2007 ($149.95) $99 special, 14 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 points
 “Mascarello’s 2007 Barolo flows from the glass with masses of round, enveloping fruit. This is an unusually soft, juicy Barolo from Mascarello that is remarkable for its textural richness and warm radiant fruit. The 2007 doesn’t have the aromatic complexity of the 2005 or 2006, but it makes up for that with its totally seductive personality. Crushed flowers, berries and sweet baking spices linger on a generous finish that evokes memories of the 1990. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2032.”

Brezza Bricco Sarmassa, Barolo DOCG 2008 ($69.95) $55 special, 25 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 points
 “The 2008 Barolo Bricco Sarmassa is fabulous. It boasts gorgeous inner sweetness, cool minerality and fabulous perfume. Dark cherries, mint, flowers and spices wrap around the gorgeous, chiseled finish. The Bricco Sarmassa is one of the Barolo’s most under-the-radar wines. This is a prototypical 2008 that captures the very best qualities of the year. Layers of fruit build to the long, vibrant finish. Enzo Brezza did a great job with his Bricco Saramassa in 2008. Brezza remains one of the best-kept secrets in traditionally-made Barolo. One day people will figure it out, but in the meantime shrewd consumers would do well to pay attention to the best wines that emerge from this small cellar in the center of town.”

Brovia Rocche dei Brovia, Barolo DOCG 2007 ($99.95) $69 special, 15 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 points
 “The 2007 Barolo Rocche emerges from the glass with freshly cut roses, sweet berries and spices. The Rocche is always the most open of Brovia’s single vineyard Baroli. In 2007 the wine has an extra dimension of textural richness that makes it incredibly appealing even at this young stage. Floral notes reappear on the silky, pure finish. This is a fabulous showing, but the wine will be even better in a few years”

Bruna Grimaldi Camilla, Barolo DOCG 2009 ($37.95) $26.60 special, 3+ cases available
Wine Advocate 93 points
 “The lovely 2009 Barolo Camilla opens to characteristic Nebbiolo aromas of wild berry, dried mint, licorice tar and pressed rose. The wine is elegant and feminine overall with fine, silky tannins at the rear. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025”

Domenico Clerico Ciabot Mentin Ginestra, Barolo DOCG 2008 ($119.95) $79 special, 3 cases available
Stephen Tanzer 96 points
 “Medium red.  Deeper and richer on the nose than the Pajana, with scents of redcurrant, mocha, dried flowers and earth.  Wonderfully deep, layered and sweet; lush but with good limestone lift.  This floods the palate with flavor and lingers with exceptional purity and persistence.”

Conterno Fantino Mosconi, Barolo DOCG 2007 ($99.95) $69 special, 16 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93 points
 “The 2007 Barolo Mosconi offers up layers of dark fruit, espresso, licorice, new leather and French oak in an explosive style typical of this south-facing site. Here, too, the integration of the oak is superb. The Mosconi shows plenty of freshness and should drink well for at least another decade. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2027.”

Conterno Fantino Vigna del Gris, Barolo DOCG 2007 ($99.95) $66 special, 14 bottles available
Wine Advocate 93 points
 “The 2007 Barolo Vigna del Gris is unsually plump and juicy in this vintage. Dark red fruit, flowers, menthol and spices emerge from this perfumed, feminine Barolo. In 2007 the Gris has a touch more depth, which serves to balance the French oak very nicely. The 2007 is one of the finest vintages of this wine I recall tasting. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2027.”

Elio Altare Vigneto Arborina, Barolo DOCG 2009 ($99.95) $81.90 special, 12 bottles available
Robert Parker 94 points 
“The 2009 Barolo Arborina demonstrates a pretty floral quality with pressed rose and spots of lavender oil. Expressive and beautifully intense, the wine is crafted to show the delicate and more feminine side to the Altare portfolio. Silky and fine, the mouthfeel is streamlined and crisp. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2032.”

Elio Grasso Gavarini Vigna Chiniera, Barolo DOCG 2008 ($129.95) $99 special, 3+ cases available
Wine Advocate 97+ points
 “The 2008 Barolo Gavarini Vigna Chiniera is flat-out great. Sweet roses, spices, mint, flowers and red berries are some of the notes that emerge from this profound, utterly moving Barolo. The 2008 possesses dazzling inner perfume, endless layers of bright red fruit and stunning overall balance. Fine, silky tannins frame the extraordinarily elegant finish. This is a fabulous wine from Gianluca Grasso and his family. Chalky notes frame an energetic, brilliant finish sprinkled with shades of the 1989.”

