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01.15.2004

A perfect vintage: Piemonte 2000

It's come close to happing before, but to my knowledge this year is the first time that an entire vintage has been given a perfect score of 100 by any wine rating body or individual. As reported in the Wine Enthusiast Magazine last month, Piemonte -- that lovely little nook in northwest Italy had the perfect combination of cool winter and hot dry summer to make the 2000 vintage the best in recorded history.

The 2000 Barbarescos are hitting the market now, and the 2000 Barolos are coming in 2005 (they need more cellaring to be classified as Barolos, even though the grapes are the same as Barbarescos.) I have less experience with Piemonte wines than those of Tuscany but I find the relationship between the Barbarescos and the Barolos the same as the Brunellos and the Rossos of Montalcino. The big money is in the Barolos, but the Barbarescos can be just as good, and sometimes better to my taste. In the hands of a good winemaker, the younger Barbarescos can be as rich and full bodied as the Barolos.

These two wines are the most well known (and the most expensive) of those wines produced in the region, but there are plenty of others, many of which are quite good.

For those who don't have the benefit of a subscription to the aforementioned rag, here are the wines that are recommended from this vintage:

BAROLO (prices not yet set):

  • Barolo Elio Altare
  • Barolo Domenico Clerico
  • Barolo La Sinetta
  • Barolo Luciano Sandrome
  • Barolo Paulo Scavino
  • Barolo Rocche de Manzoni
  • Barolo Giovanni Manzone
  • Barolo Elio Grasso
  • Barolo Pira (Boschis)
  • Barolo Azelia
  • Barolo Parusso
  • Barolo Bruno Giacosa Falletto
  • Barolo Bruno Giacosa Rocchedel Falletto

    BARBARESCO:

  • Barbaresco Asili Riserva $??
  • Barbaresco Rabaja $125
  • Barbaresco Bruno Rocca Rabaja $85
  • Barbaresco Moccagatta Basarin $60

    I haven't tasted any of these wines yet, but when I do, I'll post a review.

    I'm always looking for the less discovered wines, especially in higher end categories like Barolo or Brunello, so it was nice to learn about the "up and coming" regions in this DOCG -- keep an eye out for wines from Rabaja, Asili, and Basarin. They'll offer better values for the money.

    Here's a reasonably large list (certainly not complete) of the wineries in the region, broken down by DOCG.

    Comments (7)

    Dr. George Govett wrote:
    04.03.06 at 11:33 AM

    Do you have a case of Paulo Scavino Barolo, 1997 Cabric

    Alder wrote:
    04.05.06 at 9:53 AM

    Dr. Govett,

    Perhaps you are mistaking my site for a retailer. I merely write about wines, not sell them.

    Anonymous wrote:
    10.11.06 at 10:56 PM

    My wine broker recommends that I buy 10 cases of Barolo Ettore Fontana (2000)..what do you think?

    Alder wrote:
    10.11.06 at 11:09 PM

    Don't buy it unless you've tasted it and you think it's great. It's that simple.

    That is, unless you're treating it purely as a monetary investment, and if so, then I say skip it and buy Bordeaux first growths instead.

    M wrote:
    10.29.06 at 11:19 AM

    For theguy looking to but the Ettore Fontana Borolo. I bought 6 bottles, and was NTO impressed. It was over priced, and not up to par. there are better ones out there.

    Linda wrote:
    04.28.08 at 3:09 PM

    I was gifted with a bottle of Barolo 2000 wine from the Ettore Fontana Winery in Italy. Someone told me this a great wine. That being the case, I would like to donate it to a auction/fund raiser and will have to state a value for it. Can you help me?

    Alder wrote:
    04.29.08 at 5:19 PM

    Linda,

    It's worth about $50.

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