Individually or at the special mixed case listed after the descriptions, these are world class red wines that have all found their way into my basement. Absolutely stellar winemaking involved here from one of the places in the world I am most passionate about!
2004 BREZZA Barolo “Sarmassa”
$53.95 bottle/ $291.00- 1/2 case/ $517.00 case
The deal with this one, apart from it being a spot on classic single vineyard Barolo from a true classicist of the nebbiolo grape, is that this a pre-cellared, 10-year old bottle of nebbiolo from a GREAT Piedmont vintage! Another one of those wines that somehow has gotten off the radar at our local importers. How far off? They also have the 2009 vintage in stock, for more money! I’ve always been a huge fan of Brezza’s classic, uncompromising Barolos. These are austere when young, earthy, Barolo that over time, especially from a vintage like ’04, reveal their true character. I chose this wine to accompany a course in a recent wine dinner I did and it was stunning. Rich, with dark cherry, plum earth, spice, and rose petal aromas and flavors. Just now starting to come into its own, perhaps the most surprising thing was how young it still tasted at age ten. This will easily go another ten years should you be that patient. But with something that tastes this good now, succumbing to the need for instant gratification would be hard to argue with!
“A powerful, fleshy Barolo, it offers plenty of dark cherries, plums, spices, tar and menthol, with an engaging personality. The tannins remain quite firm, so additional bottle age seems warranted, this is a very promising effort.90 points.”- Antonio Galloni in The Wine Advocate
2008 G.D. VAJRA Barolo “Albe”
$53.95 bottle/ $291.00- 1/2 case/ $517.00 case
Vajra’s wine are some of the most impressive yet unheralded wines in all of Italy. From his world class Barbera to Barolo, nothing is less than stellar. Rather than me going about this superb bottle Vajra 2008 Barolo, I’ll let The Wine Spectator and The Wine Advocate take the mic:
“The rose, strawberry and cherry aromas and flavors are beautifully displayed on an elegant frame in this pure and delicately wrought red, which shows harmony and depth. The fine lingering finish expresses energy, with a mineral element. Best from 2015 through 2032. 94 points. #16 Top 100 Wines of 2013.”- TWS
“Aldo and Milena Vajra are among the quietest and most introspective of Piedmont’s top echelon of growers. It is the wines that do the talking here, and they do it ever so eloquently. The 2008 Barolo Albe is flat-out delicious. The Albe has often been a big step below the flagship Barolo Bricco delle Viole, but not in 2008. Although softer and rounder than that wine, there is plenty of vintage character in this vibrant, beautifully articulated Barolo. Sweet dark cherries, incense, licorice and tobacco are all wrapped around a pliant finish. The 2008 is accessible even today, and is a great – and I mean great – introductory Barolo for the year. 93+ points.” -Antonio Galloni in TWA
2010 OLIM BAUDA Barbera d’Asti Superiore “Nizza”
$34.95 bottle/ $188.00- 1/2 case/ $335.00 case
As you can imagine in 20+ years in this wine biz I’ve tasted well over a thousand Barberas. The one that still sticks out in my mind as one of the greatest young wines I’ve ever had is the 1999 Vietti “La Crena” Barbera d’Asti. Unreal Barbera. I still have a couple bottles in my basement. I assumed I’d never have a Barbera that approached that pinnacle, then over the weekend I took a bottle home of the latest single-vineyard offering from Olim Bauda, one of my favorite producers of this grape. I was absolutely blown away. This was staggeringly great Barbera! On first opening it didn’t offer too much, and I was a bit “Hmm”. Then after about 15 minutes in the glass it simply exploded! Cascades of dark, sweetly ripe fruit just poured from the glass. Over the course of they next two hours it just kept getting better and better, and when I finished the last third of a bottle the next night it was better still. This is a phenomenal Barbera, on par with that long ago Vietti. An amazing achievement that I’m guessing has 8-10 years of life ahead of it. Is $35 cheap for a Barbera? Obviously not. But for a wine this good it totally over-delivers!
“One of Piedmont’s under the radar jewels, I can’t recommend this Barbera highly enough. Olim Bauda’s 2010 Barbera d’Asti Superiore Nizza is drop-dead gorgeous. Blackberry jam, graphite, melted road tar and cloves burst from the glass in an energetic, tense wine with energy and vibrancy to burn. A striking, stunningly beautiful wine, the 2010 has enough class to drink well for a number of years. This is a fabulous showing from Olim Bauda. 94 points.” -Antonio Galloni of Vinous Media (his post-Advocate gig)
PIEDMONT BOX: extra savings on mixed 1/2 and full case purchases for your consideration. Buy two bottles of each of the above wines for $260.00; buy a mixed case of four bottles of each for $492.00!!