Elvio Cogno Barolo Ravera, Barolo DOCG 2006 ($69.95) $44 special, 25 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points
 “The 2006 Barolo Ravera is darker, richer and more sensual than the Cascina Nuova. Layers of dark fruit intermingled with sweet balsamic nuances of cloves, pine and menthol flow effortlessly from the Ravera. The richness of the density matches the tannins step by step all the way through to a sensual, inviting finish that begs for another taste. This, too, is a superb effort. Ravera isn’t usually considered one of the very finest sites for Nebbiolo in Barolo, but in Cogno’s hands the fruit seems to reach an unprecedented level of finesse and elegance. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2026.”

Franco Serra Barolo DOCG 2007 ($29.95) $19 special, 15 bottles available
Wine Spectator 90 points 
“Sweet cherry and berry notes mingle with licorice, leather and spices in this appealing Barolo. Open and approachable, with harmony and finesse already. The long aftertaste is licorice- and tobacco-tinged. Best from 2013 through 2025. 400 cases made.”

Giacomo Conterno Cascina Francia Barolo DOCG 2008 ($179.95) $149 special, 22 bottles available
Antonio Galloni 95+ points 
“The 2008 Barolo Cascina Francia possesses gorgeous inner perfume, layers of sublime fruit and fabulous overall balance. Plums, dark cherries and licorice are followed by darker notes of graphite and tar as the wine opens up in the glass. Today, the 2008 is much less expressive than it has been the many times I have tasted it from barrel. It will be interesting to see how the 2008 develops and whether it puts on weight or remains more of a mid-weight, gracious Barolo. Either way, it is fabulous.”

Bruno Giacosa ‘Le Rocche del Falletto’, Barolo DOCG 2005 ($249.95) $169 special, 3+ cases available
Wine Advocate 96+ points 
“The 2005 Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto is a massive, towering Barolo loaded with tons of rich, primary fruit. The wine remains powerful, dense and muscular with superb length even if it is a smaller-scaled Barolo compared to previous great vintages. That said, when I came back to the wine after it had been in the glass for an hour or so, I found that the wine had grown remarkably.”

Giovanni Rosso Cerretta, Barolo DOCG 2007 ($69.95) $59 special, 30 bottles available
Wine Spectator 95 points
 “Simply compelling from start to finish, exhibiting raspberry, cherry and floral aromas and flavors that are pure and focused, with support from the solid yet ripe tannins. This shows fruit and a silky texture up front, with structure on the back end, coming together on the long, fruit and spice tinged aftertaste. Best from 2015 through 2032.”

Marziano Abbona Terlo Ravera, Barolo DOCG 2006 ($79.95) $59 special, 16 bottles available
Wine Spectator 96 points
 “Raspberry, cherry, iron and floral notes mark this silky red, which is fresh and complex at once, with a refined structure, gret harmony and elegance. Almost approachable now, but the long finish and tight tannins suggest this has plenty of life ahead. Best from 2014 through 2030.”

Giuseppe Mascarello e Figlio Monprivato, Barolo DOCG 2008 ($149.95) $119 special, 22 bottles available
Wine Spectator 95 points
 “Detailed and fragrant, offering floral, strawberry, cherry, licorice and spice flavors, this is elegant and underlined by a strong mineral streak. Well-proportioned, picking up intensity and complexity on the long, savory finish. Extremely fresh and classy”

Mauro Molino Vigna Conca, Barolo DOCG 2009 ($79.95) $59 special, 13 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 90(+?) points
 “Serious nose combines redcurrant, spices, minerals and menthol.  Shows more structure and energy than the Gancia, but still nicely pliant and sweet in the middle.  At once dense and juicy, this rich, broad Barolo is perked up by a pronounced brown spice character that follows through on the persistent, gripping finish, which features strong but harmonious tannins.  I’d enjoy the Gancia first and give this somewhat fleshier wine more time in the cellar.”

Monchiero Rocche di Castiglione Falletto Barolo Riserva 2006 ($49.95) $30.90 special, 25 bottles available
Wine Spectator 93 points
 “Distinctive and alluring aromas and flavors of flowers, dried cherry, leather and licorice are matched to an elegant profile. There’s a firm, underlying structure, and this lingers with dried berry, leather and tobacco notes. Best from 2014 through 2028. 275 cases made.”

Vietti Castiglione, Barolo DOCG 2009 ($49.95) $37 special, 3+ cases available
Wine Advocate 94 points 
“The 2009 Barolo Castiglione delivers a radiant but subdued quality with polished notes of dry mineral, black fruit, tar, licorice, leather and many more levels of complexity. This entry-level Barolo demonstrates that great results are achieved in 2009. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.”