April 5, 2006 - Jack

A Comparison Tasting of 1989 & 1990 Barolo

presented by The Rare Wine Co.
at Caffe Sociale Restaurant
Tasted March 11, 2006

Barolo 1989 & 1990

The Rare Wine Co. of Sonoma, CA put on this tasting of six top Barolo producers.
They poured the same wines from these producers from both the
1989 and 1990 vintages (some of which aren't available anywhere).

The quality and condition of these wines was top-notch.

My general conclusion was that the 1990s are much more ready-to-drink now
compared to the 1989s, and would be a much better choice to order in a restaurant.
However it also seemed clear that 1989 is the superior vintage and that it has not
reached its prime. Will it take 8, 16 or more years for the 1989s to reach their peak?

Sociale Sociale

The wines were served in three flights of four wines, in order listed.
Wines were decanted for more than an hour before the tasting began.


1990
Clerico  Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra A bit tight. Very approachable now. Hardest to judge right now.
3-4?
1989
Clerico  Barolo Ciabot Mentin Ginestra More fruit. Bigger. More acids. More complex. I really like this wine! I'd wait 5-6 years before drinking one.
6-8
1990
Francesco Rinaldi Barolo Cannubbio "Giuseppe’s Mascarello’s cousin." Acids quite forward. Might need 10 or 25 more years to reach its prime. Quite appealing but must have food now.
2-4
1989
Francesco Rinaldi Barolo Cannubbio Softest, most elegant of the Rinaldi & Clerico. Serious acids. Perhaps too much acid on the finish. Great now and in 20 years.
3-6
1990
Giuseppe Mascarello Barolo Monprivato Best nose so far. Sweetest of the first 8 tasted. Will greatly appeal to most. Just not very complex and lacks acidity for longer aging. 
3
1989
Giuseppe Mascarello Barolo Monprivato Still quite young. Good complexity. Very integrated acids. Long finish. A great wine!
5-6
1990
Aldo Conterno Barolo Bussia Soprana Sweet appealing nose. Great now! No need to age further. Great overall balance.
6-8
1989
Aldo Conterno Barolo Bussia Soprana Needs at least 8-15 years to be in its prime. A great wine. Long finish.
9-12
1990
Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cascina Francia Wow! Very harmonius. Still needs time. 
12?
1989
Giacomo Conterno Barolo Cascina Francia "Really rare." Acids on finish,but not unpleasant. Strange forest floor nose.
4-6+
1990
Bruno Giacosa Barolo Faletto Riserva Something very appealing here. Seductive! Elegant. Very well-made and balanced. Long finish.
9
1989
Bruno Giacosa Barolo Faletto Riserva Still a bit closed. This wine has great promise. Try again in 4-8 years. Might age forever.
6-12+

Sociale

A bonus:

1997
Giuseppe Mascarello Barolo Ca’ d’Morissio Riserva Pineapple liquer nose. Most interesting nose of the tasting. Dense. Will sort itself out and be fantastic.
6-8+

Sociale Sign

Afterwards, we had these five wines,
accompanied by quite an enjoyable dinner at Caffe Sociale
(the 1958 and 1971 were brought by and generously shared by Manny Berk)

1996 Ca’del Bosco Franciacorta Dosage Zero A really great wine. So balanced and great acids.
6+
1999 Gravner Venezia Giulia IGT Ribolla Gialla An amazing nose and color. Almost orange in color.
6++
1958 Antonio Vallana Spanna Montalbano Still young. Great wine!  
6-12
1971 Poderi Colla  Langhe  Bricco del Drago Very dry. Good acids, balance.
3+
1995 Castello Di Nieve Barbaresco Santo Stefano Great acids and balance. Really great!
6-9

The right-most column is my rating – on a scale from 0 to (whatever) number of bottles I would like in my cellar. (For those with less than a 3 bottle score, I will not go out of my way to seek out.)



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