La Festa del Barolo 2015

The third edition of La Festa del Barolo was held at the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York. Sponsored by Antonio Galloni and Vinous, this educational event featured 15 of the best Barolo producers in the world.

Each producer presented one 2010 Barolo. The wines were spectacular with impressive aromatics, great depth, and structure that will see them age gracefully for many years. Below are the producers and wines in the order that they were presented at this event with the respective vineyard in parenthesis.


Ceretto – Bricco Rocche (Castiglione Falletto)
Ceretto is a biodynamic winery. Red fruit, spice and chocolate flavors dominate this medium bodied wine with silky tannins. A very elegant, more traditional styled Barolo.



G.D Varja-Bricco delle Viole
(Barolo village)
This vineyard is located 400 meters above sea level. Wind blows in the morning from the east to west which was very important in the fall. The wind allowed for hot days and cool nights which are necessary for the formation of perfumes. A modern styled wine with aromas of roses, dark cherries, vanilla, and savory spices. It has great structure, big tannins, and complexity.


Elio Altare – Arborina (La Morra)
In 1948 Silvia Altare’s grandfather planted this vineyard. It is 1.5 hectares and the vines are 50 years old. In 2010 the fruit was picked on the 5th of October. All fruit for this wine was manually destemmed. The wine was fermented for 5 days, then aged 2 years in barrique. Floral notes and sweet red berry aromas jump from the glass. The palate reveals ripe fruit and a slight salinity. A well structured wine that will age for years to come. Compare this vintage to 1985 as both years had a long growing season, good fruit, complexity and structure in the wine. Also compare to 2004 for the ripeness of Nebbiolo although in 2004 the yields were a little higher.


Paolo Scavino- Riserva Rocche dell’Annunziata (La Morra)
This piece of land was purchased in 1990. The vineyard is located 350 meters above sea level. The soil is limestone and sand. The cap was submerged for 12-15 days. The wine spent 10 months in small french oak barrels for malolactic fermentation, followed by 2 years in large barrel and 1.5 years in bottle. This wine will be released in 2016. Sweet perfumes of tar and black cherry. The palate shows sweet black cherry, and vanilla. Tannins are round and silky but not overpowering.


Codero di Montezemolo- Enrico VI
(Castiglione Falletto)
Cordero di Montezemolo has been making wine for 19 generations. The 25 hectare Villaro vineyard is located 300 meters above sea level, and has a south by southwest exposure.There are 19 different owners in this cru. This is a dark ruby colored wine. An intense perfume of roses dominates the nose while savory and dark fruits aromas follow behind. The palate reveals sweet black fruits, plum, balsamic notes, and meat. This wine is all about elegance, finesse and power.


Poderi Aldo Conterno-Cicala (Monforte d’Alba)
This vineyard is 3.2 hectares with vines that are 35 years old. It is located at 400 meters above sea level. Cicada means insect and there is a small forest on top of the hill that is full of these insects. The soil is a mix of Monforte and Serralunga soil as it is composed of 20% limestone and has a large quantity of iron present. Fermentation lasts for 4 weeks. The wine is aged in Slavonian Oak barrels (2,500 L) for 28 months followed by another year in bottle. It’s more fruity than floral. With massive, drying tannins this wine will require extensive cellaring before it reaches its full potential.



La Spinetta- Campe(Grinzane Cavour)
This vineyard has south exposure. The wine boasts intense perfumes of roses, tobacco, sweet red berries and red cherry. It’s tannins are grippy but this wine shows elegance and power.


Giacomo Conterno- Cerretta (Serralunga d’Alba)

Giacomo Conterno purchased the Ceretta vineyard in 2008. Vines here are 20 years old. The soil is different as it has more clay present. In 2008 and 2009 the fruit from this vineyard went into make Langhe nebbiolo. This is the first vintage for Cerretta vineyard. A very aromatic wine filled with scents of roses, black fruits, and tar. The intense structured wine is complex, and powerful with an exceptionally long finish.  Ceretta is only bottled in magnums for commercial sale. The 750 ml bottles are specifically for the tastings (up to 100 bottles a year).


G.B. Burlotto -Vigneto Monvigliero (Verduno)
Monvigliero vineyard is located in Verduno, one of the oldest villages in Barolo. The river Terno provides a breeze. The vineyards are located 350 meters above sea level. The south facing slope has white soil.  This wine was so unique because it utilized 100% whole cluster fermentation. It resulted in a very perfumed wine with aromas of cherry, licorice, and cola. A very complex wine with silky, elegant tannins.


Luciano Sandrone – Le Vigne (Barolo village)
Le Vigne is a blend of 4 vineyards: Serralunga d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto, Novello, and Barolo. They do separate vineyard fermentation and aging. Aging occurs in tonneau (450 L traditional aging vessel). The blend is composed just before the wine is bottled. Luciano Sandrone bottles earlier than other estates do because they want the wine to have “less time in oak and more time in bottle”. This effect produces a very fresh,elegant wine with rounder tannins.


E. Pira (Chiara Boschis) – Via Nuova (Barolo village)
This is the 25th vintage for E. Pira. The vineyards are completely organic and they have finished the certification process. This wine is the first totally organic Cru wine. In the past this wine was made as a single vineyard bottling but now it is comprised of an assemblage of 6 plots all in the Barolo area. The wine is fragrant with a medium body and is actually quite easy to drink at this early stage. It has the elegance of Barolo and power of Serralunga d’Alba. Chiara is happy she is no longer the only “Barolo girl” in the community.

Guiseppe Rinaldi Barolo Brunate (Barolo village)

This is a single vineyard barolo. They are allowed  15% of Le Coste in the wine. It has a very traditional style. Sweet, floral, intense. Great balance of acid and fruit. It’s very complex and has a finish that lasts forever! Fantastic! This was the wine of the tasting in my opinion.
                            Massolino-Riserva Vigna Rionda (Serralunga d’Alba)

Massolino is the largest owner in the Vigna Rionda vineyard. They produced their first Vigna Rionda in 1982. The 2010 Riserva Vigna Rionda will be released in 2016. The wine is showing sweet fruit with great structure.


Elvio Cogno – Bricco Pernice (Novello)
Ravera vineyards in Novello has 2 owners. Elvis Cogno owns 2 hectares, and Vietti owns 3 hectares. Soil is a mix of  sand, limestone, clay. The wine is a modern style Barolo with intense dark fruit present on the nose and palate.


Vietti-Ravera (Novello)

Luca has gone back to a more traditional style where he does a longer maceration of the skins and uses less new oak.The result is a Barolo that shows great fruit, structure, and has rounded, silky tannins. I loved the flavors of black cherry, and mocha. The wine was incredibly balanced. It will age for many years to come but was also enjoyable now.

La Festa del Barolo was an incredible opportunity to hear from so many of the great Barolo producers. The 2010 vintage is outstanding! Don’t wait too long to purchase these outstanding wines as they will sell out quickly.

Lisa Stephenson

Certified Specialist of Wine. WSET Diploma student. Slave to the Grape. Traveling the world and tasting fine wines in pursuit of my wine passion.

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