Since the 18th Century, Borgogno & Figli have been crafting classic old school wines in the traditional Piedmont fashion. The 1964 is legendary.  The Farinetti family took over the estate in 2008 and after a slight decline in the quality of production, the Farinetti’s are restoring this estate to glory.  
Borgogno sources fruit for its Barolo from 4 different vineyards in the region: Cannubi, Liste, Fossati & San Pietro. The result is a beautiful blended wine that Borgogno ages exclusively in large oak casks; many of which have seen prior vintages.  It’s terroir first. 
Recently we pulled an example from the cellar;  the 2001 Barolo Riserva.  2001 was not a great vintage in Piedmont,  but since it was the birth year of my youngest son,  I took a chance and grabbed a bottle during a recent trip to New York. 
We decanted the wine about 90 minutes prior to dinner, though I immediately took a small amount in my glass to play with while I cooked.  Reticent and hard. 
By dinner, the aromatics on the wine evolved wonderfully.  Soft rose laden cherry fruit is punctuated by worn leather and cured meats. It’s wonderful to smell.  On the palate however, things haven’t blossomed as well as the aromas.  The wine is a bit “chunky” with drying tannins that outweigh the fruit – which seems a bit “stale”.  There’s dried cherry that’s accented with soft earth, chestnut and worn leather.  Interesting enough,  but the balance is off and although the tannins are somewhat finely grained, they are obtrusive.  Maybe this will come together with more cellaring,  but I’m not optimistic.  84 points,  about $50.  

~ The 2001 Borgogno Barolo Riserva ~


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